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This article is about the Shadowlands system. For the item property, see soulbound.

Theotar soulbinding as shown at BlizzCon 2019.

Soulbindings is a system in which player characters can bind their soul to certain key members of the Shadowlands covenants, unlocking access to unique combat traits and bonuses. Additional rows of soulbind traits are unlocked by gaining [Renown] with the covenant. The power of the soulbinds can be increased by using conduit items at the Forge of Bonds found in each Covenant Sanctum.

Background

In the Shadowlands, two souls can take part in a ritual to bind themselves together. This is often done between friends, romantic partners, or allies-in-arms to make them stronger.[1] The ritual is achieved through ancient devices called Forges of Bonds, which closely resemble artifacts attributed to the First Ones.[2]

The bond between two soulbinds is stronger than any other. They know each other completely, and both simultaneously act as each other's mentor and student.[3] Soulbinding is not irrevocable, but the bond must be carefully considered before it is made. Souls who are bound together know each others' pasts, hopes, fears, dreams, and memories; all is shared between them, making deception impossible. Their connection transcends physical space: as long as the bond exists, the souls are always intertwined even when apart.[2][4][5][6][7] Even if this bond is broken, echoes of the souls' personality traits remain a permanent part of who the other is.[8][9] It's possible to have multiple soulbinds at once.[4][10] While soulbinding is different from living mortal romance, in many cases it has elements of fondness and caring in common.[11] In other cases, bondmates come to view each other as siblings, as with Apolon and Artemede.[12]

The connection between two soulbinds grows in strength over time as they touch deeper into one another's souls, manifesting itself in the form of new abilities for both of them.[13][14] The connection can be strengthened further using conduits, which channel the anima between soulbinds in various ways and focuses it into their forms more directly, allowing them to attune themselves to each other's unique strengths and vastly increasing both of their potential.[15][16][17][18]

All kyrian must have a soulbind,[19] and the ritual is considered an important step in their journey to ascension.[4] When a kyrian wants to ask another person to become their soulbind, they traditionally gift them with a wreath made of larion feathers.[20] Soulbinding is considered one of the three boons granted to members of the night fae covenant by the Court of Night, along with the boons of soulshape and armor.[7] Souls who join the covenant typically bind themselves to night fae (who are native to Ardenweald)[21] rather than to other mortal souls.[7] For the necrolords, soulbinding opens both participants to all the triumphs and terrors each of them have faced in their pursuit of victory, a sharing of tactical knowledge that makes the pair stronger.[22] However, it is in the venthyr covenant that the ritual arguably holds the most significance, since their realm of Revendreth is normally filled with secrecy and deception.[23]

The brokers do not practice soulbinding, since they consider it to be a "complete violation of privacy"[7] and the fact that all is laid bare between bondmates would be disastrous to their business dealings.[2]

Soulbound characters

Soulbinds

References

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