Wetland Griffin Species in SanZera | World Anvil

Wetland Griffin

Wetland griffins are curious and clever scavengers native to the damp and temperate lands along Sanoris's south coast. While they are distant relatives to the domesticated Avrodian Griffin, they avoid people and are far too small to be ridden.

They are a common sight in southern Sanoris, traveling alone or in small flocks of three to five adults. While they are rarely aggressive, they can be vicious if provoked.

Basic Information

Anatomy

The wetland griffin is quadrupedal with a small and stocky body. It is covered with mottled brown fur, save for its front legs--which only have fur up to the elbows--and the front of its face. The end of its muzzle is tipped with a hard keratin beak and its mouth is lined with sharp teeth.

It has large triangular ears that can rotate almost 180 degrees independently. Its eyes are large and often bright blue. Its tail is almost half as long as its body and is tipped with a plume of longer fur.

Draconic Flight

Wetland griffins have a celestial core and use Glow to generate dragon wings. Their wings are long and rectangular with slotted ends. This allows them to take advantage of updrafts and soar high in the air with little effort. Their wings are also short enough to allow for agile maneuvers at lower altitudes.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Strict carnivores, wetland griffins almost exclusively eat carrion. They use their extraordinary sense of smell to sniff out corpses from over a mile away. They will eat just about anything, even bits that other carnivores might ignore, like skin, organs, and bones. They are resistant to many illnesses, allowing them to eat rotted flesh with little consequences.

They are well known for visiting battlefields to feast on fallen soldiers. During the Hartian assault of the wetlands before the Outskirts Treaty, the local griffins learned to follow Hartian banners, knowing that where they went, blood would soon follow. Even decades after the treaty, the griffins are still heavily associated with the violence of war and the Hartian Empire.

Their close relationship with death earns them a sinister reputation, but they are not typically aggressive. They may occassionally take live prey if the opportunity presents itself, but have not been known to hunt anything larger than a rodent.

Behaviour

"A circling griffin reveals either a skeleton or a secret."
— Common saying in the wetlands

Wetland griffins are curious, but from a distance. They tend to circle above recent changes in their environment or other landmarks that they find interesting. Sometimes they perch near camps or settlements to observe people, but they never venture close.

They will also circle corpses as they evaluate whether it is safe to descend and feed upon them. Sometimes they will follow sick or injured animals. Their sparkling wings cast splashes of color upon the ground as they trace lazy circles around their target, waiting for it to die.

A moon symbol made of simple cyan and blue shapes
Nox Symbol simplified (color) by Aster Blackwell
Luminosity
Lunar (Nox)
Lifespan
10 - 15 years
Average Height
1 to 1.5 feet at the shoulder
Average Weight
15 - 20 pounds
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Their fur can be many shades of brown or gray, with darker fur on the end of their tail, back legs, and in spots along their back. Their skin is also brown and is typically a lighter color than their fur. They are sometimes completely black, or black with brown skin. Black griffins are a foreboding omen in many cultures.
Geographic Distribution

Familiar Fur

Visitors from Auzera may note the similarities between the wetland griffin and the Auzeran tatzel. Both animals are small, furry dragons, with exposed skin on their forelegs and faces. They can both be found in urban environments, and they both have a feisty reputation. Despite these similarities, the two share no close genetic relatives and have very different temperaments--a wetland griffin would never allow itself to become a household pet!



Cover image: Artistic Depiction of Lunar Dragon Wings by Aster Blackwell

Comments

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May 8, 2024 08:00 by Mochi

I love this! The art is amazing as usual, and I love the details about their behaviour <3 and ew, feasting on fallen soldiers D:

I hope you have a great day!   Explore the endless planets brimming with life of the Yonderverse! Go after creatures, discover new places, and learn about the people you find along the way.
May 8, 2024 16:02 by Aster Blackwell

Thank you!! <3 and yes hehe it's quite morbid uwu

May 8, 2024 13:42

Adorable fellas! Also a lovely detail with similarities and differences between wetland griffins and tatzels.

May 8, 2024 16:02 by Aster Blackwell

Haha yes I realized how they were similar when I was designing them ... I think I have a preference for fuzzy little guys with talons? I dunno hahaha

May 8, 2024 19:50 by spleen

oh my gosh theyre adorable

Have a wonderful day!
May 10, 2024 22:52 by Aster Blackwell

They can certainly be cute when they're not covered in blood and dirt! (which isn't really that often...)

May 14, 2024 19:12 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

I love them. The stat sheet is so good! :)   I also love the detail of the common saying in the wetlands.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
May 14, 2024 22:52 by Aster Blackwell

Thank you so much!

May 16, 2024 13:29 by Grey

This is great! I love the details about them learning to follow the banners! Always a sucker for sayings and idioms too ^_^

May 17, 2024 00:13 by Aster Blackwell

Thank you so much! I stole the banner-following idea from a behavior observed in irl European ravens!