Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone was a Princess? If nobody could commit cruelty without suffering from Sensitivity? If encroachment of the Darkness could be beaten back by the magic of billions? If wishes were Blossomings then everyone would be a Princess already, but the Nobility know it’s no good wishing for a better world. You have to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Even if there is no way to force a Blossoming, a Princess with the Accept Fealty Charm can create a Sworn.
The Sworn fill many roles. Sometimes a Princess is impressed by a Mortal (or a Beacon) and offers them magic. This is an significant investment: not only must the Princess invest a portion of her power to create a Sworn, but she must make Bequests to provide the Sworn with Wisps and any Charms she wishes to offer. Other Sworn work closely with the Nobility. A team of Princesses who notice a gap in their skills could seek out a new member who has the mundane abilities. The powers of a Sworn and a few Bequests can provide the magical skills.
Some Princesses create Sworn for special tasks. Consider if you will a Princess who creates Bequests that grant intuitive insights into the working of legal codes and hands them out to a think tank drafting a complex new social justice law. If it works a simple investment could have an enormous long term payoff but such plans are risky. The Princess usually ends up running against one or more of the vested power groups within the World of Darkness.
Other Princesses just like to share their magic with people. Granting the powers of a Sworn to a beloved friend or family member can help another understand the Princess’ new life and preserve the bond between them. It is unfortunately not that uncommon for a friend or family member to be jealous and giving them some power can help smooth things over. A Princess who worries for her loved one’s safety can do worse than giving them the power to run away at superhuman speeds, or to work the magical defenses around their shared home.
In Alhambra, Sworn have served as a vital and prestigious pillar of society. The kingdom of Tears possesses vaults filled with Bequests, some dating back to the Kingdom itself. As they reuse old Bequests it requires a far smaller investment to equip a new Sworn and so Alhambra depends on Sworn, Bequests and magic, much as we depend on technology.
The armies of Storms also make much use of Sworn, who seem to form spontaneously from ordinary people who hold Tempesta’s fury in their hearts. These Sworn seem to be self sufficent, but lacking Bequests their powers are limited.
The rarest kind of Sworn is an deliberate attempt to redeem someone by using Sensitivity to show them the truth of their actions. This is rare not only because creating a Sworn is a significant effort, but also because no one can become a Sworn without giving full and informed consent. Still, people who believe their actions to be just may well consent to Sensitivity.
Every Sworn follows one of the eight Queens. They draw upon their Queen's magic, the power of the Queen's Invocation granting them their abilities. Sworn invariably have one dot in their Queen’s Invocation, and may purchase more dots in that Invocation with experience at the out-of-affinity rate. They can apply the Invocation when they use Bequests and invoke it for Willpower. Sworn may also use their Queen's version of Practical Magic.
Sworn can recognize and use Bequests. Sworn have a weak connection to the Light, which gives them a pool of Wisps, holding a number of Wisps equal to their Resolve + Presence. They may spend these Wisps on Practical Magic or to activate a Bequest. Like Beacons, Sworn create a quiet Echo similar to the one a Princess creates just after Blossoming, affecting everyone in their immediate presence.
Sworn do not, however, gain Wisps as the Hopeful do, by carrying out tasks important to a Calling, nor can they spend Willpower while in danger to regain Wisps. Any Princess of the same court can give Wisps to a Sworn from her own pool in a ritual confirmation of the oath, up to her Wisp/turn limit; that ritual requires a minute to perform, and the full concentration of both parties. The Charge Charm will also give Wisps to the Sworn, and an Accepted Charge Bequest can transfer Wisps to its user. (Such Bequests are highly prized among followers of Tears and Storms, who lacked Hopeful allies until recently, but have ways to gather Wisps without them.)
Finally, a Sworn can gain Wisps if he has a Princess (of any court) as a close friend, by spending time in mundane activities with her; that is, Sworn are allowed to take the Circle Merit for relationships with the Hopeful. They roll Empathy + Circle (- Shadows) to check if they regain Wisps from an encounter with Circle members. (Sworn are valid targets for a Princess’ Circle, though not for another Sworn; indeed, Sworn tend to be among the most treasured of a Princess' Circle, for they share the duty towards the Light and are all-too empathetic to the troubles of Sensitivity.)
Sworn Character CreationEdit
Sworn follow the rules for mortal character creation, though they are forbidden to take the Vice-Ridden [CofD 46] Merit. They begin play with 1 dot in their Queen’s Invocation, and a total of 4 dots in Bequests, for free.
Like a Noble, Sworn are allowed to return their oaths, if they discover another Queen is closer to their ideals, or wish to withdraw from the Nobility’s fight. This is as psychologically difficult for the Sworn as it is for the Hopeful; a Sworn who returns his oath reaches a breaking point, with a penalty equal to his dots in the Queen’s Invocation. Once he’s left, he loses his Invocation dots and is refunded all Experiences he spent to buy them (that is, 3 Experiences for each dot after the first.)
Leaving the Queen’s service returns the former Sworn to the status of a mundane character. His pool of Wisps vanishes, he can’t raise an Echo or recognize, transform or use Bequests, and his Circle Merit ceases to work. A faint flicker of the Light remains in his soul for a short time, which a Princess can re-ignite: if it’s used on him before the end of the current session, Accept Fealty costs a Willpower point and a Wisp for each roll.