[Requires a DM to Encounter.]
This avian species is one of the most respected among fauna, not to mention those of the skies. Some of those familiar with them see their shape in the sky as a good omen. Shepherds and those unfamiliar see their shadow as a rather more foreboding image. And with a wingspan of 3 meters for males and 4 meters for females they certainly cast a noticeable shadow.
Like eagles, female griffins are about one third larger than males. Unlike eagles, they have from the upper abdomen downward the body of a lion (Barring some smaller tail-feathers above it's actual tail.) Despite being lion in the lower bodies, the creatures are fundamentally avian as they are known to lay eggs in nests. Their size is overall smaller than that of a lion, with the larger females approaching the size of smaller lions at 1.8 meters of length and 300 pounds of weight. The males are smaller than any lions with 1.4 meters of length and 225 pounds of weight on average.
The figure of the griffin is most often with valor and honesty because of it's respect for civilized peoples and the respect it receives in return. In legend, they have been spoken of as animals who oppose forces of evil like the individual lion and eagle of which it is seemingly composed. Also like each creature, it is known for having an independent personality that has proven to be the bane of those who've tried to capture and tame them. Falconers claim that the beasts can be tamed and mounted by those of great skill, but the bards tell that their nature allows them only to be held as allies who come during times of need rather than as pets or slaves. In truth, none from either group has any credible proof behind what they say, only rumors and legend.
Griffins can be seen flying high above mountainous regions and any ocean, flatland, or lightly forested area which would border them. Where there is prey to swoop down upon they will fly so long as it's not too far from a nesting area. Given the rarity of appropriately dangerous nesting locations, griffins are legendary creatures.
The creatures, though not afraid of civilized species, understand the danger they pose to their nests and young. As such, they choose to nest only in locations too harsh or out of the way for most peoples and creatures. A high tolerance for all kinds of whether allows them to be fairly indiscriminate of it when roosting and allows them to nest in even harsher locations whether those be icy jagged peaks, isolated and sea-battered rocks, or the tallest mountains of mountain ranges. With the rarity of such locations it's not uncommon to see five or six griffin nests within the same small region.
Flying over diverse landscapes, the griffin will grab any beast not too large to carry to feed itself and it's young, just as easily being spotted grabbing a goat from a hillside or a small shark from the sea. Though smart enough to not target species organized enough to hunt them down, hungry griffins will often fail to make the connection between grazing animals and the societies that raise them for sustenance, often causing ire in the hearts of shepherds or hungry villagers.
Griffins will not be hostile to civilized peoples unless attacked first. Like other intelligent birds, they recognize faces and will not forget the danger presented by those who've attacked them or approached their nests. Griffins with eggs or young in the nest, however, are extremely territorial. Once the line has been crossed, a griffin will not cease to defend it's nest until the offending creature has gone very far away or has perished. Likely by means of a griffin picking it up and dropping it from a high distance, or simply pushing it down one of the sheer cliffs on which they love to nest if not by more traditional methods of clawing or pecking with great strength.
Often sharing small regions with other griffin individuals, small rivalries often form between them over prey and optimal nest locations. Despite this, violence between griffins is very rare and because of their high intelligence, threats to one nest are often met with more resistance than only the directly offended creature as the beasts view anything capable enough to threaten one hard-to-reach griffin nest as a possible threat to to all within the region. In the event that a region becomes uninhabitable, the griffins of the region will fly together in a flock until another one is found.
If a griffin comes to respect an individual to a great extent, the griffin will entertain the person by allowing itself to be mounted as an ally and, with those who've earned extreme respect or if for mutual benefit of the Griffin, will allow itself to be ridden into battle. If a griffin is raised from youth to act as a mount it will act more-or-less like another rideable beast. This prospect may sound appealing to many, but for such a thing to happen one would need to come upon a griffin egg (Or, more rarely, a griffin chick) and more than enough have died trying to come upon the valuable eggs that most understand the theft of a griffin egg to be a fool's errand.
- Highly intelligent
- Indifferent to people, easy to upset, possible to befriend
- Very hostile around nests
- Hunt alone, travel long-distance and defend nests in small packs of five or six
- The feathers of a griffin have a passive loud whistling effect and, when used as fletching, add the whistling effect to arrows.
- The blood of a griffin melts away at profane entities, destroying them as if they were melting in a pool of magma.
- The eye of a griffin, when crushed into a liquid and applied as eye drops, gives a person temporary eagle-eye vision similar to seeing through modern binoculars
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