Soul Oath

Sub-Lieutenant Renkash Alenahs stood at attention, his black furred shoulders protesting their confinement within the stiff white fabric of his dress uniform. He couldn't help but swell with pride under the stern gaze of his sponsor, Admiral Kydell, who had managed to convince the Fleet Admiral herself to preside over the ceremony. His ceremony. A five decade Soul Oath in exchange for advanced training as a Void Mage Necromancer, the highest level of magical prowess available. And soon he would be one of them.   It had been a long time since he had experienced happiness, but today came close.   "Would the Initiate please step forward."   The flat tone of the Fleet Admiral's words did little to dampen Renkash's spirits as he marched stiffly towards Kydell and the Administrating Necromancer, who carefully unrolled the Oath Scroll for his review. This was his first time seeing the actual scroll, although Kydell had given him a summary of its contents the night before. It was larger than he expected, the Runework pulsing with powerful binding magics.
  A Soul Oath is an agreement made by an individual to sign over their soul in service to an individual or organization, typically for a set period of time or until certain criteria are met, in exchange for something of significant value or investment such as advanced magical training. The Oath forms a physical tether beyond the Veil linking the Oathbound's soul to an object or the Oath caster's soul. The tether uses the Oathbound's own magic to self repair, making it unbreakable to any except the original caster, although the bond will also dissolve if the set conditions are met or the Bonding Element is destroyed.

Effect

A Soul Oath is taken to bind a person's soul in service of another individual or organization until set terms are met, most often in the form of a time duration. The Oath is typically taken in exchange for something significant such as advanced magical training although it can also be used to signify a life debt, pledge loyalty to a cause, or form a temporary safety net to allow the Oath's Recipient to trace and locate the Oath bound individual in case of emergencies. In some cultures a verbal Soul Oath is even used as part of marriage ceremonies, with each spouse pledging themselves to their partner in this life and the next.  
"Has the Initiate reviewed the terms?" the Fleet Admiral droned, and Renkash responded with the customary salute. "Then extend your arms to your sponsor. Will the attending medic please step forward."   He did as instructed, submitting himself to Kydell's vice-like grip as the Admiral placed Renkash's right palm upon the binding Oath Stone before beginning to carefully roll the dress uniform back from his left wrist in preparation for sealing the Oath. A multicolored fae wearing the hat of a field medic flitted towards them, a large needle gripped within their pinchers, disapproval clear across their face.   What's gotten into him? Renkash found himself wondering, but then the Administering Necromancer drove the needle deep within the veins of his wrist and the Sub-Lieutenant found himself directing his full energy to maintaining his composure. He barely noticed when Admiral Kydell rotated his arm to slide it across the Oath Scroll, blood now smeared across the parchment, mixing with the ink of the runes.
  Upon casting a tether is formed, anchoring the Oathbound to the Binding Element, such as an Oath Stone, which can be an object or even the soul of the Oath caster. The tether allows the holder of the Oath to locate the bonded soul, and even recall that soul to the Bonding Element at any time for the duration of the bond (provided they are not involuntarily soulbound into a physical object), although these actions do require skill in Necromancy. Most Oaths are cast with a time limit, although the bond can also be absolved by the original caster or dissolved upon the destruction of the Bonding Element.

Side/Secondary Effects

The tether is powered by the Oathbound's own magic, typically resulting in only a minor draw on their Imperium reserves. Any attempt to damage or weaken the bond will weaken the Oathbound's own magic, as the tether will draw additional Imperium from their reserves to protect and repair itself. If the target's Imperium reserves are depleted due to any reason the bond's safety protocols engage, causing the tether to retract and pull the oathbound soul to its binding element.  
And then he felt it, the tentative tendrils of the tether which would anchor him to the Oath Stone for the duration of his bond. Closing his eyes and shifting his awareness to the Void beyond the Veil in an effort to fully savor the moment, Renkash allowed the tether to bury itself deep within his soul. It's done, he marveled, admiring the deceptively fine gossamer thread of the link as the Oath Scroll dissolved beneath his arm, its magic spent.   He was faintly aware of the Administrator's spiritual presence beside him inspecting the strength of the bond, and felt a sudden drain on his Imperium reserves as the tether repaired itself from the Necromancer's poking. Satisfied, the Administrator returned his attention to the mortal plane and Renkash followed, just in time to watch his attending fae medic gaze upon him with a mixture of pity and sadness before moving to mend his wound from the needle. What is that guy's problem?
  A tethered individual can also be located through the bond by tracing along the tether from the bonding element. This also allows the recipient of the Soul Oath to keep track of their pledged souls for the duration of the bond, and even recall bonded souls to the bonding element at will. More benevolent organizations will sometimes use this trait as a safety feature, temporarily administering a Soul Oath before a particularly dangerous task and then recalling their teams and absolving the bond after a set time has passed.

