Claiming is the act of taking telepathic control of a Sundered One.
It requires training and willpower on the part of the human, and is one of the key purposes of the Academy.
Claiming is only possible because Sundered Ones are what the humans call “broken;” something is very wrong with these creatures, and a human with steady, strong concentration can impose their will onto a Sundered.
If successful, a claim results in the Sundered One’s neural processes being connected to the human. The human can command the Sundered One to do anything; the only two limitations are the power of the particular Sundered (depending on tier) and the willpower and creativity of the human.
Risks and Benefits
- The primary risk is reversal. In the immediate moments of claiming, the Sundered One can push back against the human’s effort, and when that happens, the human dies. The second risk is when Sundered Ones slip the leash, which means breaking free of a human after a successful claim. In this case, the primary danger is the Sundered One attacking the human who claimed them.
- The benefits are really better viewed as “the only reason humans survive.” Thanks to the black water, very little arable land exists any longer, and the risks of touching it make growing crops impractical. Sundered Ones, however, can grow and harvest crops; there are no trees left, but they can grow genetically modified fruit from vines, wheat, oats, rice, and more.
- The Sundered are also responsible for separating the black water so humans and their animals can drink it and bathe in it. Without them, black-water related death would be a lot more common.
- The Sundered are also the only ones who can build. They acquire malleum – a risky, dangerous operation requiring digging int the limited land humans have left.
Food, water, shelter – without the Sundered Ones, humans would already be dead.