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This is an extension of How Dragons Can Hoard People, and it concerns something that I realized would be quite problematic: transportation.

You see, dragons share the world with various other dangerous creatures, and they've found (because of these creatures) that leaving their humans unattended is generally a very bad idea, especially when one considers the dragon's nasty habit of stealing humans from other dragons.

In the end, it didn't take long for dragons to decide that carrying their humans with them was the best idea since if one flew off to hunt something or take a look around, they might come back to find all their humans gone! But then a more insidious question arose: how to carry the humans?

Carrying humans on the back was right out; then it might appear that they were riding them, and the dragons couldn't have that! Having the humans hang onto the dragon's spikes (if they had them) or limbs was also considered and rejected, as was carrying them with the wings or talons-dragons need those to walk, fly, or grab things, so active dragons simply need their wings and talons free.

There was really only one good option: the mouth. However, the humans went absolutely crazy when the dragons tried to implement this executive decision, running in terror or collapsing in tears, crying "Please don't eat me! I don't want to die!" Even the humans who listened at first ended up opposing this plan violently...

Apparently, spending most of one's life inside a warm, wet dragon's mouth is not appealing to anyone; yet there are people living in rainforests? Very confusing.... Anyway, the dragons would like to know: How Can Dragons Get Humans To Accept Living Inside Their Mouths?

Clarification:

  1. It is safe to assume these dragons have precise enough control of their body (and accompanying instincts) to carry humans around, in their mouths, without swallowing or hurting them. If they need to eat or breath fire, well, that's a whole different question right there.....
  2. Once again, the dragons are not planning on eating (or inhaling) their humans; carrying them in the mouth is supposed to keep them safe. Draconic saliva is not acidic enough to cause damage to humans with sustained contact; if anything, it should benefit them. Furthermore, special membranes can close off the throat to prevent humans from falling into it or being inhaled.
  3. Once a dragon is old enough to have its own hoard of humans, it is old enough to carry a village in its mouth. It might be a little cramped, but it's possible!
  4. Obviously, dragons are beings of magic, so even carrying an entire village inside their mouth won't upset their balance in flight, which is heavily enhanced and stabilized by magic. (I mean, come on; how do you think a big, burly bat-winged lizard is even capable of flight of all things? Clearly magic is involved.)

As always, your input and feedback is much appreciated, and if you choose to down or close-vote, please give me an explanation so I can improve both this and future questions. Thank you! (Oh, and if my tags are wrong, please let me know ASAP.)

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  • $\begingroup$ You'd need to consider balance, unless the dragons go all "swan necked" during flight, every take-off might be a nosedive. $\endgroup$ Feb 1 at 23:08
  • $\begingroup$ Good point; I'll need to add a Point 4 accounting for that under Clarification. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 1 at 23:09
  • $\begingroup$ Why would riding on the back be considered a sign of submission? After all, egrets and oxpeckers ride on the backs of crocodiles and buffalo, and no one considers the birds to be in charge. $\endgroup$ Feb 1 at 23:52
  • $\begingroup$ The dragons: "Carrying humans like beasts of burden?! Unacceptable! How dare you even suggest such a thing!" $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 1 at 23:55
  • $\begingroup$ Have you thought about simply having the humans transported around in the equivalent of cages? The dragon brings the humans along like pets in a pet carrier. A wicker basket with padding is the minimum, possibly strapped down to prevent accidental damage. Even on the back, a human in a basket is FAR from riding the dragon. And a dragon might need to use it's mouth while traveling, either dropping the human (lost assets) or swallowing them (which doesn't engender trust in the "mouth" thing). $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    Feb 2 at 0:13
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Why put them in their mouth? You could just build a lot of bolt-holes inside any village your dragon owns. Should another dragon come knocking, all villagers will use the bolt-holes to hide. Some will naturally be caught and taken away, but if your villagers can give a description you can track them down and ask questions with tooth and claw.

Whenever you leave them you can also ask some humans to pull sentry duty and warn others of potential threats, giving them more time to hide away and prevent kidnapping.

In fact, why consider them into your mouth at all? As long as you are flying these humans in your mouth can't do their usual things like farm. So why let the humans hide in your mouth, if you can just order them to go into some hidden cellars somewhere and await your return? That's easier for your dragon and easier for your humans.

