Owner Status

Silver spoons beware...

Considerably more Owners are born into their status than in any class save FreeWorker. They are referred to as Lord or Lady by their Slaves, and only as their own name by anyone of higher status than they - unless they're full of themselves or people are making fun of them. Since they are generally born into their money, they have more time to spend on education, and entertainment than most others. They usually own the workers that are used in fields, or factories. Few of them work themselves, preferring to hire Membayar to do that for them. They enlist the services of Animal Masters most often, usually to serve racing needs, or farms. They are the first Status to be able to trade in Sentient stock, in other words, to Own people. Many Owned families have been with their Lords for several generations, since Ownership is passed with other Inheritances. There are complex laws regarding how much one Owner might keep, see below.

Most Owners are men, most Owners are unmutated Naturally Bred people, and they know this. They flaunt it, usually, and are considered by High Holders to be boors. They hold most offices associated with land-use, rarely those of law-giving.

Owners have a symbol of several overlapping circles within another larger oval. Earthly equivalents are owners of businesses such as banks, trade and stocks, most people born to their money.

Truly the flip side of the Membayar coin, Owners are most often born into their Status and are first to flaunt it. All the classical traits of those born into money apply to most Lords. Flamboyant and remarkably callous are terms which often get used when describing Owners. Most of them don't care.

Between the years of 10400 and 10500 there was a huge push politically for the High Ownership title to be established, and by '500 every Land had its own rules governing that. They are described later, this section is purely for Owners of the lower Status.

Children of Owners are treated like little kings and queens. Doted upon and lavishly raised, little Lords and Ladies are often placed in private tutoring rather than being sent to public schools. And when they are sent, you can tell.
The main difference between a Lord and a Master's education is that from the day they first are attended by a Slave, they are taught to respect that service. To command is one thing, but to deserve to do so is quite another. Most Owners know this, it is the rare and media-attention getting ones who screw it up for the rest. Teenaged and young adult Owners are the worst offenders of frivolous commands, and only with time and adult direction do they learn the error of their ways.

Many young Owners are brought up by their Slaves. Because of the rigors of Lordly life, their parents (or parent if they are single and many are) are often out of the home for days or even weeks at a time, some distributing their time between their Holds or running with the Steed circuit from place to place. Some Owners bring their young children along with them, but most stay at home unless the Lord is truly being a "good parent". How many "good" parents bring their young children to major parties?

Upon passing their Status exam, a new Owner may choose between their parents' Holds to establish their Unit, they are not exclusively limited to their birth city. Also upon passing, and if their parents can afford it, they are given their first fully Owned Slave. Most times this is either a young playmate or an old nanny-type. If the wealth of the family is in that direction: they may have their own Steed trainer or tutor.

Owners can amass Slaves as their finances grow, but they also may divest of them in times of need. To that end, there is often quite an attitude difference between some Owners and their Slaves. To those who have a large Hold filled with field Slaves and a house with all the butlers and servants one could take, any one Slave is often just like another to them. They don't shed a tear for one if they have to sell one or two to pay off some miserable Membayar for a gambling debt. On the other hand, smaller time Owners with but one or two Slaves (a body guard, the old gardener, whatever) might feel that pinch quite hard if forced to sell one of them off. The rule which most very wealthy Owner families give to their offspring is... "Don't get attached. Attachment is for lovers and friends, not for Slaves." And largely, this could be considered true. Breaking that rule, hundreds of Lords, Ladies and their Slaves have had wonderful and loving - and fruitful - relationships along the history of Zekira.

There are myriad rules governing how much land may be Held by anyone (of any appropriate Status) and there are also rules about how many Slaves may be Owned. Hard Stock law is complex and as mentioned in the Membayar section they are usually officiated by Membayar instead of those people who are directly affected by them. High Holders too, often deal with these things, mostly those who have raised to that position from Membayar or Land Master. The value of a Slave (or Bayaran) is expressed by what work they are capable of doing, how old and fit they are, if they are fertile and if they have been Bred. Their actual monetary value is expressed in game terms elsewhere. But suffice to say that the value of the Slaves determines the value of the Owner.

Certain families have had certain other families tied with them for generations, Owners and Slaves both growing with the world together. These families are often found on huge mansion farms, classically equated to the deep Southern Plantation. When little day to day business involves moving from city to city, then these ties are much stronger. Those jet-setters who are always on the move might have Slaves in each locale who have never met their counterparts around the world.

The life of an Owner is not an easy one. There are endless plots and parties, racing and betting, and parties, clothes to buy and be seen in at parties, mates to show off with - at parties. From the time an Owner is old enough to get invited to parties, they take pains to be as available as they can, and organize the rest of their working time around their social schedules. Wherever possible the young Owner tries to place themself into a job which allows the most meetings and free time. Most Lords make their first money on bets and Steeding.

Those who get into Ownership other ways include through music and the arts. Communications and other people-oriented careers are most often chosen by Owners. Those with large land Holds are often found past the urban zones and into the Steeding areas and farmsteads, and tend their lands with quantities of low-budget Slaves. People in the arts often have fewer Slaves, but far more specialized ones such as for hair styling and personal attendance (fetching those drinks at parties, making sure that every detail is taken care of while hosting the same) as well as body guards. Lords are very touchy about their bodies.

They're also very touchy-feely. They have communication skills above and beyond those used in the business world, because their business is the world. They love being around other people, and a party without an Owner is no party. It's just... a gathering. Social skills are taught in subtle ways and those who can't catch up with them fall far behind. People who have raised into this Status have usually done so because they can keep up with the others. There are those of higher Status who lower into Ownership when their lands fail or when they just don't feel like keeping up the High Holder or Suzerain lifestyle any longer.

