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There is a lord who is being kept prisoner in a castle tower by a griffin who has taken over his home, but requires the lord be kept alive for political value. Naturally this requires the griffin giving him food and water.

Food should be simple, either feed him stuff already stored in the castle and/or once that runs out, give him leftovers of what the griffin eats (deer, sheep, goat etc). But what about water? The only way I've thought of is the griffin taking him out of the tower, flying him to the nearest river or stream, have him drink from there and then take back him to the tower but that doesn't like a good idea.

Can you help me?

Edit: Wow, I didn't expect this question to gain such traction. Thanks folks :)

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    $\begingroup$ Can the griffin carry a bucket? $\endgroup$ – Mast Feb 13 at 13:58
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    $\begingroup$ Yes it can do that. $\endgroup$ – Syphoenix Feb 13 at 14:23
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    $\begingroup$ There's only one way a creature with a bird head is going to feed you, and you're not going to like it. $\endgroup$ – Mazura Feb 14 at 3:50
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    $\begingroup$ I'd be very surprised if the lord never came up with a way to capture rain ANYWHERE in the castle he's living in. $\endgroup$ – Muuski Feb 14 at 16:09
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In medieval times, this was given quite a lot of thought as castles were designed in most cases to survive a siege.

Food is an issue during a siege to be sure, but water more so; this ties into the law of 3s; you can survive 3 minutes without oxygen, 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food. These are of course approximations, but you get the general idea. Water was always going to be the biggest problem in a siege as humans (and stock) need to drink so much of it and don't live well without it.

Also, it wasn't uncommon for the wells outside a castle to be poisoned in times of conflict; there was often minimal security on the outside of the castle wall by comparison to inside so wells were often targeted as a weak point in a castle's supply chain.

How do you fix this? You dig a castle well. Most castles had one of these, and many of them had to be dug very deep thanks to the fact that the castle was often built on top of a defensible hill. The point being, that your castle most likely has a well and so long as you give your king access to it you're all set.

But (I hear you say), isn't that a risk? Can't the king escape that way? Well, no. He could commit suicide by jumping down the well head first if he had a good reason to do so but wells are not vertical tunnels to a cave system; they generally just go down deep enough that the groundwater levels are now above the lowest part of the well, which then means that the bottom of the well fills up with water from the groundwater supply.

Ideally, you'd have servants fetch the water to the room in which he is incarcerated, but depending on how malevolent your gryphon is, making the king walk down the tower stairs, draw his own water and carry it back to his room each day might be a fitting insult to rub salt into the wounds of the king as well. Either way, the point is that your king is unlikely to have to leave the castle in order to get to a water supply, which is good news for your gryphon in terms of security, but bad news for the king if he's out of shape from sitting on a throne 10 hours a day for the past few years.

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  • $\begingroup$ More like 7 or 8 days without water and 5 to 6 weeks without food... $\endgroup$ – Sean Feb 13 at 22:10
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    $\begingroup$ @Sean agreed, it's an old rule of thumb and is variable by initial health of the subject, sophistication of medical treatment available, etc. It's the orders of magnitude that count in this case though but your estimates are much closer. Perhaps we should now call it the rule of 7s? $\endgroup$ – Tim B II Feb 13 at 22:15
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    $\begingroup$ It is all very variable. At some times of year, the area where I live can have temperatures over 100F in the shade, strong winds, and very low humidity. I don't think I could survive 3 days out of doors without water. $\endgroup$ – Patricia Shanahan Feb 14 at 2:21
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A number of options.

The castle has a well within its walls so the lord can toss a bucket down and get water for himself. A more modern castle might have hand pumps in appropriate places so maybe no need for a bucket.

Assuming the castle isn't in a very dry region, rain could be collected from the roof and fed directly to cisterns, from which the lord can get water.

Alternately, the castle may be surrounded by an impassable moat (or have a small stream running through it) - the lord can drink from there.

If there are no water sources in the confines of the castle, or if the griffin wants to keep the lord trapped in a water-less part of the castle then it could fly to a pond, immerse itself then fly back and let the lord lap water from its still dripping body.

Worst case scenario - the lord has to survive by drinking the blood of some of the creatures killed by the griffin.

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    $\begingroup$ I love the unconventionality of collecting water from a still-dripping griffin! Carrying a bucket would be easier though. $\endgroup$ – Matthew Feb 13 at 17:49
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Ask tribute to the locals

The lord not only controlled the castle, but also the whole region around it, and all the yokel that live there.

The griffin does not only control the castle, but also (even if it's less than the lord), the region. He can probably ask to one of this folk to gather some water and deliver it to the lord. Same can be done for food, so he don't have to only eat raw meet.

You don't even have to search them in the countryside if you didn't kill all the serveants/noble family in the process.

