Shifter & Vampire Update
We've done the last (hopefully) edits to shifters, as minor edits to the bond advancement to make it worth the trouble xD. We've also edited vampires to add a bonding/mating to them as well.Shifters
Bond Advancement/Mating: within the pack bond itself lies the ability to further its depth between a pair of pack mates. A lot of packs consider this a ‘rite of mating’ between a pair of romantically coupled packmates but it is nt used only for this and can be used for other purposes as well, for instance to further a bond between family and even simply between friends.
This deepening requires the pair to enter a magically induced meditative state that is performed by a witch. This state is lasting and can only be broken by successful completion of the trials or by dream death, the latter has obvious and serious repercussions to the shifter’s mental state. The spell itself is one which has no actual reversal, designed this way to force the decision to be one that is seriously considered by both parties before agreement to attempt is made. Once both parties have been spelled into this state they will be faced with memories pulled from the darkest areas of their pasts wherein they are forced to relive these traumatic events with the other present. What actually goes on in this trial is up to the players but there should be a challenge of some sort that is meant to test the pair and their resolve, willing them to work together and lean on each other to triumph over this darkness.
This trial can be failed, typically by receding from the memories, thereby rejecting their partner’s trauma, though no matter how the failure comes the pair can not break the spell unless they die within this dream world, either by another hand or their own. In this case they are deemed either unready or unworthy of the advancement and although the failed trial does little harm to the physical body, mentally it can be quite a trying experience.
If the pair succeed they will in essence split their souls in half, the half they sever being used to strengthen and deepen the bond between them. The bond becomes something almost tangible within each shifter allowing them a much deeper and more responsive means of feeling the other on an empathetic and physical level as well as offering them a very simplistic telepathic link. This link extends across far reaches and while it’s not as advanced as true telepathy, it does allow for simple mental conversations, yes and no questions or short casual responses. The physical link that forms works like an internal pointer to their bonded half allowing for easy location though it doesn’t pull them together so much as allows them to easily locate and know where the other is.
A shifter can only be bonded in this manner to one other person though this is not a lifelong binding it is often viewed as such in the shifter community, something to take incredibly seriously and not undertake without the means to continue it until one or the other’s death. Physical death does not, in fact, kill both bonded shifters and in some rare cases the bond can be revoked if needed through a second ritual (it is a decidedly traumatic event though and mental instability is a note that’s called into question once more). This however has its downfall in that each time the bond is revoked or the other half dies the soul that was severed is returned in a slightly depleted state. For the sake of simplicity we will divide this severed half into quarters, allowing each shifter to untake this bond no more than four times over the course of their long lives meaning that each time the bond is revoked the split half will lose 25% of itself to the aether.Vampires
Vampire bonding is nothing for weak stomachs, relying on vampire and their bonded to periodically drink from each other for a longer period of time, depending on the frequency between 3 - 6 months, the more frequently the better. Not that well understood and genuinely a rare occurrence that many nests will frown upon (why would you mate with food?), if it does happen, it’s mostly between a vampire/non-vampire, which takes into account that a vampire/vampire bond would be cannibalistic in nature, and vampires generally frown upon vampire cannibalism. The mechanics are again simple; if the two repeatedly drink from each other, it begins to build a empathic bond initially weak in reach and power, and thus quick to dissipate unless the two continue to exchange blood. Simultaneously, every next feeding makes them see each other’s memories, plunging them deeper and deeper into each other’s psyche and in so connecting the two in an almost irreversible bond that only death can swiftly end.
Over time, the two begin to feel each other from across any distances, capable of finding each other, and feeling each other’s emotions, desires, and all the psychological what-not. They do not build a telepathic bond, but their minds do connect, permitting them to effortlessly relive each other’s memories by simply touching physically and focusing on the other. Alternatively, they can dream and commonly share dreams. The connection can only be harmful if the memories prove to be too much. Of course, this bond has its disadvantages, and bar being almost irreversible, it honestly ties the two together, making them susceptible to the other's emotional state, or hunger. For a non-vampire mate, they become attuned to their lover’s blood-lust, and for vampire, their lover becomes basically irresistible blood-flavor wise, which will disregard their normal dietary preferences or perhaps the less savory blood flavors out there.
This is particularly dangerous for vampire/vampire mates which begin to lust after each other constantly, best satisfied by the other’s blood but, as is known, vampires cannot be sustained by vampire blood and it drives them insane. The bond is anchored once the mates can look through each other’s eyes, and before then will dwindle unless the feedings are repeated. Once cemented, it may better or worsen depending on if the mates continue drinking from each other, possibly leaving the bond very, very weak (but still present), or strong enough that the mates may project images of themselves that only the other will see. It’s sort of telepathic but mostly you should be thinking a twist in astral projection that carries all the normal risks you may imagine. If the mates go separate ways entirely, severing all the contact, the bond slowly, really slowly fizzles out, taking twice as much time to than it had needed to trigger.
Additionally, vampire/vampire mating is basically frowned upon, and vampire mating is largely misunderstood since the vampire mate is normally driven to consume their lover in their entirety from the blood-lust. However, any species with blood in their veins is a viable mate for a vampire-- any, honestly. How easy it’s going to be depends, and for example the taste of demon blood sort of naturally rules out demon mates, but if you find a vampire tenacious and mad enough to try, it’s possible (but would take forever and ever). This bond does permit the mates to experience the world from each other’s perspective, literally, with the stronger mind capable of influencing the weaker, though has pretty solid downsides too, and mostly it’s just a pain to trigger. It ties the two minds together and in that differs somewhat from how shifter mating works. And yes, shifter/vampire mates is a thing, though both communities have historically rejected such pairs, the few that appeared, as essentially it replaces bond advancement for shifters and lands them a solid mate.