Ruling Planet: Saturn
“Bonds of Concordance” or “Spirit Bonds” encompass a number of different types of agreements that can be negotiated that are finalized with a binding that affects the spirit and soul, providing certain compulsions on the participants if they attempt to violate the agreement or Concordance so struck. The common denominator between all of the Spirit Bonds is that they cannot be coerced but must be entered freely, this must be acknowledged by all participants immediately on the loosing of the dweomer that binds the Concordance. Failure to admit the bond is freely undertaken nullifies the dweomer.
Because they are entered into freely, violating them can have dire effects. Thus, they may NOT be resisted and their DUR is always permanent, although they are subject to being dispelled.
These Bonds may that the form of a “Geis”, “Blood Bond”, “Bonds of Hospitality”, “Bond of Homage & Fealty”, or “Oath of Good Faith”. This list is representative, not exhaustive. If the GM comes up with additional types of Bonds he wishes to include in his game, he will need to make copies of the particulars and provide them to those players running practitioners of magick in his game if they are schooled in casting this dweomer.
A “Geas” embodies a personal taboo, a practice or mode of behavior in which the recipient is forbidden to engage. It can take any number of different forms. At low POT it should be narrow enough to be worked around if the recipient takes some care, but not so narrow it can be completely ignored (GM’s discretion). A geis may forbid the character to eat in the presence of others of the same sex, those of the opposite sex, or with any company at all. He might not be allowed to wear the hide/fur, hair, feather, claw, or bone taken from any beast; or wear cloth made from spinning animal and vegetable fibers together, no “ersatz” materials, or articles of clothing of different fibers, either all must be vegetable fiber or all animal fibers. For another geis he might not eat fruits, or vegetables, or any plant matter at all, or the flesh of cloven-hoofed animals, or any seafood that doesn’t have both fins and scales, or the flesh of any living creature at all; might not partake of alcohol of any kind, nor cheeses, nor fungus of any kind, nor any other product of rot; be forbidden to speak to the opposite sex; speak to those of the same sex, or not speak at all; might not touch the opposite sex, or those of the same sex, or others at all – at high levels of POT not even with gloves. He might not allow others to see his feet, not even if wearing shoes/boots; may not touch riches of the earth (gold, silver, gems), perhaps not even with gloves; may not be alone with one of the same sex, one of the opposite sex; may not show his face to those of the same sex, or opposite sex, or to any other at all, perhaps not even look upon his own countenance in a mirror at high POT; may not touch rodents or any kind, not even with, clothing/gloves, or alternately horses, or dogs, or cats, or birds, or perhaps any animal at all, especially not to ride upon one with a saddle. The variations are endless. The higher the POT, the broader, more general and more difficult to avoid the restriction should be.
The vigilant observation of one’s geasa is believed to bring power. Indeed, accepting a geis is a common price exacted for the rendering of magickal aid by the more powerful among practitioners, or for divine gifts or intervention.
Violating the Geis will produce a definite and immediate effect. Dishonor of some sort is common, but the repercussions are commonly physical, as well. Whatever gift was accepted in return for taking on the geis will be rescinded. The greater the POT, the greater the debility. Usually weakness, or loss of strength AND energy based on the POT of the Geis, multiplied by the number of times the character has violated it in duration, each time longer. It could inflict boils, a great stench, eczema and shingles, or the like as well if the character persists in breaking the geis. At very high POT, a violation should in fact cripple the character, and death be the result of multiple offenses against it.
The “Blood Bond” is the magickal embodiment of a very ancient bonding in brotherhood. It is entered as a special honor, in recognition for great qualities of spirit, for extraordinary heroism and service, and signifies the joining of one who would otherwise be counted as an outsider with the family of another, making him a “Blood brother”. It is most commonly sealed with a ritual cut on the brothers’ hands and the clasping of those hands together so the blood of both mingles, making of them “Blood Brothers”. This is a shamanistic binding most commonly found among elite warrior clans or societies in cultures with strong Bronze Age roots. By its very nature, it was created for and is usually only performed for Warrior war bands or among the members of warrior-based societies.
On a very basic and primal level, those bound together as Blood Brothers will feel one another’s emotions when they are high. They will know when one of their Brother has been attacked or faces some mortal danger, and feel some of his pain if he be wounded, feel his passion when it is raised, and his exultation in victory, the high points of emotions both positive and negative. This Bond will also act as a “Compulsion of Truth” of equal POT to prevent any lies being told between the Bonded pair. There is little if any real privacy between those bound in Blood. A man will always know when his Blood Brother dies, and will feel where and know how the death blow fell.
The scar from the ritual wound made in sealing this bond never quite fades so long as the Blood Brother lives, and when reunited after any great distance or period of time has passed, the scar will be suffused with blood again, turning an angry crimson that will slowly fade with the passing of moments afterwards. The scar resulting from the mingling of blood that seals this Bond cannot be covered by cosmetics no matter how clever or subtle the artist. It may only be covered or disguised by magick, and then only that of greater POT than the POT of the Blood Bond it marks.
The casting of the “Bonds of Hospitality” may be sealed with one of a few different gestures, or with all of them; the Chalice of Peace may be offered on first entering the courtyard, on the steps or threshold of the hall or upon first entering the hall, to Break Bread with the host and/or hostess at table, or to take Bread & Salt and eat them on the threshold or on first arriving in the courtyard.
