The Bondsmen were the working class of the Starguild. They were the vast majority of the population, yet they were almost powerless. Throughout the Imperium, Bondsmen worked in bad conditions for meager rewards, living out their lives in drab, cramped apartments. They owned nothing, and had no security. As a consequence, spontaneous and short-lived rebellions were common.
On Rhand, conditions were far better. The Bondsmen were generally well treated, and there was even a degree of cooperation among the castes. It helped that the Bondsmen had been specifically selected for this pleasant planet. They were chosen for their intelligence, compassion, industriousness, and complacency. Rhand was to be an ideal resort, and it would not do to have troublesome servants.
As the working class, the Bondsmen dressed in functional clothing. They usually wore fatigues or overalls resembling jumpsuits, which were durable and readily replaceable.
Today, Rhand's Bondsmen are of three basic types; Refugees, Rogues, and Newlords.
Refugees are those who have chosen to remain isolated and hidden, trying to survive in small groups and communities. They have no desire for conquest and would be content to simply be left alone. These groups contain armed members, but as they are not militant in nature, their best defense is to remain hidden. They carry their belongings with them as they travel, including extra clothing, food, cooking supplies, and so forth. About 1/3 of adult Refugees are armed, and almost all are travelling in groups of a few families.
Rogues and NewlordsEdit
Rogues and Newlords are former Bondsmen who have used their freedom to establish themselves as masters over other Bondsmen or captured Landcaste. The two types are identical in purpose, and differ primarily in organization, with Rogues being less well armed and organized. Rogues typically stake out a territory and its populace, and control the region's resources. Without a sense of unity and organization, they have trouble keeping their groups together and their equipment in good repair. Newlords are better organized and generally control one or more Power Relay Stations. Commanding power, they exact tribute from the people around them. They offer a good life to those who take up arms in their service, and an almost feudal society is emerging. These are the people who seized the chaos to improve their status in life, and as such they are the most aggressive of the generally mild Rhand Bondsmen. Many of them resent their pasts, and currently dress in the finest available clothing. This is usually ex-Starcaste, but the fit and style are certain to be flawed. It is not uncommon for Newlords to wear excessive amounts of jewelry and other items they feel confer status. Armed Newlords generally carry both a pistol and a rifle; the AP5-8 and AR8L are the most common choices.
These Bondsmen are the survivors of both the Spectral bombardment and the viral attack. The viral attack in particular destroyed most of their communities, with streams of refugees and Visser elements cutting their way out of those centers as the food supply was exhausted. The better organized of these groups struck out to take Rhand's remaining assets of food stores and power stations.
Today, these Newlords and Rogues control much of the countryside, with Refugees scattered in the hills. Visser elements are common and struggle with the Bondsmen. These forces are roughly balanced, with little or no military training, and only a few groups that are highly organized.
As the former Starcaste and Landcaste forces move into these areas, many Bondsmen are again having to surrender to their superior military organization. Some are not going down without a fight, and these conflicts are destroying what little remains of Rhand's advanced technology.