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Drake

A drake is one who bears the brand of a dragon, granting them draconic power and immortality. However this comes at a cost, a dragon can freely look through the minds of their drakes, and once a year a dragon can issue an order to a drake that they are physically incapable of refusing.   All a dragon needs to apply their brand is a single touch. The brand will manifest at the point of contact and the new drake will sleep for several days as their body and mind adapts. The children of a drake will also be a drake; and while the same rules apply to them, having the brand since birth naturally gives them a different perspective on things compared to their formerly mortal parents.   
"I didn't have time to think. There were people in front of me, dying people, and I could save them. By the time my reason caught up with me, it was too late, I had done what couldn't be undone."     -Hyperion 
   

Power and Responsibility

  While each dragon has their own beliefs on how to use the brand, regarding how to treat drakes they are mostly in agreement. The inherent power imbalance between dragon and drake is considered a curse, and steps are taken to minimize it as much as possible. While it is impossible to completely remove the potential of issuing irrefusbale orders, using it on something trivial can keep it at bay for a whole year.   Hákon is an exception to the above when it comes to his thralls. His thrall holding had already raised tensions considerably at the first meeting between the four dragons, but it could be barely tolerated on the basis that he had become part of a mortal culture where it was allowed. The added layer of using the brand to turn his thralls into drakes nearly resulted in Aodh outright assaulting Hákon, only stopping due to concerns about the collateral damage a fight between dragons would cause.   Spoiler concerning who becomes a drake
Chrysanthos faced the problem of his drake status making him too powerful as a shah. He and Hyperion agreed that an immortal ruler would eventually make the mortals too dependent, so they struck an arrangement that Chrysanthos would only reign for ten years. If Chrysanthos became like his father or refused to step down at the end of the ten years, Hyperion would use the brand to force Chrysanthos to abdicate the throne.

 

Cultural Reception

  The general attitude towards drakes varies by the culture and whatever dragon is closest to them. For example, in Dravala drakes are considered enlightened figures, since Nisha extensively tests any who seek her brand and is mainly concerned with the protection and spread of knowledge. Meanwhile because of Hákon, the isles of the Revolving Sea view becoming a drake as a form of eternal thralldom, something to desperately avoid.
Special Symbols
  The only physical sign of drake status is the brand itself. Because of this some drakes can disguise their true nature by concealing the brand. The brand itself has a different appearance for each dragon, generally related to what each dragon was born alongside.  
  • Aodh: A Red Dancer completely submerged in fire.
  • Hákon: The horn of a jackalope that has been coated in ice.
  • Hyperion: A radiant citrine cut in the shape of the sun.
  • Nisha: The shell of a fully grown orefruit.
Immortal Insulation
  On account of their immortality, both dragons and drakes tend to avoid intimate relationships with mortals.
Type
Magical
Affected Species

 
Branding and Lycanthropy
  While it is possibles for lycanthropes to become drakes, the inverse is not true. All lycanthropic drakes either had lycanthropy first, or were born with both conditions.
From the Author
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Comments

Author's Notes

As always I want to know what you thought about the article, takeaways and what you want to know more about. I'm also concerned about formatting with the spoiler button, not entirely fond of how it messes with the bottom of the article.   If you want an article to read next, try Dragon or Branding for more context on this. More relevant articles will be linked when they are written.


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2 Jul, 2021 21:26

This is such a cool concept. I mean, dragons are already super cool but having them interact with people like this is very interesting, especially considering the tension between power and servitude that each drake must feel. Wonderful read :)

You should check out the The 5 Shudake, if you want of course.
19 Aug, 2021 16:07

Thank you, and sorry it took me this long to say that, I must have let it slip my mind in the initial rush of summer camp.