I threw my spear as the second giant eagle swooped in, but unfortunately it dodged by swooping to the right. I couldn’t control where my spear went once I threw it… at least, not much. I could make it return, but slight adjustments in its course weren’t practical. If I could do it then it would lose some momentum or take a lot of mana, though that didn’t mean it wasn’t a good idea to try to learn.
Alhorn and Halette both had bows, and the eagle avoided Alhorn’s shot along with my spear. Halette had delayed slightly and shot after it dodged, but she only managed to clip its wing.
Kasner didn’t fire a lightning bolt. Instead, he threw up a sheet of water which the giant eagle couldn’t avoid, then froze it. It wasn’t strong enough to prevent the giant eagle from flapping its wings or opening its beak, but the ice covered its eyes. It slowed down to avoid crashing into its roost, and in that time my spear returned. Sadly the giant eagle was out of the line of its return, but even if it had been there it wouldn’t have been nearly as impactful as a direct throw.
Alhorn and Halette shot arrows into its chest, and my spear struck true as well. With it flying more slowly and without sight, it was an easy target. The eagle crashed into the outcropping below us with a loud thud before falling to the ground below.
We watched the sky for any more giant eagles… but we didn’t expect more.
After a few minutes, Halette stowed her bow. “That should be it. As far as the reports go, there was just one nesting pair. An easy job.”
It was easy. However, since we were trying to get back in the swing of things, an easy job was good. Besides, it wasn’t necessarily easy. It required the ability to track through scent- or through whatever other signs they might leave. Beyond that, flying creatures could be tough to deal with. Good parties had at least one option for ranged attack, but not necessarily four. If we’d had to fight the giant eagles in melee, things could have been messy. If we didn’t instantly kill them, their claws and beak could pierce into us or they could merely throw us off the edge. Perhaps that wouldn’t kill us, but it wasn’t completely safe either.
“Now then…” Halette looked down at the nest, “What to do with these?”
In the nest were three eggs. Each one was about the size of a basketball, and weighed about 15 pounds when I hefted it. That was a rough approximation, but I had become pretty good at guessing weights. It wasn’t a problem to carry them… but doing so without breaking them might be different. “Do we need them?” I asked.
“Need them? Not at all. Want them? Absolutely.” Halette gestured to them, “Each of them can sell for a decent amount… depending on whether or not they’re fertilized. As food, it’s just exotic eggs. As a future giant eagle… they’re worth quite a bit more. Though an actual giant eagle is worth even more than that.”
“So you want a giant eagle,” Kasner commented.
“I do!” Halette nodded seriously, “I am a beastmaster after all. It would be very useful to me… and to the team. Not so much in dungeons, of course. Anyway, if they’re trained properly they’re very useful.”
“Too bad we don’t have any magic bags,” Alhorn said, “It would make things much easier.”
“True, but we have normal bags…” Halette scratched her chin, “They’re not exactly delicate at this size, but still breakable. I would suggest putting them in individual backpacks and lowering them down one at a time.”
Halette climbed back down first to tell Kantrilla what was going on, and to tell Socks not to eat the eggs. Socks was well behaved, but we weren’t in a town so it was hard to expect her to not eat food placed in front of her without warning her ahead of time. She could smell when food was bad to eat, so it wasn’t like we had to worry about that.
I ended up being the one who lowered the eggs. The hardest part was keeping them from running into the outcropping, so I wrapped the rope around the end of my spear and held it away.
They say “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. Presumably this is so a single disaster doesn’t cause everything you have to be destroyed at once. However, if you had two baskets then you wouldn’t have any free hands to deal with said disaster and may encounter even more troubles.
We didn’t have any baskets, nor did we have anything else big enough to comfortably carry all three eggs. Thus Alhorn, Halette, and I all carried one in our own backpacks. We were the strongest, so we could handle an extra fifteen pounds. Kantrilla probably could, but she was still a bit clumsy. She was back to being somewhat lucky, but it was better to not tempt fate. Kasner absolutely couldn’t carry something that was almost half his weight. Not and do much more than stagger around with it, anyway.
When some wild wolves poked their noses in to see what smelled good, Socks was charged with driving them off. She was huge, and they immediately thought better of whatever they were going to do. We did have our backpacks ready to set down just in case, but it was better to avoid fights to begin with.
There wasn’t any worry about being ambushed with Socks around, so we made it back to the city without incident. In addition to the eggs we brought back the heads of the eagles. Those were also quite large, but we didn’t have to worry about them breaking, at least. If we had brought the mule Carlos with us we might have been able to bring the whole bodies, but he wasn’t exactly good for going up slopes off a road. We also hadn’t expected to need to carry so much stuff. Well, that was a lesson learned. Even if he wasn’t fast or able to fight, it was better to bring him with us.