"Need something that can track? Or something that can fight? Or are you looking for some prestigious critter, eh?"
There are many ways to acquire animals. The safest is to find a trader that is willing to barter and sell a patch of fur, meat or bone from animals that were hunted down. But some have wares that are very much alive. Though a profitable business and far from illegal, in a broad sense, these establishments are usually referred to as 'Summoner's Establishments', 'Wild Merchants' and other monikers that reveal what they trade-in.
The establishment of a Summoner Trader can vary a lot. From a simple stand where a small critter is usually displayed - and tied to the stand. Together with some of its wares, sealed away in scrolls. But business in this branch is quite booming. Thus not very surprising that the more successful traders in these wares have been able to afford spacious establishments, capable of showcasing some of the wares - either alive or stuffed.
Way of Operation
The way how the Summoner Establishments work is a rather crude kind of business. Some operate on first getting a commission from a potential buyer. Once a deal has been made, the establishment will either contact hunters or send out hunters of their own to acquire the particular prey. Unlike normal hunters, these specialised people are known to be 'trackers'. They will catch their target alive. If the prey is injured or deemed unworthy of being sold, it is killed off. The meat and fur usually being sold to other traders.
If the trackers, however, managed to acquire an animal that is in good condition then it will be brought back. The animal in question will be put through a gruelling taming. It will be taught and punished to obey and work with simple commands, even if the animal in question tends to be docile. The more dangerous animals usually being treated with the utmost care, for it is far from uncommon that people in this type of business miss a finger or more from making a mistake. And while one could argue that a compassionate approach would work, it is rarely done so by the summoners or their affiliates. For time is money and money is precious.
Once the taming procedure is complete and the animal is still in decent shape, it largely depends on the contract or establishment on what follows. Some traders in this business tend to ask for a subsequent amount of money, due to the difficulty of finding sealers that are willing to work in this type of affair. Some traders don't raise their prices but tend to haggle, usually with the more exotic and dangerous animals, as those require more expensive care.
There is, of course, the fact that most countries have their regulations and laws in place regarding this business. In some countries, various animals are strictly forbidden. Not due to the risks or compassion to the creatures but merely due to their religious or prestigious status in society.
Usually, the wares that can be bought or commissioned in these establishments depend largely on the region that they are settled in. It is near impossible for a summoner establishment to acquire Rocs, when found in the far north, as for example.
What follows is a list of animals that are near impossible to acquire through an ordinary summoner establishment. Likely due to the rarity of these creatures or due to various other factors - like notable clans preventing outsiders from acquiring them.
Originating from the eastern continent, griffins are the source of legends for those on the western continent. These majestic creatures are, however, surprisingly unable to be tamed in the fashion that summoners work in. They also tend to become sick quickly when transported overseas and have high difficulty acclimating - leading to a high mortality rate. Any chance of breeding the creatures has also led in failures, having thus so far ruined many expeditions and endeavours wagered by summoner establishments.
Despite their intellect and strength, direwolves aren't suitable for the trade of the summoner establishments. With being known to roam only a few regions, they are protected by the Hon clan - which consider these creatures as almost religious holy. If one is guile enough to escape the attention of the Hon clan, they are dealing with a lot of problems. First is the fact that catching a direwolf alive is problematic, in the least. Ferocious and wild, these creatures seem near hellbent on escaping if they are born and raised in the wild. Even a juvenile direwolf is a serious threat to an adult human. Toppled on that the creature's instinct makes it a threat to anyone who isn't aware of how to properly take care of it. The few 'success' have also been short-lived as direwolves tend to become ill or starve themselves out if being contained for a lengthy period of times.
The idea to own a dragon, the mythical ruler of beasts, is something that many wealthy and influential people would be willing to offer their treasury for. But these sources of myth and legends are quite rare, to the point that finding one in the wild is usually happening by chance. And usually, those findings tend to be nothing more than large wyverns being mistaken for dragons.
Wyverns are an odd commodity in this type of business. More so than any other creature that is being captured, treated and sold by the summoner establishments. This is mostly because there is a large variety of wyverns. There are, of course, expert trackers that know how to find the desired wyvern as well as being aware of how to capture their prey. The problem, however, starts with the treatment. With a lack of knowledge of either the summoner establishments or their buyers, a wyvern will be misunderstood for a predator - whereas most are scavengers. Their instincts tend to be also in the way, with the larger variants of the species, who usually attempt to break free with violence. Leading to wounded or even casualties, in turn requiring the wyvern in question to be put down. The only successful sold wyverns tend to be the more docile and smaller variants, who in turn don't tend to reap much prestige or usage.
Believe it or not, but there have been people who attempted to steal the egg of a bazelgeuse. Only to have the idea to try to tame the youngling. However, so far none have been able to tame a bazelgeuse properly. Even if raised within the care of humans and being tame the first few years, its volatile nature will start to show. Those who considered themselves capable lucky to survive to steal eggs from a bazelgeuse would later find themselves being mauled or set ablaze by their price.