The bond between a Griffon and its rider is unbreakable once they become connected, allowing them to become one when taking flight through the sky, making them capable when they need to be. But also feeling joy and pain from each other shows they care for one another. - High King Darius Harkon
It takes one Griffon and a rider to become apart of part of a unit. However, any more than seven will make up a wing. The more wings pit into play, the more officers are needed to command the riders.
Griffon Rider Flight Armor: A specialized type of armor designed to protect Griffon Riders from the harsh condition of the sky. Griffon Harness: A designed harness equipped with a saddle for Griffons to allow riders to remain safely on them and steer them. It also stores all the equipment for the rider. Spy Lenses: Unlike the one magnifying lens of a spyglass used by naval ships, spy lenses are designed to be attached to a person's head with the fear of dropping them due to weather conditions. The lenses are also mixed with Cold Glass to prevent them from fogging up and seeing from long distances. Repair Kit: Used to fix flight armor and harness in case of minor or severe damage during flights or battle when it is not fixed correctly. It is often done through rough patchwork or sowing to keep it as secure as possible. Ration Kit: While on long missions, food is given to the rider and the Griffon to keep them fed and moving. The food is often tried meat for the rider and raw meat for the Griffon, with the cold air temperature through flying preserving it without becoming rotten.
Claws : A Griffon's claws are as sharp as a lion's and capable of grabbing and tearing flesh to shreds. Beak: The beak of a Griffon is strong, peaking through flesh and breaking bone with considerable force to it. The force alone has been known to dent through armor as well. Wings : The wings of a Griffon grant them flight but can also produce large amounts of wind that can push objects back depending on their size and pick up dust and debris that can blind an opponent. Melee Weapons: All riders carry two standard weapons on and off their Griffons. The first is a spear used on the mount to pierce opponents at incredible speeds and a weapon of the rider's choosing ranging from swords to axes for close-quarters combat. Alchemical Flasks: Concoctions of potions created through alchemy that create specific effects when the flask is broken. Flasks carried by riders are Inferno Flasks, Smoke Flasks, Blast Flasks, Flash Flasks, and Melting Flasks.
Griffon Mounts: Griffons as considered one of the most dangerous apex predators on the Continent of Norria, but if trained properly can be loyal and trustworthy mounts to ride into battle.
Wing Commander: The leader of multiple wings to command in battle, they can lead their wings tactically and the main command through the Wing Chiefs under them. Wing Chief: Officers that command an entire wing under them, a wing will be able to maintain their orders through them and organize effectively to carry them out. Wing Sergeant: A rider whose duty is to keep a wing under control when needed and keep them up to the task. This can be difficult with the vastness of the sky and the chaos of battle, but they can drag back riders that stray too far. Wingmen: Standard riders are allowed to act independently if they see an opportunity and exploit it with their mobility, with each rider being given a certain designation for their role in a wing.
Sky Rider Signaling : A series of commands done through hand and arm gestures to allow a rider to give clear messages without needing to say a single word. Aerial Combat: While combat within the air is not likely, it is still trained to allow riders to deal with flying creatures large enough to cause them harm by using maneuvers and coordination to take them down through tactical strikes. Air to Ground Combat: Riders change their flight path to aim closer to the ground to attack targets to do considerable damage before going back in the air to do it again. Dive Bombing: Riders prepare their drop objects on the ground by flying down quickly before dropping their load for accuracy. Objects being dropped vary from large rocks to Alchemical Flasks. Aerial Recon: Riders will remain in the air and observe enemy positions while out of range of projectiles. They will try to observe whatever they find and report back to their commanding officer. Stealth Infiltration: Often done at night and above in the air where no one can see them, they go behind enemy lines to conduct missions to gather information or destroy targets. Close Quarters Combat: When on the ground, a Griffon and their rider become a dangerous duo that can tear apart a formation with ease, with a Griffon's strength being able to knock away men, while the rider strikes them with their weapon. Retrieval: Griffons can be trained to grab ahold of stationary and moving objects with their front claws and carry them through the air. This can be useful in capturing an enemy or carrying heavy objects to deliver faster. Emergency Mounting: In case of the need to quickly mount their Griffon, a rider can call upon them by a sharp while and grab hold of them while they are still in flight and secure themselves while in the air. This is considered dangerous one slip-up can injure or kill the rider if they are not careful. Terror: Due to riders often attacking from the sky on their Griffons, it will often cause terror upon any foe with no experience with such a tactic, but upon seeing a Griffon up close and personal, it will scare them no matter what.
