The Pacta Sunt Servanda

Pacta Sunt Servanda – The Rite Of The Apprenticeship:

Explanation:

This is a ritual marking the choice of a Seeker or newly awakened apprentice Vampyre to be recognized in the Vampyre community as Kin. In order to achieve this, they need to become apprenticed to a more experienced Vampyre, a Calmae or Elder, as a Fledgling. In House Valur, this period is normally for a year, and begins with one ritual ceremony (this one), and ends with the Yearling Ceremony.

The first is the Pacta Sunt Servanda, a secular (non-religious) ritual conducted by the Mentor and Fledgling in private, and the second, at the end of the year, is a celebratory welcoming held at Court with the rest of the House.

The Pacta is a secular rite of House Valur, required in order to become an Initiate, or Fledgling of the House. Before completing the ritual, the Initiate must choose a Vampyre name. It is important for the Initiate to choose a name they are happy with, because it is a name by which they will be known in the community. For us, these are the first steps into the realm of the Vampyre.

Pacta sunt servanda ” – or “Pacta” (Latin for “agreements must be kept“), is a brocard, a basic principle of mundane civil law and of international law – and of our law as well. Used to describe the agreement between a Mentor and their apprentice. This can be written or verbal, and even formalized over a ritual. As this ritual is intended to take place in private, it is up to the Mentor and the apprentice whether or not they use it, but it is strongly recommended as it lays a sound foundation for the future of the apprentice in the community.

This rite begins a period of tutelage or apprenticeship to a Mentor, which ends after a year – or at a longer time, by mutual agreement or Pacta. A Mentor is responsible to the community for the actions of their charge or progeny – for at least while they remain Fledgling – which is fully (and no less than) a year – but this period of apprenticeship may be extended by mutual agreement (Pacta), or as dictated by circumstances.

A Mentor should undertake to educate the Fledgling about matters pertaining to vampyrism and the community during this period, and assist them in any reasonable way possible to become a worthy and honorable member of their community, and also a credit to their name.

A mentor’s responsibility ends at the Yearling ceremony/ritual (held either at the end of the Fledgling’s first year, or at a later time agreed upon in their Pacta) where the Fledgling “comes of age” and is introduced to their House or community as a full, equal member by their Vampyre name.

Requirements:

1 Mentor, 1 Fledgling, 1 Vampyre name for Fledgling, 1 Chalice, Red wine,  1 Private venue.

The Rite:

This is a personal ceremony to be performed by the Mentor and the Fledgling alone. Both stand, facing each other.

Mentor: “Why have you come to me?”

Fledgling: “I have come to you this night, to show you my heart and to learn, so that I may take my place among our Kin.”

Mentor: “Tell me what troubles you.”

Fledgling: “I have awakened to darkness in blinding light.”

Mentor: “I know the darkness. I know the light.”

Fledgling: “I have awakened to questions.”

Mentor: “I have knowledge to share.”

Fledgling: “I have awakened to Hunger and Thirst.”

Mentor: “I know that of which you speak.”

Fledgling: “I have awakened, a Vampyre.”

Mentor: “What do you ask of me?”

The Fledgling goes down on one knee, and offers the Mentor a chalice containing a small mixture of red wine infused with essence given by the Fledgling. It is a symbol of their commitment.

Fledgling: “I ask to join with you, as a Vampyre. I ask you to teach me what you know, I ask you to walk with me as my mentor, my teacher, my friend.”

Mentor: “Do you know the significance of what you ask of me?”

Fledgling: “I do.”

Mentor: “As do I.”

At this point, the Mentor goes down on one knee to see eye to eye with the Fledgling.

Mentor: “Do you understand the implications this choice holds for us both?”

Fledgling: “I do.”

Mentor: “As do I.”

The Mentor accepts the chalice from the Fledgling.

Mentor: “What is your name?”

Fledgling: “I am (mundane name). Drink of my essence, to know my heart.”

The Mentor takes the chalice and sips from it.

Mentor: “What do you seek?”

Fledgling: “Will you teach me all I need to know about what we are?”

Mentor: “I will teach you a great many things.”

Fledgling: “Will you teach me the Law by which we abide?”

Mentor: “I will teach you the Totum Lex Vampyrica, the law of the Vampyre nation.”

Fledgling: “Where will I carry it?”

Mentor: (Touches Fledglings head) “In your thoughts.” (Touches Fledglings lips) “In your words.” (Touches Fledglings hands) “In your deeds.”

Fledgling: “Will you teach me to honor the whole of the Law?”

Mentor: “I will show you how to abide by it, as I do.”

Fledgling: “Will you teach me our ways, our strengths, our weaknesses?”

Mentor: “I will teach you all that I know, and guide you as best I can in darkness and in light.”

Fledgling: “Will you be my mentor, my teacher, my friend?”

Mentor: “I (Name), agree to take you (mundane name) as my Progeny and my Childe. I undertake to educate you in the ways of our Kin to become a worthy and honorable member of our community. I will, till one year hence, or for as long as you need me. This is my promise to you.”

Fledgling: “I will learn from you, till one year hence, or until I am ready to take my place among our Kin. This is my promise to you.”

The Mentor then adds a little of their own essence to the chalice and passes it to the Fledgeling. (Note: it is vital that all necessary safety protocols are adhered to!)

Mentor: “Drink, (mundane name), taste of my essence to seal this promise.”

The Fledgling sips from the chalice, emptying it. The Mentor rises.

Mentor: “What is your name?”

Fledgling: “I am (Vampyre name).”

Mentor: “Rise, (Vampyre name), let us walk this world together, in darkness and in light.”

The Fledgling rises. The ceremony is ended.

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