A/N: Okay, I know people have been looking forward to this for pretty much a year and a half. I deeply apologize, and I have no excuse (does life count?). I will tell you that it took a lot of effort in sifting through research materials though! (9 pages on Word…)
Warning: None really, just the fact that these tales are not exactly about the bit-beasts, more about the mythical beasts that they represent, and certainly not about the bladders.
Summary: The majestic Gryphon spreads it's wings through a multitude of legends. (and yes, that is the correct spelling, but I'll use the more modern one in the story)
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters in this story, nor do I own the myths.
References: For "the Fable of the Phoenix and "the Unicorn Unveiled"
Colyer, Penrose. "The Phoenix and the Unicorn." Famous and Fabulous Animals. Copyright © 1973 by Eurobook ltd.
For "the Grand Gryphon."
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The Grand Gryphon
"Yes, Oliver?" The ginger-headed male smiled politely at the young chef.
"I was wondering, you said that me and Kai-"
"Kai and I" Emily corrected absentmindedly, not taking her eyes of the screen of the computer, thus not noticing the mild glare the Frenchman shot her.
"You said that we were like our bit-beasts, yes?" Brooklyn's smile became a little more genuine as he settled more comfortably in the chair.
"And what of it?"
"Well… I was wondering if there were any others like us…"
"Of course." Oliver jumped at the sudden appearance of the two-toned blunette while Brooklyn didn't even blink as Kai gracefully folded himself into the chair beside the psychic. "Why do you think you have such a strong bond. For that matter, how do you think the beasts choose their masters?" Oliver looked at the Russian, wide-eyed.
"I…well…I guess I never really thought about it. I don't know many of the traits of the other mythical beasts or animals that the bladers have…except Griffins. I know that they're majestic and so is Robert…" He trailed off as he saw the corner's of Kai's mouth twitch.
"Robert is like a Griffin, yes, but they're not only majestic. You don't know too much of that particular hybrid, do you?"
"I don't think anyone does, want to enlighten, Kai?" Scarlet eyes looked in annoyance at the Chinese who was leaning around Oliver's chair. "You did such a good job the first two times after all!"
"Hey, everyone! Who wants to hear about the legends of the Griffin!" The neko-jin grinned cheekily at his Captain when he received a general shout of encouragement. Kai sighed wearily, casting a 'look' at Brooklyn while the younger bladers crowded around on the floor. The older teens either moved their chairs forward or turned them around, but all were eager to hear about another mythical beast.
"The existence of the Griffin is more fantastic than that of the Phoenix or the Unicorn, for it is a hybrid, part bird, part mammal…
The griffin is said to be a hybrid between a lion and an eagle. Some say that its entire body is that of a lion, with the wings, head and talons of the eagle with it's back covered in feather. Others say the lower-half is that of a lion, and the upper-half of its body an eagle. There are a few legends that link the Griffin to a chimera, claiming it has the tail of a snake. The size of their talons were such that people could hollow them out and use them as drinking-cups.
It is similar to birds in its habits, as it builds nests, mostly on the sides of mountains, most likely the Himalayas, as India is thought to be its Native country, and there is a reason for this. The Griffins would make their nests of gold and precious woods that they found on and around the mountains. Instead of eggs, the Griffins would lay agates the size of Ostrich eggs.
Of course, all these riches in one place would attract the attention of thieves, bandits and desperate men. Like dragons, the Griffins had instincts that let them know where buried treasure lay, and they guarded their nests fiercely from all comers.
There is one tribe that I will but mention the name of; the Armaspians, a one-eyed people of Scythia flourished alongside the Griffins, their names closely linked in this part of the legend. Griffins were also said to inhabit the Scythia steppes that reached from modern Ukraine to central Asia. The Scythians used the remains of giant petrified bones as proof of the Griffin's existence, yet most palaeontologists believe that they are simply dinosaur fossils. The tales of hunters never returning from the mountains can be put down to rock falls and the dangers of a mountain rather than a Griffin leaping out and tearing them to shreds.
As the lion is considered the "King of Beasts" and the eagle the "King of Air", the Griffin is said to be an especially powerful and majestic creature. Like the Phoenix, they were consecrated to the Sun, some ancient painters representing the Sun chariot drawn by Griffins. There are also divine figures in Egyptian mythology that are depicted as griffins, including the Gods Sefer, Sefert and Axex. Ancient Greek paintings and sculptures, the earliest from Minoan, Creete show the Griffins as royal animals and guardians of the throne rooms. Ancient Elamites used Griffin symbols extensively in their architecture and the beasts were also presented to their Gods. In Persian mythology and literature, Griffins were commonly seen as statues and symbols in palaces, and were said to be guardians of the light.
