A Summoning Ceremony (召喚儀礼, Shoukan Girei) is a technique summoners primarily use in their profession.
There are three known summoning ceremonies.
- The First Summoning Ceremony involves "overwriting oneself", akin to controlling one's will to perform a particular task or to perform that task with greater efficiency. In techniques dating back to BCE, people would become an animal by covering themselves in the animal’s fur or play the role of nonexistent people using special makeup or masks. This does not apply only to mental activity. Athletes and military snipers have techniques to release their brain’s limiters with a war cry or by entering “the zone".
- The Second Summoning Ceremony involves exciting one's mind into a state unexplainable by normal psychology in order to control phenomena beyond the realm of human knowledge. This allows people to call forth rain from the sky, summon demons or otherworldly beings from a grimoire, perform assassinations or even save the world. By using a pentagram in a circle, a lotus wand, or the rose cross sigil, modern Western magic cabals did a lot to develop this methodology during the 19th century and the start of the 20th. And during the Cold War, the parapsychology of the Stargate Project and the former Soviet Union’s secret research could also qualify at least partially. These are the convenient summoning techniques normal people think of.
- The Third Summoning Ceremony, discovered in the year 1999, is said to surpass the capabilities of the second ceremony. This is the Blood-Sign ceremony used by modern summoners.
The Blood-Sign Summoning Ceremony is the culmination of summoning ceremonies. It completes and re-integrates the advantages of all kinds of rituals around the world to create a methodology to summon legendary beings into the real world with 100% certainty. The god is not assisting a human; the human has the god obey him.
The two main tools used in this ceremony are the incense grenades and the Blood-Sign.
Incense Grenades (励起手榴弾 （インセンスグレネード） Reiki Shuryūdan (Insensu Gurenēdo) lit. Excitation Grenade) are special grenades used by summoners. Instead of an explosive blast or fragments, the Incense Grenade sprays a transparent mist over the surrounding area, quickly changing the air to the one found next to a clear mountain stream. At the same time, complex symbols of light are drawn in nearby surfaces and a dim pale light fills the area. This creates a twenty-meter square cage known as an Artificial Sacred Ground (人工霊場 Jinkō Reijō), a field cut off from everything else to allow for large-scale and high-purity summoning ceremonies like a natural Sacred Ground would. Objects and normal people are ignored as the cage accurately encloses only the summoner, the vessel, and the individual set as their target. An Incense Grenade weighs around 300g,  and will generally detonate three to five seconds after pulling the pin. Incense Grenades are made to order for each summoner.
Blood-Sign (契約に用いる血の筆跡 （ブラッドサイン） Keiyaku ni mochiiru chi no hisseki (Buraddo Sain)) are the staffs/rods used by modern summoners. Though its name varies from religion to religion, Blood-Sign is the name summoners use for them, and it also names the ceremony itself. Most summoners produce their Blood-Sign using magic, such as controlling sand to form a rod or constructing it using Japanese paper charms or ribbons. This is the most magic a single human can produce on their own, thus the extended use of the summoning ceremony to borrow power from the inhuman Materials.
Summoners can establish a contract with a vessel by making them ingest a drop of their blood in a special ceremony, so a summoner always has a certain “protective charm” on hand (a small blade, a pin, or even their own canine tooth) just in case. The single drop of blood uses magical power to explosively rearrange the vessel's entire body and establish their contract, binding them to the summoner. In order for a contract to be established, both summoner and vessel must fully consent to it. Thus, a contract does not work under duress, while unconscious, while hypnotized, or under the influence of other forms of suggestion. A new contract overwrites the previous contract and no thought is given to the other member of the old pair. There are many mysteries about this covenant system, so there is a possibility of unexpected side effects. A summoner can cancel their current contract with a vessel as long as they can see the vessel with the naked eye, unless their vessel is currently summoning a Material.
While one cannot establish a contract with a vessel that's under the state of shock brought upon losing a summoning battle (it would be considered a type of suggestion and not fully consenting), a summoner who is in the same state can be ordered to break their contract with their vessel.
The contract is accompanied by a small chant, which likely slightly varies from faction to faction since it involves calling upon the faction's Unexplored-class.
- Kyousuke Shiroyama's Chant: “I bind this covenant of blood in the name of The Spirit of Fluttering ‘Yellow’ Gills that Rules the Heavens (s – a – so – voz – tix – ei – yw – za), one of the Three which manage and guide the summoning ceremony. You are of human flesh with a proper heart and soul, yet from this moment onward, you shall be a limited vessel that can hold all things. You shall be a lord of emptiness that uses the power filling you to at times bend the laws of this world. So I shall prepare this vessel. I am a summoner, unable to leave the world of man, yet a symbol of haughty intellect that uses power from beyond the world of man to guide the world of man to the next age!!”