Manifestation

The resultant soul tether is impossible to discern without the use of Necromancy. If a Necromancer passes beyond the Veil near the Soulbound or Bonding Element of the Oath they will be able to view and follow the tether connecting them, which manifests as a thin shimmering thread when viewed at higher spiritual frequencies.  
But the Fleet Admiral was speaking again. "The Soul Oath has been successfully administered, and the Initiate's Oath Stone will be transferred to the Vaults. The Initiate will henceforth be recognized as Lieutenant Renkash Alenahs, Oathbound Void Necromancer of the Glorious Sparnell Armed Forces, in personal service to Admiral Kydell. May your accomplishments bring glory to us all."   Lieutenant Renkash saluted again as Admiral Kydell approached to pin the three clawed mark of his sponsorship on Renkash's lapels. The mark of the Oathbound of Kydell. This is the day my life truly begins.
Material Components
Initiate - the individual taking the Soul Oath, often called Soulbound once the Oath is complete
Recipient - the individual or organization to which the Target is pledging
Oath Scroll - a Runework contract detailing the binding terms of the agreement. Not required if the Initiate will be the one casting the Soul Oath.
Binding Element - an item or individual to which the soul tether will be attached, binding the Target's soul to the Element through the tether. If the binding element is a person they must also be the Recipient and caster of the spell, with the tether binding the Oathbound's soul directly to their own.
Gestures & Ritual
A Soul Oath is typically cast in the form of a written agreement detailing the terms and limits of the Oath to be taken. This includes the language required to cast the spell itself, plus additional information such as the duration of the bond, the expectations and rights of both the Initiate and the Recipient individual or organization, and the recourse available to both parties should one side not fulfill their side of the arrangement. These agreements are written in Runework and are therefore magically binding, so it is recommended that those participating in a Soul Oath read the spell carefully.   The caster agrees to their side of the bargain through the act of writing the spellwork runes on the agreement, while the Initiate of the spell acknowledges their own acceptance of the terms by adding a drop of their own blood to the runework. Once the blood has been added the spell will resolve itself based upon the runes, with the spell scroll itself dissolving to form the tether between the Soulbound and the binding element.   In some rare cases, such as a life debt, the caster and the spell target may be the same individual. Here a detailed agreement is not required, as the tethered individual is free to absolve themselves of the bond at any time, and so the spell may simply be spoken aloud.
Related School
Necromancy
Effect Duration
Until the conditions set at casting are met, the original caster releases the bond, or the binding element is shattered
Effect Casting Time
Minutes
Applied Restriction
The Initiate must willingly agree to the tether. Without agreement the bond will not be able to attach to the Initiate's soul, as it is the Initiate's consent which allows the bond to take root.

Comments

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Grandmaster Soulwing
Paul Wiesenthal
2 May, 2021 23:31

The Sparnell sound way more interesting than I initially thought with my Mordena influenced brain :P

5 May, 2021 16:05

*suspicious squinting at the fey*   This is such an interesting and rather creepy magic. I wonder if it could be used for nefarious purposes?

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
6 May, 2021 01:34

Of COURSE it is. D:

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities, and Vazdimet, its darker spacefaring future.
Grandmaster AzounIV
Luca Poddighe
7 May, 2021 17:42

The article's very well written. Spooky enough, but not terribly dark. Unfortunately my stupid mind kept suggesting me "Hold it Kronk can you feel it's power?" Kronk:"I can feel it!"

Transform your quirks, in your strength! Join the revolution and visit Phaldorya (Eng)
7 May, 2021 19:01

It's definitely not a spell to cast lightly!

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities, and Vazdimet, its darker spacefaring future.
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