Slayer Dragon Garb
The traditional Slayer Dragon Regalia, most commonly reffered to simply as garb, evolved during the Golden Age of the Slayer Dragons, between A.Y. 1302-1998 in the Golden Age, and changed little through the Ages that followed.
The garb is a sort of uniform, though tailored and altered until unique to each Slayer Dragon, and consists of a combination of cloth, armor plates, chainmail, and even dragon skin. Some may also include animal furs and even bones, depending on the style and tastes of the wearer. Upon completion of the Trials, each Slayer Dragon choses two colors for their regalia.
Despite appearing highly ornate, the garb also serves as fully-functional battle armor. The garb is not ceremonial, but the day-to-day uniform of the Slayer Dragon.
The armor worn by the Slayer Dragons has remained consistent in appearance, but not in material. Early Slayer Dragons used potent magical materials such as Adamantium for their armor. Around the early Third Age Adamantium became too costly, and Slayer Dragons switched to alloys. By the end of the Third Age it was too rare all together.
Throughout the Fourth Age, the highest quality and most durable steel available was utilized. Constant efforts were made to develop new and stronger materials, until the begining of the Fifth Age when the first Titanium and Tungsten versions were produced. These were often mixed with silver to allow for enchantments. Much of this advancment was made possible by Pendragon Andrei Ransom, who wrote volumes on the construction of Slayer Dragon gear, from the standpoint of both a crafter and a Slayer Dragon.
While always forged of the finest materials by the most skilled master craftsmen the Alliance had, the final phase of any Slayer Dragon's armor was left to the enchanters. Runes of protection and strength are carefully etched into every piece, with specialized enchantments made to aid the wearer's specific style of combat.
Like the rest of the regalia, the chainmail is of the highest quality. Usually very small rings create lightweight mail suitable for everyday wear. Since the Third Age the trend has moved from functional chainmail to ornamental, though there are notable exceptions. In some cases, a second, heavier, more protective set of chainmail may be created but not worn as part of the regular outfit.
The dragon skin used is shed skin donated by the High Mountain Flight, which is then layered, woven, and sewn to give the appearance of tanned hide. This layering method produces a material stronger and more durable than tanned dragon hide, which is widely thought superior to shed skin.
The layering technique practiced by the tailors at Arindell is a guarded secret, though it is unlikely anyone else can obtain much shed dragon skin.
Cloth, skins, leather, etc.
Ornamentation is an important part of the Slayer Dragon garb. While the style has remained constant through the ages, the tailors make an effort to give each Slayer Dragon a unique appearance. Thus, all sorts of materials are used beyond the protective elements of the armor to produce a very distinct set of garb.
Production and Lifecycle
Work on the regalia will typically begin as a Slayer Dragon approaches the final Trial. Because of the high level of detail and extensive workmanship, the full suit can sometimes take years to complete. By the date of anointment, a sort of prototype, usually made by costumers and serving little functional value, will be complete, with the real pieces added as they are completed.
Since a Slayer Dragon's job is pretty tough, the regalia is under constant maintenance by skilled artisans. The garb is always maintained and repaired, with worn pieces replaced, and so on, throughout the Slayer Dragon's life.
Further, replicas of the regalia are constantly made and updated. These are similar to the early costume prototype and only serve a ceremonial function. If the real armor is damaged, a Slayer Dragon might need a sort of backup to wear for public appearances.
Between B.G.A. 6 and the mid Fifth Age when Slayer Dragons were laid to rest in the Valley of Sleeping Dragons, they were always buried in full regalia. Their costume regalia might also be placed in the tomb along with other personal effects.
In the Fifth Age as the custom of ash pits was adopted, a few Slayer Dragons were burned in their regalia. This created a problem as the many metal parts of the suit simply did not burn. The entire concept of the ash pit ensured that the body was entirely consumed, bone and all, so leaving bits of metal for scavengers and looters was problematic. For a while, costume replicas comprised entirely of flammable materials were used; but by the 5550s Slayer Dragons were wrapped in simple linens like everyone else bound for the pits.
Some effort was put into recycling the garb; but because the elements were always custom-fitted, this was difficult, and no Slayer Dragon appreciated hand-me-down armor. A few pieces of metal were melted down and reforged, but the ornamentation often resulted in sub-standard casts.
Finally, in A.Y. 5607, Slayer Dragon Gregory the Grey, somewhat obsessed with his own image, ordered that his garb be preserved in a reliquary in Arindell. His costume pieces were donated to museums, but his own official garb were carefully preserved. This immediately became custom, and all Slayer Dragons that followed would have their gear preserved in a similar fashion.
Hunter Jusenkyou, anointed during the late Sixth Age was notorious for getting his garb completely destroyed in combat on an almost regular basis. The craftsmen couldn't keep up, and maintaining a set of costume garb became almost impossible. He often left on assignments without the garb, until the Age of the Dragon, when he settled down and stopped being so rough on his equipment.