Summoning a MaterialEdit
After the artificial sacred ground has been created, something like a hologram will appear between the two summoner-vessel pairs. This is the Rose (薔薇 Bara), which has its roots in a symbol of Western magic that used a rose emblem to conceal the secrets of summoning archangels. At first glance, the Rose looks like a die with colorful patterns on its 60-centimeter sides, but it's a gathering of 216 spheres of light that are as big as apples and as red as blood. These are the Petals (花弁 Hanabira). All of the Petals have a single letter of the alphabet carved into it in accordance with a certain set of rules. Even from a distance, a summoner can intuitively feel the “meaning” just from seeing the light of the Petal. The Petal's letter belongs to a category of sounds: low, middle, high, and lowest.
- The low sounds are b, c, d, f, g, h, and j.
- The middle sounds are k, l, m, n, p, q, and r.
- The high sounds are s, t, v, w, x, y, z.
- The lowest sounds are a, i, u, e, and o.
After the Rose appears, three spheres of white light known as White Thorns (白棘 Hakukyouku) will appear near each summoner. The summoners will hit their White Thorns to try and hit the Petals and knock them into a Spot (スポット Supotto), fist-sized holes that will cause something to “fall” into it no matter what direction it contacted it from. 36 Spots will appear across the space isolated by the Incense Grenade once the Rose is hit by a White Thorn. By knocking Petals into Spots, the summoner carves the name of the Material they want to call in, making it possess the physical body of their vessel. Once the Material is temporarily fixed there, it can be used. One White Thorn is replenished after a ten-second period, and a maximum of seven can be held at any given time.
The two summoners are guarded by a protective circle made from the Material's power for the duration of the battle. With modern summoning ceremonies, the top priority while using a Material’s power is to prevent the summoned monster from interfering with the ceremony. The circle’s effects can be divided into two major categories: stopping all external elements and preventing the summoner from collapsing mid-ceremony due to internal elements such as lifespan or illness. (i.e. in the unlikely event that the protective circle was pierced from outside, the summoner would not die. It could happen the instant the circle was released, though.) As such, a battle between summoners comes down to the clash between the Materials they have summoned. They can swap out or strengthen their Materials, but they can not interfere any more than that and they can not directly kill the opposing summoner. During battle, the vessel and summoner can communicate their thoughts due to their contract.
Each Material has a Silhouette (人郭 Hito Kuruwa) inside their body, which stores the vessel's mind. It changes size and is stored in different places depending on the specific Material. The Silhouette is the weak point of the Material, and the battle will end if it is crushed. When a Material is defeated, a shock on the level needed to kill a god will be carved into the hearts of the defeated pair, both the summoner and the vessel. The two will be conscious, but basically catatonic. They will slowly continue their meaningless actions, stare blankly ahead and slowly obey anyone who gestures simple instructions to them. This state lasts for over a day, and can't be overcome by empty ideas like “fighting spirit” or “hard work”. The basic structure of the human mind simply can't endure that kind of shock. However, if the summoner is fast they can cancel their contract with their vessel and save themselves from the shock.
In a summoner battle using an Incense Grenade, the Artificial Sacred Ground will disappear on its own when either a conclusion is reached or ten minutes have passed. However, immediately after defeating the opposing summoner, the summoner can freely move along with the Artificial Sacred Ground for about ninety seconds. Modern summoning ceremonies are a technique to summon the gods using battles, but the “residual heat” remaining after a target is defeated can be used to borrow the enemy’s existence to run the system without it being bound to their thoughts. If a new enemy is taken in for a battle before the ninety seconds run out, a new battle will begin with the current Material intact. This is a major advantage, as the enemy will be forced to build up their Material from the weakest level, but the summoner and vessel making a chain will start with a much more powerful Material. If this Chain (チェイン Chein) lasts long enough, one can build up a Material much more complex and advanced than what can be summoned in only ten minutes. Of course, the damage taken will carry over as well, and losing the chain for even an instant means losing it all and having to start from scratch again. The vessel's fatigue is also increased by this method.
- Only the Blood-Sign can affect the White Thorns. The White Thorns, Petals, and Spots will pass through humans and Materials. Three are supplied at the beginning and a maximum of seven can be held. One is replenished from thin air about every ten seconds. White Thorns naturally vanish on their own when they stop moving after being hit, but if they are hit with a Blood-Sign again within the 3 seconds before they vanish, they can be reused.
- The cost of the Material is determined by the number of Petals placed inside Spots and its sound range is determined by the number of small, middle, and high sounds included. The lowest sounds do not influence the sound range.
- The White Thorns, Petals, and Spots are not affected by gravity. However, they are affected by their own sort of friction from the air.
- An Incense Grenade will have no effect unless it is used while viewing the target with the naked eye. Also, an Artificial Sacred Ground can be placed on walls and ceilings. Once the Incense Grenade detonates, the summoner and vessel are pulled toward the center of the Artificial Sacred Ground.
- The Petals knocked into the Spots can be freely rearranged to spell the names of the Material. Also, acquired petals can be cast aside without being used. Once a Material is summoned, the unused Petals are automatically discarded.
- When the number of Petals in the Artificial Sacred Ground grows low – specifically, when all seven of one of the low, middle, or high sound consonants is used up or when all of one of the vowels is used up – a new Rose appears.
