Slave Status

Not really the lowest of the low!

Slavery has always been on Zekira. There is no law being challenged about it, it simply is a fact of life. Far from being captured, forced into Slavery or tricked, as Earthly Slaves would be, this is a purely financial social caste, and is not a remnant of a war-party attitude. Most Slaves are born into their station, though a few are Bayaran that have such a monumental debt that they opted to become Permanently Bonded (Owned). Owned people are widely regarded as less than nothing, and only when they attract attention to themselves can they be heard. Some, on the other hand, are quite well known, if for no other reason than their Owner keeping them in high esteem or (Lords Forbid!) falling in love with them. Slightly more women are Slaves than men, owing possibly to Breeders' abilities. Many Slaves being Bred for something unusual about them (mutations, for instance) are treated better than Free Workers, certainly better than Bayaran.

They occupy many niches in society that either Free Workers or Bayaran will- or can-not do. The most apparent of these niches are maids and butlers, handmaidens, field hands and hard laborers. Since they have no rights beyond 'shall be fed, clothed and sheltered in a humane way', they are placed in jobs according to their ability, rather than their want. If they are Owned by a Breeder, they are both more and less miserable than assumed. Some Slaves aren't miserable at all, and their duty to their Lords are genuine, if the Permanent Bond status was ever removed and no one new could become a Slave beyond those already there and their offspring, this attitude would most likely pervade the Status.

Fertile female Slaves are much sought after, and used to the utmost of their ability to bear. Unfortunately, they rarely get to live with their own children, since those are Owned as well, usually by the Breeder. These women must be treated with care, by law, for if they are abused in any manner by the Breeder they will be freed. Period. Breeders take many precautions to make them happy, though whether they are or not is always a matter of personality.

Children are mostly raised by their birth mothers, depending on their Breeding - some of level 4 or above may be removed before they know who their mother is, but some are carefully placed with 'professional mothers' to allow them an environment of caring before they are pushed out into the world.

Mutant Slaves are also prized, for their abilities as well as their high market value. However, as will be described below, being a mutant isn't what everybody makes it out to be.

Slaves do not have any recourse against abuse, other than the Breeder's women. As any Owner will tell you, their property is theirs to do with as they see fit. Simple offenses by the Slave, such as arguing or refusal of duties can be dealt with on an individual level, but larger crimes such as escaping repeatedly or physical attacks on anyone can result in death or mutilation. It was stated before that Zekirans do not believe in capitol punishment, but that only applies to Free Citizens, not Slaves. 'In a humane manner' means health care included, and any injuries occurring while a Slave is working shall be taken care of promptly. Owners who do not comply with these standards will have their stock removed.

Slaves' logo is that of a simple circle, that's all. Obviously, there ought not to be an Earthly equivalent to Slaves, but you know there are people who would disagree.

Not all Slaves start their lives this way. Many of them have been Permanently Bonded by their debts in adulthood, but some have been Slaves for generations. It will be these generation-servants which I will address primarily. It is rare to see a Permanently Bonded person who really loves their new Status.

A Slaves' life usually starts at the bidding of their Lord. When Naturally born Slaves come into the world, they are often prized more than those who must be Bred: they come as a surprise and they are cost-free to the Lord, that's reason to celebrate.

When one is Bred, however, there is an equal chance that they will never know one or even both of their true parents. In either case, Slaves are treated pretty much like everyone else when they are younger than ten years old.
From their birth, they are taught to Obey, however. They are taught that it is best to simply comply with the requests given them, and not to put up arguments. Children are rarely struck on Zekira, but Slaves may have to get used to it earlier than others might. Punishments for Slave children can be more physical than that for other Status, but it is still extremely rare that a Slave child is hurt seriously or killed by punishment.

Like all children, Slaves are taught to read, write, and do simple math. They are usually offered this education right alongside other children of their age, if their Lord has a child in the house and doesn't feel it inappropriate. Many children of Owners grow up with their own Slaves, treating them like the other half of a family unit, reinforcing the generational ties they have. Some are completely removed from the setting, however, and taught at schools designed to do nothing else. They may get additional teaching when they are old enough, some for betting on races or area knowledge for doing simple communication jobs, or even other higher Status professional skills.

