Full Item Description
These are thick heavy candles of an odd greenish cream color. The wax is very, very hard, with almost no waxy feel to it. Usually they are one to two thumb lengths in wide (2-5"/5-13cm), but the size will vary with the maker.
Each candle is made for one specific person. The special recipe of wax, alchemical salts, and metals, is mixed with baby hairs and a few drops of blood from subject by a skilled mystic chandler (Candle manufacturer). Most mystic chandlers are alchemists with a skill for candles.
The history of Candle of Love’s Waiting stretches almost as far back as the history of Alchemy. The first records of such candles, or so say the scholars, were found on the Tysis, the ancient home of the long lost Island Trading Empire of Tyr in the Middle Sea. Things of great antiquity can be retrieved from firemountain ash that covers most of the island still. The explosion of the nearby seamount that buried Tysis is a mentioned as ancient happenings to the Pharesians and The Aviontix, both predating the Imperium. Other records can be found scattered through the road of time.
The actual candles are effectively eternal, as the need for them is universal. Worry is a timeless emotion. These candles, and other items like them, are always in demand by mothers, lovers, and wives, the ones left behind when their loved ones go off to battle or trade in far away places (or simply go to sea). The uncertainty and fear generated by long journeys can be aleved by these candles.
To activate, the candle is held by the loved one, and the person staying home lights it, just before the loved one is leaving. Words of love are traditionally exchanged. The candle is extinguished. The loved one leaves on their journey. The candle should be placed in a window or a shelf by the door. Ideally, the candle is lit that night and it will stay lit until loved one returns home OR can not return home ever (this is a euphemism for dying, but better candles will sometimes take in to consideration people who will never return and might as well be dead to their loved ones). One candle lasts one journey, even if that journey takes years.
Note: the light is so soft that it provides no real useful illumination. It also will not spread its flame.
If the candle is willfully or maliciously extinguished, it can be relit by the person who first lit it. If it can not be relit, the person is truly dead.
Now lesser candles can be made by "less skilled mystic chandler". They can also be made without the (hard to get) baby hairs or by using other recipes of lesser effectiveness. These lesser candles must be lit every night. The candle will only light and glow if the loved one can return home. If the candle will not light, the person is lost never to return (again another euphemism for dead or might as well be). If the candle is not lit every night before dawn, it will lose its hold on the loved one. Some people prefer these candles as they require a show of devotion on both sides. These candles are also reusable for many journeys and last as long as they would as if they were mundane candles (9 hours (figure 2 minutes spent each lighting at minimum).
Magic should always have a price. These candles have a "link" with their subject. A candle can be used to cast magic on the person, as if they were right there. And there is little to no resistance possible against spells so cast. (resistance drops to 1, saves at -10, bonuses to cast, insert mechanic of choice for the game).
Now many people use this connection without magic, to send a feeling of love to the loved one (and feel that loved one back). With magic, messages can sent, spells of healing or luck, cantrips of clean, and so on. However, malefic magic is possible against the candle. And with little or no resistance against it, the loved one is an easy target.
Any of these candles, greater or lesser, made for a subject is tied to that subject and can be used as a magical focus. Thus candles just "hanging around" could be a liability. The linkage explains why these candles are not as popular as one might think, especially among The Nobles, Magical, or Wealthy. One purloined candle and said subject can be struck down by simple magics at any time and any range.
Touch of Culture
It is traditional in some areas that these candles are used in wedding ceremonies, when both natal candles (small love’s waiting candles made soon after birth) of both the bride and the groom are lit together from the sacred fire. It helps bind them together with their loving vows, and shows that they are on a journey together.