I, Lord Leopold Borthwell, have recently encountered a series of most damnable conundrums that all seem to stem from a single problem: flight. You see, caer can merely fly over any walls that would keep a normal human out. This leads to many complications in the seemingly-simple business of keeping people where they belong. Three specific situations have all provided unique variations of this quandary.

First, my personal estate in the Suncliff district of New Kalston has had a series of lowborn interlopers. I've seen caer children snatching fruit from my garden and flying away before the guards catch them, salesmen merely flying past the gates designed to keep their sort out, and one winged tramp discovered sleeping under a tree in my yard. What's more, I've heard reports of sneak thieves dropping onto rooftops and creeping in through upper-floor windows late at night, hidden in darkness and the night-time fogs of this country. How do I keep these unwelcome visitors away? (In fact, I'd be interested in solutions that keep the riffraff out of this part of the city altogether- perhaps I could suggest them to the constabulary.)

Second, a business venture of mine (a sort of permanent fair, or "park of amusements"), has been having problems with caer flying into the park rather than paying their admission fee. This problem is somewhat more difficult to solve than that of my house, since it is a much larger area, and furthermore my caer parkgoers must be able to fly about within the park, so solutions that affect all flying people, or rely on individual recognition, are unacceptable.

Third, I maintain a much larger country estate well outside the city, and my groundskeepers have been discovering evidence of interlopers there as well. This situation regards a tract of land much too large to be actively guarded.

Some general information to help when solving this problem is as follows. First, caer fly using wings, and are not particularly subtle- a twenty-foot wingspan is difficult to miss, though this changes at night when the mist comes in. They are fast as well, so chasing them down is difficult (though not impossible).

While caer do have a detestable habit of letting themselves into places they are unwelcome, there are those of higher standing among their ranks, and I do not wish to employ any solution that would prevent all flight within, into, or out of these locations- I do occasionally have caer guests who dislike walking everywhere, and I must admit a winged messenger is a great convenience I would not readily deny myself.

I would also like to solve these problems with a minimum of effort and expense. Therefore, ridiculous numbers of guards and newfangled technological marvels such as this 'electricity' nonsense are right out.

Oh, and no ghastly nets. I won't live in a birdcage.

  • 32
    $\begingroup$ The amusement park question is easily solved - just use brightly colored armbands to indicate the parkgoer has paid the ticket. (This is somewhat in common use among us who cannot fly.) $\endgroup$
    – Halfthawed
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 2:33
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ i think he meant "one tramp who was winged" rather than a "single-winged tramp" @John $\endgroup$
    – DanDoubleL
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 19:42
  • $\begingroup$ Simple, hire winged guards. walls alone won't stop normal trespassers much less winged ones. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 20:39
  • $\begingroup$ As an aside, it's worth watching 'Carnival Row' on Amazon to see how they deal with it - i.e. wire netting and rifles, even though you don't want to have nets. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 1:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Suggestion for ur park: install chimneys $\endgroup$
    – user6760
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 9:40

14 Answers 14


Hire Caer guards. If they are cheap, hire plenty of them. If they are expensive, hire one or two squads of them and use cheap lookouts. (riff raff, children, low grade guards,...).

Once the lookouts spot caer flying somewhere they do not belong, the Caer patrol goes after them and beats them up. Do not kill them, beat them up and let them go back to tell others about what happened.

Give it some time and most Caer will not bother your estates and business ventures anymore.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Brutal but effective, but this assumes that Caer would be willing to work for you, guards along the perimeter with net launchers or other non lethal means could also be effective. $\endgroup$
    – hehe3301
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 16:02
  • 12
    $\begingroup$ @hehe3301 if they're (a) half of the population and (b) include common riffraff i.e. don't constitute the specially privileged half of population, then they can be hired. $\endgroup$
    – Peteris
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 20:33
  • 9
    $\begingroup$ Either they will work for you easily and you have no problem, or you need to pay extra and maybe you get a reputation as an ally and they're more likely to leave you alone. Don't underestimate social forces. $\endgroup$
    – Turksarama
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 0:01
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @WGroleau The same is true of hiring a different social class. There are well tread solutions. $\endgroup$
    – Yakk
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 14:09
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @Turksarama lol, Exploit them and you're the bad guy. Exploit them but for a bit more cash and you're the good guy 'ally'! Social forces, for sale here. $\endgroup$
    – gbjbaanb
    Commented Nov 2, 2019 at 15:13

With Guns.

