These proud creatures stand as noble symbols of the Alliance's fortitude. In addition to conveying important documents between the Human, Dwarven, and Gnomish leaders in the regions surrounding Stormwind and Ironforge, the gryphons have also been harnessed for paid transportation along routes throughout Alliance controlled territories.
In order to travel by gryphon, you must first speak to a Gryphon Master at the destination point. Upon doing so, the location will be added to your list of known Flight Paths. Each gryphon ride costs a varying amount of coin.
In World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, Armored Gryphons are the epic flying mount of choice for the Alliance in Outland. In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, they will also be available for the Alliance in the planet of Azeroth
Gryphons have a long history of participation in Alliance military maneuvers. In The Burning Crusade expansion, players can participate in bombing quests atop an armored gryphon provided to them for that purpose.
The gryphon is the symbol of resolve and fortitude among the wild dwarves of Aerie Peak. From the tip of its powerful beak to the back of its swishing tail, a gryphon can reach lengths of 9 feet. Its wings can span up to 30 feet, and are powerful enough to launch the beast into flight from a standing position.
Gryphons are intelligent and loyal, suppressing their natural aggression and territorial behavior to assist the wild dwarves who share their mountain homes. They are, however, partial to horse flesh and unless closely watched indulge their taste to the detriment of nearby cavalry. In recent times, the trolls of the Witherbark tribe in the southern Hinterlands have been capturing gryphons to attempt to train their own windwarriors. They have thus far been unsuccessful, but it is conceivable that the trolls will eventually find a way to duplicate the success of the Wildhammer clan and produce gryphon riders of their own.
See Gryphon (mounts).
The origin of the Griffin is unknown. Greek sources from the Hellenistic (300s BC) period tell of where the creatures might be found, but the imagery is far older. The Mycenaean civilization, which dates to around the 1000s BC, feature Griffins and lions on what little artwork survive from the period. The even older Minoan civilization, who were contemporaries to Ancient Egypt, used Griffin imagery in their palaces and temples. Creatures that could be called Griffins are common motifs in Persian and Assyrian art, although these beasts are technically Cherubim, not griffins. A beast that has been loosely translated to "Griffin" is referenced in Egyptian papyri, although the term "hieracosphinx" is becoming more popular. It has been suggested that Gryphon imagery originated with early discoveries of Protoceratops fossils. Ancient observers would have seen an aquiline head on a leonine body.