A magically created race with the head and legs of an eagle, the body of a lion, and the wings of a raptor, gryphons are known to be intelligent, clever, and brave. They also are known to posses Mind-magic, and many are mages in their own right.
Gryphons were created by the great mage Urtho, who considered them to be both his children and his greatest accomplishment. When he was finished designing them, Urtho had vague plans to help them found small aeries in the wilder areas of the nearby mountains, allowing them to develop their own society. However, this notion was disrupted by the onset of the Mage Wars.
List of Gryphon chracters: Category:Gryphons
The great Adept Urtho, also known as the Mage of Silence, originally created the gryphons as over fifty different type lines.The lines all share a wing structure and coloration that correlates to a type of bird-of-prey. Some examples include rufous broadwings (a hawk type), of which Aubri was an example, gos-type which had the blue coloration and red eyes of goshawks, compact body suntails, and eagle types like Skandranon. Zhaneel and Kechara were based on an unrealized falcon type with pointed wings, almost human-like hands, and malar markings similar to a falcon.
Later generations show much more variation as the lines interbred, and are larger. Treyvan and Hydona, for example, display characteristics of broadwing and eagle type gryphons, but have malar markings that would have been derived from a falcon type.
Much of their biology and behavior is similar to the raptors from which they are derived. Certain traits, such as the females being larger than the males, keen eyesight, and shared parental care, are examples. Females are also more drably colored than males, and enjoyed painting and dying their feathers, sometimes very gaudy combinations.
Gryphons have a "naturally spicy musky scent" which most humans enjoy. (The Silver Gryphon, Chapter Three)
Gryphons are sustained by magic, which they cannot live without. Their entire biology is dependent upon magic, and they have special organs that convert its energy into a form they can use. Magic is "collected" by the feathers and channeled into these organs--therefore, if a gryphon loses too many feathers, it will die. Their flight is partially facilitated by magic--after the Storms when magic was more evenly spread over Velgarth, many gryphons found it much easier to fly.
As with all magical constructs, gryphons are not perfectly made and therefore do suffer some problems. One such problem is either the complete lack of a preening gland at the base of the tail, or the presence of a dysfunctional one. They are unable to produce the oils they need to keep their feathers in good condition and need outside help to oil their feathers-usually the help of a specialized caretaker called a trondi'irn.
Due to their beaks, gryphons tend to speak sibilitanly, and will often trill their r's and hiss their s's. This will become more apparent as a gryphon becomes more stressed or angry.
Iftelian vs k'Leshyian GryphonsEdit
Gryphons can be grouped into two rough categories-those from Iftel and those from k'Leshya. Due to millenia of separation, the original types diverged into two distinct groups. The Iftelian gryphons are typically uniform in color, dark brown with subtle barring. They appear to all be derived from a single type since they are all descended from a single wing of gryphons. They are an eagle type (such as Skandranon), and as a result, tend to be of a heavier build.
k'Leshyian gryphons, on the other hand, are extremely varied and come in all shapes and forms, from broadwing to gryfalcon types to everything in between, and often show a combination of traits from different lines. They are also much more colorful than Iftelian gryphons, have variegation or barring, often on the wings, or malar markings on the head like falcons.
It should be noted that some gryphons live wild, especially around areas like north Valdemar and Lake Evendim. Not much is known about them, and they do not seem to fit any set type. They tend to only form small family groups consisting of a mated pair and gryphlets, and abhor contact with humans.
When Urtho created the gryphons, he specifically designed them so it would be difficult for them to breed without his help, for he had seen too many parents have many miserable children and he didn't want his gryphons to have the same start in life as these wretched youngsters. He drew from snow tigers deep in the north when creating the male gryphons; only when they were in cold conditions did they become sexually active. The females had to be stuffed full of food before they became sexually receptive. Skandranon discovered the secret to successful mating, a simple spell that lowered the male's body temperature. This allowed the species to continue and prosper after Urtho's death.
Young are given birth to live, usually as a set of twins. Both gryphon parents participate in care of the young, like raptors. The young are fed meat, and take several years to fledge and mature.
The Mage WarsEdit
Skandranon Rashkae, The Black Gryphon, is the most famous gryphon in the history of the race. Skandranon, also known as Skan, was the ally of Urtho and his feats have never been matched in history. It was his discovery of fertility spells that enabled the gryphons to reproduce, and he founded White Gryphon after the Cataclysm. Other notable gryphons from this time included his mate Zhaneel, his son Tadrith, Kechara, and Aubri.
Mage Winds TrilogyEdit
The gryphons Treyvan and Hydona came to reside in the ruins near the k'Sheyna Vale as an advance party for the k'Leshya clan. These adventurers established an agreement with the k'Sheyna to stay in the ruins in exchange for guarding that border of the Vale. Treyvan and Hydona befriended the young Darkwind and became substitute parents for him following the tragic loss of his mother and the estrangement of his father, Starblade.
Treyvan and Hydona are parents to the gryphlets Jervan and Lytha. The adult gryphons assist in training Darkwind and Elspeth as well as Heralds with mage abilities, and were key elements in efforts to defeat Mornelithe Falconsbane. As ambassadors to Valdemar, they represented their race, clan k'Leysha, and other nonhuman species in Tayledras lands.
Mage Storms TrilogyEdit
In addition, Treyvan and Hydona, still acting as ambassadors in Valdemar and teachers of mages, also assisted in lessening the effects of the Storms and the eventual actions taken to stop them.
Darian's Tale Edit
In the seriesEdit
- The Black Gryphon, Mage Wars series, volume 1
- The White Gryphon, Mage Wars series, volume 2
- The Silver Gryphon, Mage Wars series, volume 3
- Winds of Fate, Mage Winds series, volume 1
- Winds of Change, Mage Winds series, volume 2
- Winds of Fury, Mage Winds series, volume 3
- Storm Breaking, Mage Storms series, volume 3
- Owlflight, Darian's Tale, volume 1
- Owlsight, Darian's Tale, volume 2
- Owlknight, Darian's Tale, volume 3