Pacts and Acolytes

At any point in time, a Luxic person can decide to give a Champion a portion of their light. Offering light to a Champion yields similar effects to using an aspect - specifically, the individual making the sacrifice accumulates cael. In return, the Champion will grant a miracle to the offeree. Because of the strain one risks by offering light, most Luxic people only go out of their way to offer light a couple times in their lives (if ever).

Should one desire a more consistent relationship with any particular Champion, however, they can form a pact and become an acolyte. There are strict conditions and guidelines regarding a pact, and failure to keep one's end of the bargain results in immediate consequence. These guidelines are generally consistent across pacts, but vary slightly depending on the individuals involved.

In every arrangement, one of the Champion's aspects must be the same as the one that the prospective acolyte possesses. The Champion receives a small but consistent flow of light from the acolyte, and is able to directly speak to (or even through) the acolyte. In exchange, the acolyte is allowed access to some of the Champion's miracle-granting abilities, and may receive more powerful miracles from the Champion at request. Acolytes also tend to be well-respected in society due to their clear devotion to their pacts; many people and places openly offer special services for acolytes.

Part of the pact-making process involves agreeing on a schedule for drawing of light. This is a practice that is done in private and cannot be "rescheduled" once established. The light-drawing procedure itself renders the acolyte temporarily immobile and unaware of their surroundings. Though it may cause fatigue or weakness, it's otherwise painless for the acolyte. During these sessions, the Champion can only take an agreed-upon volume of light. Usually, this is an amount that poses little risk of caelism for the acolyte - however, there have been instances of a careless acolyte accumulating a significant amount of cael prior to a light-drawing session and ending up quite ill after the procedure.

Breaking a Pact

Pacts between a Champion and an acolyte are broken through breach of the agreement. Because the pact is build upon mutualistic terms, it's not common to see one broken by either party. However, it's entirely out of the realm of reason to break one. In most cases of this rare occurrence, a pact falls apart if it's seen as growing unfair or unhealthy. For example, an acolyte may have had a significant lifestyle change that renders it difficult to continue offering light. A Champion may feel like their power is being misused by the acolyte. Other reasons include no longer seeing the pact as beneficial or a sufficient enough means of power, or simply disliking the other party.

Unfortunately, there's no clean or painless way to break a pact. One individual must make the call to break the pact, and that individual alone must suffer the consequences, even if it was a mutual agreement.

If the Champion is the one to break the pact, a piece of the Champion's miracle-granting power remains in the ex-acolyte in the form of light. Though they only possess a small portion of power compared to what was once available during the pact's intact state, ex-acolytes come out of the fracture notably stronger than the average Luxic person. On the other hand, the Champion comes out notably weaker due to a decrease in their maximum reserve of light (because it is now with the ex-acolyte). If the Champion continues to form and sever pacts, eventually they will be unable to gather the light needed to sustain themself, and will eventually cease to exist permanently.

If the acolyte is the one to break the pact, they will receive a "Mark of Rift," a visual anomaly similar in appearance and effect to caelism. Manifesting as a sooty, black-iridescent blight, Marks of Rift permanently weakens the body part of which it happens to appear on. A Mark of Rift upon the palm may render the ex-acolyte unable to grip objects; a Mark around the eyes may incur a loss of sight or smell. Most Champions will avoid forming pacts with anyone who possesses a Mark of Rift due to it being indicative of a potentially unreliable acolyte. Other Luxic people generally feel intimidated or uneasy twowards someone with a Mark, though some may be worried or curious about its origins. It is not unlike how one would react to seeing someone with a severe wound or scar. That being said, it's not something that ex-acolytes are persecuted for, nor does it siginificantly affect their social standing.

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