Collected from the Tome of Scarlett Reed:
6113.7.7 – Today is the first that we saw a creature of interest since the Phoenix. Traveling in the forests of Zexen was told to be immensely dangerous all but seasoned adventurers. Much like the Phoenix, this was some sort of a bird. Unlike the Phoenix, this creature is large with a strong beak, presumably flightless, and rather awkward looking.
Sean, the stupid yet wonderful man that I married, approached the creature from the side slowly, against Lady Beatrice’s wishes. Amazingly Sean was able to get close enough to put a hand on this creature. Whatever this creature was, must be extremely docile, we thought.
As it meandered away, we were able to follow it to its nest. Littered with stone flakes, and rocks the size of our fist, this was when we came to the horrible realization. This creature is a Cockatrice. The rocks that we found spread throughout the nest were not mere stones, but mice, rats, and lizards all petrified from the Cockatrice’s toxin. I called for a hasty, but dignified, retreat in order to regroup.
–Tormund Amendment: A warning to those that near a Cockatrice. They may be docile if approached from the side, but if you cross their direct path, they seem to take that as an act of aggression. They will attack and fight to the death. Although incredibly stupid, they are dangerous enough in their own right. —
6113.7.13 – I can’t believe Sean got so close to a Cockatrice. Back home, these creatures look entirely different. It is well known that Cockatrice’s vary wildly from region to region, however, I have never encountered one nearly this size. Lady Beatrice and I were able to get back to the nest of the Cockatrice while it was hunting to grab a small sample of the stones and rock chips. Although cockatrices exist throughout the world, not much is known about their diet or toxin in general, since no one is foolish enough to ask.
Well, except us I guess.
The preliminary findings are extraordinary. It seems that the Cockatrice’s Toxin only affects the Dermis and Epidermis of these creatures. The muscular system of the creatures remains intact as well as their organs. Although this is clearly an evolutionary trait for hunting and protection, it looks like it may have a side-effect of food preservation as well.
6113.7.14 – The third subject for dissection was still alive! This unfortunate rat was completely unable to move, as it’s Dermis petrified to stone, yet, when we broke the rock shell, it started to move around! It was squirming, but not completely shrieking in pain as I would imagine happening from a creature that just had it’s skin petrified and shattered. There must be a sedative within the toxin of some kind. At least there’s that blessing in disguise for its victims. Needless to say, we put the poor creature out of its misery before the pain could catch up to it.
We will be concluding our research at this time. It seems the bird has finally started to catch on to our presence and is displeased that we’ve been studying its food supply.
6114.4.21 – It’s been almost a year since we’ve last seen a Cockatrice. In this case, the bird seems to have stumbled across an ursowl cublet. Seeing the cublet favor it’s front leg, we can only assume that it’s been bitten. Lady Saunders, against my advice, played the hero and stepped in to intervene. The Cockatrice bit down on her gauntlet as she sliced the creature across the throat with a dagger. I immediately went to collect saliva samples from Lady Beatrice’s gauntlet, then the Cockatrice itself. Sean, meanwhile, went to soothe the Ursowl cublet. There was a large laceration on the ursowl’s front left leg, however, it’s unclear whether it was from the Cockatrice’s beak, or something else.
As I went into Dissecting the Cockatrice, Sean and Beatrice went in search of the cublet’s mother to no avail. By the time they return, the tiny ursowl started showing symptoms of stiffness in its leg. Without a doubt, it was bitten by the Cockatrice. Without having a proper setup, Sean and I prepped for surgery. The cublet would lose the leg, but at least he would be able to retain his life.
Of course, Sean has grown attached to the creature. Since he was unable to find the mother of the beast, he has decided to take him with us. It’s hard to argue with him after he’s named the cublet Joseph. I just wish he would have consulted me first…
It looks as if we’ve adopted an ursowl.