A Perfect Companion
In history, few things are more synonymous with magic users than a Familiar. Be it taking the form of the traditional black cat, a toad, or snake, a Familiar is a faithful servant and friend to a magic user, both helping them learn and stay safe. Summoning a Familiar is sometimes seen as a rite of passage for some Magi, one of their first major steps towards mastery of magic, and it is indeed a special event as a good Familiar will stay by your side for the rest of your life.
Making a Familiar is a form of magic known as Evocation; anything that deals with summoning in any form is Evocation magic. In the process of creating a Familiar, we will go through a few things that delve into more complex magic that in order to be fully understood, need their own sections, so they won't be covered here.
A Summoning Ritual requires time, materials, and preparation to properly set up and enact. While some of the things listed here may not be immediately understood, they can be purchased at almost any Magi store, and it will be explained how to make them later on, so for now the materials will be listed for you to go and purchase:
Four Warding Candles,
A crucible or cooking pot,
A bowl of water-oil emulsion,
A bowl of sand/dirt (clean sand with nothing else in it works best),
A bowl of wood ash (doesn't matter what sort of wood, though Ash is typically used),
A bowl of shells/beaks/bones (several snail shells or a few sea shells will function),
A Lesser (or higher) quality Centrum,
An Alchemical Catalyst/Philosopher's Stone,
Something from the target Animal (feather, hair, scale, talon, etc.),
And a Binding Ward (this is something to hold the Familiar in this word, e.g. if your Familiar is going to be a cat, then it would be a collar).
Once you've collected all of the materials needed, you just need some time and space to do the ritual. It's recommended that you take a couple of hours, and find a clear, open space where the chalk won't ruin the floor but can still be drawn properly.
While the Evocation Seal may seem complex to begin with, it's fairly easy to draw, though it's advised that you either take practice at drawing it several times, and then taking a few more practices at drawing it on a full sized scale before you attempt to actually complete the ritual. Full sized, the seal is approximately 1.5-2 meters in diameter, though it doesn't need to be an exact size.
Once the Seal is properly prepared, start by placing the crucible in the centre circle, then by placing the bowls of emulsion, ash, sand and shells in the larger four of the eight circles, then place one candle in each of the smaller circles that are left. When ready to begin, light all four candles - these produce a barrier that contains the reaction safely once it triggers.
First, activate the Centrum simply by channelling some energy into it, and then place it into the crucible. The Centrum should begin taping energy from the Ambient Field itself, which will then be visibly drawn into the chalk of the seal. Once the seal has finished charging (you'll be able to tell as the energy from the Centrum will almost totally stop, and the seal will be glowing strongly).
The next step is to begin adding the reagents, the four bowls. Start by pouring the emulsion into the crucible, make sure you do so carefully as not to spill any, then replace the bowl in it's position. Next, pour in the sand, again, being careful not to spill any, and replace the bowl in it's position. Repeat this process with the ash and the shells (in that order), pouring carefully and replacing the bowl.
After this, you need to place in the fragment of the target Animal - just drop it into the crucible. This sets the rough species and form, but the Familiar can be edited slightly (e.g., colouration, size, etc.) as it's being formed.
Finally, we come to the possibly dangerous part. You need to drop the Alchemical Catalyst into the crucible, and then get out of the Seal very quickly, so be prepared to move fast. This is because the Catalyst works to both accelerate and trigger the creation of the Familiar, which can have the effect of almost making the Crucible erupt as it boils over; needless to say, it gets very hot, which is where the Warding Candles come into it; they contain the heat and energy and it's then used to speed up the reaction further.
After this though, for the next 5-10 minutes, you just have to watch and wait as the mixture within the crucible ignites and burns, watching the myriad of lights and magic that spills from it, then, eventually, it will start to cool, the lights will start to fade, and the bubbling mixture will finally start to evaporate, leaving, at the bottom of the crucible, something that will appear to be a small mass of iridescent liquid shadows resting next to the Alchemical Catalyst. This little bundle of black colours, is what is about to become your Familiar.
The final step, is to take the Binding Ward, the collar, ring, earring, etc., that you had prepared, you just have to reach into the crucible, and clip it on, or tie it (or however it's put on), to the creature. You will then have a few seconds, about half a minute, to alter its features, colouration, etc, before the Familiar finishes taking a physical form and the last of the energy drains from the Seal. Before attempting to remove the Familiar from the crucible, know that the crucible will be icy cold to the touch, but the Alchemical Catalyst will still be a few hundred degrees, even if it looks cool, and that attempting to take the Familiar outside the Seal without first extinguishing the candles will hurt it, and possibly even kill it at this stage.
Whatever form this animal has taken, it will be tired and require sleep for several hours, but after this, once it wakes, it'll be in perfect health, though you will have to discuss it's name together. While it may physically be a newborn, within a few days it will grow to full size, and then it will act just like a normal animal in terms of food such, barring it's ability to talk and learn at a rapid rate, and your ability to telepathically connect to it easier than mostly anything else.
One must remember to be careful with familiars; but, once summoned, you gain a companion for life.