The Drop is an essential event for Vanir to claim both their powers and immortality.
The ritual of the Drop is a necessary rite for Vanir. The Firstlight grid’s power is generated by the pure, undiluted light each Vanir emits while making the Drop. And it is only during the Drop that the flash of firstlight appears — raw, unfiltered magic. It can heal and destroy and do everything in between. Captured and bottled, the first glow is always used for healing, then the rest of it is handed over to the energy plants to fuel their lights and cars and machines and tech; some of it is used for spells, and some are reserved for whatever shady business the Republic wants.
The "donation" of the firstlight by each citizen is a key element of the Drop ritual, part of why it is always done in a government center: a sterile room, where the light from the person making the Drop is gobbled up during the transition into immortality and true power. All tracked by the Eleusian system, able to monitor every moment of it through vibrations in the world’s magic. Indeed, family members sometimes watch the feeds in an adjacent room.
The Drop itself is the easy part: falling into one’s power. But once the bottom is reached, one’s mortal body expired. And then the clock begins counting down. Mere minutes are allowed for the race back up to life — before the brain shuts down permanently from lack of oxygen. Six minutes to start barreling down a psychic runway along the bottom of one’s power, a single desperate shot at launching skyward toward life. The alternative to getting enough momentum on that runway: tumbling into an endless black pit and awaiting death.
This is why someone else has to act as an Anchor: a beacon, a lifeline, a bungee cord that will snap their companion back up to life once they leap off the runway. To make the Drop alone is to die — to reach the bottom of one’s power, to have one’s heart stop beating upon hitting that nadir. No one knows if the soul continues living down there, lost forever, or if it dies along with the body left in life. This is why Anchors are usually family — parents or siblings — or trusted friends. Someone who won't leave you stranded. Or a government employee who has a legal obligation not to do so. Some claim those six minutes are called the Search — that during that time, you faced the very depths of your soul. But beyond that, there was no hope of survival.
The Ascent is different for everyone because depending on how much power you have the Ascent could be harder if you have more power, an anchor helps in this stage to bring the Vanir back to consciousness. It is only upon making the Ascent and reaching that threshold back to life, brimming with new power, that immortality is attained, the aging process slowed to a glacial drip and the body rendered near-indestructible as it is bathed in all that ensuing firstlight, so bright it could blind the naked eye. And at the end of it, when the Drop Center’s sleek energy panels have siphoned off that firstlight, all any of them are left with to mark the occasion is a mere pinprick of that light in a bottle. A pretty souvenir.
It is usual to celebrate a Drop party after one makes the Drop. These days, the newly immortal often use the allotment of their own firstlight to make party favors to hand out to their friends.