The roc is a massive bird of prey that generally resembles a predatory raptor. The biggest roc to date had a seventy foot wingspan. They are built similarly to an eagle only with longer tails and a feathery crest. They're primarily white and sometimes can have ram's horns, extra retractable claws or claws on their wings. Successful breeding between roc'a is rare and result in one egg. The roc possess an incredible amount of strength and are able to do battle with many dragons at once and come out the victor.
Average Lifespan:: 300 years
Average Height:: N/A
Average Weight:: Unknown
Location Found:: Alubria.
*all statistics based on averages; extremes in any direction, or found in odd locations, are always allowed.
Location Though native to Noctis, roc'a can be found in great numbers in Alubria, the continent due west of Vystriana; however, some loners choose to travel great distances, and can easily be found in any of the Felnovian countries. Legends of giant birds rise wherever a lone roc has settled, and though no known accounts of the roc'a have been found in other Realms, their subspecies are found everywhere strong in their aligned element.
Species info credited to Blazeh/Verridith.
Appearance Resembling a giant predatory raptor, the roc is a massive bird of prey. Their size is measured via wingspan, and the biggest yet recorded was around seventy feet. Built much like an eagle, they are set apart by their longer tails, a feathery crest, and sometimes rare trailing feathers much like their phoenix cousins. Primarily white in coloration, they tend to have more natural markings, accented in any color. Rarely, darker variants will be hatched, and leaders of their respective Clans are almost always black.
Some of the roc'a may be hatched with a pair of ram's horns, extra retractible raptor-claws, or claws on their wings. Eyes are like any bird of prey's, come in any color, and very few may be born with an extra, smaller set located just in front of their main pair.
Culture Successful breeding between two roc'a is very rare, and only one egg bearing young is laid in every clutch. Any others in a clutch of three to seven are duds, and are often cast off the side of the aerie said roc has chosen when the single offspring has hatched. Chicks are born around the size of a small horse, black-skinned and completely featherless.
Roc'a hunt large prey such as the Desert Gold, elephants found in Alubria, animals such as horses or bears, as well as larger fish like shark and dolphin. They've been known to target basilisks and other large life, and though they hunt some of the smaller serpents, they respect leviathans and ally themselves with both the sand-serpents and the gryphons of Alubria they call their neighbors.
Led by a Lord, each Clan has a territory set in the mountains that border the deserts of Vystriana's neighboring gryphon country, aeries set in sheer cliffs and ancient stone ruins. Each Lord is a dark-feathered roc who patrols their territory from mountain to sea, challenging intruders and waylaying travelers, as well as dealing with disputes and discrepancies within the group that they lead. They lead a coming-of-age ritual once a young roc is ready, and while they will not interfere, they rarely let the young die. This ordeal is the hunting of a keht'shu: they must attack one of the floating sky-cities and take a keht'shu captive, bringing it back to their aerie for judgement. Many of these victims will be killed afterwards, the only exceptions being if they've earned the respect of the Lord, who will let them live.
Tales of a roc being ridden are rare, and though they will submit to carrying a rider that they trust, most would rather devour a human whole rather than let them sit upon their great backs.
Abilities Possessing incredibly strength, a single roc is known to be able to do battle with many dragons at once and come out the victor. However, they don't have any magical ability of their own - magic is toxic to them, and they're incredibly vulnerable to any magical attacks. They often use their able tongues to learn the languages of many other races, and are capable of a natural, hawklike call as well as a draconian roar.
In the early days of Noctis, after the dragons arrived, they grew in pride, viewing themselves as masters of the skies. Eventually, their hubris drew the attention of Albion, and he resolved to see them humbled, and their position as masters of the skies challenged. To start with, he took an eagle captive, and withdrew into his own hidden domain.
Under his influence, the eagle grew in size and strength until it surpassed the dragons, and gained a true mind of its own. Still a captive, it regarded its maker with a keen, piercing intellect and savage gaze. Albion instilled within it a burning hunger for the flesh of dragonkind, but decided he didn’t want his new creation set free without some sort of challenge of its own to overcome.
The secrets of magic will be forever beyond your reach, and its power will be anathema to you. You will have to make use of your unrivalled strength, ferocity, and pure cunning to overcome your foes, he dictated, instilling a deadly weakness to harmful magics into his creation, before setting the great bird free.
To his great pleasure, the first roc by itself challenged the draconic mastery of the skies, rending and tearing many of them with its great hooked beak and wickedly sharp talons, overpowering them with its enormous strength. He crafted more, and sent several flights out to other Realms beyond Noctis, where they settled, and increased in number.
To this day, the dragons will only reluctantly venture into skies where the roc’a fly. Few would dare to challenge the great birds with magic being their only advantage, for though the roc’a are weak to it, they are more than capable of overcoming several dragons by themselves. Fewer still ever dared venture anywhere close to the first roc’s chosen domain.
Classification: lesser roc; bird of flame. Location: volcanic regions.
Related to the phoenix, the firebird is a roc of lesser size aligned with the element of fire. With plumage consisting of reds, golds, browns, oranges and whites, they're bigger than their fiery cousins and smaller than the traditional roc. More often than not, they'll have jagged beaks and hawklike builds, with longer proportions and wider wings. These birds are prone to randomly giving off sparks or having a feather or two catch fire, though it doesn't harm them. They don't share the ability of the phoenix's rebirth.
Classification: lesser roc; bird of lightning. Location: high mountain peaks, where storms are common.
Biggest of the roc subspecies, the thunderbird is a creature more built like a swan or heron, with long legs, long legs and sharp, tapered wings. their feathers hold a spectrum of colors ranging in blues and greens, yellows and whites, and the rarer blacks and greys. These birds enjoy flying in storms and being struck by lightning, giving them the electrical charge they're known for. Oftentimes, those around a thunderbird will have their hair stand on end, and sparks can be seen arcing from between one's feathers.
Classification: lesser roc; bird of water. Location: oceans, rivers, primarily mountain waterfalls.
Smallest of the elemental roc'a, the rainbird is a creature with a prominent crest painted in bold colors, whereas the rest of their plumage is blues and greys, greens and teals, rarely muddy browns and blacks. They have upwards of four trailing feathers that follow them as they fly, and have very long wings, beaks, though are otherwise fairly short in stature and build. Expert fishers, the rainbird loves water, and can summon a rainstorm at will. They most often make their nests in pockets behind large waterfalls.
Classification: lesser roc; bird of wind. Location: primarily canyons and plains.
Build like a falcon with a longer, more jagged beak, the galebird specializes in speed and the swiftness of the wind. Able to ride the sky's currents better than any other known flying creature, these birds are known to sometimes even fall asleep midflight, able to sense distortion on the air to waken and avoid any collision or danger. Their coloration is usually whites and greys, sky-blues, and pale yellows.
Classification: twisted, flightless roc. Location: Anquil, Evylon.
Around the size of a horse, the horrorbirds of Anquil are large, flightless creatures who are dark in color and very vicious. Their wings have grown quite small, and hold a series of long, sharp, barbed claws beneath the feathers, filled with a toxic venom. They have developed large legs and ripping talons, as well as large, crushing beaks and sharp, glowing eyes. Though they have no magic to speak of, they are exceptionally fast and gifted with incredible strength. A tame variant that has been raised and calmed in other Realms, is said to exist.