Dragons hoard things, they're known for it. In this setting, they're quite possessive and like hoarding. However, some dragons have been observing humans and noticed something odd: when introducing a friend or loved one to someone else, humans say things like "Hey Dave, this is Linda, my new wife!" or "Hey Marcus, these are my kids, Mindy and Carla."
These dragons investigated through a combination of scrying spells and spying minions (dragons always have minions. And gold. So much gold. You can never have enough gold.) and found humans have concepts like:
Humans don't often question these relations, which the dragons interpret as a sort of ownership unique to the human species. This ownership is doubly odd to the dragons because it's mutual; if someone belongs to you, you belong to them. The dragon's closest analog is their obsessive connection to their hoards.
However, as the dragons pondered their findings, they realized something upsetting: why is it humans can own other people, but dragons can't? Understandably outraged, the dragons spread their findings far and wide, and now the dragons want to right this wrong. So, the question is, how can the dragons gain human hordes?
- The method must result in uncontested ownership-the humans must not question that they belong to their dragon. Indoctrination is likely. Controls must be set in place so upstart mages don't try to slay their dragon.
- The resulting relationship should be akin to the king-subject or master-servant relationship; there can be feelings of friendship and even love between the two, but there should be no question which one is in charge.
- The dragons don't want to share ownership of their humans (let alone their authority over them, except maybe with a mate), any more than a king wants to share his subjects. In other words, it's likely they'll kill the human leaders so they have total ownership (and control over) their subjects but it's also possible that they claim the leaders as well and keep them as overseers.