The Official Collection of Fantastical Creature Information--Updated Randomly

For all your fantastical creature needs! This is the beginning of my encyclopedia, and I'm collecting as much information as I can on various fantasy creatures. Most of my stuff can be found on wikipedia. However, no source is perfect, so the stuff that is my input is often italicized. Help me by sending me more information at Questkid13@gmail.com

Side Note: There have been concerns about my using Wikipedia because it is not a reliable resource. I am well aware of wikipedia's unreliable nature--but that's exactly why I use it. Fantasy creatures are available to all, and everyone should have a chance to add their "discoveries." This website is supposed to be a fun collection of fantastical creature information with fun images to go with. I am not a reliable source--I'm just a collector. Though at this point, I am flattered that people are concerned with the validity of my site. :)

!!!!This is NOT a forum. Comments are to be informative and generally helpful. Clean humor is acceptable, but NOT if it detracts from the entry. This site is to help people find out more about fantastical creatures!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Hippogriffs


A Hippogriff (also spelled Hippogryph) is the offspring of a griffin and a mare. They live in temperate to tropical hills, in areas where it is particularly flat and barren, allowing them quick and easy access to the skies. They attack by diving and attacking with their claws and beak.
Though regarded as clumsy attackers, flocks of hippogriffs do know to attack in concert. They can kill large prey such as bison, even being able to carry it off in their feet, but being omnivorous, do not always have to revert to such things. When it comes to defending eggs and newborns, hippogriffs are deadliest.
Hippogriffs are highly prized as aerial steeds, being able to fly as fast as lightning. The supposedly easiest way to tame a hippogriff is to steal an egg and raise it from birth, but as said before, hippogriff eggs are not easy to obtain due to the ferocity of their defenders.
No empty fiction wrought by magic lore,
But natural was the steed the wizard pressed;
For him a filly to griffin bore;
Hight hippogryph. In wings and beak and crest,
Formed like his sire, as in the feet before;
But like the mare, his dam, in all the rest.
Such on Riphaean hills, though rarely found,
Are bred, beyond the frozen ocean's bound.

Drawn by enchantment from his distant lair,
The wizard thought but how to tame the foal;
And, in a month, instructed him to bear
Saddle and bit, and gallop to the goal;
And execute on earth or in mid air,
All shifts of manege, course and caracole;
He with such labour wrought. This only real,
Where all the rest was hollow and ideal.
-- Ludovico Ariosto's poem, Orlando furioso--


Reason for Rarity
The reason for its great rarity is that griffins regard horses as prey. It has been suggested this idea was strong enough in medieval times to produce an expression, "to mate griffins with horses", which meant about the same as the modern expression, "When pigs fly".
The hippogriff was therefore a symbol of impossibility and love. This was supposedly inspired by Virgil's Ecologues: ... mate Gryphons with mares, and in the coming age shy deer and hounds together come to drink.., which would also be the source for the reputed medieval expression, if indeed it was one.

Another description of the Hippogriff can be found in Arnold Sundgaard's poem,
The Hippogriff:
When Mare and Griffin meet and mate
Their offspring share a curious fate.
One half is Horse with hooves and tail,
The rest is Eagle, claws and nail.
As a Horse it likes to graze
In summer meadows doused in haze,
Yet as an Eagle it can fly
Above the clouds where dreams drift by.
With such a Beast I am enthralled,
The Hippogriff this beast is called.

A special thanks to wikipedia and to "caterane" for this slightly stolen image...

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