A handful of guards with guns should suffice. You see, flying through the sky possesses a singular disadvantage that sneaking on land does not - namely, there's no cover whatsoever. A raised guard tower will have a clear view of the sky, and a human can see miles away - except the effective range here is the gun. And guns have a pretty long range - you mention 'newfangled electricity' so we're discussing the late 1800s-early 1900s here, meaning that accurate and long range rifles do exist. (I'd recommend a M1903 Springfield Rifle, a bolt-action rifle with an effective range of a kilometer, and a maximum range of 5 kilometers.) I suppose there's a non-lethal option with net guns or something. But just winging the flying pests should send them flying, and let's face it, they're lowborn peasants.

Fog and moonless nights will pose a problem, but it's a double-edge - you see, if you can't see them because visibility is blocked, they can't see you. And flying with visibility blocked is basically a death sentence - there's a reason why the only ones who do it are nocturnal birds who can see in the dark.

  • $\begingroup$ I always find the idea of "no cover in the air" so strange. Anything on the ground that obscures the sky is cover, but more importantly the sky is BIG. Hiding can be done by being somewhere the guards arent looking during your approach. Even the option of just flying nearby and making it seem you arent going directly to a castle could help if you are detected. $\endgroup$
    – Demigan
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 10:46
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ The answer does mention "a raised guard tower" with "a clear view of the sky", so presumably ground cover won't be an obstacle. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 20:26
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ A fair answer. Rather more lethal than I'm looking for, especially in an urban environment, but that wasn't specified in the question. +1, especially for the point about flying being dangerous with impaired visibility. $\endgroup$
    – Syric
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 1:20
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Not sure about this. Unless the caer are wont to fly right up to you and hover for seconds at a time, hitting them is going to be a problem, regardless of whether your gun is mechanically capable of doing it. Hitting a moving target in the air even at 300m is going to make you a better shot than the vast majority of people today with their modern equipment (even with the 20ft wingspan). You can use birdshot, but then you are down to a hundred or so feet of effective range. You can wait 'til they land, but then you're shooting at your lord's estate. Most distasteful. $\endgroup$
    – bvoyelr
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 13:36
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Killing winged trespassers in an amussement park seems a bit overkilling. $\endgroup$
    – Pere
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 16:59

May I suggest decorating the roofs of your buildings with sculptures featuring many upward-pointing things? Gargoyles are so last year, statues of spearmen, starbursts, spires and stegosaurs should be the mode du jour. If the caer can't land on the roof you've won half that battle.

If it is possible to hire caer to work as guards they could simply fly above points of interest and use their existing combat techniques, much as your landlocked guards do. If they don't use weapons now may I suggest archery or javelins. Care should of course be taken that persons on the ground are not inconvenienced by themselves being pierced.

You may also care to consider tethered balloons, inhabited or not, and using hot air or hydrogen as you see fit. While less maneuverable than a flying creature, they have the advantage of being able to stay aloft for long periods in one place. Caer on the balloons would be able to launch from them when something exciting happens, although landing may be more difficult. Defending the balloons against military attack will be hard, but against common criminals the full force of the law can be applied. Few will want to escalate from trespass to attacking the ruler!

To address your specific concerns:

Keeping riffraff out of grounds and estates should require a balloon or two, preferably with an observer or caer guard to discourage interlopers. Catch one and punish it "pour encourager les autres". Children too young for punishment can simply be returned to their keepers and those advised that they will be held responsible for future problems.

