Commonly found roosting among the mountains and plataeus of Imera and Vraelia, gryphons are proud and regal creatures. While not as aggressive as the wyverns with whom they often share territory, gryphons are still fearsome beasts, a reputation further enhanced by their dominion over the land and air. Despite (or perhaps because of) this fearsome reputation, many throughout Taeva regard gryphons as symbols of nobility, with some even making efforts to domesticate them, though this hasn't been without its own difficulties.
Gryphons are quadrupedal animals, with a body posture and build similar to that of a large cat. All gryphons have an appearance resembling a cross between a bird of prey and a large wildcat (typically eagles and lions), with a mix of fur and feathers (with the front half being almost completely feathered, and the back half almost completely furred), hind legs like a large cat, feathered forelegs that end in large talons, an eagle-like head with pointed ears, a large pair of wings around their shoulders, and a long, feathered tail.
It's been observed that female gryphons are about 1/3 larger than the males. Additionally, gryphons living further to the north have thicker fur and feathers, in order to better insulate themselves against the cold.
Genetics and Reproduction
Despite possessing avian traits, gryphons give birth to live young.
Ecology and Habitats
Gryphons commonly live in high places, like mountains and plateaus, and almost always near forests and fields, though some breeds can be found near Savannahs.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Gryphons are carnivorous.
Gryphons are very territorial creatures, preferring to keep to their pack (consisting of themselves, their mate, and their cubs). Interestingly, gryphons always mate for life, and will never seek a new mate, even when their previous mate has died. Due to their territories occasionally overlapping, gryphons and wyverns are naturally antagonistic towards one another. Adult gryphons are very difficult to domesticate thanks to their stubborn nature, though gryphon cubs raised in captivity are easier, and will remain loyal to their handler if properly looked after.
Gryphons live in small family units, consisting of themselves, their mate, and their cubs. Once a gryphon cub has reached maturity, it will leave its parents territory an strike out on its own.
While difficult, it is possible to domesticate gryphons. Since adult gryphons taken from the wild are typically very stubborn, they must be taken as eggs and raised alongside their handler. If properly cared for, a domesticated gryphon will remain loyal to its handler. Domesticated gryphons are typically used as elite mounts, typically by either prestigious individuals (such as nobility and royalty), or special military orders.
All gryphons have eagle-like heads, though unlike eagles, they also have a pair of pointed ears covered in short feathers.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Gryphoons are most commonly found throughout the continent of Imera, though they can also be found in some parts of northern Vraelia.
Gryphons are fairly intelligent creatures, being able to recognise individuals and places, and appear to understand the languages of the people living near their territories, though they have no ability to speak. Additionally, gryphons raised in captivity respond well to commands, both verbal and nonverbal.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Gryphons possess keen eyesight and hearing, allowing them to locate prey from high altitude.
Male: 1.8m Female: 2.4m
Male: 670kg Female: 880kg
All gryphons have a powerful build.
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Gryphons commonly have brown feathers, with blackish-brown mixed in, and light/tawny brown fur.