Officially known as the Order of Slayer Dragons or the Order of the Slayer Dragons, they are ten battling sorcerers who are the ceremonial leaders of the Alliance. The Slayer Dragons are based at Valley Gail Keep in Arindell, and have strong ties to the Atayan people.
The Slayer Dragons are based around the concepts of Truth, Liberty, and Justice, and their primary role is stop others from ruling by magic.
Each Slayer Dragon carries a mystical power created by Draco when the order was founded in A.Y. 10, that increases their magical abilities and makes them stronger and more capable in combat. The power can also be used in several spells unique to the Slayer Dragons.
Each member of the order is described as carrying "a portion" of the power, divided equally between them. This portion must be transferred before death, or it will be lost. Over the course of the Ages, the power shrank as many Slayer Dragons died in combat, unable to pass on their portion.
This is why Slayer Dragons always operate in teams of two. If one falls, he can pass his power to the other, who can then pass it to a new Slayer Dragon. In rare cases, dying Slayer Dragons have passed their power to bystanders in order to preserve it.
Kenneth Winter was the first Slayer Dragon unable to pass on his power. In all, fifteen Slayer Dragons died without passing on their powers, leaving the Final Ten with about one fifth the strength of the originals.
Each Slayer Dragon chooses a combination of two colors, unique among their group of ten and used in their garb or regalia, which helps them to identify each other on the battlefield. The regalia is made specially for each Slayer Dragon by the Craftsmen.
Each set of regalia also includes a battle standard, comprised of the two colors. A small 'master standard' is hung in Valley Gail Keep. Battle standards for every Slayer Dragon still hung in Valley Gail Keep as late as the Seventh Age.
Every battle standard was supposed to be unique, but with over 1400 Slayer Dragons throughout history and the limited nature of the standards, some repetition was unavoidable. Later Slayer Dragons would also often emulate the standards of their favorite historical heroes.
Along with the regalia colors, a Slayer Dragon chooses two symbolic elements to comprise their standard. These elements are intended to represent the Slayer Dragon's personal motivations and background.
Hunter Jusenkyou's standard, for example, was a setting sun and a dragon, but always arranged so that an equilateral triangle overlaid on the design would reveal an invisible third-point, often theorized to represent the Gudersnipe Foundation.
The Trials are a series of tests that must be completed before a potential trainee can become a Slayer Dragon. They are highly ritualistic and symbolic in nature, and typically allow only one new Slayer Dragon per year. At the completion of the Trials, the Pendragon ceremonially 'draws his/her sword' for the successful candidate, and declares it 'anointed' and a member of the Order.
Becoming a Slayer Dragon can start as early as the age of 10. The youngest Slayer Dragon in history was Kenneth Winter, anointed during the Ages#The Golden Age, who completed the trials at 17. Officially, the training and trials take 3 years to complete, but previous experience determines how quickly one may complete the training. Kenneth, the youngest Slayer Dragon ever anointed, recieved special dispensation to begin his training at 9, and completed the Trials at 17. Enus the Abhorrent, the oldest Slayer Dragon ever anointed, began training at the age of 20 and was not anointed until the age of 55, spending a total of 35 years to complete the Trials. Hunter Jusenkyou holds the record for the fastest completion, finishing the Trials in just 2 years. However, as a Gudersnipe School graduate, he was given special recognition and allowed to skip the bulk of the training.
According to the S.D.C. System and tradition, the Order began in B.G.A. 6, when Eieber, first Pendragon of Slayer Dragons took up Sword Echbalder, thus becoming their leader. However, as of that date, he was the only Slayer Dragon.
A.Y. 10 would be marked as the founding year of the Alliance, and also the year the Order of Slayer Dragons was created. Eieber had already gathered his Ten, but they were still known simply as the Ten by that time. Draco, the great dragon, was responsible for the name. He bestowed upon Eieber the title of Pendragon, and created the unique power that would help the Order complete their task.
In A.Y. 190, Pendragon Jayce Spearlock created the Slayer Dragon Count to establish a unified chronology of the Slayer Dragons. The A.Y. System would not be formalized until over 900 years later, and the Alliance had no unified calendar. S.D.C. years count forwards from B.G.A. 6 as the year 0.
The Order of Slayer Dragons would exist for nearly 6,000 years, throughout all six Ages of the Alliance. Near the end of the Sixth Age, six Slayer Dragons would die in a single day, marking the begining of the end.
In A.Y. 2439, the senate of the Unity Earth Sphere Alliance announced that it would begin appointing its own Slayer Dragons, and that the title was to become a political office. They planned to abolish the Trials and disband the order. The current set of Slayer Dragons were intended to be the last "under the old ways" and the next to die would be replaced by someone appointed by committee.
