Riding the Dragon

"Ye 'ave succeeded w'ere others 'ave failed, broken and bloodied. In that failure, t'eir be nae shame! Do nae laugh, chuckle or belittle, for it be below ye now. We raise our first drinks ta t'em for though t'ey may nae 'ave succeeded in all t'e tests and trials, t'ey tried damn it! They gave it all t'ey 'ad, an' nae man or woman can ask fer or give a greater gift! Remember t'ose of ye whom didn't get this far. Remember 'em fondly. However all ye here, ya all rose. Ye've showed tact, brilliance, strength, speed, and great awareness. Ye've shown ye belong. Yet one final test remains for ye, this unit, this new battle group. Ye showed many of the qualities. But can ye ride the dragon? Are ye tough enough ta keep yer innards in check, to ride the fire. We nae know, but tonight we finds out."
First Scale Azril Durak Torimac, to his brand new battle group of twenty recruits whom had passed all the tests

The Iron Dragons, the famed mixed unit fighting force, the elite of the Suranthi Army, as is common in many such groups in armed forces around the world, have their own hazing like ritual that they utilize as a final test, and a sort of 'welcome' to new recruits. Called 'riding the dragon', this test, this hazing ritual, is unofficial, and what is important is to take part and try. The only failure of this test is giving into fear or disgust, and not trying, even if one can't get or keep the drink down. Better to try and fail than to give in.


This tradition is a relatively new one, only three centuries old, a little younger than the Iron Dragons themselves. It is borne of a desire to test the trust the guts, boldness, commitment and solidarity of new recruits.


The ritual of it is simple enough, the new battle group's assigned officer, called a 'First Scale' will give a small speech, lead a small toast with the finest whiskey available to those eager ones whom did not make it through the training, invoking the idea that no sport should be taken at their expense, for though they failed, they did try, and that's more than most men or women can say. Then they will give a short, and purposefully vague description of what this final 'test' is, and giving very little actual detail of the objective of the test. Once that is done, the drinks are brought out for each new recruit, and lit aflame. They have ten seconds, no more, to attempt to down the entire drink, even whilst the top of the drink is burning, they may not blow it out.

In truth the objective is not necessarily to finish this horrid concoction, or to keep it down. The test is to try. Is not to run. Is to drain that horrifying beverage in the alloted time even if you will spew it right back out. It is about commitment in the face of fear, distaste or disgust. It is about being of Iron, of never backing down, of rising to meet challenges.

Components and tools

The recipe of this foul concoction is a closely guarded secret.

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Dragon Fire Recipe

  • 4 ounces of Double-Proof Black Cask Whiskey
  • 4 ounces of Century Aged Dwarven Firewater
  • 2 full heaping barspoons of Smokepowder
  • 1 ounce of lime juice
  • 2 dashes of habenaro pepper oil
  • -1/2 ounce ocean water (literal salt water from the ocean)
    Mix all this well over ice, and strain into a seperate glass, insuring no ice enters the pour
  • Float a thin top layer of Emburley's finest gun cleaner (mineral oil) atop the drink
  • Light the float of mineral oil. Down swiftly, follow with fresh water.


    The First Scale, the appointed veteran leader of a new battle group, organizes this final 'test'. They do this not to weed out anyone else, those whom reach this stage have earned the right to be called an Iron Dragon. No, this test tells the First Scale much about his new unit. Who has the tough stomach to be the group medic, who will be able to hold their cool and temper, and not lose their breakfast, when treating injured friends. Who is the boldest, whomever does the task fastest. Whom is the most foolhardy, those whom forget to rapidly follow this drink with a glass of fresh water, as instructed. It is a way to get to know the men and women under their command, to come to understand many subtle traits about these new soldiers. A savvy leader can use mundane activities to read those under their leadership, and thats what makes this test, this ritual, so important and ingrained culturally into the Iron Dragons.


    There is no set date, but whenever a new battle group is formed, or new recruits, freshly graduated and minted Iron Dragons, join an existing battle group, this is done.
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