Updated: Sep 30, 2020
The first monster to ever grace the pages of one of my books. This beast has a real big place in my heart... even if I killed it before the prologue ended.
So, I know there's multiple spellings for this creature, and I know a handful of them are even — I think — preferred use for fantasy fiction, but I was always going to spell it the way I did.
The Griffin was the mascot for my elementary school, and the name of one of the cross-streets I've lived on all my life. There was no way I was going to pay homage to it, and change the spelling to boot. Now way at all.
Besides it being personally important to me, there were few options I had for the monster that would descend upon the Dawn Tower in Prince of Azra's prologue. Well, at least few options for the encounter I wanted.
A dragon/drake/wyvern (I know they're not the same thing, chill) could have worked, as far as sudden appearance, and the strength to knock down the tower. However, I feel that — at least on average — dragons and drakes and wyverns rank a little higher on the power scale. I knew the prologue had to end with 'The Shadow' sapping the creature of its life force, and marching away.
Now, not to say he couldn't have done the same thing to a dragon, but... yeah, I decided to make my aim a bit more reasonable. So, enter the griffin.
Powerful, brilliant, recognizable, easy to imagine— and important to me all in one breath.
To add an extra coating of spice, it was an Elder Griffin that murdered its way through the northern mountains in that instance. Now, while the Bestiary illustration (and profile) is centered around the common griffin (which I've named the Highland Griffin), the Elder subclass is a more powerful variation. I described its feathers as golden, and in my mind I see them as sort of possessing a metallic, gold sheen to them.
Because this encounter with the griffin is such a short one, there wasn't too much more thought that went into it. It really only appeared in one page, after all.
With that said, I am incredibly eager to present my thoughts on the next bestiary profile/blog entry: The Shade.