The art of Summoning allows one to bring forth creatures that are either of this realm or not with a ritual, or the utterance of a specific phrase. Summoning requires a power source, typically the caster itself, and, depending on the creature, requires a sustained amount of power to remain in place. Animal companions and other beasts or familiars of the world require no sustaining, only enough energy to bring them to you. However, things like demons, elementals, or constructs require a good deal of mana to maintain their form in real space.
For a Summoner, it is best to create a good co-existing relationship with your summoned familiars. A befriended or loyal being brought forth by magic will require less mana to summon and command into situations they are adverse to. Otherwise, a summoner will spend precious magic trying to force their commands, or on simply trying to keep the familiar with them as some will try to break free and return to whence they came. Unless signed by contract, some creatures or beings will even deny being summoned.
Summoning styles can range from many things, just like on the many kinds of casting.
The most common, easiest, and least risky form of summoning. Verbal summoning is usually fueled by mana, and controlled by a few spoken words. Generally these words are a secret name, a title, or a heraldic call. The downside of this style is that creatures must be forced to do the bidding of their summoner if they don't feel like following orders. Thus, many summoners who use this style must create strong bonds with their familiars. This style is most popular among druids, who have already created a harmonious relationships with the animals they tend to summon.
This is another popular form, but typically more risky because beings who are bound by contract are typically much more powerful than the ones they summon. Contracts are typically spoken obligations, most typically sworn by blood. However, it is often most safe to make a written contract, so that things are made very clear, and then sign it blood. Such precautions are for the sake of safety, and are academically recommended for whenever binding anything capable of any small amount of cunning. Contract summoning is the favored summoning style of wizards. Being the seekers of power they are, will often want to bind powerful things to their words, with such words being carefully written in their academic styles.
Inscribed summoning is a less popular, more time consuming form. Typically this requires making shapes or insignias on the ground or wall and charging them with magic. Anyone with a steady hand can create summoning emblems, and with a small amount of mana, bind an entity to the circle or summon them from it. For purposes of combat or defense, this method is obviously impractical, but does serve very well for anyone with the time and materials to summon in this fashion. When the mark is charged, a very mild contract is formed based on what emblem was drawn and what text accompanies it, and said mark is difficult to erase save by the person that marks it without more magic to dispel it. This style is very useful as a way of greeting guests, making traps, or simply bringing forth creatures without much risk to oneself. Due to its similarity to rune casting, the form finds a lot of use amongst rune-mages and enchanters.
Due to the rarity of certain artifacts that have creature bound to it, Artifact Summoning is a rare art. In this situation, one or more beings or entities have been bound to an object. The risks of artifact summoning are typically that of contract summoning, with the added safety that the one holding the artifact is most times safe from what is brought forth. However, Artifact Summoners are most often bound to the artifact they use, and thus share a mutual bond with what the object houses. This style is typically a wild-card, as prerequisites for summoning will vary, as will what can be summoning, and the risks of even dealing with said artifacts. That said, this style is favored by Fonts, who are unable to use their magical reserves for anything but powering mystic items.