Investing for an Owner is a big event. They rarely acquire land which is not already founded or built up, and when it is empty or wild it is often used as a hunting or flight park. Their lands tend to be of large Unit size, and easily tended and reached by the local area. It is common for Owners to buy land before they invest in further Slaves to tend it, using Bayaran in the mean time. It is not necessary to actually own a Slave at any given time, however Owners must retitle down to Membayar or Land Holder if they are without Hard Stock for more than ten years straight. That's a very long time in terms of dry spells, for most people on Zekira, and Owners in particular tend to see their way to at least one token Slave here or there to keep up appearances.

It is also common for Lords to have multiple mates, men and women equally team up in larger numbers than Membayar might, and Owner marriages last for shorter periods of time than most. Their flamboyant lifestyle acts as a catalyst for new mates. There are far more argued contracts and contested wills among Lords and Ladies than any other Status. More back stabbing, in fighting, and scheming too. And parties.

Always parties.

Some Owners know how to spend their money, most don't. It is remarkable how many of them wind up briefly as Bayaran and back due to their habits. It is a fast paced world of Steeding, of course, and betting is a favored past time of anyone: Owners especially. Long term relationships, jobs, even private interests and hobbies are all virtually unknown among Owners. They like it quick, gratifying, and they like it now.

Will readings are colorful events, among Lords. There are always problems with people who have multiple mates and children. It is just as common to have an assassination after a will reading as a will reading because of an assassination! What fun!

Hard Stock follows Owners in families, it is common to suddenly become an Owner even if you have been only a Land Master or some such, if you were related to an Owner who still liked you enough to keep you in the will, you're in on the life now. Special laws govern how many Slaves a completely new or forced-in Owner may have, until they pass the exams to be able to keep it up, they can only provisionally have the Slave. One would hope that the Slave accompanies an amount of Land or other stock, rather than just showing up on your door step and demanding to be told what to do...

Owners try to keep up their lifestyle as long as they can, and for that reason they have shorter lifespans than many of equitable Status. Equal numbers of Owners die of excess as of falling from the sky off their Steeds, as well as being killed by some other more nefarious means. Not all Owners are like this, but the truth is that there are very good reasons for all of the stereotypes.

It is a big step from Ownership to High Ownership, detailed elsewhere. Most Owners would rather fall from the sky than lower their Status, but there are many who would love to raise themselves into Suzerain or High Holder Status and cannot stand the thought that they would have to start actually working to maintain this life.

Owners Game Information
"Wanna bet on that?"
-Owners Everywhere

Who Works For You... You can hire anyone if you have enough money. The main bulk of your workforce will be your personal Slaves, who you may order as you will within limits. You may also be hiring Freeworkers, and some Bayaran might be doing time with you.

Where You Work...
You might own residences anywhere in the world, with similar workplaces as Free Land Holders. The heavy administrative orientation of the Membayar does not apply to you, you move around a lot, and often have holdings of animal Stock or racing areas. Entertainment is your forte.

How Breeding Has Affected You...
Like Membayar, not much. 75% of Owners are born into their Status. 71-90% have risen from Membayar, and the final 10% are lowered from a higher Status.
01-60% Natural
61-80% B1 (B2 and B3 are not available to be born into this Status)
81-85% B4
86-90% B5 (volunteers) select one mutation
91-100% B6 (volunteers) select two mutations

Rights of Owners...
Technically, the only difference between Owners and Bonders is the Membayar restriction to non-Ownership. In reality, Owners are as different from their counterparts as oil and water. They must vote, though they often think that such things are a waste of time. They also may hold office and again, think it might be too boring to be of any use. Owners come into their money the family way, when their parents pass on (either by natural means or otherwise...) the children inherit sums of their Holdings and Stock. Therefore it is very important that Owners keep track of all their offspring. Owners are the lowest class to be able to deal in human (sentient) Stock. They have final say over the fate of any Owned in their Holdings, including breeding and selling. Bartering of Slaves is becoming more popular, but usually a Slave is sold for a price in credit or Holding in land.

Those pesky Membayar. Most of the time, though, it is betting on races and other events which can become disastrous. Having a loyal Membayar Bankholder on your staff can be a great advantage, ie: they can tell you when you've run out of money and need to divest...

Lands Held Rates Bond Own
1d10 Holds 1-4 1d10/year 1d10/year

Stat Roll Natural B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6
Intelligence 30+7d10 - +5 * * +10 +10 +15
Education 50+3d10 +15 +5 * * +10 +10 +15
Strength 20+8d10 +5 - * * +5 +5 +10
Health 20+8d10 +5 - * * - +5 +10
Agility 20+7d10 - - * * - +5 +10
Reaction 20+8d10 +5 +5 * * - +5 +10
Appearance 20+8d10 - - * * +5 +10 +10
Charisma 30+7d10 +10 +5 * * +10 +10 +/-10
Social Skill 50+1d10 +20 +5 * * +10 +10 +15
Aggression 20+8d10 +10 +5 * * +10 +/-10 +/-15
Sanity 10+9d10 - - * * - -5 -10
Courage 30+7d10 +5 +5 * * - +/-5 +/-10

The "Lord" of "A Lord, Two Bonders and their Mistress." L2B&M is a popular musical group which combines a techno-tribal beat (the Mistress Hask at the drums) with sweeping orchestral sounds (courtesy of Master Hermon, her brother, and his samples) and basic 'rock'. They're kinda like Styx. Micri is their singer and guitarist. He and his lover (Master Palos, on bass) comission a pair of 6th Degree spliced children through Vanya, who oddly enough knew Micri way back in the day. They are refered by him as "his disreputable friends" and indeed they are...