Would you accept a Dragon's Bargain (RAR!)

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Do you accept?

Hell yes
1
20%
It has some downsides, but sure ms. Dragon you got a deal
3
60%
I'm not sure
0
No votes
It would have upsides, but I must decline
0
No votes
No. I'm not having a giant flying lizard dictate construction projects and eat all my cows!
1
20%
 
Total votes: 5

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Zor
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Would you accept a Dragon's Bargain (RAR!)

Post by Zor » 2018-04-26 08:02pm

In this scenario, you are a Duke, one of eight such Dukes in a Kingdom. You rule over an area of land 2,000 km^2 in size home to 52,500 Peasants (tenant farmers who work the land in exchange for 20% of their crops who can be levied in time of war who also sometimes work in mines, logging camps and cities as workers), 45,000 Serfs (farmers bounded to the land that pay 30% of their income in taxes but have a few other benefits and are exempt from conscription), 7,500 Artisans of all trades, 4,500 merchants ranging from wandering peddlers to wealthy caravaniers and 3,000 vassal nobles and knights (including women and children) who can muster forth 750 Heavy Cavalry in plate with sword, bow and lance alongside 3,000 peasant levies with basic helmets, brigandine vests, crossbows, spears and shields. You have one fortified town at the hub of your Domain and a number of small towns and villages scattered about it. Your Duchy is similar to the other seven in most regards, some are slightly bigger and some are slightly smaller. Another thing that all eight Ducal lines share is some relation to the King, who rules from his own smaller domain with a large capital city. Currently the king is not long for this world, being old, in poor health and decaying and childless. The law of the land says that the children of the king are next in line, failing that grandchildern. After that things are a mess.

Then one day a figure enters the sky, a huge figure of legend. A Dragon. She sets foot outside your castle in all her splendor. From the tip of her snout to the end of her tail she is 35 meters long, with her head alone being a three meters long. From the tip of each of her two massive wings fully extended she is 50 meters across that can carry her. She is covered in dark green iridescent scales that can turn aside arrows and swords. She sets down in a turnip field, opens her mouth wide and expels a jet of flame into the air a hundred and twenty meters long. But for all that she has not done more damage then spook some animals and inflict some damage to the turnip field in which she touched down. Then she speaks in a great voice that could be heard for kilometers around and says that she wants to speak to the lord of this land and that she has an offer. She won't fly far from her lair in that time.

Said offer is fairly simple: she is gravid and in twenty to twenty five months shall lay her eggs. She desires a safe place to make her nest and tend to her brood from hatchlings to fledglings and food. As such she requests your assistance in this. She requests that you build her a stone walled fortress with a wooden roof and a waste pit which she can nest and that every day five cattle or their weight in pigs, chickens, sheep, goat or fish be provided for her consumption, which will go up to ten cows or cow equivalents as her hatchlings grow and that some peasants clear out the waste from her waste pit. There for the next thirty years she'll stay until her offspring (of which there will be about six or nine) enter Draconian adolsecnece. During that time when she leaves her lair or while she sleeps it shall be protected by your knights and levy In exchange if your Domain is attacked she would fly forth and incinerate the invaders, scarfing a few of the roasted soldiers up in the process.

Dragons are not known for their duplicity, the legends speak of people who've retrieved eggs for Dragons to spare their villages with the dragons upholding their end of the argument. Those that betrayed dragons tend to incur their wrath. If you decline she'll fly off to see some other Duke and present him with the same offer.

Do you accept her offer?

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Re: Would you accept a Dragon's Bargain (RAR!)

Post by bilateralrope » 2018-04-27 12:34am

Can my Duchy afford the price the dragon is asking ?

If it can, I accept the offer. If it can't, I must politely decline.

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Re: Would you accept a Dragon's Bargain (RAR!)

Post by Ralin » 2018-04-27 01:00am

bilateralrope wrote:
2018-04-27 12:34am
Can my Duchy afford the price the dragon is asking ?

If it can, I accept the offer. If it can't, I must politely decline.
^Pretty much this. Only other reasons why I wouldn't is if this would likely lead to me being attacked by dragon-hating polities powerful enough to out-weigh her protection, or denied trade to the point where I'm impoverished.

I'd probably also ask for her assurance that she will prevent any of her offspring from getting up to mischief in the area.

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Re: Would you accept a Dragon's Bargain (RAR!)

Post by Zixinus » 2018-04-29 12:11pm

From the selfless perspective of simple protection of the lands and selfish protection of securing my own power, this sounds like a great win-win deal. In of itself.

There are probably several complicating factors about this that may sway my decision:
- Just how many people are likely to be attracted by the dragon and killing it?
- Is the king or other nobles of significant power intersted in the dragon? Either taking it, wanting the dragon for themselves or wanting to take control of it through you?
- Just how does the economics of feeding this thing work out? I don't know how much food the duchy produces and whether it can sustain the dragon, plus children.
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Re: Would you accept a Dragon's Bargain (RAR!)

Post by LaCroix » 2018-04-29 03:21pm

A good comparison would be the island of maui - about 2000km² and about 150000 inhabitants.

Given the era - you'd expect about 50-100 people per town, and about 500 for a small city. say, it works out to about 50-100 small cities (one per 20km² max - which means about 8-10 km distance between), a handful bigger ones (1000-2000 people, 50-100 km apart) and a thousand or two towns. Most towns will only have a handful of cows. The farmers near cities (where there is demand for beef and milk for coin, which can pay for the bigger husbandry) might have hundreds. The cities themselves usually do not hold significant numbers of farmers (too expensive living quarters), but are encircled by towns growing crops - so we ignore those.