Bonding with GriffonOnce recruits are brought into training, they are given young adolescent Griffon, which will become their mount. Hunters catch most young Griffons since they can still be trained, as they are still developing as adults are too feral to tame. Once captive Griffons are more common, they will be bred in captivity to quicken the process. However, until Griffon reaches near adulthood, flight trains will not begin as they are still too small to be ridden on. For now, it will just be bonding between the Griffon and the recruit that is assigned to them. The bonding experience is the most important part of becoming a rider, as the Griffon must be willing to allow their rider to trust them and later ride them when large enough. This can take a few months or years, depending on their age. Still, in that time, the recruit will feed them, groom them, and train them to follow their command verbally and use Sky Rider Signaling as Griffion are known for their excellent memory and instantly remembering what they see and hear. At that time, the rider and their griffon will share a strong connection built on trust and respect. When the Griffon reaches proper size, the recruit will be tested to see how they can handle their Griffon, and if they pass, they will go straight to flight training, and if not, they will be given several more attempts or be thrown out of training.
Flight TrainingBefore a recruit can even go into the air, they must first be able to keep themselves on their Griffon. At this point, the Griffon is trained, but it is not used to the idea of something on its back and will try to get it off them. With the recruit, they will try to knock them off since they know any other person would result in them trying to tear them off and possibly kill them. At this point, the rider should have the trust of the Griffon to calm down and let them stay one, but it is common for a rider to be knocked off a few times before getting the hang of it. Once that is done, they will learn to ride it while on the ground, which takes a few days to gain trust between the rider and Griffon. Afterward, they will begin their first flight to seal their bond with a more experienced rider to guide them and are given fur clothing and safety gear to remain on the Griffon without falling. The first time a rider experiences flight is both terrifying and exciting at the same time, and once they get used to it, they will be ready to train truly. During that time, they will learn aerial warfare maneuvers and tactics and work with fellow trainees. In a few months, the riders can know every command of Sky Rider Signaling, flight patterns, and the ins and out of sky combat after many mock battles and training exercises. Including methods to combat the harsh conditions of the sky, from cold to breathing. After one final test to prove their skill by going through a simulated battle and passing, they will be given the honor of becoming official Griffon Riders and are allowed to dawn the Griffon Rider Flight Armor. They will then be given their first assignment and protect the land from all threats in the wings they are assigned to.
Aids will be present in tending to the care of a Griffon when the rider is not present. These aids have often been with certain Griffons since they were first brought to them, so they will be familiar with them and not attack them on sight, being able to feed, groom, and place their harness on them when a rider needs to depart urgently.
Griffon Riders will often be alongside army and naval groups to aid them against enemies on both land and sea. Being used to support the riders in tasks that destroy enemy formations and distract them from past enemies more easily.
Riders must keep all their equipment in mint condition to avoid an accident in flight that might cause injury or death. They also must keep their Griffons healthy and adequately cared for, which means that food and living quarters must be assigned to them, with the rider and Griffon being given a shared space, a hybrid stable living space to suit their needs. This will result in at least a hundred in gold annually.
Skill and LoyaltyThose selected to become a Griffon Rider must undergo a series of tests to prove their skills before entering their ranks. Many men and women have proven their loyalty to Norria, and the High King can keep the secrets of the riders safe. All are warriors with years of experience from Norria or the Storm Guard. Being either Human or Osmir as they are the only races capable of flying Griffons and weathering the high altitudes during flight. These tests are meant to test their balance, endurance, perception, stamina, and mental fortitude. The train often lasts for a few weeks to go through multiple attempts to improve their skills when needed. Anyone unable to pass all of these will be failed. Those who pass will officially begin their training to become riders.
