Some amari never forge a psionic bond with a laris tree.
These individuals are usually either uninterested in sharing their minds with another living being, or unable to find a laris who calls to them. This is rare, but these amari are known as the Bondless, and the majority of the amari race consider them misguided, naïve, and lacking the innate morality and sense of direction provided by the ancient laris bond. Even though the amari deem themselves an open-minded and accepting sort, they treat their fellow Bondless as they would treat a foreigner–with an excess of condescension and subtle scorn. As such, the Bondless have been ostracized for centuries. Most lie about their status and take their Bondless secret to the grave, typically only confiding in the official church of Aleydra.
Keeping one’s psionic bond (or lack thereof) a secret from others is easily accomplished.
The bond between the laris and an amari is solely interpersonal and difficult to detect by even the strongest psionicists in Sillirai. This is fortunate for the Bondless, as most manage to live normal lives and allow others to assume that they, too, share the inner workings of their mind with a tree. Some select amari are capable of digging deep into another’s thoughts, but this would be received as a mental attack of sorts, and is culturally taboo to even attempt.
Bonding with a laris tree is a rite of passage for amari youth.
This is a constant regardless of citizenship: amari who are born outside of Sillirai will either travel to their homeland or other laris groves on pilgrimage–such as those in Vavaire–but all are expected to bond. It is not unheard of for youths to spend dozens of years without forming a bond, but this does not usually last beyond the age of one hundred or so. The passing of one’s first century is generally the delicate turning point between the ‘not yet bonded’ and the truly Bondless, and this is the point where Bondless may start lying to those they love about forging a link with a tree. Some Bondless do forge a psionic bond with a laris much later in life, but those who do will rarely admit the truth, as they would also be confessing to years, if not decades or centuries, of ill-received lies.
When a Bondless is discovered they risk ostracization, prejudice, and in the case of nobility, a complete stripping of their land, titles, and family name, as a laris bond is a formal requirement of Sillarian nobility.
This status is simply taken at the noble’s word, however, and no formal ceremony exists to confirm a noble’s status as Bonded. Many amari believe that the Bondless are not just unnatural, but also unholy: The laris and their ability to link minds with the amari is known to be as a sacred gift granted to the race by the goddess Aleydra, and to be Bondless is to slight her divine grace. Despite this widespread belief, Aleydra’s organized church offers the greatest level of care and compassion for the Bondless. Priests and priestesses of the goddess will humbly listen to the confession of a Bondless and never breathe a word of their status to another living soul. They offer their services and consultation to the Bondless as they would to any other faithful of Aleydra. They respectfully hear the wills of the Bonded and the Bondless alike, and the Aleydran clergy plans funerals for both groups impartially, carrying out the desires of the deceased without prejudice. Graveyards of Bondless exist deep within laris groves where the departed may finally be at peace.