The scribes once wrote that the world of Gryphonia is “alone among the stars, an oasis of life in a galaxy riddled with dead worlds”. Unlike those dead worlds, Gryphonia is a diverse world that is full of life. Its population includes gryphons, winged horses, hippogryphs, gargoyles, and hophas, to name just a few of the many life forms that inhabit the planet. The hophas (known in some spheres as humans) are relatively new arrivals to the world, having traveled through the dimensions in starships so that they might escape conditions on their own depleted world.
The hophas felt extremely fortunate to have landed on such a gem of a planet and so far have restrained themselves from running roughshod over it. Ironically, it is the hophas themselves who were responsible for naming the planet after a large portion of its population: the gryphons who inhabit the world are everywhere. A curious mixture of what appears to the hophas to be leonine and aquiline features, the beings both fascinate and terrify the hophas.
The gryphons, for their part, consider the hophas to be mythological creatures. The avian felines are very parochial, seldom straying very far from their home in the mountains. Since the hophas inhabit the land that the gryphons call “The Flatlands”, the two species have interacted little if at all.
To the gryphons, “Gryphonia” is not a planet but instead comprises their particular home territory. There are gryphons of the mountains, the valley, the seashore, and the forest. Each group considers their own area to be “Gryphonia”. It will be the gryphonic beings of the mountains, however, that will one day forge an alliance with the dreaded, two-footed hopha creatures.
I am Tale Weaver, an elderly scribe and the teller of the stories of Gryphonia. I am the one who receives visions from my sister, the oracle Truth Speaker, and through her guidance I perceive not only the actions of the other beings from the outside world, but I hear their thoughts as well.
I am that which the gryphons call a kryphon, or a wingless female. I am confined to the ground, unlike my gryphon sisters who have wings to soar in the sky. My kryphon nanny brought me up in the mountains among my wingless brothers, who are known as keythongs. We comprise the gryphonic servant class, and the elders train us from birth to serve the Great Winged Ones. We, the wingless, are all supposed to be sterilized at birth so that we do not over-populate and grow more numerous than those of the winged class. I must confess, however, that there are those among the wingless who have deliberately evaded such an unjust fate.
I am one of those wingless rebels who refused to cooperate with the dictatorial laws contained within The Gryphonic Code. That irritating piece of legislation forbids the kryphons and keythongs to mate, even with each other. At an early age, however, my gryphon mother chose to remove me from the legal chains of my society and she instead brought me to a wonderful, free place called “The Forest Lake Nesting Site”. I have lived here all of my adult life, and I have welcomed the rejected ones from all over Gryphonia to join the lake, the trees, and me in creating a sacred retreat outside of the demands of the rigorous, class-based societies. It is here that you will find the mystics, sages, oracles, hermits, rovers, and other creatures that were once cast-aways of their own communities. As far as the rest of the world is concerned, we remain cloaked in mystery. Until the dawn of the New Age of Freedom, it will remain so. Nonetheless, I am a scribe, and I will tell my tales to whoever wishes to listen.
I am the author of a new fantasy novel, "The Gryphon". I have been writing fantasy stories since I was seven years old. More recently, I have published free stories on fiction sites; but this is my first published book of prose.