You are an emperor and you have caught a dragon. There are no other dragons or magic in my world.

This dragon is unintelligent and is impossible to tame.

The dragon's properties:

  • gold scales (make about 30 pounds a year)
  • breathes fire
  • fly
  • incredible strength

Your goal is to use this dragon as well as possible, e.g. release it in battle, farm it for scales, etc.

How would you most effectively use this dragon?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ How did he catch it? Can he catch it again, if released? $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Jun 15, 2017 at 0:12
  • $\begingroup$ Dragon scales are usually described as thick and durable. Gold is fairly malleable. Not only that, but 30 pounds isn't much. 80 Quarters is a pound, and 30 pounds of those is 2400 quarters. Is that even enough to cover the surface area of your dragons? Keep in mind that for these scales to be tough, you'll probably want them thicker than quarters too. A possible "solution" is that you can refine the scales and obtain gold. $\endgroup$ Jun 15, 2017 at 1:43
  • $\begingroup$ to be fair gold is about as strong as teeth so biologically gold is fairly tough. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Jun 15, 2017 at 4:37
  • $\begingroup$ @Foxy a size would be helpful. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Jun 15, 2017 at 4:39
  • $\begingroup$ sorry I forgot to put that he is about five tons $\endgroup$
    – Foxy
    Jun 15, 2017 at 10:05

3 Answers 3


A somewhat effective way to use it would be to stock up on scales for a while, then sell them to others.

If war or "friction" was to come about, the emperor could set up a "trojan horse" styled attack on his neighbor. The dragon could be given a drug to put him to sleep, then armor him up and quickly deliver him within a large structure with the gold scales also in, as a peace offering to his enemy. Then, when the dragon wakes up, he gets mad and burns down the enemy kingdom. The armor will protect him from hostile attacks.

Getting the dragon BACK would be a challenge, but shooting the drug into it from a distance and hauling him back could suffice (or however our emperor caught him in the first place.

List of natural sedatives: http://www.motherearthliving.com/Natural-Health/6-herbal-sedatives-natural-sleep-aid

Lavender seems to be a relatively simple choice, but any could have been used in ancient times as a sedative.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ How would you put the dragon to sleep? $\endgroup$ Jun 15, 2017 at 3:41
  • $\begingroup$ Edited question to answer comment $\endgroup$ Jun 15, 2017 at 4:07

The Mandate of Heaven

Keep the dragon in your conservatory. Keep him well fed to discourage escape attempts and the crisping of keepers. Does that make him safe to keep around? If so, hey, the emperor has a pet dragon! Who else can claim that much? The upstart duke? The high priest? Of course not ...

  • $\begingroup$ @TheMattbat999, animals don't have to be tamed to be kept in zoos. $\endgroup$
    – o.m.
    Oct 17, 2017 at 4:56

'Most effective use' really depends on the situation/ the most dire needs of the emperor/country:

  • (Wartime:) Enemy army invading and yours doesn't stand chance - make the dragon angry and release it.

  • (Economic problems:) Taxes don't give you enough funds, so you need money to buy stuff from other people (food, luxuries, whatever) - farm the dragon for gold scales (though I'm wondering how the dragon makes gold scales without magic or eating gold in the first place)

  • (Peaceful times:) Lacking other problems the dragon is probably best used as an Energy or work source - use it to power ultra-hot smelters, or let it run in circles to power some sort of machinery. Maybe it could lift stuff for construction, but that seems tricky and dangerous if you can't tame it.


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