The amusement park is slightly more complex, as suggested by my esteemed collegue a marker or token to be worn at all times by legitimate guests is the obvious answer. Failing that monitoring the permeter may be necesary, and using the existing civil systems for chasing and chastising miscreants applied when they disobey the perimeter crossing requirements.

Aerial patrols of a much larger estate could be performed using non-tethered balloons in good weather, but may I suggest that if at all possible an arrangement be made with a caer group that they apply their social restrictions on your behalf in exchange for something that they value. Since you have caer residents in good standing within your domain this should surely be possible?

  • 9
    $\begingroup$ +1 for "statues of spearmen and stegosaurs" $\endgroup$
    – subrunner
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 9:11
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I especially like that the sharpened-roof method solves the problem of dark, foggy nights without being as much of an eyesore as bird spikes. +1 $\endgroup$
    – Syric
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 1:17
  • $\begingroup$ The spears on the property is quite a nice answer, not dealing with the risk posed by them flying, but by their landing, afterwards, since presumably the OP doesn't care about them being in the airspace as much as getting into the house and I like it as a solution that is static and doesn't require the involvement of people constantly. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 2, 2019 at 20:34

Dealing with caer while not employing them to police their own is going to be an interesting problem. Fences, that you suggest are designed to keep them out, fundamentally aren't designed to keep them out, they're designed to keep humans and other land dwelling large creatures out.

  1. The townhouse: This is best dealt with by guard dogs or equivalent, since you have flying people, some sort of flying guard dog would be entirely appropriate. Along with a decent security system to keep them out of your property, securing upstairs windows etc, losing a few apples to children sneaking onto the property is entirely appropriate for the context. Children being chased off by the gardener/housekeeper is entirely appropriate.

  2. The fairground: The problem here is solved with a change of business model, you're approaching it as an amusement park with an entry fee and then free access to rides, if you change to the model to fairground with no universal entry fee but rather a fee to get onto each ride the whole problem goes away.

  3. The country estate: You have poachers, what you need are gamekeepers. Whether these gamekeepers are human or caer, they should have guns (or equivalent), and dogs (or equivalent). Their primary role is to look after the game on your estate, a fundamental aspect of that is to keep poachers, trespassers and other undesirables from disturbing said game. You say you have huge tracts of land, which can't be actively monitored, but you also have access to caer, who can actively monitor said tracts of land. Now of course if you decline to employ them then you have a problem, I would advise holding your nose while taking advantage of this resource.
    Privilege historically meant private law, in terms of large private estates it effectively means that the law that applies on the estate is the law as applied by the owner rather than the law of the nation. If you wish to keep this riffraff off your lands then you will have to employ the people to do so, to enforce the law of your own land. After all, this is why you avoid paying taxes.

(A xenophobic "keep them where they belong" attitude tied to paranoia about criminal classes is always an entertaining trait in rich people.)

  • $\begingroup$ "a fee to get onto each ride" - or you can just have people scan their park entry ticket / armband to use a ride. $\endgroup$
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 19:51
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @NotThatGuy, also viable, but since no technology level was given I'm using minimum technology. $\endgroup$
    – Separatrix
    Commented Oct 31, 2019 at 20:38

The wingspan is large, use that.

20 feet of wingspan means any "net" that is smaller can make it very hard to get to where you want. So instead of netting you just place festive lines with flags that are spaced about 10 feet from each other over sensitive area's. The Caer can still easily reach the location by just landing away from the area and walking underneath but that is part of its charm as your Cear guests and messengers can land and reach you easily without suffering the indignity of an accidentally failed landing on top of you.

To put some more emphasis on my latest edit: social rules can also be very powerful. Most people will not randomly cross a fence or low wall even though it will not really stop anyone who wants to cross it. So these flagline area's function like fences and the punishment for being under one without permission could be anything from a reprimand by the owner to getting thrown in a cell.