You need about 2000 cows per year, initially. For the next years, we can focus on breedingg more, so the problem mitigates. Take one cow per year from each town, and 1-5 from each city, and you are golden. Or trade for them - this should be more than feasible...

Other way to calculate:
A horse was worth 20 cows, a war-horse up to 5 times as much
Plate armor was worth from 30 cows up.
A helmet - a cow's worth.
Swords - 2 for a cow.

Yeah, you can easily affor this, so you should go for it.

By the time they have grown up, she most likely willhave grown used to the easy life, ynd you might make another bargain, and maybe with her children, as well. You can easily feed all ten of them, and distribute them over bigger areas you have conquered. They might even be willing to assist you in sieges or battles.

In short - This would hand you the kingdom, easily.
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Re: Would you accept a Dragon's Bargain (RAR!)

Post by madd0ct0r » 2018-04-30 01:04pm

I inquire if the Dragon's true name is Milti and she wishes to call her lair 'The Complex'.

Although I agree with La Croix's assessment, given she has stated she will only act in self defense of invaders, and that she requires my knights to defend her lair, that suggests to me the lair is a target as much as anything else.

Fear of being the lone duchy with dragons will prompt other duchies to embark on their own Draghattan Projects. Perhaps they will lure more from the wilds. Perhaps they team up to will invade me, seeking to steal or destroy the nest while the mother is distracted on a different front. After all, I pose a potentially mortal threat to a paranoid neighbor, and yet she may not be enough of a threat to ensure peace.

So I make her a counter offer. We will call together a council of the duchies, under the king. The Dragon would be best granted a piece of land, neutral to all and uninhabited. Somewhere it'd be easy to build and supply a stone fortress mind, so perhaps on the coast or river. Ideally this would not be within striking range The feeding and gaurding of the dragon's lair shall be a shared task, with Cattle, meat equivalent, or guard's equivalent to be supplied by each knight as part of the duty to the crown.
I also, personally, will support a small group of craftsmen and farmers to examine potential uses for dragon dung. They shall be the Brown Order, and may yet make me wealthy in a nicely smug way.

Although devastatingly unbalancing at a duchy level, my hope is that even ten young dragons are not fearsome enough to prompt panicked first strikes from other kingdoms.
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Re: Would you accept a Dragon's Bargain (RAR!)

Post by LaCroix » 2018-05-02 07:37am

madd0ct0r wrote:
2018-04-30 01:04pm

Although I agree with La Croix's assessment, given she has stated she will only act in self defense of invaders, and that she requires my knights to defend her lair, that suggests to me the lair is a target as much as anything else.

Fear of being the lone duchy with dragons will prompt other duchies to embark on their own Draghattan Projects. Perhaps they will lure more from the wilds. Perhaps they team up to will invade me, seeking to steal or destroy the nest while the mother is distracted on a different front. After all, I pose a potentially mortal threat to a paranoid neighbor, and yet she may not be enough of a threat to ensure peace.
Your realm is 2000km².

A medieval army marches at most 20-40km a day.

Jsut put it somewhere close to the center - I don't know how long she will sleep, but I doubt any (sizeable, not light horse, not completely exhausted) army will make it anywhere near her in time without being noticed. And then roasted.

Your guard force is pretty much only there to make sure nobody slips a party of adventurers into the lair during naptime.
A minute's thought suggests that the very idea of this is stupid. A more detailed examination raises the possibility that it might be an answer to the question "how could the Germans win the war after the US gets involved?" - Captain Seafort, in a thread proposing a 1942 'D-Day' in Quiberon Bay

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Re: Would you accept a Dragon's Bargain (RAR!)

Post by madd0ct0r » 2018-05-02 10:46am

You have one fortified town at the hub of your Domain and a number of small towns and villages scattered about it.
How much faster will news travel then the invading army? Unless I invest in a dedicated messenger system, which would have good value on other things too admittedly.
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Re: Would you accept a Dragon's Bargain (RAR!)

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-05-02 11:33am

I'd convince the dragon to take up residence in the dominion of my greatest rival, after researching and implementing ways of killing dragons.

Then use the medevial version of the WMD excuse to peacefully effect regime change through force.
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Re: Would you accept a Dragon's Bargain (RAR!)

Post by Solauren » 2018-05-02 05:53pm

I'd have to do a cost-analysis on this one. If I can afford her and her brood, she's be a rather nice deterint to anyone being jackasses with me politically. (i.e Rival dukes).

Of course, 30 years is a long time, and I may not live that long...

I'd be open to discussing the details with her.
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Re: Would you accept a Dragon's Bargain (RAR!)

Post by Simon_Jester » 2018-05-03 09:19am

I wonder what the dragon wants the roof to look like. She may want one to shelter the baby dragons and/or eggs from inclement weather, but I doubt she really wants to be fully blocked off from the sky. Unless she's worried about attack by other dragons, in which case uh yeah, we should ask about that.

Are dragons in this setting VTOL-capable?

For that matter, she probably only wants a wall low enough for her to peek over and breathe over.
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Re: Would you accept a Dragon's Bargain (RAR!)

Post by U.P. Cinnabar » 2018-05-03 09:31am

I'm sure an abandoned mine shaft or convenient Dwarven stronghold will dp.
"Beware the Beast, Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone amongst God's primates, he kills for sport, for lust, for greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him, drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of Death.."
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"Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense.”
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