Summoning dragons is a dangerous and often confusing business. There are a great many rituals and laws to learn in preparation and an equal number of traditions to follow before a Dracovarian can even begin to consider themselves ready for their first Summoning.

  • They must display an understanding of the consequences of Summoning (such as negoatiating payment, and what happens if they fail to keep their dragon happy);
  • They must have studied the behavioural patterns and traits of each subspecies of dragon;
  • They must also have studied a comprehensive history of case studies and examples.

All of this, and the threat of death should a Summoning fail, means that Summoning before being qualified to do so is a severe offence. It also means that a Dracovarian's first Summoning is a supervised and ritualistic affair.

Your character must have spent 5 skill points in their Sept skills in order to choose a Summoning specialty.

For any Summons, the Summoned dragon will demand payment in return for the favour asked of them, and their prices can be quite steep (especially at the beginning of a relationship), covering the gamut from the rarest jewel to the simplest meal. The majority of dragons demand that this fee be paid in advance, though they may be more charitable in life-or-death situations.

Should the fee not be paid by the specified time, the dragon will shun the Summoner for a time (some dragons sulk more than others). They can also plead their case to the Lindwyrm and demand justice, which can take whatever form the Lindwyrm deems fair and reasonable.

That, or the dragon may simply eat the culprit.

It should also be noted that a Dracovarian can also be Summoned by their dragon in return. In this event, the 'Varian in question may demand any fee they choose, though dragons are much less likely to pay if they deem it too steep.

The Ritual

The Summoning Ritual is a guided meditation supervised by a high-ranking official and his dragon. Though subsequent Summonings can be done alone and without such pomp, this first Summoning is a test of the new Summoner's readiness and ability. It's also the safest opportunity for the Summoner to find a permanent companion if they so choose, and the guides are trained to aid in this matter.

The officiates preside over the ritual to ensure protection for both Summoner and Summoned (there have been instances in the past where one has deliberately harmed the other, though the guides are primarily to protect against accident and misunderstanding). With candles and incense burning, the Summoner is asked to sit cross-legged at the centre of a large, circular stone room1, and must focus their thoughts through meditation before broadcasting their request telepathically.

Summoners are not forced to accept the first dragon to answer, especially if they wish to follow the path of the Bonded (this is another reason for the officiate's presence; some dragons do not take kindly to rejection). However, if after five attempts the Summoner has still not found a dragon they wish to bond with, the officiate will send the Summoner home to try again another day.

Unbonded Summoners, on the other hand, are declared successful as soon as they've completed their first transaction with a Summoned dragon, although this can also take several tries.

Only Summoners who have successfully completed the Summoning Ritual, either by forming a bond or completing a transaction, may Summon dragons alone. Because of this, and the dangers of ignoring such a rule, Summoners may make several attempts before they are finally considered true Summoners.

Footnotes

  1. The Summoning Circle is symbolic for the trust displayed between Dracovarian and dragon. In the early days of Summoning, the Circle could be any open space prepared for the ritual, but as it became more and more important for them both to hide their true natures from the humans, a special chamber was built from stone at the heart of Paris? so they could perform the Summoning Ritual in safety and secrecy. (Other Dracovarian enclaves may also have built such a chamber, but Paris is the only one they've ever admitted to.) Since the Third Migration, during which the remainder of the Dracovari still on Earth? moved to the White City? in Nirim?, no Summonings have taken place there. Instead, Nirimians (and Elysians? to a slightly lesser degree) may Summon wherever they please, since the city was designed with dragons in mind, though for the Ritual itself they use a special enclave in the inner city (the only time dragons are permitted to enter there) that was modelled after the first Circle on Earth?.

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