Any Cear caught underneath these lines is in a sensitive area and needs good reason to be there. If not you can arrest them, they cant fly straight up so its easy to catch. It would be easy to teach the population that when you are beneath such lines you are at risk of being arrested for tresspassing or whatever transgression they can commit there. The flags on the lines can easily help identify your stuff and what its supposed to do for you besides being handy for festive things, and also be used generally to guide Cear to places they do want to go to like the local tavern.

To better catch Cear the guards all get slings and/or blunted arrows to shoot at their opponents. Flying is hard when you are large and a blunt force hits you, causing a likely crash by the Cear making it possible to catch Cear before they walk out from under the lines and take off.

Listeners could be employed to detect Cear on the premises day and night. Something with a 20 foot wingspan and weighing more than 20kg is going to be loud when flying (I assume, correct me if I'm wrong). So if you hear the signature sound of landing your high-placed listeners can tell ready guards that something is up. Naturally whenever they can the listeners will also just look besides listen. Flag signals held by these listeners can warn off Cear who fly near sensitive area's and communicate with nearby guards as to the location of a Cear. Naturally with half the population being Cear and you already using them as messengers a part of your guard will be Cear that can fly and catch Cear that manage to avoid the ground guards.


Crows. Lots of crows. Crows are family birds, and any flock you see is a couple of parents and their children. They are already territorial, which means they're vicious blighters that will attack targets relentlessly. They are smart (smarter than dogs by a good measure), and could easily be trained to attack people who flew to get into an area and keep harassing them until they left. (Without attacking people who entered on foot.) And if you feed them, they can be your loyal friends, and will happily use that food to produce an even bigger flock of flying guards.

  • $\begingroup$ The crows we have where I live are solitary birds, rooks and jackdaws are living in family groups. $\endgroup$
    – Willeke
    Commented Nov 3, 2019 at 10:17

My good sire,

AS your esteemed advisor, would be my honour and obligation to dispense some tidbits of information that your mind occupied with more stately affairs may have overlooked.

Make them fly. A lot. With weights.

Come the season of war, when we meet those detestable claimants who trheaten our glorius New Kalston, if our troops are used to fly all the time with weights, why, we will have the advante carrying supplies.

Have those scoundrels who scurry at night, wait for them with a cadre of guards and offer them a proposition. Become your ears or lose their hands. What better way than to catch a thief than having your own agents. Come war, they could be invaluable scouts, moving in the night.

For the tramp sleeping in the tree, we could make a company of ladies of high class. Same offer, working for your Lordship. A fair with a theatre is common. Now you would make the duchess green with envy if your tehatre displays Cherubs while hers is lacking. That alongside the scoundrels could be our ears to the ground.

Much is to be gained by a cunning mind, and a Lord of your pedigree has the cunning in spades.

This is my advice sire.

  • $\begingroup$ Isn't a tramp basically a rural bum, though? $\endgroup$
    – SamB
    Commented Nov 2, 2019 at 1:15
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ SamB, given the context I infer scarlet woman. Maybe missed the goalposts by a mile. Mayhaps @Syric could enlighten us on what Lord Leopod meant :-) $\endgroup$
    – Gustavo
    Commented Nov 3, 2019 at 12:24

Even in our traditional 2d world, walls weren't always practical, like around the kings forest. A penalty of death for hunting on the kings lands solved the problem (and was probably not even stringently enforced).

In a world where many people have always been able to move freely in 3 dimensions, walls may have never even been a thing.

My guess is that many generations ago the flying people were hunted to near extinction because many were perceived as thieves (and other annoying habits--perverts?). their solution has been to enforce a strict moral code within themselves. Any caught using their flight to do something illegal are quickly dealt with (to death?) by their own community--theft is now virtually unheard of and the winged people are thought of as extremely virtuous. Nobody ever thinks to protect their property from them, it would be pointless and somewhat insulting.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The penitently for thievery is... death. Or you get your wings cut off like in Carnival Row. - Walls, just like locks, only keep honest people out. $\endgroup$
    – Mazura
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 0:25
  • $\begingroup$ That's even better! $\endgroup$
    – Bill K
    Commented Nov 1, 2019 at 15:59

Surely there are multiple solutions.

