It is a curious, yet little-known fact that the greedy reputation of the magickal Gryphon is entirely unfounded in fact. Gryphons do not consume precious gems, jewels, gold and suchlike for purely selfish purposes. While in the days of Elder Magick, it is true that a number of the lesser Gryphons were kept by their masters as guardians of hoards both great and small, this was a cruel practice in opposition of the magnificent creature’s genuine nature.
Innocent of worldly concerns: such is the true nature of the Gryphon. Ask a Gryphon for any bit of his hoard, and he might consider for a moment providing something of lesser value — a chicken egg, perhaps, or a nicely-rounded rock. However, press one’s case to the Gryphon justly, and he will whole-heartedly cough up a pearl so large that you could not hold it in the palm of your hand.
Indeed, if you were to find a magickal book lying around — oh, say in the back of a cabinet, or propping up a vase of fresh umbrel flowers — you might find just such a sight as you see here, leaping out at you from the page.
Consider carefully then, for if you possess the proper magickal implements and can read the words there writ, you might find yourself the master of not just an ordinary Gryphon, but one of the highest order: a grand and terrible Fire Gryphon.
Prickly creatures these, but well worth the acquaintance, should you ever happen to meet up with one of them. It is today of the Fire Gryphon that we speak.
Have you ever seen a large horse, of the sort that pull great wagons of hay or barrels of honeyed ale? As tall as such a horse is at the shoulder, the Fire Gryphon is half-again taller when full-grown. His wings once spread, would seat four grown men comfortably — although, to be truthful, it is unlikely that even a very large Fire Gryphon could take flight for long, burdened with so many riders. Generally, the Fire Gryphon’s eyes are golden, and even those of the green-eyed, northern variety, possess a piercing gaze. It was often told in days of Elder Magick that those who looked in the eyes of a Fire Gryphon could not lie or avert their gaze, until said Gryphon chose to release them.
Many are the Fire Gryphons of legend: we may remember today the names of Altrus the Brave, Rollo the Wise, and – well, it is true that most Gryphons were not greedy, but there were exceptions – of course, the golden-feathered Phlogiston the Greedy. Phlogiston, I’m afraid, really did consume the entire fortune of Mencius, Heptarch of Virgos in a single sitting. However, it is not true that Phlogiston exploded from the pressure of gems, gold and other precious items in his belly — that is one of the more egregious of the old Mage’s tales. The result of this gruesome excess was merely that Phlogiston could not lift his bloated form more than five feet off the ground, thus making him an easy target for Mencius’ conjurers, who promptly administered the proper spells and herbs to make the greedy Gryphon return the hoard to its rightful master.
It has been long years, of course, since such creatures as Phlogiston, Rollo and Altrus (whose feathers really were sky-blue – to see him in flight was quite an experience!) ranged free across the skies of the wide world.
Yet still, dear readers, there are magickal texts out there in the Wide World, and there still exist some few magickal implements. So, should you be poking about in old cupboards or in your aged uncle’s sea-chest, or perhaps browsing the tables in one of the markets, and you come across a curious old silver bowl, or a small paper packet filled with oddly-smelling, rose-colored dust, or perhaps, an old blue book with a tattered cover, it might be you to bring a magnificent Fire Gryphon back to life, to once more fly free and wild across the high mountains into adventures once again.
I am, dear readers, your friend — Lalume. Sometimes, perhaps, they called me the Magnificent. But that was a very long time ago, and in a land very far away.