Also gryphon, griffon.

Mythical creature with the head, beak, wings, front legs, and front talons of an eagle and the body, hind legs, and tail of a lion.

Fiercely territorial, only mated pairs are typically found sharing their range (and pairs stay mated until the death of one. They are fiercely committed creatures, and many do not ever take a second mate). They are fierce beasts when angered, but loyal, peaceful and deeply deeply wise animals.

Mythological creature with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. An animal found frequently on family coat of arms, particuliarily those from Wales and Ireland. In The Once and Future King, they were the protectors of Morgan la Fey's castle along with the carrion crow. Mercedes Lackey is a contemporary fantasy writer who writes a great deal about these creatures as well. Also an excellent surname for many families of Celtic decent.

compiled overview of the 55ton Griffin 'Mech, from various BattleTech novels and game sourcebooks:

The GRF-1N Griffin was first put into production in 2492. Though the Griffin was initially designed as an assault 'Mech, its capacity was soon surpassed by more advanced weapons technology. For this reason, the Griffin was given a new specialty, that of long-range support in medium lances, a role for which it is well suited. This 'Mech may currently be found in almost every unit of the Successor States.

The Griffin's armament is limited yet powerful. Its hand-held Fusigon PPC can inflict heavy damage. This, combined with the drum-mounted Delta Dart LRM ten-rack, allows the Griffin to hit hard at long to medium range. Unfortunately, the Griffin is not equipped for close combat and must rely on other 'Mechs of its unit to provide most of the effective short-range fire. It is, however, equipped with two massive battle fists in case hand-to-hand combat is necessary.

One of the Griffin's special advantages is its high maneuverability relative to its tonnage. With a maximum speed of more than 80 kph and the use of its Rawlings 55 jump jets, the Griffin can outdistance any heavier 'Mechs that might do it harm. It is the CoreTek 275 fusion engine that allows the 'Mech to achieve such speeds. More massive and efficient than many heavier 'Mech engines, the CoreTek 275 is the real reason for the Griffiin's long and successful career.

By medium 'Mech standards, the Grfffin's defensive armor is substantial, but it must often confront heavier 'Mechs in it's support role. Because of this, two false armor baffles have been added to the shoulder assemblies of each arm on most Griffins. These baffles give additional protection to the LRM drum and the head/cockpit area. Two other small armor baffles are located on the legs, protecting the knee joint actuator assembly.

As with many other early 'Mechs, the Griffin has a serious problem with overheating. Because the 'Mech is fitted with too few heat sinks for its large-caliber armament, a Griffin pilot is usually faced with the choice of either firing or fleeing. In most cases, he cannot do both without risking dangerous levels of heat build-up.

During the Ninth Battle of Holt in 2967, medium lances of House Liao's Marion's Highlanders engaged elements of House Marik's Second [Regulan Hussars. Outnumbered and outgunned, Marion's Highlanders never-the-less attacked the Hussars' fortified positions, taking heavy losses. The defenders singled out the attackers' Griffins for quick destruction, as their long-range fire support had permitted some initial success to the medium 'Mechs of the assault force. When the attack was over, both sides had taken heavy losses, but the Marik defense line remained intact. The Liao forces withdrew from the planet soon after.

In 3012, an interesting Griffin-to-Griffin battle took place in the ruins of Shimgata, capital city of Shiro III, between elements of Wolf's Dragoons and House Marik's defense forces. Two medium lances of Wolf's Dragoons, composed mostly of Griffins, encountered a similar force of enemy units. As both sides called in reinforcements, the Griffins went at each other in close combat amid the confining, debris-strewn streets. Body punches and jumpkicks took the place of weapons fire when no one could identify enemy targets in the melee. Finally, both sides disengaged, more through mutual exhaustion than defeat. Three Griffins had been lost on both sides, but these six damaged 'Mechs were taken by Wolfs Dragoons when the regiment finally occupied Shimgata in force.

