Not leakage like loseing it, leakage like regular people leak heat. Random stray radiation coming off him. Only if your wife spends lots of time wrapped around you, she should absorb a lot of it. Actually, it would be kinda cool if that applied to anywhere the channeler spent a lot of time or units that spent time near him. Just being near the channeler a lot should make a unit stronger.
I'm just thinking of how that could be applied in game as a concept. If you gain x amount of essence each level, perhaps a smaller amount could enter a pool that leaks over time. Like one point per level (or 1/3 of x if the numbers get higher later on) This could represent power that the sov cannot control. If you steal essence from another it would enter this pool rather than your essence points and wouldn't be spent directly.
So, now the idea of an uncontrolled essence pool is there, what can you do with it?
As otherwise mentioned, rather than giving essence to a hero/wife/unit and getting a +1 hero with all the gained abilities, this would be a gradual gaining of essence by another party. So at +0.2 they gain some extra health and max age, +0.5 a new ability, +1 they become as strong as an essence imbued hero, and can grow above this. If you have a wife, you apply your essence and then leak in a further +1, you could perhaps increase lifespan to immortal for age purposes. Increased health and defence and stronger abilities (for hero types).
So targets for leaked essence:
Wife (counts as hero?)
Useable essence (you learn to control the extra power)
The other questions are the rate of leakage... should it leak faster the more you have in the pool? say 0.01 of the pool per turn?
Second, what else can be leaked into? can you prioritise?
If you're travelling with a hero, they should gain your leaked essence.
on your own? - accumilates in the land
with an army? slowly accumilates in the army.
Walking through your land with an army and a hero? - shared equally? or controlled with a user action?
So what user actions could tip the invested leaked essence without making it just annoying?
Meditation type spell in your magic tower to allow for leaking into useable essence
Proximity? Walk around with a hero and you can't help but leak essence into them?
Duration of contact? 5 turns isn't enough to start leaking, after that it is.
Random? Perhaps each turn only one is chosen of the available, rather than a division. It would increase the odds of it being army if you walk around with your troops, increase odds of hero if you do that, and land if you stay in one place.
Lastly should leaked essence carry on leaking?
If your sov dies/moves very far away... should the leaked essence dissapear or... move... If your sov sat alone in his tower and the land gained +2 essence (with whatever result) after he dies should the land wither?(gradually fading essence) or should any occupying army capture it? or should it be permenant?
Lastly, how should it be represented?. I'd like it to be tagged on to the end of essence now, with a mouseover popup showing the rate of leakage. Infocards of units and land could gain an extra property (gained essence) that only shows when they've got more than a minimum useful amount. (invisible at 0.0 or 0.09)
I'm just thinking that this would be useful... there's always the problem of control and how to impliment it in magic or essence. You can have spell failure, or things going completely wrong. Which is both annoying and impractical for something as expensive as essence. Most of the things here would be better done if you did it in a single turn and meant to do it, a lot of it is wasted. But that's the point. The difference between a sov with control and one without would be that the one with control gets x+1 essence, the one without gets x essence and +1 to the pool. They still grow at the same rate, but one, by leakage, is turning the land blue and filled with flowers and making the farmers able to kick cows over fields... the other is making the land exactly what they want and making their hero kick dragons over mountains.
Obviously you could have a pure might sov... with no real spells, they would get all of the essence in the pool, it would still allow them to imbue things, perhaps at an even faster rate, without requiring any spells or knowledge of their actions. So the effects would be random... or sadorandom... but it would allow them to compete on a level playing field.