Oaths of Court

These are the oaths found in common usage at the courts of Dischordia. The Oath of Fealty being the most important and the chain that binds all of Dischordia together under High King Balor. These oaths bind societies and hold fae law in the balance.

Oath of Fealty

"I swear fealty to you, lady/lord. Your command is my desire, and your request my desire. May my service always please, and may my sight grow dark if it does not.  As the tides to the moon, my will to yours, my liege."

 

This oath is commonly sworn at Sainings, knightings and investitures.  Swearing this oath costs the speaker one temporary Willpower Trait, but all attempts to mentally control or dominate the speaker from now on are at a two-Trait penalty. Breaking this oath costs two permanent Willpower Traits, and especially heinous betrayals may strike the betrayer blind for a year and a day.

 

Oath of Escheat

"I take you as my vassal. You are of my house, even as the very stones. I pledge to hold you, guard you, and to keep you. I pledge to honor your service as it deserves, and to reward loyalty in kind. As the moon to the seas below, my will to yours, I pledge the Escheat to you."

 

With this oath, a noble formally accepts another fae as her vassal. This oath is commonly spoken in conjunction with the Oath of Fealty, but not always. When the oath's words are spoken, the speaker loses a temporary Glamour Trait, and a chimerical gold coin, stamped with her likeness, appears in her hand. The oath is not actually binding until the oath maker offers, and the proposed vassal accepts, this token. Failure to abide by the terms of this oath indicates a fall from true fae honor, and gives the oathbreaker a permanent Banality Trait. However, any fae bound by (and holding to) the terms of this oath, even if only to one vassal, regains a temporary Willpower Trait at the end of every week.

 

Oath of Clasped Hands

"Blood for blood, bone for bone, life for life, until only we stride the earth. My life is in your hands, my blood is in your veins. Hold me well and I will lend you my strength, break your bond and may we both perish. Friendship I swear to you, an oath of clasped hands and shared hearts."

 

This oath is one of true friendship, a bond as strong as that one might feel for a lover, and is never sworn lightly. It is the cornerstone of any oath circle and many motleys and households. Those who swear it gain a permanent Willpower Trait, but lose two if it is ever broken. Swearing to a group gives one Willpower Trait total, not one per member. (Glamour knows when you try to cheat on this provision!)

 

Oath of the Long Road

"I swear that I shall [nature of quest undertaken], or lose my etiquette, that I shall (nature of quest) or lay down my sword, that I shall [nature of quest] or Dream no more. You and the sky my witnesses, so mote it be."

The Oath of the Long Road is the most potent of the oaths known to most fae, and it is usually sanctified by some small but significant personal sacrifice on the part of the oath maker and any witnesses present. It is always spoken in front of one, or preferably three, witnesses. The oath maker receives a free permanent Willpower and Glamour Trait, but the consequences of failure are most dire. Simple failure of the quest causes the loss of three Willpower and Glamour Traits, one of each permanently. Abandoning the quest altogether strips the oathbreaker of all temporary Willpower and Glamour Traits and a permanent Willpower Trait, and gives the oathbreaker two permanent Banality Traits.

 

Oath of the Accepted Burden

"Lay down your burden that I might take it up. The road is long, and I swear

I shall bear it for you, until all roads end. I shall (name the actual task here), else may the road cease to lay beneath my feet."

 

Superficially similar to a geas, this oath is a promise to perform a certain deed. The nature of the deed itself is irrelevant, and can be anything from a kiss to retrieving the still-beating heart of a foe. This oath is always made to another, and is made to verify that a task he desires will be performed. When these words are spoken, a temporary Willpower Trait is regained by both the oathkeeper and the one to whom the promise is made. Casual oath takers beware, though- if the oath is not kept, each loses two temporary Willpower Traits.

Oath of Silence

"I do pledge this day, with heart, mind and soul, that I will never betray this confidence. Until the stones have crumbled unto dust, and the sea fallen a hundred thousand thousand times from the thundering heavens, this long will I remain silent.  When the last star flares and fades in the night sky, leaving naught but blackness and this world is but a dream once more, this long will I keep my word."

 

If something absolutely has to be kept secret, most Kithain use this oath or a variation on it - the dire consequences of its breaking are typically more than enough to deter others from spilling their guts. A Kithain must spend a permanent Willpower Trait to voluntarily break the confidence they are entrusted with; this penalty does not apply if the secret is somehow wrenched from the target by torture, telepathy or other situations of duress. Those who voluntarily break the oath also gain a permanent Banality as a mark of their indiscretion.

 

Oath of Truth 

"Although it may bring tears or sorrow, burning rage or silent hatred, let the veil be lifted now. Let all see clearly and know in their hearts, that this I do speak without deceit or duplicity, but plainly and honestly as best I know how. This I do pledge: I shall speak the truth."

On the opposite end of the Oath of Silence, this oath is used when it is necessary to convince another of one’s complete and total honesty on a particular matter; it is most often employed in Kithain courts as their equivalent of swearing on the Bible, though it occasionally sees use in more personal matters. While it is understood when used in an official context, most fae dislike being asked to swear it any more than absolutely necessary, and some even consider it an insult to their personal honor to be asked for this oath by someone they are close to, as in many instances it is tantamount to accusing them of duplicity. Those under this oath must tell the truth as they know it about the subject in question - no willful falsehood is possible. Those who break the oath by lying gain a permanent Banality Trait, and are drained of Glamour until next sunrise or sunset (whichever comes first). The oath lasts until broken with a lie, or until released from the oath by the individual to whom it was sworn.

