Monday, September 7, 2015

Flora et Fauna: Gryphons

Gryphons are considered mythical creatures by the people of Evandar. The tales about them describe them as a cross between an eagle, dragon, and great cat. In the north, the cat is the pumas that roam through out the region. In the south, the cat is the bobcats (which are slightly smaller than the pumas and disinclined towards resting in trees). Every story, however, describes gryphons to be carnivorous and generally creatures of foul temperament. The life cycle of gryphons alters in what region the stories come from. In the north, they are said to have hatched from eggs. In the south, they are said to have been birthed in litters akin to what cats have. In either case, the juvenile gryphon is said to be self sufficient upon its entrance into the world. They are described, functionally, as smaller versions of the adults. Females are said to be particularly nasty towards humans.

The gryphon is a description of an animal that once existed during the First Age. They were formed by the magic of the Deamons and attended their makers/masters much like dogs attend to their owners. Mature gryphons were the size of a horse. They possessed the wings of a true dragon, though they were feathered like an eagle's wing. Their heads were like that of an eagle and their bites could sever limbs easily. They also possessed the ability to spit venom a considerable distance. Their lower body was akin to that of a great cat, complete with claws and a tail. The immature gryphons had the coloration and appearance of a bobcat. Once they reached the size of a pony, however, they shed the bobcat look and looked more like pumas.

Gryphons were considered abhorrent abominations. With the defeats of the Deamons in the Great War, the magical construct of the gryphon destabilized and turned into egg shaped stones. These stones are collected and used for malevolent folk magic. There is no trace of the magical power that shaped the gryphons in these stones, though they look exotic compared to the stones of the region. The stones were small enough to fit in a large man's hand with room to spare. They appear to be fashioned from raw crystal shot through with random dark lines. The gryphon stones are generally considered ill luck and even the most greedy of people will not handle them. Indeed, some people have fashioned facsimile gryphon stones for the purpose of terrifying the receiver. These fake gryphon stones, however are not shot through with the dark lines. 

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