The following story and OC Character was written to "adopt" a fan-species dragon called the Spike Roller. Spike Rollers were created by BlackPanther0211 on the SOD Forum topic "'Tis my birthday again. So...Spike Rollers? (Adoptables)". Lineart for this dragon drawn by NightmareRebuff.
Rock and Roller
Headmaster Heyral stood on Berk's docks, barking orders as a few dragons were unloaded from a Dragon Hunter ship, yet another conquest of the senior Dragon Riders. Most of the freed dragons fly off as they choose, but invariably there were a few that needed some kind of rehabilitation, or needed assistance being relocated.
"Oi, what have we here?" Heyral stopped in front of a large cage shaking violently as its angry inhabitant roared and rattled the cage. "Eh, a Spike Roller! Haven't seen those in a while," he admired. The brown dragon snarled at him and chewed on the cage bars. The cage itself was crushed in the corners, no doubt the dragon had rolled the whole cage around in an attempt to get out.
"Hmmm, yer healthy-looking enough, but where are we going to release you? Not here on Berk!" Most Spike Rollers had no wings, so this dragon could not fly off after being freed, nor would it have been acceptable just to turn him out at sea, with no direction to go or land in sight.
As Heyral stood there contemplating solutions, a dusty young man stepped from the crowd of curious human and dragon onlookers. A Zippleback followed closely behind, equally dusty and both heads lolled their tongues out like a dog.
"Master Heyral!" the lad addressed him.
"Yer a Margrkind boy aren't you? Love the berries," Heyral replied.
The young man nodded, nonplussed by the use of 'boy'. Everyone was a boy to Heyral, sometimes even Gobber. "Yessir, I'm Diggr Margrkind. And I'm happy to see a Spike Roller," Digger said, clearing his throat to continue. "I was actually hoping a Quaken or Roller would be saved and come to Berk. I've a place in mind for this guy to live."
Heyral eyed him skeptically. Diggr was a Viking Farmer, not a Rider or Warrior. Obviously he had taken basic dragon training classes, or there wouldn't be a saddled Zippleback following him. "Oh? And where's that?"
"Skertonn Island," Diggr grinned. He had a plan.
"That barren tooth of an island? Heyral considered. It was a small rocky island very near Berk, that the Margrkind family had claimed as theirs so long ago, no one remembered why. But there was a weathered naming rock there, signed by a Margrkind. "Well, I'll need to bring that up to Master Hiccup and the Council," he replied.
Digger excitedly watched from his perch on SandNSoot as the brown Spike Roller was unloaded at the small dock on Skertonn. The Roller rattled his cage in frustration. These humans had been kind, but still he was in a cage. The cage was slowly trundled to solid land.
Diggr slid down from SandNSoot, with a branch of black berries in hand. He extended it into the cage. "You are SmashSnout and you are home," the Viking declared. The Roller growled and cleverly lunged and chewed at the bars, while sweeping the berry branch into his mouth with his tongue.
Diggr stepped back and tapped the right neck of his Zippleback. That head breathed out a noxious green cloud, obscuring them from view. The cage door swung open and SmashSnout galloped out, roaring, onto his new gloriously rocky home.
Diggr settled down into his newly built stone long house with SandNSoot crowded in. He made sure to make his house tall and wide enough to accommodate a dragon, plus an add-on dragon room.
The truth was, his extended family was huge, and space was becoming limited on Berk. There was not any new land for young farmer sons to live upon, not without tearing down the forests, which the Berkians were loathe to do. Many in his family were fishermen, or warriors, or some other occupation, but he was raised as a farmer and he needed land. And then there was this island. It was big enough to support a few families and had fresh water, but except for some clinging grasses ans a healthy sea bird population at its shores, the island was all rock and no soil.
But Spike Rollers, Diggr marveled, could pulverize the ground they walked on - or rather rolled on. And they could do it relatively quickly, far quicker than man or weathering could.
He patted SandNSoot's left head affectionately. And gas dragons? Well their smelly poop was an excellent organic soil amendment. Diggr wanted to farm this island and grow crops. Berries to eat, to trade, and to feed the mostly vegetarian Spike Roller.
Diggr had to bring in many supplies, including hay and straw to drop to SmashSnout. He needed wood to build and burn. SandNSoot fished, but Diggr needed pots and jars and tools and salt and spices and a myriad of other things. Berk was only a short distance away however, and his family plentiful.