Usually, though, a child Slave is going to have to learn to labor. Most Slaves are on farms, in heavy machine shops doing repetitive work, or serving their Lords directly as butlers, maids or sex toys. Far more often than not, when a Slave is able to display talents or strengths in certain areas, a Lord will place them in a proper job for their ability rather than let them go to waste: why pay someone high wages if they can put a Slave in that backhoe?

UnBred Slaves comprise most of the basic work force on a farm or shop. They tend to be strong and healthy but poor in their social skills, mostly because they are not encouraged to be so. Those with higher Breeding often have personalized educations and jobs geared to them specifically. Lené Rosh runs a Breeding House which specializes in personal attendants who are pretty to look at, soft to the touch, and fiercely loyal to their Lords, hence they make perfect body guards or sex toys (or very often, both).

Most Slaves who are kept by their Owners after birth get to remain with their parents or mother specifically until they are older. Bred Slaves, however, may not. They are cared for either by their mother alone, or even by surrogates who are professionals. Usually Slaves themselves, these women have training which allows them to care for multiple children even when they are not fertile themselves. This valuable skill is prized, if they were to be making money at their job, these "professional moms" would be Holding high and often. They instill a feeling of belonging at the same time as a Slave's detachment. Most children who have been nurtured by professional mothers know they are not with their own mothers, but it seems to matter less when they are getting care at all.

After ten years of age, or when the child individually is ready to serve, they are put into a job, trained (hopefully) and able. Some farms are tended by not only the Owner's Slaves, but those in the neighboring farms when needed. It is at these times when Slaves develop friendships and loves, or enemies. When a Slave child is sold before they are 10 years old, however, they often develop more slowly in those types of relationships.

Slaves are encouraged to become friends within their Owner's stock, mostly. When cross-Lord Slaves meet it can complicate their lives too much, sometimes too much to bear. It is not uncommon for Slave lovers to be prevented from marrying, but rarely for them to be prevented from Breeding.

When Slaves and Lords fall in love, it can be a scandal, it can be disastrous, but it can be the best thing the world has ever seen. Viridia and her Slave Torin were such a pair, nearly 500 years before the present timeline. They produced some of the most important lines of people around today, among them Paveh, Rhiin, Tiir, Mirage and even Alabaster and Sengihr. When Viridia died, Torin Inherited most of her Estate. He also inherited her wishes to see the Breeding lines continue into the next centuries, and he eventually became a well-known High Holder in his own right by delivering on his promise to his Lady Wife, that he would make sure their lines were the best and the brightest.

Alternately, when the wrong Lord falls for the wrong Slave, things go poorly for both. Eshy, born as a young Vanya Sengihr was first able to use his Breeding skills, had been Bonded and then Slaved to her Lord Micri. Micri shared land with one Lord Mo-Daren, who attached to her with leech-like desire. Neither Eshy or Micri was particularly fond of Mo-Daren, and it was when he attempted to steal her from Micri's farmstead (when she was still only a Bayaran) that she voluntarily Lowered into Slavery to avoid his clutches. Disgusted by the thought of marrying a Slave, Mo-Daren finally stopped trying for her attentions, and eventually died. Eshy was Raised to FreeWorker three days later, and still works for Micri, happily - and fully paid.

For some Slaves, it is status in itself to be seen with their Lord or Lady. To some, it is eternal shame. The Owner greatly determines the attitude of the Slave. Treated well, as anyone, a Slave would gladly perform tasks for their Lord. Treated poorly, they must grudgingly go along with it. Socially, it can be seen through the condition and attitude of their Slaves what kind of person a Lord really is. Smiling, laughing Slaves who run to their Owner at the smallest nod are often the product of a successful, mild Owner. Ones who are sullen, argumentative or seen to be bruised clearly come from less kind Owners.