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  • $\begingroup$ This only works if the locals like the lord. $\endgroup$ – marcellothearcane Feb 13 at 11:59
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    $\begingroup$ @marcellothearcane before that, did only those who like the lords swear fealty, pay tax, or whatover? $\endgroup$ – Kepotx Feb 13 at 12:41
  • $\begingroup$ No, because before the lord could do Nasty Things to the serfs to make them pay taxes. Now he's incarcerated by a griffin, the asking the people for genuine help. A despotic lord is likely to be snubbed. See You're Nothing Without Your Phlebotinium $\endgroup$ – marcellothearcane Feb 13 at 13:36
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    $\begingroup$ 1: griffon can also do nasty things, 2: feudalism go the other way around. You obey your lord because he protects you. You give him some of your harvest because he give you his land. It's a two party agreement, so sure, lord is nothing without plebs, but plebs is nothing without lord. $\endgroup$ – Kepotx Feb 13 at 15:02
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If his food contains enough water, he doesn't actually need to drink. Maybe the griffin brings him mostly fruits and vegetables.

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    $\begingroup$ Yeah...that's not going to work. It can reduce his liquid water consumption, but it won't eliminate it. And in any event, he's still going to need water for things aside from nutrition. $\endgroup$ – Keith Morrison Feb 13 at 5:21
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    $\begingroup$ Poon Lim, a chinese sailor, survived 133 days lost at sea in 1942, and his supplies lasted only about a month. He survived the rest of the time drinking shark and seagull blood. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poon_Lim Hygiene also isn't really essential for life. The king will survive without a shower. He'll be miserable, but he's a prisoner, I doubt the griffin cares. $\endgroup$ – Ryan_L Feb 13 at 5:39
  • $\begingroup$ Poon Lim also collected water from rain. Also, how long, exactly, do you think he'll stay healthy with the shit gradually building up on his hands since he won't be able to clean them after using the toilet? $\endgroup$ – Keith Morrison Feb 13 at 5:51
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    $\begingroup$ He's a goner. Cholera will get him as he smears poop all over his food, which will be teeming with worms since it's scraps from a griffin, and that is assuming that he does not get a scratch or (Yikes!) dies of griffin flu! Living with animals is how the worst plagues in history have come to pass. $\endgroup$ – chiggsy Feb 13 at 12:23
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    $\begingroup$ Smallpox. Anthrax. The flu. Chicken pox. Measles. Tuberculosis. These are the worst killers in history. Even now a couple million people die of them. Cholera still kills people. As does E.coli. What is the most common phrase in any history book? "He got sick and died." Wait, I left out bubonic plague, yellow fever, malaria, dengue fever, and salmonella! Anyway, the griffin is bringing this dude corn husks? Do griffins eat corn? I feel like no. Will griffins become farmers for a prisoner? Btw everybody lives with hundreds of animals, they're called rats. $\endgroup$ – chiggsy Feb 13 at 23:20
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You do realize that he's probably going to need water for more than just drinking, yes? If the griffin wants to keep him alive, that means taking into account basic hygiene, and that needs water.

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    $\begingroup$ You don't need much water for a sponge bath (and folks back in those days didn't bathe often anyway... hygiene back then was nothing like now). As for wastes, the castle would at least have chamber pots, if not toilets. $\endgroup$ – Matthew Feb 13 at 17:52
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The griffin has enough limbs to be able to carry a bucket to the nearest river or lake, fill it and fly back. If it's a big griffin maybe it can carry enough in one trip to provide a day or more water for the lord. The problem would be getting the water into the cell...

You can have a hole in the door (or bars) big enough to get a meal through without too much trouble, but a hole in a door big enough to get a bucket through would allow a (desperate) lord to get through. So maybe posit a cell that has an open drain for bodily functions and every so often when the stench gets too much for it, the griffin just throws a barrel full of water in to the cell to wash the lord down and wash all the loose stuff down the open drain. It means your dungeon is above water table so the effluent can drain out rather than ponding over the cell floor and spilling back into the corridor. For drinking water, let the lord dip into a bucket outside the cell. If he's fussy he can rinse his hands with a cup of water sometimes when they get too crusted with noxious stuff

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    $\begingroup$ Depending on the griffin's abilities, chains are an easy solution to the "big enough hole" problem. If the lord is chained to the wall, the open door isn't an issue. Alternatively, put the bucket on a hook on a chain and lower it through a hole (but out of reach), then close and lock a door/grate over the hole that only lets the chain through. Lower the bucket the rest of the way to the floor, let the lord take it off, raise the chain back up. Repeat in reverse to get the bucket back. If the lord doesn't cooperate, no water for him. $\endgroup$ – Matthew Feb 13 at 17:57
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The Griffin can store water in its feathers, it flies to a nearby lake, immerses itself, then carefully flies back.

The Sandgrouse is a type of pigeon that purposefully carries water in its feathers for its Chicks. The Chicks then 'milk' the carrier (either male or female) by sucking water from its feathers.

enter image description here ^Image of a Sandgrouse gathering water

The same could perhaps be done by the Griffin, with the King licking its feathers for water.

Or, alternatively, the Griffin could 'shake' the water into a locked tub or bath, for which the King can then relax in or drink and still be securely imprisoned.

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All you get is light and a large enough peace of soil + water & some seeds. If you dont grow food for air and food you will starve and die. If you eat your seeds - you will die. Its basically a miniature world to be robinson crusoe in..

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