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Zakharan roc

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Zakharan rocs were monstrous raptors found in the Land of Fate. They were even larger versions of their northern cousins.[1]

Three variations of Zakharan rocs existed: the common roc, great roc, and two-headed roc. The great roc and two-headed roc spoke Midani as well as their own language.[1]

DescriptionEdit

Zakharan rocs were beautiful creatures decorated with colorful plumage. Wings were usually a shade of green or gold. Females had a brilliantly white breast. Their massive beaks ranged in color from ivory to bronze.[1]

The color of a Zakharan roc's wing tip feathers was used to differentiate between the three roc species, aside from noting the obvious extra head that two-headed rocs possessed. Common rocs had crimson-colored wing tip feathers, azure feathers indicated a great roc, and two-headed rocs had jet black wing tip feathers. Furthermore, the color of the crest on males of all Zakharan roc species matched their wing tip feathers.[1]

Tales existed of adventurers having witnessed pure white, black, and red rocs. If these creatures existed then they were certainly rare.[1]

Both the common roc and two-headed roc measured 60 feet (18 m) from beak to tail and had a 120 foot (36 m) wingspan. In contrast, the great roc measured an astonishing 120 feet (36 m) in length with a 270 foot (82 m) wingspan, making them rival or surpass dragons in size.[1]

CombatEdit

Zakharan rocs fought in order to feed or to protect their nest. When faced with an opponent of equal size, the Zakharan roc used its great aerial speed to its advantage. Zakharan rocs used their impressive vision to soar at great heights and spot potential targets beneath them. Their eyesight was capable of penetrating fog, dust storms, and shallow water. They could execute lighting strikes where they swooped down to attack and retreat in a near instant.[1]

Prey seized by a Zakharan roc was gripped securely and attacked with bites on the way back to the roc's nest. The roc tried to secure the creature's arms and legs when possible, preventing spellcasting in the case of a human or demihuman. The Zakharan roc's initial swoop attack almost always surprised the target on the first pass. Any seized target able to inflict enough physical harm unto the roc convinced the roc that it was not worth the effort, prompting the roc to release the target during flight, usually to plummet to their death.[1]

Zakharan rocs almost always attacked the largest member of a group first since it was the largest potential meal. However, all rocs were fully capable of grabbing a creature in each claw, assuming the creature was not too large and required both claws to hold securely.[1]

Boulders were often deployed from above when a roc attacked ships or physical structures, serving to soften or destroy the structure so the roc could swoop down and attack.[1]

Habitat/SocietyEdit

Zakharan rocs were found either atop high mountains or isolated islands. Access to ample prey species was a necessity for any area for a roc to nest. Hungry rocs in search of food could be spotted flying over the open ocean or deserts.[1]

All Zakharan roc species built their nests atop the highest area within their territory, usually atop a mountain peak or rocky outcropping. Whole trees were used for the nest's construction. Roc nests were capable of holding 1–5 eggs or hatchlings. Young rocs lived in the nest for the first six months of their lives, at which point they were large enough to go off on their own. Zakharan rocs would defend their young to the death.[1]

These raptors were extremely territorial. They did not tolerate other rocs within their territory save for the purpose of mating. The average roc territory spanned a circular distance of at least 10 miles (16 km).[1]

Adult Zakharan rocs fed at least three times per day, plus another feeding to regurgitate any partially digested food for their young in the nest. Like smaller birds, they swallowed stones to help grind food within their gullet.[1]

These creatures often became bored and hungry quickly when dealing with humans or humanoids. Because of their more sinister nature, two-headed rocs could be persuaded to aid others if they were rewarded with large quantities of food.[1]

Two-headed rocs decorated their nests with shiny treasure taken from their past meals, hoping to attract a potential mate with their displays of "wealth". The other Zakharan roc species left any potential treasure littered about their nests haphazardly.[1]

EcologyEdit

All Zakharan roc species were incredibly difficult to raise because of the vast quantities of food they required. However, rumors persisted that adventurers and sorcerers were able to train rocs captured as chicks. One legend even stated that a tribe of jann living near the World Pillar Mountains used rocs as mounts.[1]

Zakharan rocs preyed upon the largest animals they could find including elephants, giants, ankhegs, sharks, whales, and even kraken. Additionally, undefended humans were fair targets as well.[1]

Roc eggs were valuable items from a collector's standpoint, easily fetching hundreds of gold pieces a piece. They were also useful as components in a wide range of magical potions and oils. If someone desired for the egg to hatch, then it needed to be kept warm until the chick emerged.[1]

Notable Zakharan rocsEdit

AppendixEdit

See AlsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 Jeff Grubb (August 1992). Land of Fate (Monster Sheets). (TSR, Inc). ISBN 978-1560763291.
  2. David Cook (October 1992). Golden Voyages (The Djinni's Claws). (TSR, Inc), p. 6. ISBN 978-1560763314.
  3. Wolfgang Baur (1993). Al-Qadim: Assassin Mountain: Holy Slayer Sourcebook. (TSR, Inc), p. 24. ISBN 1-56076-764-X.

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