The Griffin Patriarch comes to TROY: MYTHOS with the Arimaspoi
Welcome back to another monster reveal on TotalWar.com, today we’re talking about the Griffin Patriarch. Immensely powerful, winged beasts with a penchant for arrogance and aggression against all they see as lessers, Griffins do not respect humanity as a matter of course. The Arimaspoi are those humans – one-eyed humans – that hunt Griffins, but also share the land with them. To call the two allies would be an overestimation. It is a mutual rivalry that keeps both sides fed and healthy, they will defend their territory when they must.
The Patriarch is the mightiest of the Griffins, a truly massive king of land and sky. To bring it on-side is a miracle, and to stand against it is death.
The Myth behind the Monster
Griffins are one of the most endearing mythical creatures across history – they persisted through the bronze age to become the heraldry and legends of Medieval Europe. Be it griffin, gryphon, or griffon, it is one of the most recognisable hybrid creatures ever and is packed throughout popular fiction and culture to this day.
The Arimaspoi were a debatably-real tribe from the lands north of Greece, which they supposedly cohabited with the Griffins. Cyclops in nature, they are a savage and cunning people who sought the gold Griffins brought back from the Underworld. Whether their real-world counterparts from the lands of Scythia beyond the Black Sea bore any resemblance whatsoever is up for ancient world debate.
Our version of both make their home in Illyria, the northern reaches of Greece that border the Adriatic Sea and overlook passage towards Italy and beyond.
The Quest for the Griffin Patriarch
As with all Mythic Expeditions, you must send out an army to hunt down and capture the Griffin Patriarch, and in this case perhaps hire some of the Arimaspoi on the way. You’ll be heading into Illyria and need to train and hunt while you’re there to have the best chance of catching your quarry – how you deal with the harsh terrain and the locals will all impact your potential success in the final battle.
It’s also worth noting you are not hunting merely a Griffin, but the largest and most powerful one in the land. A few archers will not simply be enough to take it down. Your initial mission statement reads thus:
Your expedition has made camp on the outskirts of Illyrian lands, beyond the farthest Northern reaches of Achaea. The world is already different from what you know: full of light rain and deep green forests, the smell of rich loam.
Yet this is just the beginning. Your goal lies even farther away, near outermost bounds of the world as your people know it — where rivers flow with gold and gemstones and the cliffs and caves reverberate with the cries of fantastical beasts. One of them is your quarry: the Griffin.
Your journey will be difficult, and the battle at the end even more so. Steel yourself and prepare.
The Griffin Patriarch on the Battlefield
Perhaps most notably, the Griffin can fly. This makes it a fast-moving, deadly attacker that can smash into enemy lines and quickly spread discord and fear through the ranks. It can come from surprising angles, at unexpected times, and also escape combat to charge back in again. Its extremely high attack damage is enhanced even further when engaging an enemy from the flank or rear, and the terror caused by its impact cannot be underestimated.
However, beyond this, the Griffin is also a natural leader. Its powerful shriek, closer to a roar, can inspire the hearts of those that follow it into battle. It is also difficult to kill once it makes it into combat. The soft underbelly is more vulnerable in-flight, but on the ground its powerful wings cover the body, made of feathers hard as bronze, offering incredible protection.
As well as its aptitude for wreaking havoc on enemy infantry, those wings can whip up a gust that will disrupt formations and cause damage to everyone in front of it. That does include allies, so watch out – when you are a Griffin, superiority comes naturally, and your other troops may pay the price.
The Griffin as an Agent
Taming the Griffin brings with it the army of Arimaspoi that live in harmony – or otherwise – with the Patriarch and its offspring. That Harmony becomes your problem, with various decisions and actions favouring either the Griffins or the Arimaspoi and their perception of you. Side with one or the other and those forces will receive bonuses, while maintaining a balance provides morale, happiness, and line of sight across your faction.
Armies featuring the Griffin Patriarch have new options for settlements and captured enemies to feed the nest. They also have access to the Griffin Hunt stance, which sacrifices some movement one turn to massively increase it and vision range the next, also increasing the chance of ambushing any army they attack.
The Griffin itself can search for strays at any gold settlement, presenting a dilemma that will affect one side or the other of the Harmony bar. It also naturally reduces the cost of Griffin-focused buildings and increases the recruitment rank of other Griffins in a friendly region, also passively pushing the Harmony bar towards the Griffin side.
The Griffin’s Army
The Arimaspoi are natural hunters, and those who take it as their central passion are deadly, precise, and powerful. Adept at both melee and the art of spear-throwing, the Hunters are specifically trained to take down great beasts – be they cavalry or the more exotic creatures that roam Greece. They’re unlikely to win a battle all on their own, but they excel at disrupting enemies.
- All Arimaspoi are expert scouts and trackers, giving them Vanguard Deployment and a natural advantage in rough terrain.
- The Hunters are particularly trained, letting them hide even in open terrain, popping from seemingly nowhere to assault their enemies.
- Trapping is a part of the job of a hunter, and the Arimaspoi are no different – snares will block enemies and leave them open to attack.
Arimaspoi that are dedicated to the noble combat of man vs. Griffin may become spearmen. They target weak points and are generally powerful strikers that will prove the match of any but the most elite warriors. However, their lives remain cheap, for to face a Griffin is challenging for even a whole unit of spearmen.
- Improved flanking attacks from their training and weapon choice make them a bad surprise for the enemy.
- Additional anti-large damage makes their spears even more deadly against monsters, horses, and more.
- Despite their confidence – and ability – probably don’t send them to face enemies alone for an extended period. Unless you really dislike them.
An Arimaspoi on foot is dangerous enough, but once mounted on a horse, as the Skirmishers make their living, they take on a new, deadlier role. The combination of Arimaspoi training – Vanguard Deployment, Natural Advantage – and mounted combat – faster movement, no need to stop to loose arrows, and 360° fire – creates a deadly fighter that is unlikely to be bettered.
- Vastly faster movement than any of their compatriots, and likely one of the faster elements of your entire army.
- Use this with skirmishing to constantly harass enemies and keep the upper hand.
- Cyclops on a horse, ‘nuff said.
The Griffin Patriarch’s many children are not quite as powerful as their father, but they are still deadly flying threats. They share many of the same characteristics and abilities, though their wings do not quite have the same maturity. They are still effectively armoured by their heavy feathers, and attack with incredible ferocity. They are also quicker than the Patriarch.
- Another heavy flier, second only to their Patriarch.
- Instill a natural fear in all they fight, as is only right for the heirs of the land and sky.
- Can easily replace cavalry or heavy infantry as your primary fighters in an army – just try to keep them away from ranged units they aren’t directly charging.
The Griffin is a noble and vicious compatriot, and the Arimaspoi make for powerful foot-soldiers with a focus on stealth, ambush, lightning strikes, and trickery. If you can keep their rivalry in check, or even if you side with one over the other, you will have a new and effective force with which to take or defend Troy. Take flight, and drive all before you.
Remember to wishlist Troy on Steam, and visit our official store to pre-order Mythos.