Install bird spikes on and around your estates, on roof tops, trees and fences and any place that offers hidden landing ground. Employ caers to locate spots that are less obvious. Have them painted according to their surrounding if you want the spikes to look less intimidating, and in case you want to keep the looks of your estates historically correct, or paint them bright if you want to achieve the opposite.

Bird spikes

Use bracelets of different colour in your amusement park. To avoid copied bracelets use a different colour each day. I'd also suggest that the park in itself is publicly available and therefor attracts even more visitors who come for the atmosphere and stay for a snack, or even join a spontaneous ride. Only the use of attractions themselves would be costly, as well as the various food stands. Everyone is invited, and you might even make money out of the previous intruders.


Also, make intruders uncomfortable to return if they got caught. If the law forbids any physical damage of others, like clipping their wings, despite their lawlessness, have a professional illustrator draw their face and shame them publicly.


Generally; reduce obvious attractions on your estates that you don't want stolen and scare potential intruders with fierce, armed guards.


What's more, I've heard reports of sneak thieves dropping onto rooftops and creeping in through upper-floor windows late at night, hidden in darkness and the night-time fogs of this country


To solve the first problem, you can start by closing the windows, all of which have proper locks, right?

If you've cut corners there, then you have my permission to die.

If anyone comes in uninvited, just have a (preferably flying) "bouncer" to "show them out".

As for the garden, use nets. You only stated you don't want to live under one.

One problem with the question, however, is that the existence of an entire (sub-(?))species would precede the building of the estate. So, it could have been, from the very start, be built as a panopticon, more precisely, in accordance with some of the panopticon's design principles.

I might add more here later.

Securing large areas

is impossible. Even if you have patrols, there can always be a hole somewhere (and that's without flight and has happened multiple times), an overlooked detail, especially at night. It's only improved slightly with flying patrols. So one should concentrate on securing the the most valuable assets.

If the patrols do catch the interloopers, you can have them first tell how they broke in, then clean up any mess (like seriously, what were they doing there?), regardless whether they caused it or not. It's sorta unjust, but isn't as sociopathic as the rest of the suggestions, saves money and is addressing the problem directly.

Note: Being rich doesn't make you immune to being lynched/persecuted


While caer do have a detestable habit of letting themselves into places they are unwelcome, there are those of higher standing among their ranks, and I do not wish to employ any solution that would prevent all flight within, into, or out of these locations- I do occasionally have caer guests who dislike walking everywhere, and I must admit a winged messenger is a great convenience I would not readily deny myself.

If crime stems from unique abilities, the perpetrators of those crimes need unique punishments. Wing clipping is a well known procedure for ensuring winged creatures behave in a more down to earth manner. Of course, whatever procedure is necessary to ensure a caer never flies again, it does not have to be performed on every member of that race, that would be barbaric. However, those of a lesser social standing that continuously resort to using their abilities for criminal purposes, or perhaps can even be suspected of doing so in the future, need to be made an example of. By making examples, you will underline without any doubt what winged flight really is: a privilege.


Perhaps the solution is far more simpler than we have expected. Don't keep them out rather keep them in a honeypot. You could make traps with something so attractive to them (honey is what does it for humans) that they have no choice just to fly into it. Then they can be trapped and thus cannot go on property near the location. I wish you fair well with your endeavors.


Dire Consequences

See Amazon's Carnival Row. If caught flying in an illegal way, clip their wings such that they will never fly again. It does require a mostly bigoted society for people to be okay with it though.

After a few wing clippings, interloper numbers should drop pretty steeply.


If I may recommend a large glass sphere. Surely a gentleman as well-off as yourself could develop a dome made of a clear material to cover the affected areas. This would also allow yout to control the temperature and moisture in the chosen areas to a tee.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .