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The Oath Breaker


(permanent link) added: 2010-08-30 16:51:40 sponsor: shimaspawn (last reply: 2010-08-30 16:51:40)

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In fiction, oaths are powerful things. They bind demons. They bind honour. They create pacts that grant great power. They are things to be respect, feared, and fulfilled.

And then there is the Oath Breaker.

This is the character that has broken a oath of some sort be it magical or mundane and now is forever branded by his misdeed. Sometimes they see this as almost a trophy. Sometimes this is seen as a mark of shame. It almost always brands the character as a pariah until they manage to restore their lost honour.

This is not just a character that has broken a social taboo. They need to have broken something that they have personally sworn.


Examples

Comic Books
  • In Planet Hulk, Hiroim the Shamed is a member of the Hulk's Warbound, sworn allies for life. Hiroim, however, was ostracized from his people for breaking a previous Warbound pact, and accordingly given the appellation of "the Shamed" to forever mark his treachery.

Literature
  • Jaime Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire. He killed the king he was sworn to protect, and everyone treats him like the lowest of the low, even in a Crapsack World full of Complete Monster child rapists, Torture Technicians, and mad kings (like the one he killed).
  • Marietta from Harry Potter, told the location of their secret hideout to The Umbridge after signing a magical contract claiming she wouldn't do that. As a result she had the word "SNEAK" appear on her face made out of pimples and was shunned by her classmates.
  • Merry Gentry's cousin Cel has broken his oath. It's a huge scandal because among the fey this carries a death sentence, but everyone is so afraid of his mother that they don't do anything about it.
    • Merry also becomes head of the Wild Hunt for a night in order to punish an oathbreaker.
  • In typical fashion, the Vorkosigan Saga has an example of this, but it's not that simple. Ekaterin's husband was killed in a accident immediately after she told him she was leaving him. Because she never went through with the divorce her honor remains intact in everyone else's eyes; but she knows she's an oathbreaker, and suffers the shame of it.
  • The Dead from Lord of the Rings. Isildur cursed them when they swore to help him fight and then refused; three thousand years later, they break the curse by helping Aragorn -- the Heir of Isildur -- instead.

Table Top Games
  • In Deadlands: Hell on Earth, Oathbreaker is specific disadvantage sykers can take. It means that they have broken 'the Oath of Unity', a promise to never attack a brother syker (generally interpreted as a syker from the same unit or one of its allied units).

Mythology
  • As The Other Wiki says, the most commonly accepted etymology derives the word "warlock" from the Old English waerloga meaning "oathbreaker" (from waer "promise, agreement" and loga "deceiver").
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