Free Worker Status

The backbone of the Zekiran Culture

Free Workers
Referred to as that name or simply Worker, the largest class of the population. Slightly more men than women are Free Workers.

Free Workers can do almost any job, given the talent or education. They build, race, administrate, guard or plant with equal vigor. They are able to rent their homes, usually from Free Land Holders, sometimes directly from High Holders. Membayar often hire these people for services that Bayaran cannot legally perform. They cannot hold offices, but they can vote, and they can initiate petitions and laws. They serve the greatest variety of actions, and if it were not for them, the system would utterly fail. Most of the people in this class have enough to get by and occasionally splurge on things, a bet in a race or a new video viewer. With their education being mainly toward middle-class orientation, FreeWorkers perform whatever they are physically or mentally able to: they are actually the most free to choose their profession, and the most responsible for their own actions. It is rare to see a FreeWorker who actually races, since it is fairly expensive to own a Steed (and nearly impossible to both own one and rent a stall to keep it in, if you aren't already a Free Land Holder!) but that does not prevent them from working with Steeds or races, as medical facility assistants, or as legal go-betweens. As stated elsewhere, Free Workers tend to stay where their work is, they have the strongest likelihood to marry and stay married all their lives, and they tend not to get invited to many parties.

They cannot Own or Bond, but with enough money saved up they may re-class into Free Land Holders. However, they may become indebted to anyone, and this is where Bonding comes into play.
They can temporarily dip in status to Bayaran, serving free of pay to their debtor, then return to their old status. But if this does happen too often, they forfeit their chance to buy up in class. Special circumstances can apply, and fortunately for everyone, Membayar are usually not too callous.

Free Workers symbol is that of an open hand encircled by a ring. The Earthly equivalent of Free Worker is pretty much going to be you and me. People who rent their home or apartment and work for someone else, but aren't in so much debt that they're wallowing.

As mentioned in the character creation section, if the game were truly based on statistics, seven out of ten characters would wind up being FreeWorkers. They truly run the world, not, as Owners would have people believe, Slaves. They are capable of learning anything they can pay for, buying up into Land Holdings, Bonding when they've got enough cash, and even upping to Breeder or High Holder eventually. They have rights and privileges which can be sorely missed if they dip into Bond too often, but the rewards of their lifestyle are many as well.

Life for a FreeWorker begins the day they pass their Worker Exam. A sort of "general education degree", it requires little more than the ability to read at a certain level of competency, do math of the same sort, and perhaps know a bit of history or have a start of a skill ability. Children of FreeWorker parents are schooled together with FreeLand Holders and sometimes Bayaran or Membayar kids, from the time they are able to speak and learn symbols (or the time that their parents deem them ready) until they are eleven years old (or until they pass that all-important exam). Schooling is not rough but it is time consuming and intensive in certain aspects.

Most FreeWorkers resemble Earthly peons like you and me, in many respects. Their higher education costs money, whatever they or their family can afford, their medical bills pile up, they work hard for their wages. There are a lot of "trade schools" on Zekira, mostly the type who select people based on their physical skills and then train them, hire them on for projects. Also the "temp agency" is common, when people have a small number of skills but the ability to learn others as needed. Since Zekiran life is so long, most Workers try to educate themselves enough to have a steady job and skills which support them, rather than floating from job to job for two hundred years.

For the more intellectually oriented Worker, life is often more complex. While it is common to find all kinds of Workers in fields with Bayaran and Slaves helping out, it's much more rare to see anyone of lower Status running the place, deciding what kinds of crops should be planted and when, where to build or what kind of materials to use. The smarter a Worker is, the more likely they are to Raise to another Status. There are individual organizations which search out these smarter people, train them to their own needs, and support their progress. (Alabaster, Blackstone, the Mirage Estate, Parvati's Dance Academy, all are such places with vastly different types of requests for skills.) The only things that Free Workers cannot actually be paid to do (or sometimes do legally) involve skills with Breeding machinery, Healing or certain kinds of politics.

Then the Worker is set up for life. Typically a Free Worker may attempt to get into Land Holding of some kind, if they seem to be making money and not blowing it all on bets or toys. FreeWorkers pay rent and are often found in large dorms or apartment buildings when in larger Cities, but the small cottage and duplex-apartment is common elsewhere. Any larger places to rent are usually out of the price range for most FreeWorkers, at that point too, why not buy that home? Barring injury or debt, a Worker can continue paying rent, stay in a job, and float through life.

FreeWorkers can vote, there are laws about what they can and cannot vote for (or who) in each City, but mainly it will be for local laws which affect them, and low-level community officials. FreeWorkers cannot run for office, but they are often vocal in small-town politics. When a Worker wants to "retire" they may attempt to retitle to FreeLand Holder or live with relatives, but it is usual to see elderly Workers still up and running with the younger ones.

Family life for Workers is typical of Earth working class. A rented house is usually cheaper for the pair of Workers, of course, and many organizations which rent out their homesteads to Workers or Bayaran actually make their "family" homes cheaper to rent - those kids are the future, after all. There are large Cities which offer a stipend of credit to young families (meaning people with their first child or - if they're really lucky and fertile - their first children...) which they may use on food or sundry items, cleaning bills and home upkeep. Most of this money comes from the High Holders or Suzerain who own the lands that the food is coming from, the stores they're selling through or even the companies which hire the Workers in question! The last category is perhaps the best for the Worker, since it implies that there is potential in that company for gaining higher wages, and retitling.

Breeding rights for FreeWorkers stand at "whatever works". Typically, a Breeder is far too expensive for Workers who need help, but many First Degree Breeders have small clinics which they offer their advice and sometimes skills if they see potential. It is not uncommon for Workers to become Bayaran for a couple years to pay a Breeder, most usually this is done before the Breeder does the work, rather than after: legally they'd be born Bayaran that way.

Workers may marry whomever they want, it is less common to see a Worker and anyone above Membayar as a couple, however. There are cases of sudden retitling when a Worker's mate becomes a High Holder or somesuch, and most often they will simply pay for a retitle for their lower Status mate (if they don't want to, hey, why'd you marry them?) rather than have the social kind of stigma attached to the pairing. Most FreeWorkers who marry stay that way for life, it is a social expectation going back to their long lived work ethic: they are expected to work all their life perhaps in one job in one City, why not expect to stay with the same person?

If a Breeder selects a Worker for their genetics (rather than a couple of Workers finding a Breeder to help them out) it is most common that the Worker will have to give up the child when they're done, or simply be used as a donor in the case of a male. For these contracted births, the Worker is often paid for their troubles, and offered care for free during the pregnancy, but otherwise they're expected to still do their job and all.

There are lots of problems with being a FreeWorker, however. Gambling being the first and foremost leech of money. It is everywhere, pervasive in society and almost expected of the people in it. There are a fair number of people (smart ones?) who remain outside the Gambling Parlours as long as they can, but most people bet at least once or twice in their lives, if for no other reason to be seen as "normal". Sometimes the betting can lead to fortune and retitling, however more often than not it leads to debts... See the section on Bayaran!

There are very few laws or rules which go directly against the best interests of Workers, since there are so many of them in any given place. Most of the laws which do affect them regard their money, and who they owe it to, where they can work or homestead, and such.

Speaking of Homesteading: FreeWorkers can leave everything they know, abandon their rented home or apartment, and take up the wandering urge into the wilderness. Once in a place which they deem "right" for them, they may start building a homestead if they've got access to the supplies and the expertise to do so. This is pretty much called "squatting" and it is perfectly legal and often encouraged on Zekira. Most of the actual land mass on the planet is uninhabited, so if they have a way to transport to and from their homestead and physically support themself, there is nothing at all stopping anyone. They can opt to retitle once they know it's going to work, to FreeLand Holder. To do this, they must have already either claimed a piece of land and done something with it, or actually built up a place on it, in an UnZoned area - you can't do this in a city or zoned town, you have to buy into that land (there is more on this in the Free Land Holder section) - and get a qualified Land Stock Lawyer to look it over. They usually decide if the place is up to standard, and offer the new Holder title to the land.