Slaves in general have little to no recourse against any abuse they might sustain. Frequent visits to the doctor or clinic can result in suspicion and low respect, but there is little that others can do in most cases, to prevent physical or even mental abuse. In the case of Breeding females, of course, this is vastly different. A beaten, pregnant Slave is going to be Freed if she is taken in too many times. It is very hard to hide bruises from Breeders, and many of them actually look for such things when they can. Happily, however, these cases are uncommon and easily taken care of.
Male Slaves, however, have absolutely no recourse whatsoever for physical abuse, since they are out of the Breeding picture nearly immediately. Male Slaves actually are trained earlier and with more emphasis to obey and to be accepting of their lot, since they do have practically no way out of their situation. One way they can change their situation is to be able to provide a particular service to their Lord. Healing, protecting, guarding and generally being a big-strong-manly type are often the only ways one sees male Slaves in public at all. Lady owners or their monosexual Lord counterparts might have a boytoy draped over their arm for the right occasion. They've managed to distinguish themselves somehow in the eyes of their Owner, and that is their only pride, many times.

Their sisters are less likely to be big-strong types, but are quite often called upon to do the same work with less social reward. This is one of the rare cases of sexual inequity, and of course it seems to balance out the other side of the Breeding case.

Slaves are called upon to do hazardous tasks when they are able, however this is slowly changing due to Breeder's intervention. There are many custom-Bred or 6th Degree creations running around these days whose only tasks are to exist where others cannot. Many of them started out Slaves, or became them after childhood.

To disobey the Lord is forbidden in many Cities, to do so in public is often considered an outrage, and punishable as the Owner sees fit: anywhere and any time that the Lord's word is ignored or argued, their wrath can be heard. Disobeying a clearly insane Lord can be forgiven; talking back or (more often misinterpreted) attempting to explain why the request is not appropriate may also be punishable but when others above Bayaran status are present their word may have quite a bit of sway if there is a legal problem.

It is usually a good idea for a Slave to know who their Lord's friends and enemies are, as early as possible in their relationship. For any Lord or HighMaster can order a Slave, to disobey is not necessarily a crime if it is not the Slave's personal Lord, but it can be very dangerous to do so. Alternately, of course, it can be deadly to answer fully, it can be disaster to tell on the Lord to his deepest enemies.

It is one of the ways that Slaves amuse themselves, some High Owners would say, to purposefully give away secrets to the enemies of their Lords while they are themselves most trusted. While it is uncommon for a Slave to truly have a mean streak (such as High Holders or Owners have?) sometimes they have been known to get themselves into a position of authority bending an enemy ear now and again. When they can do so safely, that is. Some Slaves have even gone so far as to have themselves be sold off to anyone else, so they may eventually become Freed by the conspiring Holders... Information is costly, on Zekira, and even Slaves know that.
When Slaves are allowed to marry, they are offered the same legal rights up to keeping their children - their Owner does, always. They may add a last name, to be recorded with the Breeders' Network and the Hard Stock Network, and they may divorce later like anyone else. If they do have children, they may name them. If either of them manages to Raise or become Freed, this complicates everything, of course. Most often, children of one Slave and one Freed person still belong to the Owner if the child was conceived while they were both (or the mother was) Slaved. If the Raised person is able, they may buy their mate or child - or more commonly save up money to Raise them too.

This mess is complicated by Breeder's rights. A Slave, Ximanh, has a child, Jix, who later is tested to be Animal Tuned for Psionics. Her Breeder Raises her to Animal Master status, and keeps the mother at Slave. Years later, after many attempts by Jix to convince the Breeder to Raise her mother (she does after all have many of the same mutations), the Breeder Johan dies, and Jix buys her mother... Then Raises her to Bayaran, which she works off quite quickly. By the way, Johan the Breeder was Jix's father too. Complicated enough?

Slaves do not always have to remain by their Lord's side. Many personal attendants or those who have work that requires it are allowed to move about their local city or area to do chores, buy items for their Lord or even themselves. In these conditions, the Slave MUST wear their Status pin as a form of identification: to hide it is to break nearly every City, Land or Area law there is. Some Owners offer their Slaves a stipend to spend on themself or get them gifts at the Year's Turn events, or others stubbornly give them whatever they feel like handing out of the generosity of their pockets. Slaves may often be left in charge of locales which their Lord cannot maintain, such as Vanya and his Inheritance of Snow in Emer, where not only do the Slaves run and maintain the house and grounds, but they've pretty much become the only inhabitants of that place from around '390 until the mid '450s! In cases like these, the Slaves are given limited access to the Lord's business and credit accounts, and their purchases are directly accountable by the world network. Unusual spending equals immediate response. These Slaves are often the most independent and self-reliant of people, and they are fairly common among Breeders' stock.

