Light-Bond Tradition / Ritual in Malkora | World Anvil

Seek a new dawn, in Malkora!


As marriage binds the hearts of lovers, the light binds their souls together in kind.

I took down his shrine a while ago, now. It's just... he'd spend so much time standing at it, and he'd look so sad.   I know, "how can a faceless form look sad?"   But really, when you knew him the way I did, you can just see it in the way he stands...
— Hevati Widow
  The light-bond is a ritual practiced in Everbright during most traditional marriage ceremonies.

Love and Light

In Everbright, where light is eternal, many seek to tie their bonds with it, that they may be just as everlasting. This particular emergence of the Leyline of Revelation cast the entire region in perpetual light, and has made its magic abundant, and this magic has interwoven itself into local marital traditions.   The tradition of light-bonding is among the most common, requiring an officiant who is attuned to the leyline enough that they may pluck and weave leyline fibers. The light-bond is achieved through a form of handfasting which substitutes physical cords for fibers of the leyline which dissipate as both parties are spiritually linked.
A light-bond is forever — if you choose it. Would you hold on?
Marital Tradition, Lovers' Bond
Perpetual, until performed again

Dipping into Revelation
The Leyline of Revelation is incorporated into local marital traditions in numerous ways, this ritual being but one of several.   With its connection to truth and clarity, its symbolism is often applied to the unity of marriage as a way of ensuring lasting, loyal bonds.
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Everlasting Bond

While both bonded parties remain alive, this ritual is primarily symbolic in nature, as no effects present themselves during this stage. Despite this, many couples will claim that the bond has made it harder to hide things from one another, and that they are more connected than before.

Til Death, and Beyond

The bond continues to show no effect until one member of the bonded pair passes away, after which the bond's everlasting nature makes itself known. Though the body of the deceased may be laid to rest, their spirit — or at the very least, a visualization of it — carries on, appearing to live alongside their living partner.   This spirit appears as a light, shimmering silhouette of the deceased, which embodies all of their usual mannerisms and body language, but lacks a face or voice, or any other identifying details. They can be seen by all, but cannot be touched except by their living partner, from whom they seldom stray farther than a few meters.

New Lights

Society is torn on the subject of remarrying due to this cultural ritual, citing reasons ranging from faithful to physical, among others to justify their stance. No province restricts being re-wed following the death of a spouse, but many will harbor negative feelings towards those who do, in spite of a lingering light-bond.

"A part of them is still with us..."

Those who speak against remarrying most often do so by focusing on the fact that a piece of the deceased remains in the world, and continues to manifest visually in the world. They bear the same mannerisms, and respond to inputs the way they did while alive, and appear to live autonomously — though never too far from their bonded companion.   Their lack of a physical form or voice sets them apart from their once-living counterpart, but many argue that the soul of their loved one lives on, and should be honored for life. Those who lost their spouse in a traumatic way often hold tightly to the light-bonded visage of their deceased love, taking comfort in their lingering presence. Many groups campaigning against the breaking of such a bond are made up of the surviving victims of such tragedies, who believe that accepting the practice will require them to acknowledge that their late partners are truly gone.

"... but the person is gone."

Comforting, though it may be, to have a remnant of one's partner remain after a loss, the lingering presence is distressing to just as many people as it is comforting. While an echo of their physical form remains, one can only converse with it as though with a ghost; the presence is faceless, cannot speak, and has little impact on the space around it. All semblance of partnership is lost, and only a walking faded memory remains.   Many will choose to remarry after losing their bound companion, opting to move on after their losses. Even those who are in favor of this action voice that, once time comes for the decision to be made, it is a difficult one to commit to.

Cover image: by Strixxline


Author's Notes

This article was inspired by the painting "Stay" by Reynier Llanes. I simply had to adapt it somehow to my world!

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Dec 27, 2023 18:40 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Ooo, I can see why remarrying is such a controversy. I think I would find it much harder to cope with if a part of my partner still lingered on after death.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jan 30, 2024 18:28 by Polina "Line" Arteev

So many personal and moral quandaries to consider! Developing the culture around this will be challenging, but also super interesting, I think!

Seek a new dawn, in Malkora!
The Feral Sovereign sleeps peacefully, but will return...
Jan 8, 2024 20:18

A beautiful and simple idea, but also one I can imagine having some severe psychological problems and creating issues for people to let go of their loved ones. Curious how it would even effect marriages that weren't that great to begin with, I can't imagine the idea of having a dead partner you don't have fond memories of haunting you even long after you died (if something like that is possible that is).   Maybe a thought for making the layout a little more interesting for the last two sections, why not use columns to put the headers next to one another?

Jan 30, 2024 18:21 by Polina "Line" Arteev

The concept is simple, but the implications are endless. I didn't have much time to dive fully into this during WE, but I know this will be a big topic to come back to in the future. Perhaps it'll see some more development when I come around to fleshing out this region more! :D Thanks for the ideas and feedback <3

Seek a new dawn, in Malkora!
The Feral Sovereign sleeps peacefully, but will return...
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