The Knights of the Wing
(For an index of entries click Here: 1)
Travelers from the North
Before the great wars, before Syrill even had a name, a group of settlers came from the north. They were refugees to a war that had consumed their people, consumed their homes and most of all, their hope. These people were no strangers to magic and each worked to make their new home one of recognition. The humans sought to build, and so they did, they built great cities, with wonders many have not been able to replicate. Some elves turned to prayer, praying to their gods for guidance and grace, others dabbled in magic, elevating their lives to pass on their knowledge to the future generations. The gnomes were quick to establish trade, helping to push off the status of refugee to that of citizen. the dwarves, they brought companions with them like nothing the south had seen. creatures that seemed odd in composition. the dwarves called them gryphons, they were half bird half cat, fiercely intelligent as they were strong. They prefer mountains to make their nest and the dwarves needed help in their mines, to the two were quick to vanish into the south’s mountains.
There is a saying across Syrill: Never trust a gryphon that doesn’t speak Dwarven or a Dwarf that doesn’t have a feather in his beard.
Life flourished but like so many things, as people began to romanticize the past the gains were turned into fuel for more war. What had been cherished differences now became marks of sin and inferiority. Many groups simply scattered and hid as bigotry won out, what had been a thriving metropolis was now a set of burnt out ruins. One of the biggest fractures was that of the gryphons, they left the mountains that they had called home with the Dwarves to find new territory.
Gryphons has always been known for their variety, from gryphons who had more cat in their body to gryphons that could swim and hunt in the water. But no one ever thought that they would fracture so radically. The gryphons like the pelligryph and the gryphons of the geese variety went off to create the Water Clan. Gryphons like those who survived only on meat and typically had bird like talons for front feet created the Talon-Padfoot Clan. The third clan, the Feathers, were gryphons of mixed sizes from parrots, and finches to ravens and peacocks. This clan was an omnivorous group and prized their intelligence over hunting skills. Isolation from each of the clans resulted in generations of suspicion and rumors.
“The exterior colors and minor physical differences of the gryphon kind are something that I have had the most difficult time documenting. When you think you have narrowed down perhaps a sub-gene of their group, their breeding habits result in more exciting creatures. You can find gryphons ranging from the size of a small house cat to something taller than even a horse such as the largest documented gryphon, a mixture of Ostrich and Tiger. Their colors do not match that of the natural world either, unlike the birds of the world, females and males of certain bird classes have the flamboyant feathering of what could be considered only male colors. So two Finch like gryphons, both male and female, might have the strike of red along their cheeks, where in nature only the male finch would have such a defining coloring. I believe this is because of how gryphons were originally created. I find it very difficult to believe that such creatures are creations of the natural world. While I have no proof and only hypothesize as to their creation being that of magical means, I feel that in light of the evidence of their structure it is not a far fetch hypothesis.“ – Excerpt from Magical Creatures, Author: Dr. Finch Twiney
The defining moment for the gryphons was when the romance of Moth and Nina reunited the Talon-Padfoot clan and the Feathers clan. In a very Romeo and Juliet style, Nina and Moth met secretly for months courting before taking their mating flight. Little did they know their mating flight would spark a war. Each Clan leader claiming that the others lover had seduced them and turned them against their true family. But in the end their bravery and love reunited the two clans. It tooks several years and it wasn’t until Moth and Nina’s first clutch was hatched that all the gryphons were united under one Wing Mother.
Many of the humanoid cities and clans took notice, and many of them were wary, gryphons had become creatures of legend. But as the gryphons began to establish new borders relations were tentatively established between a few humans. Ultimately those relations were severed when the humans turned on the Gryphons and tried to enslave them.
They would not be the first nor the last.
“Wind to thy Wings and Peace in your heart.” Traditional saying of most Gryphons upon an individual parting their company.
In a city not far from the gryphons new home there would be a radical change in the monarchy. It what would long be known as the New Moon Massacre, the royal family of Pishturn was murdered in their sleep and a distant cousin of the family, Gorgon Demyer assumed the throne. At first he pacified the nobles mainly to solidify his rule. Then, family by family, he killed off most of the nobles until there was no court, only Gorgon’s Law. He was a tyrant, he ruled absolute and killed anyone who tried to resist.
One day, Gorgon saw the gryphons pass overhead, and he decided he wanted one. It took some time before he was able to capture a few gryphons alone. The gryphons he captured were Cloud and Shadow, a mated pair that had only recently been bonded. While they died in the upcoming struggled and were forced to be a part of the coming disasters that would tear Syrill apart, the pair are exalted as heroes. They managed to resist dark forces and kept their daughter Velvet from most of the evil that Gorgon had inflicted on them.