- When using an Incense Grenade, summoners and vessels cannot be seen by mechanical cameras and sensors. With the exception of primitive optical devices like glasses and binoculars, anything beyond the naked eye is as useless as one’s eyes or ears.
- In battles between Materials, the strict numbers matter most. Even if the difference only amounts to a scratch or the slightest bit of exhaustion, if the exact same Material is summoned on both sides, the one summoned first will be at a disadvantage.
- The size of the Artificial Sacred Ground grows or shrinks based on the size of the Materials.
- The Artificial Sacred Ground is set up relative to the surface the Incense Grenade detonates on. This can be the floor, the ground, a wall, the ceiling, or a vehicle. In that case, artificial gravity is created to allow the summoners and vessels to stand on the wall or ceiling.
- If the Artificial Sacred Ground’s reference surface is destroyed, the next surface stepped on by the summoner who instigated the battle will become the new reference surface. Unlike when the Incense Grenade detonates, the enemy summoner and vessel will also obey the new artificial gravity. New Spots will be set, but the Petals will forcibly slide from the old Artificial Sacred Ground to the new one. A Petal that falls into a Spot without touching anyone’s White Thorn will vanish without counting.
- During battle, the summoner and vessel cannot leave the Artificial Sacred Ground, but any projectiles can. This is not limited to the Material’s attacks and applies to sniper rifle bullets as well.
- An Artificial Sacred Ground without an enemy is the same as a Chain state, so anyone can join it with no risk. But unlike a Chain state, the Artificial Sacred Ground does not move with the summoner.
- If multiple summoners use Incense Grenades simultaneously and their Artificial Sacred Grounds come into contact, the Artificial Sacred Grounds will fuse. Ownership of the Artificial Sacred Ground remains with the summoner who set up theirs first.
- The Petals and White Thorns are influenced by and bounce off of field objects. This is true even if those objects are in motion. But a thrown stone, a fired bullet, or anything else directly influenced by a human are an exception. Also, a human, an animal, or anything else with a soul does not count as a field object.
- Normally, people cannot move freely in and out of the Artificial Sacred Ground, but field objects have no such restriction. They can pass through the wall just like the losers after they pass out.
- When a summoner steps into an already established Artificial Sacred Ground (one where there are already two summoners and a battle is underway), they must use up three White Thorns as a penalty. The initial number is three, so they must survive unprotected for ten seconds before one is replenished and they can finally take part in the battle.
Taboos are the most important rules of the Blood-Sign summoning ceremony. Breaking a Taboo will cause the summoner to lose control over their Material's composition, which will be automatically replaced by the Black Maw that Swallows All, the worst of all the monsters, which will then devour the summoner.
- Taboo 1: An equal number of low, middle, and high sound Petals must not be placed in Spots and added to the Material’s stock.
- Taboo 2: Unknown.
- Taboo 3: When a summoner has no stock of White Thorns, a White Thorn remaining in the field must not enter a Spot.
- ↑ Mitou Shoukan://Blood Sign Volume 01 Prologue
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 Mitou Shoukan://Blood Sign Volume 01 Opening X-02
- ↑ Mitou Shoukan://Blood Sign Volume 01 Stage 1 Part 3
- ↑ Mitou Shoukan://Blood Sign Volume 01 Stage 3 Part 10
- ↑ Mitou Shoukan://Blood Sign Volume 01 Stage 3 Part 5
- ↑ Mitou Shoukan://Blood Sign Volume 07 Stage 1 Part 7
- ↑ Mitou Shoukan://Blood Sign Volume 01 Stage 1 Part 4
- ↑ Mitou Shoukan://Blood Sign Volume 01 Stage 1 Facts
- ↑ Mitou Shoukan://Blood Sign Volume 01 Ending X-01 Facts
- ↑ Mitou Shoukan://Blood Sign Volume 04 Stage 1 Facts
- ↑ Mitou Shoukan://Blood Sign Volume 03 Ending X-01 Facts
- ↑ Mitou Shoukan://Blood Sign Volume 01 Stage 1
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Mitou Shoukan://Blood Sign Volume 01 Opening X-02 Facts
- ↑ Mitou Shoukan://Blood Sign Volume 01 Stage 2 Part 15
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 Mitou Shoukan://Blood Sign Volume 01 Stage 02 Facts
- ↑ Mitou Shoukan://Blood Sign Volume 01 Stage 02 Part 1
- ↑ Mitou Shoukan://Blood Sign Volume 01 Stage 3 Part 3
- ↑ Mitou Shoukan://Blood Sign Volume 01 Stage 04 Part 7
- ↑ Mitou Shoukan://Blood Sign Volume 01 Stage 04 Facts
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 Mitou Shoukan://Blood Sign Volume 02 Stage 02 Facts
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 Mitou Shoukan://Blood Sign Volume 03 Stage 02 Facts
- ↑ Mitou Shoukan://Blood Sign Volume 03 Stage 03 Facts
- ↑ 23.0 23.1 23.2 Mitou Shoukan://Blood Sign Volume 03 Stage 04 Facts
- ↑ Mitou Shoukan://Blood Sign Volume 04 Stage 02 Facts