Note: Information used here was the domain of FASA before they split the rights between Wizkids LLC and Microsoft (table-top gaming and video games respectively). Copyright of the fluff text is in limbo, but names of persons, places, & things are without any doubt the property of Wizkids LLC. Use of any terms here related to the BattleTech trademark are not meant as a challenge to Wizkids LLC's rights.
The word is apparently derived from reference to the hooked beak, and knows a great many variations in spelling as well as small variations in pronunciation. The most accepted spelling is 'griffin' from old English, however as we go back to the French we reach griffon, Latin gryphus and gryps, which are akin to if not exactly the spellings of the other accepted variants. This leaves us with the three acceptable spellings and pronunciation of gryphon, griffin, and griffon which most dictionaries seem to agree on but some will omit one, such as the entry copied to griffin which while showing the above reference to the beak, and the roots of the Latin version do not include gryphon as an appropriate spelling.

The extreme loyalty of mated gryphon pairs may be traced back to the 9th century Irish writer Stephen Scotus, who even if not the exact origin of this legend may well have been the one to popularize it. There are also numerous sources that claim that gryphon eggs are, or resemble agates.

There are also references to the gryphons inhabiting gold rich regions of Scythia, where they built their nests of gold only due to the ready abundance of the material. This however is said to have set them at odds with the one-eyed Arimaspains, who treasured the gold for decorating their hair, and so would fight with the gryphons over the mines, if not possibly also their nests.

One of the lesser known mythical animals (in comparison to the unicorn, say, or the dragon) is the griffin. (Also known as gryphon, griffon, gryphen or griffen.) The griffin is a legendary beast that resembles a giant eagle crossed with a lion. Female griffins have eagle's wings, whereas the male cannot fly. Aside from that, there was little difference between the sexes.

The griffin was a European invention. There are examples of griffin-like carvings dating back from the Roman Empire.

Griffins were closely linked to the Sun, where griffins were depicted as the creatures harnessed to the sun chariot. They were also believed to guard gold mines.

In Scythia, where gold mines were abundant, it was believed that griffins did live there at some point. This theory was seemingly cemented by the discovery of several large bones. These were, however, probably fossilised dinosaur bones.

Griffins are not to be confused with hippogriffs. Hippogriffs are an extremely rare hybrid of the griffin and a horse. The very name, hippogriff, comes from the names of its parents, ie. Horse (hippo) and griffin (griff).

Griffins were used as the Christian church's emblem of marital fidelity. Griffins mated for life, and when one partner died, the other would continue on, but would never find another mate. It was also impossible to lie around a griffin.

Griffins did not bear live young, as might be expected from a part lion. Instead, the female laid three eggs at a time, roughly the same size as an ostrich egg. The egg is made from a stone called agate. The female would lay her eggs in a sheltered cave that had a very narrow entrance and a roomy inside, then would stand guard until they hatched, leaving the male to hunt.

Contrary to most opinions, griffins did not eat people or cattle. They ate fish, dolphins and most marine animals. However, when fish were scarce, they were known to take off goats.

Grif"fin (?), n.

An Anglo-Indian name for a person just arrived from Europe.

H. Kingsley.


© Webster 1913.

Grif"fin (?), Grif"fon (?), n. [OE. griffin, griffon, griffoun, F. griffon, fr. L. gryphus, equiv to gryps, Gr. ; -- so called because of the hooked beak, and akin to curved, hook-nosed.]

1. Myth.

A fabulous monster, half lion and half eagle. It is often represented in Grecian and Roman works of art.

2. Her.

A representation of this creature as an heraldic charge.

3. Zool.

A species of large vulture (Gyps fulvus) found in the mountainous parts of Southern Europe, North Africa, and Asia Minor; -- called also gripe, and grype. It is supposed to be the "eagle" of the Bible. The bearded griffin is the lammergeir.

[Written also gryphon.]


An English early apple.


© Webster 1913.

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