Gryphons Aerie II - Griffin - Griffon
Dating back several centuries B.C., the Gryphon was said to rule both air and land, watchful, loyal, strong, and swift. In ancient times they were symbols of guardianship, protection and the retribution of justice, but in the 19th century assumed the mantel of harmless, and even gentle creatures.
The vast majority of gryphon's belong to the one species, Raptopantthera gryphos. There are two main varieties: the northern, or Hyperborean griffon, and the Indian griffon. The northern gryphon lives in the hilly forests and mountains of north-eastern Europe and Russia. These forested areas once extended deep into the Ukraine - much further south then they do today. The Indian griffin is found in mountainous regions of North-Eastern India and the Middle East. The only other species of the genus is the opinicus, Raptopanthera opinicus, recognizable by its feline, as opposed to aquiline, forelimbs. It was always rare and is now most certainly extinct.
The griffon is a large, fierce looking creature, about 2 ft higher then a shire horse. The strong wings sprouting from its back are strong enough to carry it at enormous speeds, and lift it off the ground bearing heavy prey.
Long ears, sharp eyes and cruelly hooked bills make the griffon a fearsome beast. The tail functions as a rudder in flight. The heavy rear paws help provide extra thrust during take-off and are used to hold pray down while the beak and claws do their worst. The claws are like massive eagles' feet. As the griffon swoops on its quarry, the rear talon sinks into the flesh first. Then the front claws close to form a deadly cage, firmly gripping the doomed creature.
Griffins love gold and gemstones, which they are known to steal, hoard and guard with savage strength and ferocity.
The world's only stuffed griffon is a fine specimen of the Hyperborean variety. The gryphon was shot down over Copenhagen by the Belgian Huntress Nadine Legrand. It is now preserved in a Danish Museum.
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24 ways "Gryphon" has been spelled through time: Gryffen, girphinne, greffon, grefyne, grephoun, griffen, griffin, griffion, griffon, griffoun(e), griffown, griffun, griffyn, grifon, grifyn, griphin, griphon, gryffin, gryffon, gryfon, gryfoun(e), gryphen, gryphin, and gryphon.