Formal title for magic users = Kizier (from caesar)
What if they're not just considered a legal unit but the the "sorceress" is legally unable to make decisions because they're "unstable"
Occasionally Kiziers can keep the magical households for their widowed Tharii and or siblings, or whatever.
somebody who doesn't have a knight would have good reasons to consider faking it.
Formal title for fighters = Tharii (from spatharios)
Pairing events happen with the solstice
Each Wave has depreciating returns
Wave One: Age 16 - 18
Wave Two: Age 32 - 35
Wave Three: Age 64 - 70
Tharii/Kizier is considered the standard dynamic and couples do go against it but it's kind of risqué
long, elaborate Season of introductions
Like Regency courtships / Old South coming of Age Parties
Huge Dance elements in courtship
Huge coming of age events if you become Paired you are legally an adult
Having lovers outside of Pairings are common
One person can love their partner and not be loved back
They can loathe each other
They can think each other is "meh"
Any combo works
You could have the incredibly sappy Pairs and then the ones that can barely stand being in the same room unless they're fighting a common enemy.
You communicate with your Pair telepathically
Talking takes work
One couple got it right away and they LOATHE EACH OTHER
This can suck big balls
if you lose your bond tragically it can be very traumatic
Could be a serious problem if you were legally and emotionally tied to them
Some people may do anything to get that feeling back.
This is true even if you kill your Partner
You murdered your Pair because you didn't want to be legally subservient to them but then you MISS THEM AGAINST YOUR WILL
Like a psychic vampire. You might "use up" your partner.
On the upside, society literally doesn't believe you can murder your Pair. So you don't get charged, you just suffer. You can't get charged, you're literally not a person who can be responsible. In the same way women used to not be charged with crimes because they were presumably doing it at the behest of their husband.
SCAM ARTISTS ABOUND
Myths about how if you don't find your bond by x age it's not as strong
there are ways to fake the bond if someone hasn't found theirs yet
once you've had a successful bond you can sort of replicate it
Shades tend to get thrown into convents/schools/homes
Madame Cross' School for Mismatched Youth
if you hit 18 age without meeting your Tharii, off you go to school where you are taught coping methods and basically cared for until you finally meet a Tharii or become a teacher.
If you're widowed and lose your Tharii then you can go to a home for Broken Pairings
outside the Formal Empire there are presumably countries where the pairs don't happen and they must think it's incredibly weird
Some sort of hippie commune where everyone is paired with the WHOLE WORLD
"life is my bondmate"
poly is most common but some people are more literal and celibate
Tharii pre-bonding can have a frat-like existence if not paired in their first wave
This results in homoromantic (like with like) ballads specifically about Tharii
And homoromantic Tharii relations are considered a good thing to have, provided they are not putting their Tharii "buddy" first once they get a Kizier
Though they can put them first in some things, sort of Tharii bonding "poker nights"
However, if you are a Tharii that leads another Tharii astray so that they neglect their duties to their Kizier... uh oh
There exist no ballads for similar pre-bonded Kizier relationships, because they are not taken seriously as what Kizier would value a relationship with another over their destined Tharii?
Idealized Kizier characteristics are small hands and feet, slim waists, long hair.
This is not found very often. And some of the actual "most desirable" Kizier can have none of these characteristics if they are powerful enough.
Or if they are charismatic enough
Idealized Tharii characteristics focus on physical strength and tactical intelligence.
This can result in more dexterity focused Tharii being considered the equivalent of "effeminate"
Very rarely, a Tharii can have an adverse sensitivity to magic
Their pair can Make It Work with a lesser sensitivity to their type, but can still give them a headache
For those rare cases, they often aren't believed to be sensitive, as Tharii Are Strong and that's just not real come on