Rogue Griff (A) (higher-res)

GRIFF (Lesser Serpentus Canus)

The griff is a winged, tailed creature, like a soft, cuddly dragon, that is more dragonnish than birdy with a life expectancy exceeding 350 years. This sort of minor-league dragon is not to be confused with its distant relative, the griffin. Unlike the above, griffs have only a short-range flight capability. Brains in the Underground are entirely overrated, as seen in the cases of the wildly neurotic griff, which operates from a fearful sensitivity known only to the extremely intelligent, a cowardice the renders this creature nearly useless in an underground adventure. High Magic is best understood by dragons, and by association, griffs (though the knowledge of griffs concerning High Magic is confined to scattered bits of the Old Tongue that are half hearsay and lore). Griffs love magic objects and anything gold or jeweled, as a crow would; their nests, which are the hollows of trees, are often vertiable treasure troves, always handy for a few good magical objects. The entire breed has an inherrant ability for the solving of riddles.

Little is known about the so-called "rogue" griffs, which were seen in abundance during the Great Monster Uprising of the Second Age of Magic. They appear to be of a different species than the Lesser Serpentus Canus.

In 967 GUE, a flock of griffs stumbled upon the wrecked ship of Y'Gael deep in the Great Sea near the Dragon Archipelago. Onboard they discovered the Coconut of Quendor. This magical talisman protected the griffs, caused them to flourish as they carefully hoarded the Coconut. While it is not known how long the griffs had the Coconut in possession, a greedy horde of dragons fell upon them in attempt to reclaim the relic which was rightful theirs, and it was lost again to the talons of the Watchdragon who departed somewhere into the vicinity of the Great Sea. And all that remained was a bedtime tale that told that only the bravest, most important griff in the world would defeat the old Watchdragon and reclaim the Coconut for his race. In the meantime, without the Coconut, the griffs were quite defenseless—already lacking the natural protection of their armored dragon cousins—and over time dwindled in number to the point where there were only a handful left in the entire Empire.

In 1067 GUE, the legendary griff spoken about in the tales, assisted the adventurer AFGNCAAP, recovered the Coconut of Quendor, and ultimately brought about the end of the Second Inquisition and the dawn of the Second Age of Magic.