World Building and Wonder- The Oath

Umara is the fantasy world created for the ‘Battle for Umara novel series. It is an expansive world ruled by Gods, mythical creatures, and magic. The ‘Worldbuilding and Wonder series showcases the who, what and where of Umara. And includes tidbits of the inspiration behind them.

Throughout the series, specifically in After Treason, characters refer to the Mage Oath as a spoken promise they swore to the Council and Gods. According to Mage belief, Zander (Chief God) inscribed the scared words into an Obsidian Pillar in the center of the vast Lyndita desert. That moment marked the birth of the Mage Order.

The Oath is a binding contract which promotes obedience and peacekeeping; two principles at the heart of the Mage religion. Penalties for breaking the Oath vary depending on to which extend it is broken. It can range from removed from political positions, prison sentences, death, and even excommunication. With most preferring death over excommunication.

When a Mage becomes ten years of age, they are permitted to begin their training. In a formal setting, their training occurs at the Academy. Upon completion of their first year they take the Oath. If a child is taught in an informal setting, for example by family/community members, the Oath ceremony is overseen by a respected Mage in the community.

The ceremony consists of using a ceremonial knife to draw blood from the palm which is then pressed against the staff as the Oath is recited. The Oath is as follows:

We will fight for those who cannot.
We will see for those who are blind.
We will hear for those who are deaf. 
We will speak for those who do not possess a voice. 
We will catch those who fall.

Our magic will ever be a beacon;
A light for truth, justice, and hope. 
Glowing brightly against the fog
Of lies, injustice, and despair. 
Shining for eternity. 

Our magic will never strike the Innocent. 
Will never crumble the walls of our kingdoms. 
Never will we choose depravity over righteousness.
Never will we questions laws of our King and Council.
Never will we put ourselves above the law. 

For we are the enforcers of the Gods, 
Advisors to the King, 
And a paragon for the people. 
For the Gods are perfect and they bestow this gift, 
To their most perfect and worthy children. 

We come and go, 
We live and die, 
The elements are constant. 
They are and will always be 
Forever. 

The Oath, like other religious texts, is set in stone (both figuratively and literally). Questioning it is prohibited and those who do are seen as traitors. It is not the only governing text of the Order but it is the most important. It acts as a cornerstone for morality of key characters but how they view, utilize and follow it varies. Their various degrees of obedience pulls Umara into interesting and problematic directions.