Defenders of Aylanae
They are created via a pregnant woman entering the Charaia in the city of Aylanae. The child of this woman is born an imbued. Any being can theoretically become Imbued, though generally only humans get this honor, though there are a few Imbued werewolves from Yt and many of the other families from various kingdoms claim to have the blood of Fey or other mystical creatures. The Charaia can imbue a maximum of three women in a given year, which makes the Imbued a limited resource indeed. This generally means only three Imbued per year, except in the case of twins.
Note that unless the mother of an Imbued is Imbued herself, giving birth to an imbued will kill the mother.
Explanation of Imbuing
Imbuing is a process in which a Mana-based creature, usually a human, is modified to accept Aela. The process creates a Mana/Aela hybrid, who is capable of using both types of energy. The Imbued often gains fantastic powers as a result. The reason a non-imbued mother dies when giving birth to an imbued child is the Aela energy released on birth that her Mana-based body cannot handle. The energies prove to be fatal. Another Imbued, already able to channel Aela, does not have this complication.
Traits of the Imbued
The Imbued appear more or less like their base race, though they gain a certain presence about them. Those able to sense the presence of Aela can also sense it about them, as the Imbuing process makes their bodies natural coinduits of Aela and thus they channel it much easier.
The politics of Imbuing
Due to the great power of the Imbued, it’s a large political matter on who gets Imbued, perhaps one of the most important political matters. Prone to mass amounts of favor trading, Imbuing can be given both to direct children of a House, or to the children of loyal lesser houses, as a reward for service.
Due to the fact that Imbued Mothers do not die when giving birth to Imbued, they tend to be preferential choices for new Imbued children.
Imbued for guilds work a bit differently due to the free nature of guilds. Often a loyal family in the guild will get rewarded with the ability to have an imbued child and from there, the guild will provide for the child, making sure the child gets an early education, and whose every need is provided for at considerable expense. All to attempt to sway the child to choose employment with the guild. Guilds also try to recruit Imbued children that are low in a family’s line of succession, especially those that fall out of favor with their house.
Training of the Imbued
All imbued are trained at the flying city of Aylanae beginning somewhere around age 8-12. Here they are formally inducted into a Band. They remain there until they’re deemed knights of the empire (usually around 17-20 years of age), at which point they must swear the Oath of Fealty. Imbued are frequently given breaks in their training, given the summer season to go visit their families, guild, etc. With the rest of the time spent in Aylanae learning fighting techniques, magic, etc.
There is also a close eye kept on the powers manifested by the Imbued at this time, to discern those with the capability of reading minds and other potentially dangerous powers to the balance of power in Aylanae. Also it is not an uncommon place for marriages to be arranged to fortify any alliances made at the time.
The experience in Aylanae tends to be an Imbued’s first look at politics, as they even get a visit from some of the nobility of Aylanae, since they meet in the flying city from time to time.
There is one exception, women of Makoro as per the initial agreement do not have to report for this training, as Makoro tradition highly discourages its women from learning how to fight. Though this tradition has been broken fairly recently on a few occasions. The Makenki Gozoku has never taken it particularly seriously, and recently Sora Yoshinori has allowed his daughter Megumi to take part in the training.
Powers of the Imbued
The powers of the Imbued are widely varied. Some manifest exceptional speed and reaction, others manifest great strength. Also common is the ability to use magic. What powers seem to manifest are often somewhat random.
There are Imbued that do not need to eat or drink, as they are powered by simply breathing. Some also have their endurance powered by Aela, limiting their need for rest.
Beyond magic, Imbued also occasionally manifest psychic powers, generally the ability to sense Aela or Aela-based abilities, or even a form of psychic motion sense where they can sense disturbances in the air. A few rare Imbued do manifest psychic powers like mind reading or telepathy, though these Imbued tend to be feared and kept a great distance from politics. Further, they are quite often assassinated once they start to make their allegiances clear, so they must tread especially carefully. Imbued psychic powers never manifest as telekinesis thus far however, though they have spells which can achieve similar results.
Another interesting power of note is the ability to be immune to aging. This consequence has manifested innately in a few Imbued and the Archmagi all seem to possess it. Those who have this power tend to be the target of assassination attempts more often than not, usually by those who would seek to inherit their titles, given that waiting for them to die isn’t an option.
Legal Benefits of Imbued
Under imperial law, Imbued get a special place that places them above the common man. Crimes like murder of a commoner tend to bring with them only fines as recompense to the ruler of the territory, as opposed to imprisonment or death.
The only crimes that are regarded heavily among the imbued is murder of another Imbued, attempted murder against another imbued or treason. Even then, Imbued are not put to death so to speak, they are instead given the sentence of MindDeath, one that the Grand Council is loathe to give except as a last resort.
Also among the crimes that Imbued must fear are assaults upon members (even non-Imbued) of a noble house of Rahseld, high ranking guild officials or Ronen senators. This sort of thing is highly frowned upon, and it is possible could result in sentences as harsh as the MindDeath if the council felt it was warranted.
Interestingly enough there are no true laws forbidding the attack on members of a Daimyo’s family or any of the high-ranking Gozoku of Makoro. However, any murder of a member of a noble family of Makoro allows the member of that family to declare the rite of Fuyu against the Imbued who offended him. It is the only true death-penalty that can be declared on an Imbued.
Responsibilities of the Imbued
As knights of the empire, the Imbued are the elite warriors and are expected to answer calls to war should the need present itself, thus all of them are trained in some forms of combat. Unless the situation is truly dire, Imbued noblewomen generally can stay out of the combat zone, as they are valued for their ability to carry Imbued children.
Imbued are often also given land to rule over, given their honorable place in their family. Even an imbued farther down the line of succession is considered a valuable resource to their family.