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  • $\begingroup$ These are great ideas, but what if this is a hunter-gatherer society? The dragon can let them out of his or her mouth sometimes, and has to anyway so he/she can eat/breathe fire at enemies/talk to other dragons. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 1 at 23:17
  • $\begingroup$ Additionally, these dragons will have favorites among their hoard; they'll want them close by and protected, so they can't be stolen, and what kind of idiot would try to steal someone from a dragon's mouth? Plus, the dragons think that just giving on the whole thing will look weak; they want to prove a point if at all possible. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 1 at 23:20
  • $\begingroup$ Not to mention if their hiding place is in the dragon's mouth the dragon has to constantly babysit them and can't risk leaving them alone or exposed. It's all the downsides to mouth-brooding in fish with none of the benefits because the "babies" never grow up and leave. $\endgroup$ Feb 1 at 23:54
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, well I've done some research and mouth-brooding cichlids can eat bits of food during the process. Only small bits, but what if the humans repay their dragon overlord by helping it hunt (or hunting for it) when they're released and then bringing the food into its mouth and pushing it down the hatch? $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 2 at 1:47
  • $\begingroup$ You do make a point about having favorites. The Dragon might sometimes simply want to carry a few humans along even if most of the village will stay behind. You could use a simple argument: I am a Dragon, I have protected you this far. If you dont climb in my mouth willingly I will force you in there. Since the dragon will keep bringing back these people in one piece they would learn to trust the Dragon. $\endgroup$
    – Demigan
    Feb 19 at 11:23
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A Dragon lives forever, not so little boys. Unless, perhaps, they are moistened with dragon saliva? Maybe the health benefits include wrinkle reduction? Throw in Male Performance Enhancement and you will have suckers, erm I mean guests, lined up all the way around the block, or at least the Dragon.

It will take years for anybody to prove this is baloney.

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  • $\begingroup$ I hadn't even considered that! Yes, dragon saliva could be a powerful incentive to allow dragons to carry one inside the mouth, not to mention allow a dragon to claim ownership. Great job! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 2 at 1:04
  • $\begingroup$ Out of curiosity, I know men tend to be suckers for performance enhancements, but what about women? Could dragon saliva rope them in too? $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 2 at 1:05
  • $\begingroup$ @Alendyias Similar claims around other factors should work out nicely. $\endgroup$ Feb 2 at 1:51
  • $\begingroup$ Yes! It's all coming together now..... $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 2 at 1:52
  • $\begingroup$ "Male performance enhancers"... Dragon to his people: "New rule, anyone caught fucking during flight WILL be swallowed, now clean it up before I choke on it". $\endgroup$
    – Demigan
    Feb 19 at 11:18
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It's just a matter of doing it the first time and showing that it doesn't kill anybody.

This has already happened with another flying object, curiously related to flames, too: the hot air balloon.

On 4 June 1783, they flew the balloon at Annonay in front of a group of dignitaries from the États ″particuliers″″. [...]

The next test was on 11 September from the grounds of la Folie Titon, close to Réveillon's house. There was some concern about the effects of flight into the upper atmosphere on living creatures. The king proposed to launch two convicted criminals, but it is most likely that the inventors decided to send a sheep, a duck, and a rooster aloft first. The sheep was believed to have a reasonable approximation of human physiology. The duck was expected to be unharmed by being lifted and was included as a control for effects created by the aircraft rather than the altitude. The rooster was included as a further control as it was a bird that did not fly at high altitudes

Since the animals survived, the king allowed flights with humans.

Once one can show that humans can safely be carried in a dragon's mouth, more and more will trust it.

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  • $\begingroup$ Very good point, I hadn't even realized that was an option! So, as long as the 'test run' is successful, the humans should be fine with it! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 15 at 18:18
  • $\begingroup$ @Alendyias, don't forget you can show your "good point" also with an upvote ;) $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Feb 15 at 18:31
  • $\begingroup$ Ah sorry, I forget to upvote sometimes. Just corrected =) $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Feb 15 at 18:32
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Vore Fetishists

You're right that most humans don't find the idea of living in a dragon's mouth appealing, but there's a minority of humans who find it very appealing. Seek out those people, and while they'll still need some convincing that it's safe, they'll be a lot more amenable than the general population.

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