Oaths of Family

These oaths tie families together, create unions, and protect loved ones. Within Dischordia they are rarely uttered. But once and Unseelie gives their undying devotion, or accepts one into their house, it is foolish to impune their passion.

Oath of Truehearts

"I give a gift of myself to thee. Take it freely; freely it is offered, and forever thou hast me in thy keeping. I swear love unto you and pledge you my troth. May those who watch over love watch over this oath and those who keep it, and may we never find fault in their eyes."

 

This oath needs no explanation. It is spoken in unison by the two (or more) lovers it binds, and it takes a Trait of temporary Glamour from each to craft a chimerical songbird visible only to the lovers. The instant the oath is broken, the bird ceases to sing, perching silently on the shoulder of the oathbreaker, and becomes visible to all as the sign of betrayal. In addition, both betrayer and betrayed gain a permanent Banality Trait as a result of this cowardly action. On the other hand, an Epiphany resulting from Rapture the lovers share bestow an additional Glamour Trait. The songbird cannot be affected by any known means of tampering.

 

Oath of Adoption

"As the sea to the river, as the tree to the seed, as the mountain to the stone, so do I now recognize you to me. From this day forward, you are of my blood, of my family, and of my hold. I swear to offer you my wisdom, my love and my regard, for you will carry my name and my memory when I am no more. Should I abandon you, I abandon myself. It fills my heart to call you son/daughter."

 

Response:

"As the river to the sea, as the seed to the tree, as the stone to the mountain, so do I now recognize myself in you. From this day forward, I am of your blood, your family, and your hold. I swear to offer my respect, my devotion and my love, for you offer me a home where I have none. Should I abandon you, I consign myself to loneliness. It fills my heart to call you mother/father."

 

This oath, once known only to the trolls, is gaining popularity as many changelings, especially runaway childlings and wilders, seek a sense of family in the enchanted world, and grumps look to the young to carry on their heritage. This oath ranks next to the Oath of the  Clasped Hands as the deepest personal bond a changeling can have for Truehearts and the Oath of another, for the two oathkeepers are truly considered parent and child from the swearing of the oath onward.  There are no special benefits or penalties derived from swearing this oath, outside of those qualities one normally receives from a family, which makes this oath possibly greater than any other oath imaginable. Those who break this oath are considered among the most vile beings in the world, and they are scorned and shunned without mercy or relent.

 

Oath of Guardianship

"As the sun guards the earth by day, as the stars by night, so shall I serve thee. This is my duty- I shall not abandon (object of oath, till duration of oath), else may the stars close their eyes and sleep."

 

This is a fearful oath, and those who fail to uphold it are cursed never to spend two nights in the same bed until a century has passed. The Oath of Guardianship binds the oath maker to protect a single object, place, or individual from any and all harm, to the point of ultimate self-sacrifice. Those who swear this oath gain an extra temporary Willpower Trait, which can only be spent while defending the subject of the oath, but there is no other cost to make the Oath of Guardianship other than that extracted by its keeping.

Oaths of Enemies

Houses and domains war, families crumble, and enemies become nemesis. These oaths are reserved for those you truly hate. Their price is hefty, but their passion gives you strength against your sworn enemy.

Oath of Crossed Blades

"Where two stand, there will be one. I swear enmity unto thee until the setting of the last sun. May my heart cease to beat and my hand lose its strength should ever I show favor to thee, as the bones of the earth are my witness."

 

This oath is generally only sworn by trolls and sidhe, as the other fae consider announcing such black feelings counterproductive to their intentions. This oath remains a way to lay everything out on the table in the sometimes confusing world of fae politics. In addition, there is just something inherently stylish to swearing eternal hatred, and obviously (though not always) this oath can be sworn by two fae in conjunction. Those who do swear the Oath of Crossed Blades trade a temporary Willpower Trait for a temporary Glamour Trait, and are one Trait up on all challenges to oppose their hated foe directly. (Of course, if the oath is sworn together, this advantage is somewhat nullified).  Should the oath be broken, a permanent Willpower Trait is lost and a pair of matching scars, akin to those left by a rapier’s point, appear on the face of the oathbreaker, which cannot be healed by any kind of Glamour.

 

Oath of the Undoing

"An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. No slight shall go unnoticed, no wound unavenged. I shall hunt my undying enemy, [name of enemy], to the four corners of the Earth, and I shall not rest until either I or my enemy is fully Undone.  I shall do everything in my power to reduce my enemy to nothing and to less than nothing, with a keen cold iron blade."

 

Though superficially similar to the Oath of Crossed Blades, this foul and forbidden oath is much more serious than that, for while the Oath of Crossed Blades calls merely for bitter rivalry, this oath demands the final death of another fae. The oath is, in fact, one of the easiest ways Banality seduces fae into becoming Dauntain, the hated hunters of all things faerie, and many a tragic tale is told of those who swore this oath in the heat of passion and became trapped in lives of apathy and misery, regretting their swearing to the end but too honor-bound to turn from the path they had chosen. Fortunately, this oath is not widely known, though it sometimes seems to come - unlearned and unbidden - to the lips of many enraged wilders.

 

A changeling attempting to swear this oath must immediately enter a Static Challenge of his Glamour against his Banality; success means he feels the dread consequences of this oath and may break it off if he wishes. Failure, or a willful ignorance of the warning signs, means the changeling completes the oath, and immediately gains a permanent Trait of Banality as a result.  If the oath is broken, a permanent Willpower Trait is lost; if it is fulfilled, another permanent Banality Trait is gained. This is indeed a terrible oath, and most likely not one a player will ever utter, unless he deliberately chooses the dark fate of the Dauntain for his character.