Silver spoons beware...
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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...
How Breeding Has Affected You...
Rights of Owners...
Lands Held Rates Bond Own
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...