You better be even in the payback hour Myth in Known Universe | World Anvil
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You better be even in the payback hour


They give it different names, expect it in different times, and prepare for it in different ways, but too many people agree about one thing:  
One day, in the darkest hour, every sentient being will pay for what he has gotten for free, and they will pay double for what they had stolen.

Historical Basis

There is no historical or physical evidence related to this belief, but studies on the history of the Fourteenth World of Grista imply that there was a tribe with a related tradition, applied to those who didn't pay their quota for the use of productive land. The payment may have been a percentage of production or some sort of work or tribute, but those who didn't provide it where visited by the tribe warriors in the middle of the night, and they would take a life as punishment (it may refer to the kidnap of a child, or a symbolism of sorts, but it could also be literal execution).

Variations & Mutation

The Fair in the Fourteenth world still believe that the Payback hour takes place an the exact time their sun stops burning, the living will die from cold and everyone will pay with shreds of their spirit what they didn't pay with material things when they had the chance.   As the belief spread to other worlds, the time changed. There is even the theory that "the sun" is in fact the human brain, meaning that the payback hour comes to everyone in their death.   There is another religion called Fair in the Fifth World of Grista, that claims to have its roots there but could have been started by a traveler. Unlike the majority of Fair, they believe in the existence of the Seventh Plane as an afterlife, and they think that people won't be allowed in until they are even. For them, the payback hour is an opportunity to renounce some valued memories or abilities as a form of payment, so you can enter the Seventh Plane.
The myth is the core belief of The Fair, which is considered a religion in the Fourteenth and Fifth worlds of Grista, but it's a lifestyle for others.  
Date of First Recording
Date of Setting
When the sun has turned into darkness.
(Which sun, it's still in debate)
Cultural Reception
Those who believe that this day will come, and many that have adapted this prophecy to their own beliefs, try to keep a balance between what they get and what they give, whether it is by direct remuneration or by helping as much as they can.   There are not many Fair in the universe, and only four cultures include the myth in their lore, but the idea is known in several places and those who take it seriously or consider it beautiful tend to be great employers or friends.


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