Watchers and Watching

Councillor Halvard Enol answers your questions about Watchers and the Power of Watching:

What do Watchers do?

A. In one sentence, Watchers are trainers of future Defenders. However, a Watcher's job is not that simple. During the induction of their trainees (known as Preferred), they take a pledge to guide and protect their Preferred, but the true extent of their duties is not something that can be listed out. Watchers are teachers, friends, confidantes and even parents to their Preferred, even after they become Defenders.

How are Halvard chosen to become Watchers?

A. You cannot choose to be a Watcher. It chooses you. When a Defender, usually between the ages 18 and 25, senses a new Watcher's Link, they are required to start training as a Watcher.

What is the Watcher's Link?

A. The bond between a Watcher and his Preferred or Defender is known as the Link. It is not precisely known how it manifests. A Watcher can draw away his or her Preferred's negative emotions into himself, as well as compel his or her charge to do certain things if required. Able to sense their Preferred's physical and emotional states, it also helps in training them and gauging the effectiveness of the training.

The Watcher's Link, though, is not one-way. As a Preferred becomes stronger in using Spirit and learns to trust their Watcher, they are also able to feel the Link. While they feel the Link in exactly the same way the Watcher does, the control lies with the latter. Only the Watcher is able to draw out negative emotions or partially block the Link when required.

The Watcher's Link can save lives. Linked pairs can share their strength by means of Syncing, and can also Track each other's location. If the situation arises, a Watcher will transfer their life to their Linked partner to ensure their survival.

How does a Halvard know if they have a Link with a future Preferred?

A. A new Link between a future Watcher and Preferred starts to form shortly before the birth of the latter. Certain symptoms manifest in the Watcher a few weeks earlier, and the Link is finalized after a successful birth. In the coming years it is strengthened. The Watcher has to learn to read it to understand his future Preferred and prepare to train him or her when the time comes.

Does every Preferred have a Linked Watcher?

A. Oddly enough, no. A number of famous and talented Defenders have succeeded despite lacking a Linked Watcher. Such unLinked Preferred and Defenders are called a'lef.

How does the High Council keep track of a'lef?

A. I am afraid that is classified information.

If a'lef have no Watchers, how are they trained?

A. A'lef are assigned Watchers by the Watcher's Tower. These Watchers may not necessarily be trained in Watching, and are those Defenders who have volunteered to train unLinked Preferred.

Didn't you just contradict yourself? You said earlier that you cannot choose to be a Watcher?

A. The use of the term 'Watcher' when it comes to stand-in Watchers of a'lef is just a technicality. Such Halvard have not trained in Watching, but are able and talented Defenders who are more than able to guide a youngster.

Can Watcher's read their Preferred's minds?

A. Before I answer this, I have to say that this is a senstive subject with Linked pairs, and considered a distasteful question. However, we understand that most people are curious about this, and I would like to clarify it once and for all.

The Watcher's Link is a relationship of mutual trust. So, yes, while mind-reading is technically possible (though difficult), it is the worst way a Watcher can breach his or her Preferred or Defender's trust. So the complete answer to this question would be: yes, it is possible, but no Watcher would even consider it. Not even in a life-and-death situation.

Is the Link permanent?

A. It is, unless the people in question choose to have it dissolved. This usually happens when Defenders become Watchers themselves and have to Summon their own Preferred. (Having two simultaneous Links is against the law.) In some cases Watchers and Defenders dissolve the Link by mutual consent.

What is a Companion?

A. When pairs have been Linked for a long time, there comes a point when both have equal control over the Link. At that point, they are known as Companions. In that event, both are able to draw away each other's negative emotions, block and compel each other, as well as transfer their life to one another.

Please feel free to use the comments form to send in more questions.

Sitara Singh on 28 August 2007

Why are most Preferred in their late teens when they are Summoned?

Ans:: Because that is when the ability to touch Spirit completely manifests itself, and they can be taught to control and direct it effectively.

Sitara Singh on 28 August 2007

If a Watcher's preferred-to-be passes away before he/she is Summoned, and the Watcher has to sever the link, will they keep more of their Spirit than if the Preferred does not consent to be Summoned?

Ans:: Usually, yes. If Watcher's Preferred-to-be dies before being Summonned, the Link, being in nascent stages, is still weak. It may even not affect the Watcher's Spirit to any great extent if the Preferred-to-be dies very young. The older he or she gets, the stronger the Link becomes and the greater the damage is likely to be.

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