Rite of Aegis

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Every king and queen of Yondar has their elite guards - their most trusted, talented knights, trained day in, day out and matched in skill by almost none. These elites are the Shields of Yondar, tasked with protecting their current monarch and the throne. Led by a captain who is the best of their ranks, this role of leadership is often seen as a birthright in the same way inheriting the throne would be.

From a young age, they are selected for their budding talent from the normal batch of knights by other members of the Shields. If they are seen to have potential, they are chosen. If they are steadfast in their loyalty to their king or queen, they are tested. It doesn't take long for someone chosen by a Shield to prove whether or not they are worthy of the elite title.

Undergoing the Rite

Those that are worthy are marked with a Blessing of Van-Hael. They must carry the blessing for 5 years as a test of their perseverance, loyalty to the throne and dedication to their training and their allies. Those that fail have the blessing removed. Those that succeed are given the chance to undertake the Rite of Aegis.

After those 5 years have passed, they may undertake the Rite of Aegis at any time.

In the majority of instances, their Sponsor will determine which royal member will represent the Sovereign during the Rite.

Sometimes, if a monarch or heir see's potential in a young knight, or feels a kinship with them, they will actively seek out the individual and opt to be their Sovereign.

Primary Related Location

Blessing of Van-Hael
Second Blessing (Blessing of Eternity)
Elevated status
Commanding presence
Increased respect

Noteworthy Individuals Who Passed

Oscar Flint (1389)
Jenna Avarice (1445)

Noteworthy Individuals Who Failed

Ingrid Dunlocke (1364)

On rare occasions, an individual may even seek out the monarch or an heir and offer to undergo the Rite of Aegis for them. The latter option is less common as the older knights tend to deter their young proteges from choosing a Sovereign for themselves and has over the course of history been seen as bad practice.

Once the rite has been agreed upon by at least the Devoted and the Sponsor, it may take place.

There are three main parts to the ritual.

  1. The Overseer will ask the Devoted to declare their intentions - firstly who they intend to serve (the Sovereign), and secondly what they intend to defend (the throne). Afterwards, the Overseer will ask the Sponsor to confirm the Devoted's claim, confirm their belief in the Devoted's virtues, and confirm whether they will share the Devoted's Burden of Aegis.
  2. Provided the first step goes smoothly, they will move onto the second part of the ritual. This involves participation from both the Devoted and the Sponsor, who will face a trial that will test the Devoted's resolve. At this point, the rite can fail if the trial is not passed. Trials are undertaken mentally - the magic of the rite will produce a dreamscape where the Devoted will be tested.
  3. If the Devoted passes their trial, the Overseer will proceed to the third and final part of the trial. At this point, it is out of the Devoted's hands as to whether or not they complete the rite and receive the second blessing. In order to do this, the Sovereign must accept their claim.

"And who shall speak for the Devoted? Who will defend her claim and shar her burden?" Mathias calls. His voices booms throughout the chamber, commanding and resolute.

You kneel before him, head down, heart pounding. Words of a fading past, from a mother that should have been by your side today, instil a sense of worry inside you. She would have been proud, you think as you screw your eyes shut. She would have been so, so proud.

"I speak for her," Karsten replies. He kneels beside you and places a hand over your right shoulder. Squeezes it once reassuringly. "For as long as I have known her, she has been strong. She has been brave. And now she kneels before you, after ten long years of seperation, after passing up on the chance for a new life, ready to serve once more. That is as loyal and devoted as one can ever be to the throne. Or to their Sovereign."


The Devoted - The name given to the participant undertaking the Rite of Aegis. They are their to swear their allegiances, first to the royal member they will be assigned to, second to the throne of Yondar itself.

The Sponsor - The role of a Shield of Yondar that has already undertaken the Rite of Aegis and is willing to vouch for the virtues that the Devoted will represent. More often than not, they are knight that picked out the Devoted as a candidate in the first place. They offer to share the Burden of Aegis that the Devoted will undergo, both as a symbolic gesture and as a way to help The Devoted through their Rite.

The Sovereign - The name given to the royal member whom the Devoted will be swearing their allegiance to. This can be a current King or Queen, a Crown Prince or Princess, or an ordinary Prince or Princess. In the end, even if the Devoted passes their rite, it will not matter unless the Sovereign accepts their claim of allegiance.

The Overseer - A member of the The Church of Van-Hael who enacts the Rite of Aegis in full. They lead the procession from start to finish, will determine whether the Devoted has passed the test presented to them during their rite, and will finalise the rite if the Sovereign accepts the Devoted's claim.


There are two blessings given to those who participate in the Rite of Aegis. The first is given to all participants and is known as the Blessing of Van-Hael. The second is given to those who successfully complete the rite and is known as the Blessing of Eternity.

The Blessing of Van-Hael

The first blessing is placed on the Devoted's dominant hand using a combination of their own blood and lifeblood magic. It takes the shape of the very same blessing that Van-Hael awarded to his aspects. A sign of great loyalty and sacrifice, anyone who is familiar with Van-Hael and the church will recognise it.

Simply having the first blessing will gift the Devoted with a strain of lifeblood magic, even if they have no prior magical inclination. This strain is completely focused on the warding magic used by lifeblood arcanists, allowing the Devoted to create shields and barriers to aid them in their duties.

It can only be removed with lifeblood magic. The ritual for removal is a very painful process for the Devoted and, in most instances, leaves them without their dominant hand as the person is literally severed from the blessing. Very few people have come out of the removal ritual with both hands attached.

The Blessing of Eternity

The second blessing is imbued over the original blessing. This time, it is created using a combination of the Devoted's blood, the Sovereign's blood, and lifeblood magic it to stitch it all together. Once complete this adds two extra parts to the original blessing that signify the connection between the Devoted and the Sovereign.

Whoever possesses this blessing is bound to their Sovereign. They cannot act against them in any way and trying to do so results in an agonising, burning sensation coarsing through every inch of their body, slowly increasing in intensity.

As the name suggests, the second blessing is designed to last forever, so that even in death the Devoted will remain loyal to their Sovereign. Because of this, the blessing cannot be removed. No amount of magic has ever succeeded in doing so. Wounds and burnt skin over the blessing will repair itself and, whilst the Devoted's hand can still be removed, the effects of the blessing will remain.

Blessing of Van-Hael by SunlanceXIII

Blessing of Eternity by SunlanceXIII

Cover image: Arcane Banner by SunlanceXIII


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