However, while under the influence of Gorgon, they tried to bring down the gryphons from within. All the while, Gorgon began to build what he called the Nest. The Nest was a cruel twist on what gryphons called home, each ‘Nest’ was really a cage that allowed whatever human that possessed it to truly wipe a gryphons mind.
Kish and Nicky’s Adventures
Kish, the runt of war heroes Moth and Nina, began her adventures not my choice. Her adventure started with her banishment from her clan for alleged crimes against another gryphon. Being an exile for gryphons is to take away their right to fly free. Any exile caught in any gryphon territory is struck down without thought, and even on the land they would be chased. Of course Kish had not really intended to hurt the other gryphon and was quite the honorable sort. After losing the proving match, she ended up on her own, and in the end captured by roaming humans who used her as a side attraction for gold.
If ever you want to impress a gryphon, one offer them a fresh kill, if you cannot offer meat, instead offer a tid bit of knowledge that they would not know. Gryphons are natural collectors of many things, from honor to baubles. That instinct can save you in a pinch.
Nicky’s story started with raiders, while out hawking, Nicky and her Father were unaware of raiders having destroyed their village. When they returned and saw the destruction, her father lost his ability to live at seeing his wife murdered. Leaving Nicky with only her falcon Velox as company. After taking what she could from her ruined life, Nicky traveled. Velox keeping her fed with hares and even attacking small deer enough for Nicky to place a well trained arrow. Several months after she started traveling she came upon a traveling attraction show, claiming to have a gryphon in their cage, Nicky paid the gold curious to see the creature. What she saw was a half starved soul. With little more than her wits, Nicky weaseled into the company of the men and made friends with Kish. It took several long months for Kish to get back to a state of health. When Nicky was sure that Kish could finally fight, they broke free of the traveling side show. However, during the fight Velox’s wing was broken and that was the launch of their first quest.
In their quest to heal the falcon, they discovered the plot of Gorgon. Especially when they wandered into Pishturn and discovered how Gorgon enslaved his own people. On their way they recruited many friends to their aid, and after nearly three years of fighting, Kish and Nicky led gryphons and humanoids against Gorgon. The dark Mage died at Kish’s claws and Nicky’s sword. With the death of Gorgon, gryphons under his control were free and those too far gone, lay dead. Yet the battle left many looking for new leaders, and Nicky and Kish where now fresh with a war victory. After much debate, and much convincing, Nicky and Kish were elevated to Wing Mothers.
“The first few years under the rule of Kish and Nicky was, most people are loath to admit, hard. Kish was still young compared to many of the previous Wing Mothers of Gryphon clans as was Nicky, she was only 21. Yet, they were open and willing to listen and many of the systems in place today are not of their own minds but the creations of many minds. For example, the postal service, actually the creation of Green-Wing, a gryphon who was fascinated by writing. Or the Healing Clinics for All Creatures, a brain child of not only Nicky but also a young Elf by the name of Aien Galan.” -Excerpt from The Golden Years, Chapter 1. Written by Historian Valren Marrik
A New Era
The final years of Kish and Nicky’s reign were marked with exponential growth, especially in the general architecture of the city. After the finishing of the Negura, Nicky and Kish retired. The Negura became the icon of the Aerie. It was built on the top of Mt. Trillis. Underneath the dome are the Wing mothers’ quarters, along with offices for other officials of the state. The Negura looks over most of the Aerie and can be seen from most outer lying areas of the the Aerie.
The New Wing Mother, Crystal and her human companion Jansen took over where Kish and Nicky had left off. Jansen was a military man, and he helped create the Knights of the Wing. Crystal solidified many of the state operations and helped establish the country’s mining operations. Their rule is still considered the most prosperous even after nearly four generations.
“The Wing Mothers create justice, seek truth and mercy; their companions journey creation, never giving in to sorrow. ” The mnemonic device taught to children to help them remember the five Wing Mother’s and their companions since Kish’s time. Crystal, Juniper, Scarlet, Thyme and Moonshine, their companions: Jansen, Christopher, Naile, Gayle and Sampson. The Current Wing Mother is Snow she has no companion.
Current World Order
Snow reigns alone, she is the first gryphon in a long time not to have a companion. Moonshine chose Snow as her successor because of her skills in diplomacy. Trade has been established with Grevton and Pryor, Snow is working on relations with Aruguilla to the east. The miners are now a somewhat exalted class amongst the working of the Aerie. There have been grumblings of tension from the nation Albritch to the south but so far only talk. The leader has not enacted any open hostility towards the Aerie.