Most sky knights gain their particular elemental bonds by coincidence, but some seek particular dragons for the powers that they wish to possess. For example, the sisters Yenesis and Ary cleverly bonded with dragons whose powers reflected their own names- life and air, respectively.
With the majority of dragons being of the fire element, one third of the sky knights have fire abilities. These four members, consisting of Jenda, Novia, Jana and Cadi, playfully refer to themselves as the fire fighters.
Those who are interested in joining the sky knights must first seek sponsorship from a high ranking knight or other authority figure. Once sponsored, recruits undergo physical, mental and emotional testing before beginning combat training.
After a recruit has mastered certain aspects of combat training, they qualify for the live capture of a dragon for the bonding process. Usually this happens in a remote location and may or may not consist of teamwork from other recruits. Obviously, many recruits are severely or fatally injured by the dragons during this process.
Survivors of the choosing process begin the blooding, which is just as dangerous. Blood from the dragon is siphoned off, to be mixed with the blood of the recruit. This mixture is then re-injected back into the recruit's body. The survival rate is extremely low, with only two out of five recruits being compatible. This process also leaves sky knights with the inability to conceive children. Those who don't survive the process often have their bodies discarded to be scavenged by the wildlife.
After the Mage Wars, all unsanctioned magic use and mage training had been declared illegal. Hadlar’s unpopular decision to later bond humans and dragons for magical warfare has been seen as a violation to the Anti-Mage Treaty. Hadlar argues that their sky knights aren’t technically mages, due to the limited and controllable nature of the bonding process, at the disagreement of the world at large. Most countries thus agreed that Hadlarian sky knights found in their territories would be forbidden and considered an act of war. This limits the sky knights’ usage to more covert operations.
Although the sky knight armor has a uniform look, there are alpha, beta and gamma configurations, depending on the need. Each knight has also been known to take subtle liberties with the customization of the armor based on their elemental abilities.
- ↑ Heidinger: Prologue, page 3
- ↑ Heidinger: Prologue, page 4
- ↑ Heidinger: Prologue, page 6
- ↑ Heidinger: Prologue, page 7
- ↑ Heidinger: Prologue, page 8
- ↑ Heidinger: Prologue, page 9