Sharn Inquisitive07/03/2006

War Widow Land Grant Lottery Set
News for Lharvion 22nd, 998

"War Widow" Land Grant Lottery Set for 28th of Barrakas

FAIRHAVEN—Queen Aurala has set a date for the long-anticipated land-grant lottery: the 28th of Barrakas.

A court decree on Far set a date and drawing procedure for the lottery, set to take place at noon in Fairhold’s Vermillion Pavilion. But the decree noted that some eligibility requirements for specific land parcels are still under review, leaving unclear who’ll be able to place lots for some of the more sought-after properties.

Although it’s widely referred to as the “war widow” lottery, only some parcels are designated specifically for widows of soldiers who fell in Aundair’s service during the Last War. Preliminary drafts of the lottery parcel list have shown a wide array of eligibility requirements. Many parcels will be given to those with relatives lost in the Last War, while others are set aside for Aundair’s veterans. Most of the prime parcels have additional requirements of noble title, sometimes of specific families living nearby.

While the crown decree takes pains to point out the Queen’s generosity in giving away large tracts of land, the land-grant lottery is expected to fill Aundair’s coffers in the long-term. Many of the parcels in the lottery are crumbling, vacant castles with significant upkeep costs and no arable land nearby. Once removed from the crown’s rolls, the land parcels become taxable property once again. Thus the crown is both spared upkeep and may garner revenue from the land-grant lottery.

The land-grant lottery was originally scheduled for last month, but has been twice delayed as Aundairian courts adjudicated claims from distant relatives and other parties seeking to keep specific parcels out of the lottery. In many cases, ownership of a parcel fell to the crown when its owner died in the war and no inheritor was available. But once a parcel appears on the list for the lottery, “second cousins, secret wives, and every con artist in Aundair have come out of the woodwork” to make an ownership claim, said one magistrate speaking on condition of anonymity.

About the Author

David Noonan is a designer/developer for Wizards of the Coast. Before coming to Wizards, he was a daily newspaper reporter in Washington state. Apparently the city hall beat is good practice for an Eberron campaign.

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