SmashSnout tramped all over the rocky island, savoring the feel of the hard, cold stone beneath his paws. He grazed on the raggedy grasses growing in the crags and crevices, but soon he had grazed them all down. However, the Viking and the Zippleback flew above him everyday, dropping down squares of dried grass for him to eat.
There was a fresh water pool near the island's center, and the human had made a cave for himself from a pile of rocks. It was oddly rectangular with a pointed top. And when he came to drink, the human was there, watching.
SmashSnout wondered if the human would drop berries, but he never did. But one day, the Zippleback with the human upon his back, landed right in front of him, instead of flying over. He had no hay, Instead the man was holding a branch of rowanberries, waving them in the air tantalizingly. The Zippleback grunted at him. SmashSnout was not pleased with their proximity, nor did he like the way that other dragon had sounded. But most of all, he wanted those berries.
With a roar and a stomp, SmashSnout tucked himself into a ball and started to roll. The Zippleback sprang into the air, then glided along the ground just out of reach. SmashSnout moved rapidly, bouncing along the rocky terrain, smashing rocks into little bits and grinding up the ground. The Zippleback zig-zagged all over the east side of the island. Eventually, the flying dragon grew tired. He was not tired, as rolling was a rather efficient way to travel. The man dropped the berry branch and flew away. SmashSnout grabbed it up and chewed it twigs and all, savoring every bit.
The next day was the same, except the man also left hay. And this game repeated the next day after that, and the next and the next. For the entire Fall, SmashSnout rolled after the human on the dragon. He wasn't even angry at them anymore, and enjoyed the feel of the ground on his back. And of course he relished the berries.
"You just make sure to poop all over the east side," Diggr said, scratching his grinning Zippleback as they looked upon the land. The rock was absolutely pulverized. It looked like fine sand all around, accentuated with larger chunks of rock. "We'll have to bring over some compost from the Berk middens of course, but, I think, come Spring we might have some workable land!" he beamed. They had to make it through the winter first.
As the snow covered the landscape, the man and the other dragon stopped leading him about with a berry branch. They either flew off to that other island on the horizon, or stayed holed up in their constructed cave by the pond. The water froze over and there wasn't even any grass to chew on.
But when the human did come out, he pounded the ice to reveal the cold liquid water underneath, and lay out hay, dried fish, and a few berries. SmashSnout was not very keen on fish, but the protein warmed him. Sometimes the Zippleback even brought out a large cauldron of warmed water with fish and cabbage stuffed inside. This mixture was rather tasty. He decided he rather liked cabbage.
As the long Scandinavian winter wore on, SmashSnout waited near the pond for the Viking to emerge, and only grunted warnings if he got too close. The human often made quite a lot of noises toward him, but they did not seem angry. SmashSnout even tolerated the Zippleback leaning in close to inspect his dinner.
One evening, the man left out SmashSnout's food as usual, and retreated back inside through the large wooden double-doors on one end of the roofed cave. A few moments passed and the doors did not close as was customary. SmashSnout could see and smell the hay inside, inviting. The hours wore on and the doors stayed open. Well into the night, SmashSnout stepped closer to the open doors and snuffled around cautiously. He sniffed the threshold all the way around. All he could smell was hay, Zippleback, and that one human. The hay-padded room was just too tantalizing. He stepped inside and ate some hay, then curled up like a cat in the stuff and slept.
By early next morning, Diggr smiled as he looked at the empty dragon-sized depression in the hay. SmashSnout had noticed he left the doors ajar and came inside. This made dealing with the cold air leaking into his house worth the chilly night.
So from that night forward, Diggr left the dragon room doors open. He and SandNSoot curled up by their hearth, while SmashSnout slept in the insulating hay. Both man and dragon were aware the other knew he slept there. So after awhile, SmashSnout didn't bother leaving so early to avoid the Viking.
Once the dragon was comfortable being around, Diggr stepped into the dragon room from inside the house, with a branch of berries extended. At first, SmashSnout growled and stomped his feet, but reached out and snatched the branch away. Both human and dragon stepped back from each other. SandNSoot hovered a little anxiously behind Diggr, watching to make sure the Roller did not make any overtly aggressive moves.
As with all the changes Diggr presented to SmashSnout, he went slow and methodically. Rollers were stubborn and cautious, and a bit aggressive. Being a farmer and dealing with all manner of animals from cats to yaks, patience was key.
