The Cult of the Dragons are worshippers of the Eight Dragons of Old. Their mission is to ultimately summon Dragons back to the world. Through infiltration of every echelon of society, the Cult have influenced events in this world for generations.
Statement of Belief Edit
The central tenets of faith are most often and simply summarised in the affirmations, “May the Eight cleanse you!” and, “In faith and flames!” These of course, refer to the belief in the guiding hand of the Eight Dragons of Old and the ultimate ‘cleansing’ of souls through fire. A formal statement of belief can be found in the Book of Fire, proclaimed by the prophet [name of the prophet] at the gathering of [ancient town name]:
“We are the Children of Dragonfire; borne to this world on the wings Dragons. The Eight birthed us in fire, and they will cleanse us through fire. By their grace we live; by their wisdom we incant; by their mercy we will live again.”
Traditionally, these verses are recited as a Declaration of Faith in formal ceremonies. It is always accompanied by the Hands of Fire (see figure [whichever figure we’re up to]).
The Dragons of Old Edit
In scripture, the Eight Dragons of Old are said to be eight Dragons of immense power and wisdom. It is not known how many Dragons came to the world, but the Eight were considered a council of sorts; the highest of Dragons and those permitted to assist in the governance of humans. Prior to their departure from the world, the Eight entrusted sacred relics to the humans. It is said that reuniting these relics will instigate communion with the Dragons, wherever in the universe they may be.
The Eight were known to humans as:
· Azazel – the Cunning
· Boitatá – the Fire
· Fáfnir – the Golden
· Huáng Lóng – the Wise
· Jörmungandr – the Great Circle
· Kur – the First Dragon
· Zirnitra – the Sorceror
There is little concrete evidence documenting the history of the Cult. As a primarily secret society, history is often passed down in oral form, with only the holy text taking written form. It is known that the Cult existed during the First Age of Magic [or whatever we’ve called it] and gained prominence toward the end of that period.
[does anyone remember the history of the cult? Bc it’s midnight and everything but ‘cool tattoo’ has left my brain]
The Book of Fire Edit
See also The Book of Fire
The holy text of the Cult began as an oral history of the Eight Dragons of Old and the teachings of various prophets, and was accepted in written form by the Council of Psyscine, during the First Age of Magic. It details the creation of the universe and all the worlds therein, and the settling of this world by Dragons. The evolution of humans is postulated as being due to the direct influence of Dragons breathing life into the rocky world and transporting the ancestors of humans into this new paradise. In doing so, it is said that the Dragons gifted these humans with magic, to assist in the settling of the world.
Physically, the Book is meant to represent the collective knowledge of Dragons as passed to humans through the prophets. As such, it is sanctified over a traditional bone fire, with much chanting and blessing. The initiation ritual requires incoming members to pledge their faith to the Eight while drawing a sharpened bone across their left wrist; this adds their blood to the cover of the Book and imbues the Book with their strength. The ritual thus binds all members of the Cult in blood and fire.
Clerical Hierarchy Edit
The Cult maintains a simple hierarchy; all members are considered ‘Children of Dragonfire’, with those dedicated to priesthood receiving additional titles. Almost all members are therefore of equal status and are bound to support each other in furthering the aims of the Cult. A member may decide to dedicate themselves to study and ritual, and may be admitted into the priesthood.
Very little is known of the initiation, training, and everyday duties of priests. Many priests return to society and undertake covert support and surveillance operations. They may minister to local members and bless meetings and missions. Those priests who remain cloistered usually undertake extensive military and academic training. Contemporary commentary and analysis of the Book of Fire is the domain of cloistered priests.
Both field and cloistered priests may become High Priests. These priests oversee the duties of field priests, or the training of cloistered priests. They work in collaboration with priests and general members to ensure members are well-placed to influence society.
The highest rank attainable is known as the Dragoon. Generally the oldest living member of the Cult, whether general member, priest, or High Priest, the Dragoon is only required when a full Conference is called, or when a complex ritual takes place. They otherwise maintain their cover and live as any other member does.
The Ritual Edit
The Book of Fire is purported to describe a ritual, which will summon Dragons from wherever they are in the universe. In its most basic form, the ritual allows communion between humans and Dragons, though the form of this communion is not known. A more complex variation of the ritual is said to erect a dimensional portal and physically pull Dragons through.
The structure of the ritual itself features an eight-pointed star drawn into a circle of red sand, with an ‘Eighth’ placed at each point. Scholarly supposition is split on whether the ‘Eighths’ described in the Book of Fire refer merely to symbols of the Eight Dragons of Old, or the actual relics they left in this world. A High Priest blesses each ‘Eighth’ and then begins intoning a chant in the Old Language. In the centre of the circle stands the current Dragoon. At the height of the chant, the Dragoon summons forth Dragon Fire. Their death provides the necessary sacrifice to open the dimensional portal.