Auras of Loyalty
Don't ask how far are they prepared to go. Ask what are they prepared to go all the way for.Quellcrist Falconer, Poet
- 1 Overview
- 2 Anointing
- 3 Consecration
- 4 Dedication
- 5 Hallow
- 6 Further Reading
An aura is a persistent spiritual effect on a person, location or item. The auras listed here are created by priests dedicated to the virtue of Loyalty who use the relevant ceremonial skill. A character who is dedicated to Loyalty must pick one of the following auras when they perform the relevant ceremony. A priest of the Way may also use the Dreams of Loyalty when they use the dedication ceremony to provide a pilgrim with a visionary dream.
The names used for each aura are simply the most common ones used in the Empire. For example, the Eyes of Loyalty may be called The Oath of the Hall by a Winterfolk warrior. This is especially true with those auras that are named after paragons and exemplars; all these auras would have had different names before the exceptional individual they are named for was recognised by the Synod. The Hallowing of Bolstering Bill for example was commonly called the Hallowing of True Devotion before Bill's recognition as an exemplar of Loyalty.
Study of these auras helped the founders of the Way to create the Path of Loyalty. Some lay persons assume that the Imperial Synod created these auras in some fashion to encourage adherence to orthodoxy, but according to theological scholars the situation is the other way around. The auras came first, then the tenets of the Path of Loyalty.
The Proof of Loyalty
- You feel an impulse to defend those you care most about. An attack on them feels like an attack on you personally.
Description: A key facet of Loyalty is the idea of shared burdens and shared dangers. One of the great tests of the virtue comes when the subject of a pilgrim's fealty is threatened or attacked. This aura is used to bolster the strength of pilgrims to help them find the fortitude to defend the things they care about, and not just from physical threats; the anointing also inspires the recipient to defend against political or verbal attacks.
This aura has also been used by those facing a difficult decision in ensuring that Loyalty informs the choices they make. There are even a few folk tales where a wily priest has used this aura to trick people into revealing their true loyalties.
The Bonds of Loyalty
- You feel an urge to keep faith with those you are loyal to, whatever it takes. It is easy to ignore qualms caused by actions you take on their behalf.
Description: Loyalty is easy to find when the path ahead is clear and free from danger. It is much harder for a citizen to remain virtuous when the demands of Loyalty are onerous. This aura is often used to help citizens and pilgrims prepare themselves for a coming time of trial, or when confronted by a difficult decision. Some pilgrims use this anointing to stir them into action on behalf of those they are loyal to, but who know this will be to their own detriment or harm. According to some priests, the Navarr thorn Isaella was anointed with this aura shortly before her fateful encounter with Emperor Nicovar.
The Seeds of Loyalty
- You feel an urge to aid the person or group you declared your loyalty to when anointed. You feel each of their triumphs and defeats as if they were your own.
Description: Some priests question the proper use of this anointing, worried that it can be misused to attempt to make someone serve a person or cause. The aura remains popular, however, and those who favour it point out that it can only be used with the consent of the target. It is sometimes used when a supplicant wishes to make a public demonstration of fealty or where they wish to shore up their commitment before facing a great danger.
The Eyes of Loyalty
- You feel an urge to support those you are loyal to no matter the cost. You find it easy to accept any action they take in pursuit of their goals.
Description: One of the hardest trials of the path of Loyalty is when the person, or persons, who are the subject of that devotion err, falter, or compromise. Standing by, or following, one who has given you unwelcome cause for doubt is where many pilgrims have strayed from the path. Priests of Loyalty have been able to use this anointing to help bolster a pilgrim's commitment and dedication to another. This has also proven beneficial in helping citizens to forgive one another and approach reconciliation, or at least be forward looking rather than dwelling on the past.
Pride in small things, loyalty to great ones.Marcher Proverb
A Peerless Kinship
- You have a profound sense that service to a person or cause is truly worthy. Nothing extraordinary is achieved without sacrifice.
Description: This powerful aura of Loyalty fills those who experience it with a deep sense of the significance of a life dedicated to a person or cause. Those who experience it feel a sense of the essential nobility of devoting themselves to the purpose that commands their devotion above all others. With this comes an understanding that Loyalty may require the pilgrim to make great sacrifices for the virtue demands commitment to something other than yourself.
Dedication is the ceremony used to link a pilgrim's soul to the virtue. It can also be used to create vivid oracular dreams.
Dreams of Loyalty
- The next time you sleep you experience a vivid dream concerning the people and ideals that matter most to you. The vision will often show you how your loyalty upholds and exalts them, reminding you of how these people depend on you. Sometimes you will dream of individuals or causes with whom you feel no affiliation at present, though in your dream it is clear that they need your aid. Often the dream will show you the fate that will befall those you fail to support.
Hallow is used to create an aura on an item, such as a weapon, implement, shield or suit of armour. It is not possible to use hallow to create an aura on large immobile objects. Hallows do not provide a source of supernatural strength, but are durable and can last for a year (or potentially forever in the case of an artefact hallowed with true liao).
Hallowing of the Steward
- You feel a desire to serve your cause without concern for your own reward.
Hallowing of the Banner
- You feel an urge to challenge detractors who criticise the object of your loyalty.
Hallowing of Bolstering Bill
- You feel driven to protect those you love from all harm regardless of the cost to yourself or others.
Hallowing of the Silverlark's Tears
- You feel an urge to conceal your devotion from others, even the object of your loyalty.
Hallowing of the Token
- You feel ready to risk anything in support of the allegiance this token represents.
Hallowing of the Marked's Oath
- You feel a desire to recruit others to the service of your chosen cause or patron.
Hallowing of the Favour
- You feel driven to advance your patron's interests by any means, especially if they gave you this item.