Understandably, this was not copacetic with the Slayer Dragons, who by this time had a long history steeped in tradition. Michael Muranaka, the 34th Pendragon of Slayer Dragons, spoke publicly and impolitely, so far as to suggest that the senate committee should fornicate with themselves.
When one of his Ten died and the committee made its first political appointment, Michael anointed his own Slayer Dragon instead. He refused to draw his sword for the political apointee, saying that if he did, he would remove the man's head from his shoulders (his exact words also made reference to fornication).
Essentially, the laws of the Order of Slayer Dragons were laid down in Eieber's own hand, and superceded any law the Alliance might try to pass. The Pendragon refused to anoint the new Slayer Dragons and the Craftsmen refused to produce any regalia for them. The politically-appointed Slayer Dragons even had to hire outside artisans to produce their standards, which were not recognized and not hung in Valley Gail Keep. At times, some of these psuedo-Slayer Dragons were even barred from Stormreaver Valley.
At its height, the senate committee appointed as many as 1000 Slayer Dragons not recognized by the Order. Eventually, public opinion won out, and the practice was abolished towards the end of the Second Age.
The era still stands as a stark contrast to the Golden Age of the Slayer Dragons, during which they had absolute political authority and the freedom to do what they were created to do.
From A.Y. 1298-1898, in the so-called 'Golden Age of the Slayer Dragons', for 600 years, the Slayer Dragons were free to practice their intended purpose.
It was during this era that most of the rituals and doctrine of the modern Slayer Dragons were formed. The Trials were created during this time and though the tests continued to evolve, the basic tenets of the Slayer Dragons, perfected during this era, continued for the next 5,000 years.
The Golden Age of the Slayer Dragons began as a result of the political withdrawal started by Aden Searlin over 250 years earlier. The collapse of Earth Sphere Unified Nations removed what little political power they originally had, and rather than attempt to reclaim it, they settled on practicing their trade: maintaining the peace and protecting the world of life from evil.
Death and Burial
Very few Slayer Dragons retire, though it is not unheard of. Most will remain a part of the Order until death. The Slayer Dragon power must be passed to another, so older Slayer Dragons will remain a part of the order until they can carry out this last act.
During the early-to-mid Second Age, the fashion for regalia was all about symmetry, even to extreme lengths. This fell out of favor gradually over the course of nearly a century, beginning with [...], who refused to wear matching socks, ever.
The high-fashion world in Arindell has always copied regalia; in fact you can tell which Slayer Dragon is the most popular by what colors you see most represented on evening gowns.
These are the Slayer Dragons in place when Hunter arrived:
In later books Hokori mentions there are only 8 around at the time Hunter and Lina are to ascend
Then we add:
- Lina Rowen
- Hunter (obvi.)
- Michael - became slayer dragon after Hunter & Lina
I probably never had a "pre-Hunter" Ten, and probably not even pre-Michael, so The Ten when I had ten were:
- Lina Rowen
- Hunter (obvi.)
And I am missing 4.
- Found a girl named "Crystal" in an old story fragment; did I have a Crystal?
- Found a document from 2007 in which I use a placeholder.
If none of these, the remaining 4 are given below:
- Guy of Hellenes he's in his 35 when Hunter shows up, he's the youngest serving Slayer Dragon and considers himself in line to be the next Pendragon, having already chosen his own successor (a trainee named Karmikal). When Hunter does become a Slayer Dragon, he and Guy do not exactly "mesh". Guy whields a double-sided halberd.
- Marco Ralien: he's 56ish (born AY 846), but doesn't look it. Actually dashingly handsome for his age, not exactly a "romantic", but flamboyant and flirty. He'll flirt and dance and make a girl swoon, but will never bother to pursue her. He's charming on the surface but shallow underneath. His weapon of choice is a shillelagh club: a kind of cane used in martial combat. In his case, his fights tend to look like flamboyant dances. It helps that he's a Madrigal. His regalia is purple and black, & he seldom wears plate armor but wears very exagerated formalwear and lots of puffy shirts. As backup to the shillelagh he carries an enchanted rapier and a long knife.
- Balphaz Ciegrat and Sieghand Royal ("Grat" and "Royal" as they call each other for short): they are best described as "heterosexual life partners": the two met in training at the age of 14 and even share a birthday (and frequently quibble about which of them is older). The two are inseparable, soul mates, they even share a bedroom (though sleep in seperate beds). Even this is a fairly recent change, though in youth they were frequently observed to have "few physical boundries". Balphaz was known to be asexual. They are both "classicists", sword and shield trained. They're Hokori's age. Since they lived together and died together they get to share a wiki page.
So Hokori is 86 when Hunter becomes a Slayer Dragon. We know two of the other Slayer Dragons were older.
Then 6 get killed off, leaving only:
And they add:
- Ruthia - created by Hunter