The gestures sealing the Bond of Hospitality must be performed by the acknowledged head of the bloodline ruling/owning the house, regardless of whether male or female. If the head(s) of the household are not present to do so, any member of the blood of the head of household will suffice for this purpose, the caster may still invoke the Bond.
The laws of Hospitality are some of the most ancient in society in the period of the game. In performing any and especially all of the above named acts by which the Bond can be can be magickally sealed, acceptance of the obligations of that ancient law is implicit. These ancient laws protect the host from being harmed physically or even from being impugned verbally by any guest under his roof, and in return they protect the guests from the host and from other guests staying under his roof from being subjected to physical harm, or from being impugned verbally by either host or other guests.
In order for anyone laboring under the effects of Hospitality to speak cross words or cast aspersions on the host his kin or even staff, or any other guest or his retainers or servants – all protected by the Hospitality Bond of the household – a successful HRT check on d100 must be made vs. the [POT) + (caster’s HRT att. mod.)].
The dweomer will restrain those under its power from acts of violence, from lifting a hand, much less a weapon, to inflict hurt, much less actually shed the blood of the host, his kin or staff, or any other guest also protected by the Hospitality. A Contested STR Roll may be pursued by one who has submitted to the Hospitality Bond, if he insists on attempting physical aggression, each roll taking a full action in tactical time to accomplish, and costing the aggressive party contesting the Bond (POT) points of Wind.
Success will break the Bond, but for ALL parties equally. Failure will bar the aggressor from testing the strength of the Bond again while he remains under the host’s roof.
The POT of the Hospitality will oppose any and all offensive Aers, reducing the POT of any Aer uttered by any Fili or Bard who has accepted the hospitality of the house, so it will do less damage.
The“Bond of Homage & Fealty” seals the bargain embodied in the pair of oaths whereby a man takes a gift of land from a lord and becomes his vassal, creating the feudal relationship. When a Freeman shall do Fealty to his Lord of whom he holds in Chief, he shall place his right hand upon a holy book, and shall say thus,
“Hear you, my Lord [A.], that I, [B.], shall be to you both faithful and true, and shall owe my Fidelity unto you, for the Land that I hold of you, and lawfully shall do such Customs and Services, as my Duty is to you, at the times assigned. So help me [Eternal Light and all sainted spirits within It].”
The Bond carries with it the obligation to help defend the lord and those of his blood, his property, lands and chattels, and for the lord to lend the vassal similar military aid in time of need. On the strength of this oath, neither party can raise a hand against the other with malicious intent. When the lord is the aggressor in battle, the vassal has no obligation to accompany him into battle unless the cause is just and lawful, but most commonly battle is undertaken for the profit to be made and the favor that results and the largesse to be reaped from the lord afterwards. The Oath of Homage and Fealty also obligates the lord to use his influence on behalf of his vassals when he can be of benefit to him in return for service to him in the social arena, and for the vassal to defend his lord’s name and reputation, even upon his own body.
In order for either party to speak ill of or cause harm by speech to the other to whom he is bound by oath a successful HRT check on d100 must be made vs. the [POT) + (caster’s HRT att. mod.)].
The dweomer restrains those under its power from acts of violence, from lifting a hand, much less a weapon, to inflict hurt, much less actually shed the blood of the host, his kin or staff, or any other guest also protected by the Hospitality. A Contested STR Roll may be pursued by one who has submitted to the Hospitality Bond, if he insists on attempting physical aggression, each roll taking a full Action in tactical time to accomplish.
Success breaks the Bond, but for ALL parties equally. Failure bars the aggressor from testing the strength of the Bond again while he remains under the host’s roof.
Every common merchant’s transaction, regardless of the particulars, is traditionally concluded with an exchange of “Oaths of Good Faith” between the principals in the period of the game. When enforced by dweomer, the Oaths are sealed by Pledging a Penny of Good Faith either on the steps of a church or before its altar. The power of the magick insures that both parties deal in good faith to honor the details of their agreement, whether a sales contract or a labor contract, but generally some form of contract governing the details of a mercantile exchange of some sort, whether money for goods or goods for goods or money for labor, or some combination of these. When bad faith, duplicity, or perfidy on the part of any party is revealed, the dweomer holds them accountable to make redress.
Only a successful Contested HRT Roll vs. [POT) + (caster’s HRT att. mod.)] can break the compulsion to right any wrongs done.
A marriage ceremony embodies an “Oath of Good Faith” which can be enforced by dweomer, as it does in fact involve an exchange of goods, but the dweomer carries with it compulsions better described by the “Bonds of Hospitality”, previously.
The dweomer enforcing an “Oath of Good Faith” sworn before a court by a witness about to give testimony, for example, acts as a “Compulsion of Truth” of equal POT, as the magick holds the witness to his Oath to tell the truth.
To enter into any Concordance with an original intent to lie and deceive, a successful Contested HRT Roll vs. [POT) + (caster’s HRT att. mod.)] must be made upon the loosing of the dweomer, when the oaths are sworn. When using the optional DUR rules, the caster that is maintaining the dweomer at his pleasure can feel it break when the Contested HRT roll is made successfully. He knows whether the Concordance remains intact or not, even to the moment that it breaks.
If the “Charm of Common, Noble & Sovereign Binding” is not already in the practitioner’s repertoire, as well, the “Bonds of Concordance” skill provides the practitioner with a bridge to it, giving him the means and background to research it and develop a treatise on it and learn it by virtue of his own studies and practice.
This dweomer may not be resisted, BUT must be willingly accepted. This acceptance cannot be coerced, nor compelled by magickal means.