Rise of the RidersThe first recorded incident of a person being able to ride a Griffon occurred just before the Northern Wars of Unification was by no other than Darius Harkon before his rise of becoming the first High King of Norria when he was trying to unite the continent under his banner. During a visit with the Giants of the Whitepeak Mountains and convinced them to join the Moot he called upon he came across a young wounded Griffon on the mountain. Rather than just ending its life, he nursed it back to health inside and formed a bond with it during that time, and by the time he left for the Moot, he had learned to ride the beast allowing him to be one of the first experience a flight through the skies. He would name his Griffin Stormbringer and be heralded as the first Griffon Rider. During the war, he would ride into battles upon Stormbringer, causing much damage and chaos amongst the enemy. However, he would only ride him when necessary, as Stormbringer was still growing and did not what him to be wounded and exhausted from constant fighting. But when he was flying, he would come up with the earliest forms of aerial warfare and methods of flying to use with Griffons, along with ways to care for and bond with them. After the war ended with Darius becoming High King, he began forming his band of the Royal Griffon Riders, more famously known as the Sky Riders of the North. However, it would take a few years before the first riders would take flight after many trials and errors to ensure the safety of the riders and their Griffons.
First of a New BreedWhile many have tried and failed to become riders, those who have succeeded have proven capable of taking to the skies. While they only exist in small numbers now, with several dozen existing, they have given the new kingdom an edge that no one in their part of the world has, air superiority. In that time, the riders have been used to patrol and protect the land from those that refuse to accept the new order and the beasts that prowl the land. Using every encounter to learn and improve their skill in flight and combat but have yet to experience an actual aerial battle to test their skills. Yet the people see the riders as something otherworldly due to their achievements to get where they are and are praised for defending the people from harm. This, however, is about to change as war looms over the kingdom in the form of the Vatian Empire that threatens their existence. They shall have a key rule in the coming conflict that may change the course of history and the future in the coming day should it come to pass.
All riders are loyal to the High King of Norria, and the Kingdom of Norria, protecting them from all who would harm them.
Overall training Level
Power of Flight
It's hard to explain what being above the clouds is like. While were are trained to know how to get up there, the rest is based on a feeling in your gut you have and more like instinct than anything else. - Rider's Experience on FlyingFor thousands of years, battles have been fought from both land and sea, but very few had ever thought to look to the sky to one day see it there. While a few places have succeeded in reaching there, only a select few have ever experienced have been able to experience the way they can on the back of a Griffon. The experience is intoxicating as it is harsh due to the conditions a rider finds themselves in. Its sense of freedom and its travel of great distances make most riders never want to let go of the experience. But it also gives them the advantage to do what they need to achieve victory, for they control the skies when their enemies are on the ground. A single rider can change the tide of a battle, but what can a hundred do for an entire war? Nothing will ever be the same as these riders are the future; for now, they have dominion over the sky.
Bond of Friendship
Alright, alright, I know your hungry, you giant lug; here's your piece of lamb. Don't go making on it like last time; I don't feel like clearing up your mess again. - Rider to GriffonWhen most people see a mount such as a horse, they see it as a dumb animal that will do whatever its rider tells them to; that is not the case with a Griffon. For a rider to be able to tame a Griffon, they must treat it as more than just a mount but as something more than that; it must be treated as an equal. The Griffon is a proud and intelligent creature of the skies that will not be treated as someone's horse; they will just as much eat such an arrogant fool for such an act. While it takes time to get one trained and disciplined, if you treat one right, you will often receive fair treatment from it. Creating a bond between that a rider and its mount, but of a friendship that will last as long as the two are together. Becoming a capable team when flying in the skies and doing battle, knowing that both will keep each other safe as much as possible.