They are classified as an exotic pet and require extensive training and licensing to own, and a separate license for breeding. They are known for forging strong bonds with their owners, and will allow masters that have earned their respect to ride upon their backs.
The oldest skeleton recovered and confirmed to be from a Griffon was carbon-dated to the thirteenth century and was found in Northern Europe, lending credence to the fact that Humanoids have been experimenting with biomancy magic to modify animals for an extremely long time.
Early Griffons were hapazardly put together, and were slipshod combinations of eagles and lions that looked extremely unnatural. Despite having wings, they could not fly at all.
Griffons were reportedly used, according to legends, as guard animals to protect valuables of wealthy wizards and wizarding communities from would-be thieves. The Griffons would not harm their masters, rather in fact they were bred to be exceptional loyal to them, and would only pose a threat to strangers. Some Griffons were said to have been able rode on by their masters.
With the introduction and development of advanced transfiguration, Renaissance period, biomancy became more advanced and underwent a revolution, resulting in a drastic change in the appearance of the species to a more refined and sleeker body with golden feathers that transitioned smoothly into fur, custom claws that looked like a blended hybrid between paw and talon, and sturdier, stronger wings actually capable of flight.
Wingless Griffons were used as mounts, similar to horses. Several historical records throughout the centuries show numerous failed attempts to domesticate Winged Griffons, most, but not all of which were said to have ended in disaster.
Modern Day Edit
In many European countries, there are stables housing examples of these species, some having wingless variants. They are particularly attractive for tourism, as foreign nationals and locals alike clamor for the exotic experience of seeing one.
Griffons are four-legged animals with massive feathered wings and frontal bodies.
- Ancient griffons: With the head of an eagle and the body of a lion with eagle wings sprouting from their backs, and clawed front feet resembling that of a bird these early versions were simply combining traits of these animals. Their bodies were feathered and brown in the front and a lighter tan in the rear.
- Modern griffons: Their head and forward legs strongly resemble those of an eagle, featuring a beak with teeth. Their front legs end in claws with extremely sharp talons, while their rear legs and lower bodies are furred and end in a long, thick flared tail. Golden-brown feathers transition smoothly into fur and their front legs are furred, not banded.
These creatures were created artificially through Areum and have been bred by Humans since the Middle Ages. Like all creatures created by Areum, these animals have residual and minute traces of the element naturally occurring within their bodies. In modern times they are carefully bred by wizards, though non-magical person are able to breed them too provided that a sire and a dam is available.
- They are generally bred for positive traits, such as the disposition to be highly intelligent and courageous, and most of all emotionally attached to and loyal to their owners.
- Most examples in history and living individuals have wings; however, due to birth defects and a rare recessive gene some members of the species do not have wings and are called "Wingless Griffons".
- Modern Griffons are one of the few artificially-created magical species capable of sexual reproduction. Griffons are mammals, and after a male and female mate, pregnancy occurs and the offspring, called a Grifling, develops within its womb.
- Griffons being able to reproduce is a relatively new trait for the species, having been acquired in the 19th century.
- Gestation period for the developing Grifling is generally 5 months. Generally only one Grifling is able to be gestated at a time, more than a single Grifling usually results in complications that require surgery.
- Upon birth, Griflings are usually able to begin walking within minutes, and tend to be able begin hunting for their own food in a matter of a couple of weeks.
While proven to be intelligent, many governments and local authorities urge tourists and civilians to not approach Winged Griffons, nor to ride them. While intelligent, it is clear that they are still wild animals, and their observed dietary habits show that they are carnivorous. They often eat horses, or other animals of a similar size.