Eventually Diggr did not step away when offering the berries, and eventually SmashSnout stopped his dominant posturing. Diggr also made sure to give SandNSoot a good rub down in from of the Roller, and scratch all those itchy spots that a dragon can't reach. Well, not that there were many on a beast with two heads.
Finally, Digger reached out and touched SmashSnout on the cheek. He jerked his head back and growled over the mouthful of berries. Diggr reached out again and SmashSnout stopped chew altogether. Would he allow a second touch or would he bit his arm and smash him to the ground? SmashSnout's pupils dilated. SandNSoot whined worriedly. Diggr calmly but purposefully reached to an eye ridge, a place where it seemed dragons got itchy, and made contact with the rough sandpaper hide. He immediately started scratching. SmashSnout leaned into his hand almost unconsciously, and then resumed chewing. After a moment, he shook Diggr's hand off and grunted.
From then on, SmashSnout allowed petting, and, Diggr believed, actually enjoyed it, but grumbled or shifted away after a few moments out of 'principle'. How could a wild and free beast allow the touch of a lowly human? But what SmashSnout hadn't quite realized yet or wanted to admit to himself, was that he was no longer truly wild and actually enjoyed the amenities a tame dragon had.
By Spring, SmashSnout casually hung about with Diggr and SandNSoot, watching as they worked the ground he had broken up, bringing in loads of smelly compost from Berk, and planting oh so delicious berry bush seedlings.
Spike Roller Information
(The following information is directly quoted from the SOD thread: "'Tis my birthday again. So...Spike Rollers? (Adoptables)" by creator BlackPanther0211)
- Class: Boulder
- Shot Limit: 5
- Attack: 18
- Speed: 6
- *Speed while Rolling: 14
- Armor: 23
- Firepower: 3
- Jaw Strength: 4
- Stealth: 2
The Spike Roller dragon has existed since ancient times, and as such has a prehistoric appearance. As the name suggests, its sharp spikes are one of its most dangerous weapons, along with its size and incredible strength. Spike Rollers are also capable of curling themselves into a tight ball and rolling at high speeds. They do this mainly to attack their opponents, but it can also be used for travelling over difficult terrain. This can have a devastating effect on anything around them, as the powerful spikes on its back can gradually break up the ground and anything else in their environment. Because of this, it is easy to tell when you're in one's territory, which is a usually large rocky area. This Boulder Class dragon has thick, armour-like scales on its back to protect it from harm inflicted by rolling, or even from other dragons. The scales on its belly and legs though, are much softer and vulnerable to attacks. While it breathes fire, its flame is somewhat weaker than that of other dragons, and usually comes in only short bursts. As a result, it relies heavily on its tail as a weapon in close-range combat, where it is unable to roll. They are bulky and clumsy dragons, and definitely do not excel in situations where agility is needed.
Their habitat is usually somewhere rocky, and they prefer to spend their time in a mountain terrain, or in large, open areas. However, they will often temporarily wander into forests or grasslands in search of food. Their diet consists of mainly berries and plants, but they have been known to eat meat occasionally. Those who live near rivers may try to catch fish if they are hungry enough, but they much prefer other food sources.
Spike Rollers are very territorial, and can be very aggressive towards strangers. They are extremely dangerous to approach, and are very difficult to train. Some are more stubborn than others, and how they behave once trained varies between dragons.
Every now and then, a Spike Roller that has wings is hatched. These are considered very rare among the species, and only a small number of winged ones have ever been recorded. Winged Rollers are clumsy flyers, and can only travel short distances at a time. They roll at a reduced speed to a normal Roller, because their wings make rolling more difficult. Because of this, the wings are generally considered a weakness, and are seen as a bad trait among Rollers. Dragon hunters though, are particularly interested in the winged variant, because they are extremely difficult to find.
- In Norse, "Sker" means Rock and "Tonn" means Tooth.
- The Surname of "Margrkind" is cobbled together from the Norse words for "many" (margr) and "offspring/kin" (kind). Meaning, this is a big extended family! Other OC character stories include Bogbert Margrkind and Finngeirr Margrkind.
- Headmaster Heyral is a character seen in the HTTYD game "School of Dragons".
There are a number of other stories about members of the Margrkind family and their "adopted" dragons including: