Court Oaths

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.

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!)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.