Once they've gained some experience with their element, Nymphs can choose to further specialise between Wardens (bonding to a demesne) or Wanderers (who become beast masters).

Your character must have spent at least 5 skill points in their class skills (listed under "Bonded Element") in order to choose their specialty. You'll also need to let Emma? know your choice in specialty so she can update your character's information.

The Rite of Second Bonding starts out the same for both Wardens and Wanderers and is conducted by their commune's Sylph. In much the same way as during their first Rite of Bonding, the Nymph lies down at the centre of a special grove or altar and opens herself to nature and her element. Here, the ritual diverges into two paths.

The Wanderer's Companion

If a Nymph is to be a Wanderer, her ritual will summon an animal meant to be her bonded companion. This animal can be any species, but must be within a five mile radius of the Nymph during the ritual in order to hear the Call1.

This limits companions to whatever creatures live in the area. However, pets can be made into companions if they hear the Call2, which grants you a little more leeway regarding what animals are available.

Unlike dragons who can teleport?, animals and companions must travel as they normally would3. The Wanderer could be lying on the altar for a good few hours while they await the animal's arrival. During this time, she must remain open to nature and her element so the animal can follow her Call. Since this leaves her vulnerable, she will remain under the supervision and protection of the Sylph.

While most animals are able to hear a Call, not all of them will answer it. Of those who do, some may turn away before reaching their destination, and it's usually the closest (or fastest) of the remainder which will bond with the Wanderer.

Once the animal arrives and they've made physical contact, the pair will be wrapped in a spiral of the Nymph's element for a few minutes while the companion bond is forged.

Through the companion bond, the animal gains a measure of self-awareness and intelligence not normally found in its kind. It also bonds with the Nymph's element, becoming a receptacle for it that soaks up that element wherever it can find it, and is thus her primary Source once the ritual is completed.

Having a companion means that no matter where a Wanderer travels, she will have a small but mobile Source of her element for as long as her companion remains at her side.


The Warden's Demesne

A Warden's ritual is more involved and requires more physical activity on the Nymph's part as she must do all the work. While she begins in the same manner as a Wanderer, lying at the centre of her commune's special grove or altar, it is she who is then Summoned4 by the land she'll claim as her demesne.

Nymphs can only become Wardens of a demesne that is primarily their own element (so an Ayad can't become the Warden of the inside of a volcano but a Dryad and a Nereid could, with the latter being the best option).

However, as long as their element is the primary Source within a demesne, the land can (and usually does) have other elements as well. (For instance, a forest is primarily Earth but by necessity also includes Water and Air.) The Warden cannot command these other elements in the same way she does her own, but she does gain a measure of control over the demesne (and consequently its elements) as a whole.

Land can Call from up to one hundred miles away, and part of the Warden Ritual includes the Nymph "feeling" her way toward the demesne that is Calling to her. It is this aspect of the ritual that takes up the most time, as she must travel on foot5 while remaining open to both nature and her element rather than risk losing track of the Summons. All the while she is followed by the Sylph conducting her ritual so she can finish the Bonding at their destination. (The Sylph also acts as a guard for the duration of the ritual, since the Warden is vulnerable whilever she is open to nature.)

Upon arrival, the Warden will make her way to the centre of her new demesne (which can encompass between five and fifty acres6) and lie down once more. She then taps in to the natural ebb and flow of elements within the grove, and ties it to the bond she shares with her own element.

Forging a bond with a demesne makes that demesne the one and only Source of a Warden's element. Leaving her grove will make her vulnerable to Urbanitis which cannot be offset by carrying another Source with her.

Bonding with a demesne lends that parcel of land a measure of self-awareness and ties all aspects of it (including the animals, the plants, and even the very dirt beneath them) into a collective consciousness. While this consciousness is nowhere near intelligent, self-aware or sentient enough to be considered a being in its own right, it enables its Aspects to pass simple messages7 between themselves and to their Warden. Thus, she gains the ability to track the movements of trespassers, as well as to assess the well-being of her demesne and its Aspects, through these simple messages. Similarly, she can rally these Aspects to defend their home in case of attack.

If a would-be Warden does not hear the Call of a demesne, then she will assume she is awaiting the arrival of a companion and that she is meant to be a Wanderer.

Note: A Warden does not forge friendships with the animals living in her demesne. By necessity, she must sometimes sacrifice Aspects for the greater good of her grove, a job she would find impossible if she cared for them as individuals. Thus, Wardens are encouraged to keep them at a distance.



  1. The Wanderer's Call has been described as telepathic in nature, but is a much simpler form than that shared by the Dracovari and their dragons. They cannot communicate as a dragon would with his Summoner, but instead pass on a sort of awareness or sense of urgency to which the animal responds. Then, when the animal is in the Wanderer's presence, she can command it by normal means, according to how well it can be trained.
  2. A Wanderer may choose her companion for free, be it a new animal or an existing pet. However, there is no refund for the cost of a pet purchased before the ritual is completed.
  3. The travelling restriction on animals during the Wanderer Ritual also applies after the companion bond is forged. As a result, Summons are never instantaneous, unless the companion happens to be with the Wanderer in the first place.
  4. A demesne's Summons has been likened to very simple telepathy? like the Wanderer's Call, but there's also an element of sound or vibration that is passed through the earth to the Nymph (which is why Wardens are meant to travel on foot during their ritual). Such vibrations are on a wavelength unique to the Nymph and the grove Calling to her, and is thus undetectable by other humanoids, although it does seem that other animals are at least vaguely aware of it.
  5. While Wardens are supposed to travel on foot toward their Summons, very few communes are strict about it. They often "cheat" by allowing travel on mounts, but since the Warden must "feel" her way toward the land Calling her, she'll often have to get off and wander on foot anyway, just to make sure she's going the right way.
  6. Wardens can only balance so much, so the size of her demesne really depends on the type of land it encompasses. Desert groves, for instance, can be much larger because the eco-system is relatively sparse, while a lively forest demesne is likely to be quite small.
  7. By "messages", I mean very simple communication. It's more like a vague awareness rather than words or images, and in order to rally her troops she simply passes on her awareness of danger or trouble to the Aspects of her demesne. Their own ties to the land will do the rest, drawing on their natural instincts to defend their home.

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