Though they look quite different, taedan gryphons share many similarities with other types of gryphons. They possess the same temperaments, hunt in the same areas, and travel freely through one another's territories. Despite this friendliness, taedan gryphons have never been seen living among other gryphons. Instead, they prefer the most northern edges of the forest, where winter comes early and lingers late. Taedan gryphons blend in seamlessly with the numerous pine trees growing there, and even eat the needles of these trees. They also prey upon small animals, but seem to prefer munching on holly berries and leaves. Instead of drinking water as most creatures do, these colorful gryphons prefer to nibble at ice to satisfy their thirst. Only hatchlings have any interest in water. Despite their size and fighting abilities, taedan gryphons like to stick to shadows, and hide whenever they see humans. These gryphons have the unique ability to blend in with snow or trees, but do so most effectively with pine trees. The feathers of taedan gryphons shorten and seemingly change into pine needles, and even their silvery markings fade to resemble snow. Those with brilliant red plumage like to take refuge in holly bushes, their coloring fading away until they are nearly invisible. One could walk so close as to brush against a taedan gryphon and still not be aware of their presence.
Red and white stripes cover the shell of this egg.
Taedan gryphon hatchlings are nothing more than bundles of energy. When they're not busy waging war against each other, they're inventing new, noisy games. One such game is tunneling through snow, and popping out in random places, spraying snow everywhere and startling any nearby people. These mischievous younglings love surprising people, and are patient enough to be quite skillful at it. Those with green plumage can blend in with almost any green plant, while those with red sometimes suddenly lose their color and hide in snow. They will lurk there for hours, waiting for some unsuspecting person to walk by. When the victim finally appears, the hatchling springs out of hiding, crying out in a hideous squawk and pecking away. Once the recipient of this attack has recovered, the hatchling clumsily flies away, sometimes crashing into things, as they are too busy chortling to navigate very well.
As a taedan gryphon hatchling grows, it can double or even triple in size. Vibrant plumage becomes thick as the gryphon's wings strengthen, and a grown gryphons can fly for hours on end without tiring. These companions carry passengers with ease, and if asked politely, will give their magi a ride. Though these companions are hesitant to reveal themselves to most people, they strike up friendships very easily with magi. Taedan gryphons do not migrate as other birds do, but move further north when the weather turns warmer. At the edge of the forest, a small strip of land remains permanently covered with snow, and the temperature suits the gryphons well. When forced to go into warmer climates, taedan gryphons become sluggish and surly, and no one is sure what would become of them if they remained for too long. The Keep is safe enough for them to visit during the depths of winter, and they do so now and again. Whenever they arrive, they are given sweet candies, which they are extremely fond of. Rowdy taedan gryhon hatchlings will even raid the castle for these delicacies. Sometimes these treats are stockpiled for future use, as males use them to woo females. Once bonded, gryphons remain together until the end of their days. Mates live together in nests, which are nearly impossible to spot. Taedan gryphons create some of the most unique nests, and guard them with their lives. It is incredibly difficult to catch even the smallest glimpse of one of these nests, yet it is well worth the effort. They are delicately woven from holly and pine needles, and are thought to take months, if not years, to create.
Obtained from: Event, Winter Solstice, Retired
Renaming cost: 2000 gold
Sprite art: DarrkestDrow/Cassowary | Description: Damien