Name: Jaya Hadd (JAH-yah HAAHD)
Age: 37 (at the start of Goda’s Slave)
Native Tongue: Modern Middlelander (Standard Southern Dialect), some Southern Outlerlander (but not much)
Jaya is an innkeeper living near the desert monastery who first appears in Chapter 3 of Goda’s Slave. Apparently worried that she will lose face associating with Goda and Kanna (the latter of whom is a foreigner), she attempts to shoo them both away when Goda asks for accommodations. Ultimately, she relents and allows them to sleep in her storage shed.
As Kanna learns a bit later on, Jaya’s issue with Goda is more personal than it seems at first.
Jaya was born in the Middleland to a pair of fertile mothers, close to the Southern capital of Suda. Her higher mother, a member of the Hadd family group, is a bureaucrat and politician. Her lesser mother, offspring of the Brahm family group, is a successful importer-exporter of medicinal herbs.
Like many Middlelanders, Jaya was not alone in birth: She is one of a set of fraternal triplets. She does not get along that well with her sisters after years of lifestyle differences, but is grudgingly loyal.
At the age of 12, Jaya was engaged to the recently-born Goda Brahm in an arranged marriage designed to further strengthen the bond between the Hadd and Brahm families. Goda’s mothers had influence in the herb and plant trade that could have benefited Jaya’s family business, though the union would have been particularly advantageous to Goda, who would have seen a rise in status for marrying the daughter of a politician.
This only served to strain ties between her and Goda, however, because Goda broke off the engagement very suddenly 13 years later, and then Jaya subsequently suffered a huge blow in status three years after that due to Goda’s actions at Samma Valley. Jaya is still resentful by the beginning of Goda’s Slave.
Jaya went through the standard Middlelander education system and became a junior bureaucrat (at her higher mother’s insistence) for several years in her 20’s, but suffered some professional setbacks when The Incident at Samma Valley caused both the Brahms and (to a lesser extent) the Hadds to lose face. In spite of this, Jaya refused speak ill of Goda because she did not believe her to be at fault in The Incident. This caused tension between her and her family.
Goda is unaware that Jaya defended her for years, and is genuinely surprised when Jaya lies to Rem Murau to save Goda from being arrested.
After facing increasing pressure to marry and live a mundane bureaucrat’s life, Jaya left her family’s influence to live alone in the desert.
Jaya has light brown skin, dark brown eyes, and curly brown hair that falls to her shoulders. She is around 1.85 meters (about 6′ 1″) in height–a bit taller than average for a Middlelander woman.
Besides her difficult relationship with Goda, Jaya still has loose ties to the rest of her extended family, though she prefers not to visit them often. She sees her mothers and her sisters during the Middlelander national holiday.
Years after taking over the inn that lies near the desert monastery, Jaya meets temple scribe Parama Shakka and becomes deeply infatuated with him, a fact that she hides from everyone due to Middlelander cultural norms. They develop a private friendship, even with the myriad of social taboos against slaves associating with non-government free people. Parama likes her very much, but is clueless about her feelings–or seemingly so.
Not long after Parama’s appearance at the monastery, Jaya meets an Outerlander named Lila who works for the Middleland bureaucracy. Because Lila’s family still lives in the Outerland, she travels back and forth across the border every few months and begins to increasingly frequent Jaya’s inn (which sits close to the boundary between the Middleland and Outerland).
In spite of her hatred of foreigners, Jaya develops a friendship with Lila which eventually blossoms into a marriage proposal. By the beginning of Goda’s Slave, they have been married for roughly one year, but have yet to move in together because of a disagreement about living arrangements. It is implied by Jaya that they had some sort of explosive argument recently, as she is seeking to reconcile by sending gifts.