MM: The Bond
What is the Bond?
The bond in The Wheel of Time is created using the One Power and creates a link between a channeler and the chosen bondmate. Here at TarValon.Net, we cannot channel; therefore, the bond that we have does not create a real mental/physical link between two people. The bond as we use it signifies a special relationship between an Aes Sedai and Gaidin. No one can be forced into a bond, nor can anyone promise their bond until they are a Senior Member. Junior Members are discouraged from discussing the topic of potential bondmates, and if the administration finds that a Junior Member has promised his/her bond, disciplinary action will be initiated.
The bond means different things to different people, but it usually does not entail a romantic relationship. Most bonded couples here are partners - friends who watch over and protect each other. Some bondmates talk everyday; others talk infrequently. Some have similar viewpoints or backgrounds; others are completely different. Some bondmates work together to accomplish things, either online or off; others do not. Everyone is different, so each bond has a different reason for existing. Please take time to get to know anyone you would consider bonding; bonding is meant to be a lifetime relationship between two people in real life, and it should not be entered into lightly. This is one reason why talk of bonding is highly discouraged before attaining Senior Member rank.
The bond is not a means of signifying that you are in a romantic relationship with another member of the site. In fact, very few of our members who are involved with each other are bonded; many are either not bonded at all or are bonded to someone else. We urge you to think through carefully whether or not you want to bond someone you are romantically involved with, particularly if you are not married or in a long-term committed relationship with them.
All Gaidin may bond two Aes Sedai. All Ajahs except the Green and the Red may bond one Warder. In following the tradition set by the books in The Wheel of Time series, Green Aes Sedai may bond two Warders, and Red Aes Sedai do not have the option to bond.
If an Aes Sedai and a Gaidin have decided to bond, they must send an email to the Director of Membership stating their intent to bond and why they wish to bond. Please include more than two sentences—the Director wants to see more of a reason to bond than, “I think he's really cool!” The Director then has up to one month to approve a bond, during which time s/he will monitor the two of you to make sure that the bond will be beneficial to both of you and to TarValon.Net. If your bond is approved, the Director will email his/her approval to you and your bondmate, thus making your bond official. The bond will be announced in the Site Announcements section of the forums. Once you are bonded, you will gain access to the Sitting Room/Great Room of your bondmate's Ajah/Company, you may state your bond in your signature, and the bond will be reflected in the Who's Who. If your bond is not approved, the Director will let you know why. This, however, almost never happens.
An Extra Bond
With the introduction of the merit system, it is possible for Community Members to gain an extra bond. A member must have the following merits in order to earn this privilege:
- The Gold Senior Membership Merit denoting that the Community Member has been a Senior Member for at least five years;
- Four other Gold Merits (the Gold Membership Merit does not count for this)
This means that all Aes Sedai (except Red and Green Sisters) may have two bondmates. A Red Sister may have one bondmate, and Green Sisters and Gaidin may have three.
Severing the Bond
If you wish to sever your bond, you and your bondmate must submit your request to the Director of Membership. Please state why you want to dissolve your bond. Dissolutions of bonds occur twice a year—January 1st and July 1st. Petitions will be accepted at any time during the year; however, only those received at least one month prior to the above dates will be approved for the upcoming term.
There are four reasons for dissolving a bond:
- Abandonment by one of the bondmates. This reason is given when one of the bondmates disappears completely from the community and has no contact with his/her bondmate for a significant period of time. In the case of abandonment, only the remaining bondmate has to submit his/her request for dissolution.
- Real-life long-term relationships requiring dissolution or passing of the bond. Sometimes if a couple who met on TarValon.Net gets married, their bondmates will pass their bonds to the married couple so that they can be bonded to each other. Should one of the bondmates enter into a long-term relationship with someone that does not understand the nature of the bond and would feel more comfortable if that relationship did not exist, the bond may be dissolved.
- Real-life conflicts which make one party in the bond unable to fulfill his or her obligations to the other. This can occur for a multitude of reasons.
- Bonds are automatically dissolved if one of the bondmates takes a voluntary demotions, or retires permanently from the community.
In rare cases, the Amyrlin Seat may forcibly dissolve a bond that she feels is detrimental to the bondmates or to the community. If that occurs, both parties are subject to a three month waiting period before they may request another bond. Anyone who has had two bonds forcibly dissolved by the Amyrlin Seat will not be eligible to bond again.
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