Slaves are legally meant to be sheltered and fed, educated and cared for properly by their Owners. Most times, this is the case. They get a room or share one with other Slaves - or even share their Lord's room. They usually eat before or after their Lord (while making dinner, or after the Lord is finished), they are clothed normally by the same means as children are bought clothing: they are brought along and told that they'd look fine in this last year's fashion disaster. They receive health care when they are ill at the expense of the Owner.


Sometimes, rarely, an Owner will neglect their Slaves, forget to actually buy shoes, forget that the heat doesn't work in the Slave's Quarters any longer. Forget that teeth rot out, that injuries on the field can prevent a person from ever working again. If a Breeder sees this, they usually go to the local authorities and report it. Some deal directly with the Owner, often bringing the injured or sickly Slaves in and confronting the Lord. Most often this doesn't work, or works badly for the Slaves. How could they get so dirty? How many times do they have to be told to sew up those clothes?

But sometimes it goes differently altogether. When Slaves decide to escape their Lord, when things are either so bad there that they feel they must leave or die, when they have a goal which must be attended to at the expense of their Status, they try to escape.

Life for an escaped Slave is terrible, to say the least, unless they can pass themselves off as someone else, moving through society with powers or charm. They may be able to manipulate people's memories, so they are forgotten when they pass by, they may be ignored or unknown as yet another faceless Slave in the crowd, few people actively remember faces unless there is something dramatically different about them. Once a Slave has escaped and been noticed as such, the word immediately goes out to the Hard Stock Network. It is perfectly acceptable to hunt down Slaves, most often to simply bring them back to their Owner. If they must be captured more than once or twice, however, they may actually be punished by the authorities before their Owner gets to them.

If they manage to get out of the clutches of both the Authorities and their Lord, they are immediately considered Renegade, and that means death, usually, will follow them. Some Renegade Slaves still live in the Kiran deserts, making their meager living among the rocks and dunes. Some day, if they are found out, they most likely will be awarded Land Holder status, since they've been on the land they are on for quite some time. But by their very nature, Zekirans need to live in social areas, they need the contact of even an abusive Lord, and it is hard to live anywhere without guidance.

Most Slaves do not think about running away, however. Those who live with High Holders or High Owners are often very prized, if they are Bred well and reflect the tastes of the Lord or Master. Who would want to run away when there are parties to attend? When you can be seen with your Lady and the rest of her entourage? When you stand a chance of being singled out by a Breeder at those parties, or at a race, and perhaps you might even be bought by someone and Raised?

Old Slaves tend to be mellower than all the others, or sometimes just the bitter, silent type. They have little to look forward to unless their Owner is kind enough to retire them and offer them a sort of "grandmother" spot in the family. Token jobs such as simple cleaning or kitchen care, stables or Steed work which doesn't require much effort, gardening, these things may be the reward of a long, long Slave life. When a Slave dies, particularly an old one, even their Owner mourns. They are usually put to rest wherever the family or Owner decides, but there are interment places for any Status if no one cares.

The life of a Slave is not always sweet, but it doesn't have to be bitter, either.

Slave Game Information
"Do not complain about being Owned. You always have a place to sleep, food to eat,and sometimes you have your own mate given to you..."
-Ornith Kreei, Breeder 3rd Degree/Beastlord; Tana/Imaa/K'vora

Who Owns You... An Owner, obviously
01-60% Owner only
61-70% Suzerain
71-80% Animal Master
81-90% Breeder
91-100% High Holder
(Optionally: 01-45 Owner; 46-55 S; 56-65 AM; 66-75 Breeder; 76-88 H'H; 89-00 High Owner)

Where You Are...
Wherever your Owner wants you. This should be somewhere in their Holdings List, or with them if you are a personal servant.

