Griffons, Griffwn, Gryphons

These creatures are the offspring of eagles and lions, and so have the bodies of lions and the heads and wings of eagles, with pointed ears like those of a dog. A griffin has the hindquarters of a lion, but its forelegs resemble the legs and talons of an eagle. Feathers grow upon its wings, head and chest and tawny leonine fur upon the rest of its body. Usually a griffin is eight time larger than a lion and it is stronger than a hundred eagles. Some observers belive griffins to have serpent's tail, but it seems more likely that these caudal appendages are the normal tufted tail of a lion.

Griffin coloration varies considerably between different spieces. Sometimes they are rather drab, with tawny lion bodies and brown eagle feathers, but the bodies may be pure white, gilden, or cream flecked with scarlet. The head and wing feathers may be blue or green and the breast feathers vermilion, while the eagle-like beak and legs may range from horny yellow to brilliant gold. The talons are usually black.

Griffins perform two invaluable functions. One is to draw the chariots of the Sun God and some other gods, such as Jupiter and Nemesis. It is probable that those who draw the chariot of Nemesis, the goddess of certain retribution, differ from all other griffins in having black bodies and feathers.

Their other function is to punish humans for their love of riches. Griffins originated in the desert areas of Turkey, Armenia, Syria and Iraq, in the days when these regions were lavishly strewn with precious stones. These jewels acted as bait for greedy humans, who risked their lives for the glittering harvest. A few survived, but most were sighted by griffins patrolling the hot blue skies. The end was inevitable when a griffin pounced and tore the prospector to pieces with teeth and claws.

Over many centuries, enough humans have evaded the griffins to strip the deserts of their bounty. But griffins are still active and they have extended their sphere of operations, so that any man who is too much in love with riches is in danger of being torn apart by griffins.

Griffins hate horses, perhaps because they see them as competitors in chariot-drawing, and are likely to prey on these animals as well as other livestock. A griffin is strong enough to carry off a good-sized horse.

See also
Drudwas ab Tryffin | The Legend of King Arthur