[Download for a larger view, thank you!]
I thought I'd try my hand at
's Combat Pet event. I was so excited when I saw that there was a Dragon Age group, I pretty much dropped everything I was doing to think of a character for it, and when an event that allowed for a possible automatic-acceptance into the group came around, I had to try for it!
I pretty much knew I wanted to do some kind of eagle right away. The Mabari pretty much covers the whole "awesome mammal companion" area, and frankly, I just really, really love birds. I hope this turned out alright and not too . . . plain? I wanted it to look like it could be a real animal, but still with a subtle fantasy vibe to it.
Griffon Eagle, or, more colloquially, the "Warden Eagle"
Females: Height ranges from 2½ to 3 feet (75 - 90 cm) | Wingspan ranges from 6½ to 7½ feet (195 - 230 cm)
Males: Height ranges from 2 to 2½ feet (60 - 75 cm) | Wingspan ranges from 5½ to 6½ feet (165 - 195 cm)
Females: 11-22 lbs (5-10 kg)
Males: 9-13 lbs (4-6 kg)
Screech: The Eagle unleashes an ear-piercing screech that stuns most nearby enemies.
Claw: The eagle tears at an enemy with its talons and beak.
- Wild Griffon Eagles do exist, but the greater majority of them are bred and kept by the Grey Wardens at Weisshaupt.
- They subsist on a diet of meat - in the wild, they can hunt anything ranging from small rodents to the occasional deer and carrion. In captivity, they will eat any meat given to them by their handlers, including fish.
- Originally native to the High Reaches of Tevinter, the Griffon Eagle is now all but extinct there, and almost all living specimens, both captive and wild, live in the mountainous regions of the Anderfels. Even wild specimens tend to be found close to Weisshaupt Fortress more often than not.
- The Griffon Eagle naturally mates for life, but seems to bear no ill effects from being separated from their mate for carrier work.
- Griffon Eagles are diurnal, but will fly through the night if needed while carrying a message.
- Griffon Eagles are somewhat resistant to the Taint, owing to their history of being used by the Wardens, but are not totally immune to it. Because of this, some Wardens have been known to tie their beaks shut when using a Griffon Eagle for combat, to ensure that it does not attempt to eat the darkspawn carcase.
- Given the name 'Griffon Eagle' for their resemblance to the mythical Griffon - the 'prongs' of feathers on its head and the golden coloring are both said to bring to mind the appearance of the Griffon.
- Allegedly bred by the magisters of the old Imperium using a method similar to the one by which the famous Mabari breed was said to have originated, the Griffon Eagle was eventually adopted by the Wardens of Weisshaupt around 4:80 Black Age. Their intelligence and lack of imprinting instinct (as the Mabari was known for) made them useful for transferring information between Commanders during the Fourth Blight, especially because they were capable of defending themselves and their messages, unlike smaller carrier birds. After the Fourth Blight, they retained their usefulness as carriers, but largely became more symbolic, and were selectively bred to resemble the Order's famous Griffon mounts. Somewhere around 7:30 Storm, when it is generally agreed that the last known Griffon specimen died, the Griffon Eagle became the spiritual successor to the Griffon as a symbol of the Wardens of Weisshaupt.
- Aside from being used as a valuable messenger bird, the Griffon Eagle is a worthy adversary in a fight. Naturally territorial, the Griffon Eagle has been bred to turn that defensive instinct on its enemies. It is especially apt at clawing at the eyes and faces of its foe.
- The Griffon Eagle is intelligent, and can understand an incredibly vast array of commands given careful training. It is not known for its single-minded loyalty, as a Mabari is, and though it will respond best to a well-known handler, it is not impossible for it to respond to a new one should something tragic befall its original handler.
- [With Mod Approval] As shown in the dark-green box, Griffon Eagle handlers have been known to equip the talons of their bird with sharp metal prongs. This increases the devastating power of their talons, allowing them to slice or crush more strongly than they would be able to with their natural claws.