Free Workers Game Information
"Freeworkers carry the colors of all Lands. They hold the world together."
-Lam Fimel, HighMistress, Kiran/Emosah/Basho

Who You Work For...
Anyone in Status FreeLandHolder or above. Freeworkers do not own their own businesses.
01-50% FreeLandHolder
51-60% Membayar
61-65% Owner
66-70% Suzerain
71-80% Animal Master
81-85% Breeder
86-100% High Holder
(Optionally: 01-50 FLH; 51-60 Membayar; 61-65 Owner; 66-70 Suz; 71-80 AM; 81-85 Breed; 86-95 H'H; 96-100 High Owner)

Where You Work
Depends on what you are capable of doing. Which is primarily based on your stats and if you have any, your Mutations.

Where You Live
Residential areas of cities, mainly near your workplace or with your Employer. You do NOT own the land you are living in, until you Retitle up to FreeLand Holder, if you've got the money.

What You Do...
Freeworkers are skilled laborers, though many live and work on farms or Animal lands. Basically, if you have the skills or the ability to learn, you can do whatever you choose.

How Breeding Has Affected You...
70% of Freeworkers are born into their Status.
01-35% natural parenting
36-65% B1
66-80% B2 (B3 is not available to be born into this Status)
81-90% B4
91-95% B5, select one mutation
96-100% B6, select two mutations, or a very good job

Rights Of Freeworkers
Freeworkers are not Bonded or Held, nor by law can they be and still hold their Title. There is no stigma attached to this class, it is a catch-all, simply put - the middle class. Since Freeworkers earn their living they choose what and where they work, often passing their skills on to their children. Freeworkers may vote on laws, elect officials, initiate and sign petitions, etc, but may not run for office. Should a Freeworker desire to run for office or try to begin owning their own business, they may apply for a change in their Title to FreeLandHolder. Usually if the worker has enough credit or following, the Status will be granted, it takes only a certain amount of money to Hold Land, but there are complications -- see the Lands section. Freeworkers cannot Bond or Own anyone, but they may hire people if they have enough money to do so. Freeworkers fill the economic gap that would be disastrous if only Bayaran and Owned Stock worked. Most of the population at large (about 65%) is Freeworker.

You can become Bayaran. All it takes is one slip of the dice or a bad injury which you cannot immediately pay back...

Stat Roll Natural B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6
Intelligence 20+8d10 - - - * +5 +5 +10
Education 30+3d10 +10 - +5 * +10 +10 +15
Strength 20+8d10 +5 +5 +5 * +10 +10 +5
Health 20+8d10 +5 +5 +5 * +5 +10 +10
Agility 10+9d10 - - +5 * - - +5
Reaction 10+9d10 - - - * +5 +5 +10
Appearance 10+8d10 - - +5 * +5 +10 +10
Charisma 20+8d10 - - - * +5 +5 +5
Social Skill 30+1d10 +5 +5 +10 * +5 +5 +10
Aggression 20+8d10 - - - * +5 +5 +/-10
Sanity 10+9d10 +5 - - * +5 +/-5 +/-10
Courage 10+9d10 +5 +5 +5 * +5 - +/-5

Why is Khyrus Dominican still a Free Worker? Because even though he's wildly popular, stunningly talented, and handsome beyond belief... he has some of the worst luck betting, and he and his band tend to destroy their instruments on stage with alarming regularity - meaning of course that they must continually buy more of them. Maybe some day these habits will die, and they'll all retire in some grand manorhouse with servants aplenty... Nah!