Roc

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The titanic roc of the Land of Giants is a bird legendary across the world.

Roc
A roc carrying off a pair of mammoths
Also known as Rukh, Garuda
Information
Natural Habitat: The Siombakgede grasslands in Mwayambi
Classification: Bird
Average Size: 15 ft long (36 ft wingspan)
Average Weight: 1 ton
Coloring: Brown wings with a white belly and head; iridescent down
Distinguishing Features: Intelligent but nonverbal



Description

One of the largest predators in the Mwayambi grasslands, the Roc stands a full 15 feet from beak to tail. Its coloration encompasses various shades of brown with a universally white or off-white belly and head that are hard to spot against the bright daytime sky. A roc can live for hundreds of years, and rarely dies of anything except natural causes.

Due to their long lifespans and lack of natural predators, juvenile rocs are rare, but they tend to have iridescent plumage. This plumage mostly falls out with adulthood, although the thick down hidden beneath the other feathers retains its rainbow color. This down is so valued as a rare commodity that there are Mwayambians who make their living harvesting shed feathers from near-unreachable roc nests.

Habitat

The roc is mainly found in the Siombakgede grasslands in Mwayambi, known as the Land of Giants. It nests in rare rocky mountaintops or, if in a particularly flat territory, it will uproot trees and dig trenches with its claws to create inaccessible islands in rivers or lakes on which to nest.

The roc maintains a hunting territory that it cultivates, making sure not to overharvest and keeping out any threats to its food supply. Rocs will not fight over territory; rather, they will work out borders between themselves that often overlap at the edges, sharing the gamekeeping burden.

Rocs can stay aflight for days when necessary, gliding even when asleep. Occasionally a roc will leave Mwayambi and set up a home elsewhere, even on another continent.

Breeding Habits

Rocs mate only once every several decades, usually with their neighbors. They have little tendency toward forming mating pairs. They tend to have clutches of three or four eggs. Roc eggs are highly sought by truly daring collectors, but securing one is a tremendously hazardous task involving carrying an egg the size of a person across miles of grassland without being noticed from the air.

Other Characteristics

Rocs are said to be highly intelligent, although none seem to be able to speak in a humanoid tongue unaided. What little Arangothian scholars know of roc thought was learned from rare examples that learned the ancient griffon tongue of Griffon's Aerie. Rocs despise dragons, lizards, and giant crocodiles and see themselves as protectors of their territory. They are intensely spiritual beings but not creatures of faith; they apparently pass the decades contemplating existence and the nature of divinity. There are rumors of rocs with mystical powers, but no confirmation of these stories.