1/24/16 Roc Attack pt. 2 (began chained next to an angry roc, ended with a rest at Starmetal Hills hobo camp) (lv6)
Last time on “The Ballad of Toki Robinson”, the party found themselves trapped between a roc and a hard place, and Toki Robinson faced one of his most important decisions yet. Should he pull out of whatever plan he had made before he chained the roc right next to his friends? Or should he not pull out and doom them all to certain death? In the end, he decided to go against his nature and managed one of the greatest pull-outs of his adventuring career.
Toki saw that his friends were in trouble, and perhaps, regretted his actions (if Toki Robinson knew the word “regret”). Perhaps he had a plan, perhaps he didn’t. If he did have a plan, his party would never know it ahead of time and if he didn’t have a plan, he would just say he had one all along. After he slapped out a few notes with his bass lute and imbued himself with the Spirit of the Bear, Toki daringly rushed towards the roc and removed the dagger that fixed the chain in place around it. It took several seconds for the gigantic bird to realize he was now released and several more for him to shake free of the heavy masterwork chain.
In the meantime, Finrik hid underneath the cart and continued to whisper words of “calmate” to the stirring horse, while Mordekai stared on in shock at his friend Dorash, now limp in the crushing talon of the roc. The roc then began to beat his wings furiously in an attempt to take off from the ground. Vetkin saw this and sprang into action, scooping up several potions that had fallen from the knocked-over cart. He quickly tried to ascertain their contents as the roc squawked overhead, and after making a gut judgement, quaffed one of them down and bounded around the cart with his sword outstretched at his side.
His party watched on in amazement as the brave Vetkin made a leaping attack against the roc. Their amazement turned to quiet horror, however, as Vetkin’s blade fell not upon the roc, nor his talon, but at the outstretched hand of Dorash! As the fleeing roc ascended into the sky, Dorash’s bloody stump rained dark dragonborn blood down upon Vetkin, as he landed on the ground with the severed hand nearby. With one final squawk and several thrusts of its giant multicolor wings, the roc disappeared from view over the top of the canyon, headed east with his hard-fought meal.
The party then attempted to gather themselves after the harrowing encounter. Finrik was able to reassure the scared horse that no combat had ever occurred. The horse then shared with him that he has been lonely ever since the other horse was violently killed, and that he felt he had helped the party so much, he surely had earned a name more regal than “the horse”. Finrik agreed and christened him with the name “Mr. C”, short for Mr. Champion, because he was a champion in Finrik’s eyes.
Nearby, Vetkin used his newfound surge of strength to set the cart right again. He and Toki then walked over to the gaping chasm where the dragon bones rested and for the first time Vetkin could see why Toki had been so consumed by them. Glinting just barely from the little light they received, Vetkin saw the massive skeleton splayed out amid the crevasse. He climbed down to take a closer look and once he reached them, Vetkin could see that the glittering bones promised not only immeasurable wealth, but power as well.
Back topside, the party then discussed what their next step should be, and it was suggested that if they wanted to enlist the help of others on such a dangerous task, it may be helpful to have proof of their find. Just as Toki argued against disturbing the bones, Finrik plunged himself over the edge and before they knew it he was tugging at the dragon’s claws. After thoroughly testing the individual claws, he found one that was loose enough to be pulled by two hands (identified by its gnarled and withdrawn “cuticle”). The cheeky halfing then returned topside and showed his quarry to a shocked Vetkin and Toki, before smugly stuffing the claw into his magic quiver for safekeeping.
In the corner, Mordekai quietly wept to himself, and upon noticing this, Finrik approached to comfort him. “It’s all part of the Circle of Life, good Mordekai, that’s all- people die, and the world keeps turning,” were all the words of comfort Finrik had to offer. Mordekai felt a little bit better after being acknowledged by his team, but definitely not by Finrik’s words. It was clear he was shaken over the death of his friend, but it would take some time before the party discovered something else was troubling Mordekai.
The party then decided to rest a short while but didn’t feel safe in their previous encampment. Indeed, the barricades and traps they made previously did little to stop the roc’s aerial assault. They decided to build a small fortification that blended into the surrounding cliff face and camouflage it from above. Vetkin used his remaining surge of strength to quickly cobble together bits of wood to erect the frame, and Finrik dismantled the old, fetid gnoll bedding to make the roof. After it was suitably camouflaged with rocks and sand, the party crowded together and relaxed under their decrepit hovel as Toki treated them to his newest ballad, “Man of Constant Sorrow”.