10 Things to Find in a Roc’s Nest

Immense predators capable of carrying off almost any land animal, rocs are legendary birds. Their nests are often charnel houses replete with remnants of their many meals scattered about.

By Edward Burne Jones

By Edward Burne Jones


Amid the carnage, however, adventurers puissant enough to have slain a roc—or sneaky enough to avoid its attention—may find items of interest. They also may find items or virtually no worth. Use the table below, to determine what such items they find.

  1. Gnawed bones and partially consumed corpses fill the bottom of the nest. The whole mess—rotting flesh, splintered bones and and so on—smells horrible. Shredded, blood-stained cloth, broken equipment and more is mingled in with the shattered corpses.
  2. A wagon wheel—attached to the splintered remains of an axel—fill one part of the nest.
  3. The jagged, broken shards of several shells—intermixed with a great mass of feathers—covers the bottom of the nest.
  4. The partially eaten remains of a baby roc—consumed by its brethren—rots against one wall of the nest. Its eyes have been pecked out; flies buzz about the corpse.
  5. Three large eggs nestle in a sheltered hollow at the bottom of the nest. These eggs will hatch in two weeks—and the baby rocs inside will emerge into the world. Such creatures are highly prized by rangers, druids and other folk as animal companions or winged mounts.
  6. A mix of white and blood red feathers fills the nest. This might alert the adventurers to the fact that the nest belongs to a mated pair. If they have thus far only slain one roc, they had best search quickly…
  7. A dented helmet sized for a huge individual—perhaps some kind of giant—lies upside down in the nest. It is partially full of rainwater.
  8. Many smaller birds of prey—chiefly eagles and rooks—nest in the immediate vicinity of the nest in the hopes of sharing in the roc’s kills. When adventurers approach, they take flight and screech at the intruders. (This, of course, may alert any rocs remaining in the nest).
  9. Part of the roc’s nest hangs out over the cliff on which it is built. Incautious exploration could lead to the adventurer falling through the nest and plummeting to the ground far below.
  10. Mixed in with the bones and carrion littering the nest, perceptive adventurers spot a small number of tiny white scales. (The scales come from a young white wyrm the roc slew years ago). The scales are dirty, but if cleaned gleam brightly in the sun.

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This article will appear in GM’s Miscellany: 20 Things II, available in March 2017. For more, check out our Free Resources page.

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