You will, in your travels throughout Sapphos Weyr, hear many references to bond strength. Here, we will discuss that nebulous term in more detail.
NOTE In the event that information on this page disagrees of conflicts with information on other pages, this page supersedes them. Assume the other pages are incorrect unless otherwise notified.
Bond Strengths by Creature
Level One Bonds
- Black Western Wyverns *
- White Lake Wyverns
- Western Desert Wyverns
- Some Fisher Wyverns
- A few lopers can fake this bond
Level Two Bonds
- Greater Seraphim Wyverns
- Black Western Wyverns *
- Some Fisher Wyverns
- All lopers can bond at this level, or fake this bond
Level Three Bonds
Level One bonds are usually referred to as 'dragon strength.' There is considerable variation in what constitutes a dragon's bond strength, however. The most important marker is that the death of the bonded creature will result in either suicide or insanity on the part of the human. In the case of many creatures on this level, including all dragons, the death of the human will result in the death of the bonded creature. In the case of wyverns who do not immediately commit suicide, they much usually be captured and killed forcibly before they cause too much destruction in their resulting insanity.
In the case of dragons who are immature, that is to say are too young to have ever risen or chased for mating, it is possible for the Beacon of Dragons to forcibly prevent a dragon from committing suicide, and to instead create a bond with another human. This bond is invariably weaker and less stable, and the only humans capable of handling it are either unbonded HADs, or dragonless. Basically, they must be experienced in the communication and mindworks of dragons.
It is impossible for two Level One bonds to exist simultaneously. Because Dragons require a bond to live, they will never impress to the riders of Level One bond wyverns. However, because Wyverns are capable of surviving unbonded, they may choose to 'look to' a dragonrider. This behavior roughly relates to following a pack leader, and does not create a bond, but does create a degree of loyalty and obedience.
The Impression of a Wyvern or Dragon will break a falsified level one bond from a Loper. A loper of particular and malicious skill may, however, with practice, be able to recreate the false bond, which has yet unexplored and potentially very dangerous implicatons for both the shared human and the other bondmate.
Level two bonds are usually referred to as 'wher strength' bonds. Upon the death of a bondmate, the creature or human in question may go mad, or simply become clinically depressed, however, while suicide is an occasional result, it is not as widespread. Another common reaction is an abrupt increase in aggression. Creatures who lose their human bond mate at this strength are capable of surviving alone, or of reimpressing, but often choose not to. In some cases, they will instead 'look to' the beacon of their species, following him or her with loyalty, but no bond. When Reimpression does happen, it is usually to a family member, mate, or close friend of the handler who died.
It is possible for up to six level two bonds to coexist, hence the frequency of multiple-wher handlers. However, unless the character in question as a Hear-All trait relevant to the possible impression, the working maximum is six. After that point, if another impression were somehow managed, the human's mind would be so severely strained that they would likely go mad and become suicidal, or alternatively, seek to kill their bondmates in the pursuit of silence. Only Hear-Alls are equipped to handle this stress.
Level three bonds are usually referred to as 'pet' bonds. While the creatures capable of creating these bonds are of varying intelligence, most are firmly within the animal range, rather than sapient in their own right. The exceptions to this generalization are Fyxi, which have child-level reasoning and language, Drats, which have advanced reasoning but refuse to partake in closer bonds with humans, and hevrens, which also have child-like reasoning. Fisher wyverns who bond at this level are unintelligent, though trainable.
In the event of a human bondmate's death, creatures at this level will almost always simply return to the wild, or find a suitable replacement bondmate. Insanity is very rare in the creatures themselves at this level. However, some creatures with a particular loyalty towards their bondmates, particularly if the human had the Hear-All trait relevant to their species, may choose suicide between, rather than life with an inferior bond.
In the event of a creature bondmate's death, the human in question will often become either extremely depressed or extremely agitated, but will still function fully on a rational level. Insanity is almost unheard of at this level.
The working maximum for this bond strength is seventy five. No one character has ever reached this level. Beyond that level, the relevant hear-all trait would be required to maintain sanity, or similar results as with level two over-impression would occur: madness, murder and eventually suicide looking for quiet.
Cross Level Bonds
Appearing only in wyverns, some individuals are capable of a strong or weaker bond strength than other members of their breed.
The most obvious case is in Fisher wyverns, who are capable of impressing from weak firelizard all the way up to high dragon strength. This is a matter of individual capability among fisher wyverns, though there is a correlation to size and intelligence.
However, the most confusing case is that of the Western Black Mountain Climber wyvern, or the Black Westie. These wyverns seem to have no distinct reason for their impression levels, but it can be noted that they rarely choose to look to the bondmate of a Level One wyvern, and rather, seem to be capable of creating a level two bond instead. The reasoning behind this unique ability is unknown. Thus, a Black Westie may bond to a Level One bonded character at level two strength, or choose to look to that character. However, if the character is unbonded, they will invariably form a Level One bond.