Investiture is an essence that makes up part of what would best be described as the soul. From what has thus far been explained, investiture is itself best described as one facet of a soul, much as how a gemstone’s facet is only one plane, one face, of the more complex gemstone. Another example given is of investiture being an embroidered pattern woven into the larger, more complex tapestry that is the soul. All living things have some amount of investiture of Will… at least all true multicellular organisms such as Plants, Animals, and Fungi are confirmed to have some amount of investiture of Will. It is unconfirmed if the same applies to the simpler forms of life (Protista, Archea, and Eubacteria). Sentient life forms, such as humans, have by far the most investiture.
The metaphysical origin of the soul and investiture itself has not been addressed, whether it is a natural phenomenon or something created or bestowed by supernatural beings. Given the discussion between Robert Dreese, Eli Drake, and Cory Frost after learning of investiture after the Polygal fight (Chapter 5)… and the language used by Kunapipi during her explanation of investiture (Chapter 7)… it appears probable that investiture of Will is bequeathed to living things from some outside source.
Beyond being the source of one’s Willpower and sentience, investiture is also best described as one’s energy. Platicore uses his golems to drain humans of their investiture so he can use it as a power source to fuel his crusade against Fate herself. Humans are the only beings known to have enough investiture to be worth draining, and those people with the greatest investiture are drawn to Kessia City, likely by the Standridge Stones acting as a sort of beacon. When drained, a person becomes listless and exhausted, even going pale and sweaty, as if running a fever. It’s assumed that one’s investiture will regenerate over time, but after being heavily drained, the victim acts very zombie-like. Investiture of Will appears to be a key component of Platicore’s empathokinetic golemancy, being what breathes life and some amount of sentience into his creations.
One can also use their own investiture, in combination with a focus, to perform powerful Empathokinesis. In order to become a powerful empathokinetic, the practitioner needs to have particularly large amounts of investiture, and will likely have other types of investiture rather than simple Will. For instance, it is known that Robert Dreese / Robynne Darling is brimming with serene investiture, which was received directly from the Shrine Maiden by virtue of being her reincarnation. It is likely that Angela Warrant has valorous investiture, Mallory Drake has tenacious investiture, Vivian Joyce has joyful investiture, and Kara Balmer has charitable investiture. It is also possible that any individual that can produce an aura has additional investiture of some variety, though this is unconfirmed and speculative.
Those with special investiture may have special features, beyond potentially having just auras. If they are to be one of Fate’s Champions, Fate can mark their investiture with a sigil, such as the Spirit Guard shining symbols on their foreheads before they transformed. The investiture of the Spirit Guard, before transforming, has been known to interact with external processes to create a glow around their bodies that can be seen by even normal people. This phenomenon is known as “radiating Ardent Resonance.”