Oathbound Condition in Vazdimet | World Anvil

Oathbound

The Oathbound have taken a Soul Oath to another individual or organization, linking their soul to that entity until the terms of their Oath are fulfilled.

History

Romantic Tradition

Heart. Mind. Soul. I'm yours.
— romantic
The Soul Oath originated in the territories now known as the Sparnell Confederation, as a means to formalize one's relationship with another. Originally considered a romantic – if excessive – show of love and devotion, several cultures adopted the spell as a common addition to their traditions around marriage and commitment.   Early usage of the spell linked the souls of the participants with a necromantic tether, considered a symbolic gesture of the strength and commitment within the relationship. Anyone linked with these tether had the power to break it at will, granting equal consent and participation in the relationship's dynamics. Partners' whose tethers remained intact were considered in healthy relationships, capable of withstanding the tests of time and proximity.   To enact the Oath, participants would live cast the spell together, often under the guidance of a professional necromancer serving as officiate if a member of the couple was not already skilled in Necromancy. As the practice gained in popularity, necromancers began selling written Runework which would activate the spell and link those who provided a drop of their own blood as a sign of initial consent. These runed Oaths were less personal, but much more affordable, leading to a sudden burst of popularity among young and established relationships alike.   These commitment traditions are still in effect on many planets, most notably Shanlak Nitol, where the offer of an Oath is seen as a formal proposal of marriage.  

Family Reputation

I'm not asking for much, just your Oath.
— enterprising businessperson
As the Oath gained popularity and acceptance in citizen's personal lives, businesses seized the opportunity to leap onto the trend for their own benefit. Runework castings allowed the addition of all sorts of terms and conditions into the Oaths, while a physical tether through the higher planes of the Afterlife would allow business owners to track down those who failed to fulfill their agreements. Each Oath would then dissolve upon the individual's or organization's fulfillment of the agreement hardcoded into the Oath's runework.   Suddenly the Oath became a highly transactional arrangement, signifying a personal or business debt owed to another, and a guarantee to repay – one way or another. As the Oath could only be taken once, citizens began to band together, first joining with their direct relatives, then forming alliances with other families, with a single individual per agreement serving as guarantor for the entire collective.   These units began to choose names for themselves, often selected among the family names of the members. Groups with stronger reputations of fulfilling their agreements quickly discovered new doors opening for them with other business dealings and arrangements. These Oathbound collectives began to pay even closer attention to the dealings of their members, with a focus on personal reputation, to raise the collective's reputation as a whole.   The first Sparnelli Families had formed.  

Sparnell Armed Forces

Has the Initiate reviewed the terms?
Today, the most common administrator of the Soul Oath is the Sparnell Armed Forces, most often in exchange for a rather difficult and learning-intensive spell. Those who take an Oath to the SAF agree to serve until their Oath is fulfilled, often long after the end of their usual mandatory Conscription, while allowing the SAF – or their their Admiral or Vice Admiral – to make decisions regarding their exact roles, including whether or not they will be resurrected after their death, or serve as an Afterlife Intelligence.   In the past, TAGs were required to take an eternal Oath to ensure their loyalty, but this proved to have a negative effect on both the TAGs' loyalties as well as their success. Today, the longest Oath required is fifty years, from those who learn the complicated and concentration-intensive Hyperjump spell.

Cultural Reception

Today, to be Oathbound is considered a matter of pride, a sign of one's own prestige to be deemed worthy of the honor. Living Oathbound members of the Sparnell Armed Forces wear pins denoting their Admiral's Family on their uniform lapels, openly displaying their status as they work to fulfill the duration of their service.   And if someone is unwilling to take the Oath in exchange for the promised opportunities? There's always someone else eager to take their spot.
Type
Magical
Origin
Engineered

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