|Average Height:||6-8ft to the shoulder with a 20-25ft wingspan as Griffons, 5-6’5 in humanoid and partial Griffon forms.|
|Average Weight:||800-1000 in Griffon form, 110-225lb in humanoid forms|
|Hair Color:||Plumage is a variety of earthtones, the feline half is sandy tan. Humanoid hair color varies between blond, brown, and black.|
|Country of Origin:||Griffon's Aerie|
|Significant Populations:||Griffons, Leturians, Mingits, other Humans|
|Languages:||Griffonspeak, Common, Ancient Dryadic|
|Major Religions:||Polytheism, Menxism, Spiritualism|
Griffons lead the seaside kingdom of Griffon’s Aerie that’s between Ferluxebi, Zul Kiras, Leturia, and Secca. They are a benevolent race of shapeshifting guardians with a strong sense of justice. Dryads from a grove the Griffons protect gifted them with magical properties such as their trademark shapeshifting and arcane focuses to wield magic.
The Griffons originated in the Lunit Mountains. Their earliest history is a mystery, but at some point they began protecting a grove of dryadic trees at the base of one of the mountains, near a lake at the source of the River Sekka. The dryads gifted them magical properties and arcane focuses in order to make Griffons better guardians.
See Griffon's Aerie.
See Griffon's Aerie.
The Griffons value justice and feel an inherent desire to be protective of those they deem to be weaker. This is expressed in their relationship with their dryads in the grove near Neskegow. It also factors into their aversion to slavery, since they saw how it was practiced at one point by the Leturians and intervened by instigating regime change.
Relationship with Dryads
One dryad may be the patron of a Griffon family for generations. They impart their magical gifts, such as shapeshifting and enchanced strength, on newborn Griffons and maintain a close relationship until a Griffon’s end of life. Pilgrimages to the dryad grove happen year round, with some venturing to give birth there and others going to pay respects to their dryad.
Griffons who leave the Aerie to live abroad may try to make yearly trips, but sometimes it is not possible. While there are no adverse physical or magical effects to not spending time with their dryad, it can have an emotional toll, such as intense homesickness.
The dryad grove is fragile, and new trees are rare and slow growing. Griffons protect the grove fiercely, and outsiders are given severe punishments up to execution for attempting to venture into it.
More on the abilities dryads gift Griffons is in Typical Racial Features.
Domestic life is important to both genders, and males and females are equally caring and protective of their offspring. It's not uncommon to see Griffons toting their children to work if the environment is safe enough. Sometimes the male or female partner will take care of the young if the other parent works in a field that is considered high risk, such as in the mines or as a guard.
Griffons of all genders adhere to the same principles of justice. Men and women are considered equally capable in combat, so knight orders, the military, and guard positions are open to both. Men have traditionally been appointed king, which has more to do with their legend of the first Griffon, Neskos, and high regard for the war hero Karos.
Perceptions of non-Griffons
They are tolerant of other races, as long as their sense of justice isn’t offended. Orcs, dark elves, and similar races tend to make them bristle. Griffons often think those who disobey laws may need strong punishments to deter them and teach them a lesson. The laws of the Aerie, nonetheless, are meant to protect people, even if sometimes sentencing is heavy handed.
Typical Racial Features
The Griffons of Griffon's Aerie are a race capable of shapeshifting into humanoid forms. They have the rear half and tail of a lion and the front half, head, and wings of a bird of prey, typically similar to a hawk or eagle. Earthtone plumage coloration varies based on parentage, but their feline features are always sandy tan. Griffons aren’t naturally magic users, but dryads give them magical attributes and an arcane focus at birth.
They can shapeshift between three forms: entirely human, a humanoid partial griffon form, or fully griffon. Their humanoid forms present some weaknesses, such as an inability to fully utilize their raw strength and resilience. The humanoid forms are more often used when in majority humanoid cities or countries. Griffons generally stand six to eight feet at the shoulder, with a twenty to twenty-five foot wingspan; griffonesses are only slightly smaller but no less fierce.
Strength, a high physical resilience, dexterity, and keen vision are their primary physical attributes. Their claws and beaks are kept sharp as natural weapons. Among the magical gifts from the dryads, aside from shapeshifting, are an increased lifespan up to 300 years and some regenerative abilities for minor wounds. They develop slower due to the extended lifespan as well, with 35 considered the age of adulthood.
Cooperation with other races has been a cornerstone of their civilization since its founding, and they serve as guardians of their lands, treasures, and peoples. Griffons can hold many occupations; it’s common to see Griffons acting as diplomats, advisors, and judges across Siveth. Only a few are able to harness their arcane focus enough to be well-rounded and powerful mages, and only the eldest among them have done so. Most master a handful of skills by the time they’re young adults for defense, offense, and support, such as force fields, healing, and different kinds of nature magic.
Half and Partial Griffons
At least two-thirds of the population in the Aerie are non-Griffon humanoids, and Griffons have dispersed across the world in pursuit of their interests. Intermixing inevitably happens. Half and partial Griffons are rare but not unheard of.
They lack the raw strength of Griffons and are only able to shapeshift to a partial Griffon form. Dryads no longer recognize them as Griffons either, and so their gifts are not bestowed upon half and partial Griffons. Half and partial Griffons are however able to learn magic in a way similar to humans, and sometimes they have other abilities related to the other half of their parentage.