What You Do...
Hard Labor, Mining, Farming, Construction *health and strength are a consideration
Menial Labor, Animal Tending, Cooking etc *low aggression, or high social skills
Light Work, Tending Children, Servant *high social skills, often a specialized education
Companion to Owner or Family, Breeding Slave, Other work *skills as per requirement

How Breeding Has Affected You...
Your Owner does not have to be a Breeder for you to have been Bred, how else do you think Breeders make money? If you were born into Ownership (90% likely) your parents are as follows...
01-25% natural mating, your parents are both Owned but were either married or paired early when you were born
26-60% B1, parents were paired by a Breeder but are not necessarily mated permanently, either or both are Owned
61-70% B2, your parents were selected to breed and you were sold to an Owner (most likely to cover a debt owed that Breeder, or some other Bond agent)
71-80% B3, your parents are special and you are the result of the Breeder selecting for a particular thing (choose appearance rather than roll)
81-85% B4, you are in a line of selected children, and you know your parents but they may not be with your Owner (choose appearance - often beautiful/exotic)
86-90% B5, as with B4, but you do not know your parents nor are they ever going to become known to you so long as you are Owned and cannot ask (choose appearance and select one of your mutations rather than rolling them all)
91-100% B6, one or both of your parents (50% either way) as well as your own genes have been genetically altered, you have more than one special ability or feature that your Owner will attempt to take advantage of, or Breeders will. (Choose appearance and select two of your mutations)

What is expected out of you as a Slave:
Anyone of Owner Status and above may Own you, and has been trained with a special skill called "command". As a Slave, you must obey someone who commands you to do something. Relatively speaking. If you are a bodyguard, and your Owner's enemy tells you to back away, clearly your duty is only to your Owner. Nearly any Owner or High Holder expects a Slave of anyone to do their bidding, at parties or in social situations, outdoors in company. Less so, in smaller settings. When you decide to disobey, you'd best have a very good reason to do so, buster. Otherwise you can be beaten, reprimanded, or even killed should the Owner deem it necessary. Many Slaves who are attractive (of either sex) may be prized as pleasure toys, handed out at parties, passed around to friends. Most of these are infertile, but those who are fertile might have recourse, see elsewhere. No matter how degrading, dangerous or impossible a task seems, everyone expects you to do it, without question, and right now.

How You Can Become Merely Bayaran...
There are several ways, the most common of which is another Owner or a member of higher Status offers to Buy you and then raises your Status, giving you 'freedom' into Bayaran which you then pay off yourself. A less common way is for your Owner to voluntarily pay for your new Status. In the case of a lowering in Status, Owner to Membayar all Owned are immediately sold. Bayaran remain unchanged. (In another case, Suzerain becoming an Owner, it is the Bayaran that are released from their debts, this is covered elsewhere.) Only very few people have gone from Owned to Bayaran to Freeworker, but it is possible. Climbing higher is not, generally, forbidden by law but such changes in Status do not usually happen quickly, and to accumulate enough wealth as a Freeworker (after being Bonded, after being Freed) in one lifetime is unlikely. "Freed" means being directly booted into FreeWorker; "Raised" can apply to the change in Status from Owned to Bayaran or Animal Master. In the recorded history of these events, a total of sixty Raised Slaves have reached High Holder status (without Animal Mastery) before their deaths (in a population of 100 million).

Stat Roll Natural B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6
Intelligence 20+7d10 -10 -10 -5 -5 +/-5 +5 +10
Education automatic 20 - - +5 +5 +10 +10 +15
Strength 30+7d10 +10 - +5 +5 - - +5
Health 20+7d10 +5 - - +5 +5 +10 +5
Agility 20+7d10 +5 +5 - - +5 +5 +10
Reaction 10+7d10 - - +5 +5 +10 +10 +10
Appearance 10+9d10 -10 -10 -5 - +5 +10 +10
Charisma 10+8d10 -10 -10 -5 -5 - - +5
Social Skill automatic 20 - - +5 +5 - +5 +10
Aggression 20+6d10 - - - - +5 +5 +10
Sanity 10d10 - - - - -5 -5 -10
Courage 10+7d10 - - - +5 +5 +5 +/-10

Keshtel and Havish Sengihr. Sold by Vanya to another Breeder who abused their terraforming abilities for decades until they were bought back from her and Raised to Free Worker. They spent the last years of their lives taking care of the grounds of the Inheritance of Snow in Emer, cared for by Vanya's other Slaves. Irony runs very strong in this family... They have 'twin cousin' children, each sired a daugher in twins, Sarasvati and Lahkshmi are higher status.