, , , , ,

From Nesting Rights to Last Wills and Testaments.

On this closing day of our symposium, I’m going to talk about the alpha and omega of draconic law: issues surrounding found eggs or hatchlings, primum cubilia (first nesting), and finally, the need for Dragon keepers to live up to their covenant, be far-sighted, unsentimental, and have iron-clad wills.

It is the dream of every dracophile to be wandering through the woods and come across an abandoned Dragon clutch or orphaned hatchling.[1] WAFDE and regional Dragon Councils keep detailed records of all foundlings, be they hatched or still in the shell, so if you are fortunate enough to have this rare experience be sure to contact the authorities right away. Failure to report your find leaves you open to charges of poaching which, depending on where you live, can have life-altering effects. And don’t count on your best intentions always holding sway with the court. Many a nefarious individual when faced with serious jail time, will swear they had only the hatchling’s welfare at heart.

On a broader cultural level is the legal principal of primum cubilia. It is believed the rights of first nesting date back to ancient China, when nomads from the north moved into the southern coastal plains. There they encountered sassy lowland enchantments who had been there since primordial times. There was no

question of moving in and claiming Dragon territory for human consumption. They were there first. Simple. Aside from the logistics of such a feat, it would have been the height of bad manners. This was the law of the land until human numbers so outstripped the Dragons that even politeness fell by the wayside.

In common-era Europe and the Americas, humans claimed “dominion” over the planet, which, in turn, diminished first nesting to an antiquated notion made nullified by the rising legal certainty in the governmental right of eminent domain. Unfortunately, fair payment for Dragon lands usually meant gunpowder and the sharp end of a sword.Though the population explosion of the past 200 years pushed many Dragons to the most inhospitable habitats, recent conservation efforts have brought back the principle of primum cubilia as a precedent when fighting the oil, mining, and lumber companies who wish to limit weyrlands even further. Legal experts are watching intently to see how this plays out in the high courts over the next few decades.

End-of-life legalities—paying close attention to estate planning and wills—are a necessity of draconic longevity and the ultimate aspects of a Dragon keeper’s covenant with their charge. It is a fact of nature that Dragons outlive us many times over. it is also a fact of nature that, even the best of families has a dracophobic relative lurking in a branch of their tree. These individuals can raise an unholy hell in the probate courts if they wish and if you do not have an iron-clad will that addresses your Dragon’s needs after you’re gone.

Check all papers. Even Dragon lawyers make mistakes.

While there is some decent DIY estate-planning software out there, WAFDE advises going a more personal route. The complexities a Dragon brings to the equation—not to mention the fact that most Dragon keepers are, of necessity, very well-heeled—make it just common sense to have a good estate attorney go over your papers, make sure there are no loopholes that will wind up leaving your Dragon out in the cold. If you do not have a lawyer you feel sill look out for your friend’s interests, contact WAFDE Legal Aid. They will direct you to someone not only Dragon-friendly, but well versed in the intricacies of Dragon law. Taking care of these pesky details ahead of time leaves you free to enjoy your winter years together as the Great Dragon intended.[2]

Any questions, thoughts, random fancies on the subject of Dragon Law? All are welcome!

[1] While we may relish the dream, truth is, very few people are actually suited, either financially or temperamentally , to Dragonkeeping. But that is a discussion for another day.

[2] And keeps second-cousin Harold’s hand out of the proverbial cookie jar.