Lately I’ve been hanging out with people who like to fish. They can spend hours talking about what bait they use to catch what. So it made me wonder, if dragons were “fishing” to catch humans, what would they use for bait? I’ve consulted a few of the dragons from my short stories for suggestions. *
Carnisha, Queen of the Crawmaw Mountains, said that she spreads out shiny objects, such as coins or gems. This will always attract treasure hunters.
Lythiskar, from Lollitaine, agreed, but he also said humans can’t resist the smell of food. Many dragons like the smell of popcorn, but Lythiskar said that bacon had never failed him.
Cazarluun, the specter of Venge Keep, suggested that sometimes one wishes to attract the most intelligent humans for a quest or challenge. Therefore one should acquire a mythic artifact that only the wisest will seek.
An urban dragon, Rockayn, pointed out that many humans can read, so she posts signs. She’s had great success with “Free Beer,” although in recent years “Free Wi-Fi” seems to work just as well. In certain neighborhoods, “Lap Dancing” can also be quite successful.
Tetheus, from Shoredance Island, offered the opposite approach. Just put out the word that people should NOT go somewhere, and you won’t be able to keep them away.
* Most of these dragons are featured in short stories from my forthcoming collection, Aunt Ursula’s Atlas.