OUT OF CHARACTER INFORMATION
Intent: To create a species to use as a flying mount, and to flesh out a piece of existing lore.
Image Credit: Jason Engle
Links: The Daughter, The Ones, The Ashlan Crusade
Average Lifespan: 200 years
Estimated Population: Planetary
Description: Griffins are large, majestic creatures with feline bodies and bird-like features, including feathers, talons, and a bird-like head. On their backs is a pair of large, bird-like wings that allow them to fly. They grow to be relatively large, with the oldest griffins approaching 20 meters in length (though this is extremely rare). Griffins are majestic creatures, with a presence that can provide one with a sense of extreme calm, and terrifying if provoked to violence.
Breathes: Type I, Type II
Average Height of Adults: 3 meters
Average Length of Adults: 5 meters
Skin color: Various shades of white, gold, grey, and brown
Hair color: Hair comes in various shades of white, gold, grey, and brown. Feathers can be a wide variety of vibrant colors.
Distinctions: As stated above, Serianan griffins are largely known for the blend of feline and bird-like traits. Their feet have large talons that are capable of both slashing and grabbing potential prey, and their beaks can provide a really strong bite. They have feathers that hang from their heads and necks, similar to a lion's mane. These feathers can come in a variety of colors, and grow significantly longer with age. The griffins are the most beautiful when they reach old age, displaying a wildly large array of colorful feathers. There isn't much difference between males and females, though the feathers on the females are usually smaller than those seen on males.
Force Sensitivity: All (subconscious)
Shining Light: Griffins possess a strong connection with the Light Side, which is the source of their heightened strength, agility, and endurance.
Away, Corruption: Being so heavily connected to the Light, griffins are almost impossible to taint with the Dark Side, making them nigh impossible to turn into Sithspawn.
Light in the Dark: They have excellent vision, including at night. This, coupled with their other abilities, makes them incredibly effective predators.
Esoteric Attack: Some griffins have been known to be able to breathe lightning, similar to that of a dragon (this is only seen in the oldest of the species).
Thick Skin: The skin of a griffin is stronger than your average creature, making them difficult to kill with small arms or conventional melee weapons.
Darkness Falls: If a griffin’s connection to the Force is severed, they become incredibly weak, and eventually die.
Alone in the World: When a griffin’s mate dies, they will die soon after, as their life energy is intertwined.
Despite the Light: Though they are nearly completely immune from corruption, the griffins can still be harmed direct Dark Side attacks, such as Force lightning. They are also vulnerable to several forms of stronger weaponry, such as lightsabers, heavy blasters, and artillery.
Diet: Omnivore. Griffins largely live off of berries, grass, and leaves in their early years, until they are old enough to hunt for themselves. Once they begin hunting, they feed on medium to large mammals. They don’t hunt humanoids, as they don’t care for the meat. In the rare case that a griffin one of its own kind, it will get incredibly sick, and in most cases, it will die from consuming the meat.
Communication: The average griffin communicates via a series of chirps, tweets, and other bird calls. They are also known to purr like a cat under certain circumstances, as well as roar when attempting to intimidate an enemy. Some griffins have been known to develop telepathy, although this is often only seen in the most elderly.
Technology level: Griffins don’t use tools, but they are resourceful, grabbing whatever they can carry to use for constructing their aeries, including (but not limited to) sticks, rocks, and even scavenged metal.
Religion/Beliefs: While having no formal religion or spiritual beliefs, griffins have a deep connection to the Light Side, often communing in a form of meditation when recovering their strength.
General behavior: Griffins generally live in small communities that take the form of aeries. These aeries are often located on tops of high cliffs or along large mountains. The aeries include large nests that house multiple families, and are made from whatever the griffins could carry home. When Griffins mate, it is for life, and will only rarely be seen without their mate. Desirable mates are chosen based on the length and color of the feathers around their heads and necks. They are largely peaceful creatures, only killing when they need to feed, though they will become aggressive if they believe they, their young, or their homes are in danger. Furthermore, as beings heavily attached to the Light, griffins will become almost instantly hostile in the presence of an individual or creature with a heavy connection to the Dark Side. They operate at both day and night, taking naps incrementally as a cat does. They also see those with a heavy Light Side presence as one of their own, treating them as one of their family. This often translates to them allowing lightsiders to use them as mounts, similar to how they carry their young on their backs. Overall, they live a harmonious life with the other creatures on Serias, and are often seen as a sign of good fortune by the locals.
The origin of the griffins is unconfirmed, though there have been various pieces of research that point in one direction. Early Jedi came across the griffins many years ago. They found texts written by the ancient Serianans, which were rumored to be a colony of the Kwa that found themselves on the planet long ago. According to the texts, the Daughter created the original griffins in an attempt to add a stronger presence of Light Side energy to the planet. Though it is unknown how true this is, the Jedi that found the creatures opted to believe the tale. This was largely due to the deep connection that the creatures had to the Light Side, as well as some of their abilities. Legend says that these Jedi learned to use Emerald Lightning from these creatures, though there is no evidence to back this up.
Through the years, the griffins were mostly left alone to their own devices. This lasted until roughly 400 ABY, when their feathers became prized possessions among collectors. Hunters poured onto Serias, hunting them down and eliminating a considerable part of the population. Their situation only got worse when the Gulag Plague hit, killing off the majority of what was left. The species nearly went into extinction, and if the Plague hadn’t eventually subsided, they likely would have. Those that survived went into an extended form of hibernation, hiding in small communities within large cave systems, maintaining a meditative state until the Plague was gone from the planet. Since then, they have been able to replenish their numbers, though they have never quite grown back to their original population.
In recent months, the Ashlan Crusade began their conquest across the Tingel Arm, taking control of Serias. They quickly established a strong bond with the griffins due to their connection to the Light Side. They now ride the griffins into war, allowing the creatures to fight the darkness alongside them. Back on Serias, the Crusade has sought to assist the griffins in bringing their population back to what it once was.