Going from mythology to a religion, one of the Griffins more prominent appearances in Europe is linked to Christianity. Stephen Scotus, a 9th century Irish writer asserted that Griffins were highly monogamous. They mated for life and even if one parent died, they would not search for another partner. This upheld the early Christian's views and Griffins were made an emblem of the Church's view on remarriage. Furthermore, being in part both a flying and land-bound animal, Griffins were seen in Christianity to be a symbol of Jesus Christ as He was both human and divine.
One last note; however improbable the existence of the Griffin may seem, there is one other creature that is more improbable still. The Griffins are said have one great enemy that they dislike more than fight, and that is the horse. Despite this, there are some records of the existence of their mating and subsequent offspring – the rarest of all mythical creatures save only the Phoenix – the Hippogriff.
"Wow," Tyson commented after a brief silence, "I haven't even heard of some of those places. The Elam- what?"
"Elamites" Kai corrected. "And I wouldn't expect you to know. The Griffins are said to have resided an Eastern and Central Asia. Even today that land is marked by sparsely populated mountainous regions with deadly climatic affects. Away from the Ocean, it can be blistering during the day and past freezing during the night, the rocks gaining and losing heat far quicker in the desert, and that's only in the foothills. The rain-shadow effect causes the North facing slopes to be considerably colder and drier. The higher up one goes – nearer to where the Griffins are said to reside – the more dangerous and extreme the region, hence why people can lose their lives so easily."
"That's really scary, Kai." Matilda muttered. Most of the younger bladers and the girls nodded in agreement.
"Well it's certainly one of the more extreme animals, and by far one of the most dangerous, as adept on the ground as it is in the air." Claude remarked.
"I find it quite fascinating." Raul added.
"Does that answer you question?" Kai asked suddenly, turning to Oliver. "Of how Robert is like his bit-beast?" Robert, who had been silent, blushed slightly.
"But isn't Robert German?" commented Michael, scratching his head in confusion, "you said Griffins were found mainly in Asia."
"Try going by the traits and not the origin." Julia offered dryly. "Oliver isn't exactly Chinese either, and that's where the Unicorn originated." Oliver grinned at her.
"Robert is, in a sense, a hybrid." Kai replied, leaning back with his eyes closed once more. "A young, noble lord, yet he practices beyblade, a sport that originated on the streets."
"As feudal lords, I'm sure the history of that castle includes more than a few peasants going 'missing'." Brooklyn added lazily.
"Centuries ago!" Robert defended.
"Though lords always did guard their gold closely…" Johnny mused thoughtfully.
"One of the most prominent symbols of the European lords is the lion. It appears on more than a few coat-of-arms and crests." Said Kai
"And while it is highly doubtful that the nobility is monogamous, they have a lower divorce rate then 'normal people.'" Brooklyn finished.
"And of course Robert is Majestic, easily handling his role at his father's company and fitting in with us!" Enrique cried.
"Really…" Robert flushed darker. "I'm not-"
"Yes." Everyone turned to look at Brooklyn in surprise. He had used a forceful tone that brooked no argument." "You really are like the Griffin and how your team-mates have described you. That is why chose you as his master."
Standing up, the white-clad teen stretched languidly, turning one eye to his neighbour. "Coming, Kai?" The blunette unfolded himself and stood up gracefully. Without a word, the two enigmatic bladers made their way through the quiet, crowded room to the door.
A/N: Yeah… so, you saw that I put up references? That's where I got the info from, mostly wikipedia. And what I said about the Central Asia, that's true. I looked it up on online Brittanica winks. Once I actually sat down and sifted through the info I had collected last time, it was a cinch to write. (Oh, ignore the part about nobles haveing lower divorce rates. It was probably true about 20 years ago, but who knows nowadays? It was thought shameful if you divorced, but today people agree on pre-nuptials before even considering marriage.)
I feel as if I need an introduction to these tales. You know, make it more of a story rather than a badly constructed essay. But if people don't want the (lame) intro, I can just as easily skip to the 'facts'.
So, I've realised than it takes less than a half-hour to gather the info, another 15 mins to sort it out, and a little over an hour to actually write it. Who/what do you want to see next? – Keeping in mind of course that I will only write about the mythical beats, not your standard tiger or salamander. (Might do those later…maybe…probably not…)