Soul Bonds

A Soul Bond is when a soul is deliberately and tightly bound to something to the point where each of them has a part within the other. Soul bonds also tend to be very rare, really.

General information

Normally soul bonds are made between two beings, usually souls, however there have been arguments made that they can be bound to items; such as Sauron's ring (this is a bad example as the Ring is his phylactery, and the Ring is sentient so it could be argued that it was made between beings anyway) and places; such as third circle mages in scarred lands being bound to the celestial realm (though records say bound to their god just as often and there is some debate about the realm being the Gods anyway).

No matter who or what the bond was made between (and for practicality I will be referring to them as a two-person soul-bond) there are some qualities bonds of this kind tend to have:

  • Each having a part of the other's essence within them.
  • Constant awareness of the other without effort. The people in the soul bond can choose to block the other's ability to do any of these things, likewise, if effort (aka, thinking about it) is applied they can tell more. This includes:
    • Direction (same universe)
    • Precise location (same 10 miles)
    • Status (same country, vital/unconscious and other drastic changes felt across universe barriers)
    • Emotions (50 miles, drastic changes felt across universe barriers)
    • Mindspeech (10 miles)
  • The mind and soulscapes become permanently connected.
  • They may visit and exist in the other's mindscape as easily as if it were their own (because it effectively is).
  • Their mental forms will have a or some features of the other, usually something key to their identity. (Eg, Chak has a copy of Howitz's symbols on his right hand.)
  • Affecting each other with magic is permanently easier.
  • The stamina and power of both is greatly increased.
  • Senses and memories can be shared.
  • They automatically know how to merge, with the same effects as Overcharging.
  • One going epic will prompt the other to also go epic.
  • They gain the aspect, 'Bonded of {x}', such as 'Golden Bonded' or 'Bonded to June.'
  • They may freely share their magical reserves (if applicable) and with practice can support each other with their mental reserves of strength also (eg. Easing fatigue gained by forced meditation)
  • While the sharing of physical wounds has not been seen, it is possible it could be done, but if so, is monumentally difficult.
  • The lifespan of one, if it would be shorter, is lengthened to match the longer lived one (note: this does NOT apply to sponsors for obvious reasons.)
  • Gain the Rubber Band effect. (Explained below but ::red | verysecret knowledge::, including most people in soul bonds!)

As with all things, the effect decreases with range depending on the strength and circumstance of the people involved. The ranges for a medium mage are given here. That should tell you the kind of power a soul bond has.

'Familiar' or Mental Bonds

The kind of bond usually seen between a familiar and their partner, this follows exactly the same principle as a soul bond but is much weaker, as it is only minds connected, and not souls.

  • The people are connected rather than bound.
  • The mindscapes are connected, not merged, as such the mental forms aren't affected.
  • Range is decreased as compared to soul bond (by 5-10 times)
  • Mindspeech, direction and status is as with soul bond, other things listed can be shared, but are not automatically known.
  • In the case of mountable familiars they will work perfectly in tandem without needing to know how to ride and without suffering penalties due to co-ordination.
  • The stamina of both is increased and they can share magical reserves freely.
  • No rubber band effect. The lifespans being extended to match each other's, however, remains in effect.

Notes on Soul bonds

A sponsorship appears to be a kind of soul bond, though it it largely one way and so only some of the effects are observed (though it's generally assumed the Sponsor can know anything they like about the sponsored person).

The other person is the soul bond being unconscious feels horrible and will distract the person still awake. The effect has been described as being like a deep hole in their mind that draws their attention in. As the other person's status gets worse the effect worsens to feeling like a true black hole, affecting sleep, appetite and general mental well being. As can be expected, if the other person dies the world effectively becomes living torture.

A soul bond is extremely difficult to brake and exceptionally difficult to force if one does not want it. Breaking a soul bond will probably break the person. Breaking a mental bond is easier and much less damaging to those involved, but still feels utterly wrong and tends to leave them confused and disoriented.

This is still very much an unexplored field of magic for obvious reasons and the people involved will often change the precise nature of the bond formed. Also, there is always more funky stuff when you start working with souls.

Soul Bond Creation

Usually the people who create a soul bond will be very close in the sense of willing to give anything for the other, as to create a soul bond is by its very nature giving some of the core essence, the deepest and truest part of the soul, to another person. Usually these people are lovers or very close in another sense, a familiar and their partner being the other common pairing. Likewise, the pair tend to be in the mind or soulscape when it occurs, as it is much easier to interact directly with the soul at that level.

Soul bonds can (and often are) made by accident. However when a soul bond is created the following things will occur:

  • The core parts of both souls will touch. Note: The core of a person's soul is very sensitive, even being close to it is… interesting.
  • A part of each person will shift to be inside the other after a period of… balancing/adjusting/fitting. Sometimes it's described as a flow linking the two together, sometimes like having a part of them inside their heart like a miniature sun. (I DID say that this was most common for lovers.)
  • When a soul bond is formed it feels like something between being directly blessed / filled with divine energy and 'the best orgasm you've ever had'. 'Special', 'wonderful', 'mind-blowing' and 'soul-lifting' tend to be included in the description.
  • The changes in mindscape/mental form/awareness happen at the point of the bond being made.
  • The expansion of power this causes usually results in some kind of physical manifestation based on the power and abilities of the people involved. For example Howitz and Chak caused an earthquake and blinding light (Chak is an Earth mage, and no-one saw the light), Sara and June caused a minor explosion (fire) and Hen and Gabe temporarily sanctified their room.
  • It takes a little while to get used to, so they are unlikely to want to do so much as let go of each other, let alone go any distance from each other for a while until they've got used to it.

Extremely rare knowledge about soul bonds (GM only)

Note, this section is the kind of knowledge you only find out by being thrown into these kind of circumstances.

When someone with a soul bond dies the other tends to follow shortly after. However if there is a portion of their soul somewhere else the dispersed soul tends to be pulled towards it, like a raindrop forming around a speck of dust. While the process takes a long time (the very minimum being 4 months for a mortal-mortal bond), this means that if the other part of the soul bond is sill present their soul can 're-form' inside the other person.

There will always be irreversible effects from dying, some strength and parts of them will always be lost and they may well be locked inside the other person's mindscape by grief or denial, but they can effectively cheat death. This is very rarely discovered due to the fact the other in the bond usually dies shortly afterward. This 'Rubber Band Effect' can take place on a much quicker scale with sponsors and in the case of the Scarred Lands Gods is well known that devoted souls (usually) go to their respective Gods by this effect.

Another side-effect of forming the soul bond is that it means they have a kind of 'claim' on the other's soul. This is particularly important when dealing with sponsorships, debts, death, trapped souls and other such things, as willingly and knowingly giving part of your soul to another is on a level to rival the claim made by some sponsors. For example if someone's soul was trapped inside an item, they can use the rubber band effect to escape, or their bonded can pull them out as a spell ranks lower than a willingly given claim on someone's soul.

In metaphysical legal terms, particularly in old magic and sponsorship type affairs, having a (willing) soul bond gives them some of the same rights a sponsor would have over the soul. They can effectively say: "They're mine, my claim ranks higher than yours as they gave themselves to me willingly." It may not be enough to win a metaphysical legal case, but it is a very strong argument and a good place to start from.

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