THE GRIFFIN PATRIARCH
When you are a Griffin, it is easy to look down upon everyone and everything. From the vantage point of the deep sky, everything is minuscule, everyone a piece of prey. As the undisputed animal king of earth and sky, Griffins defer only to gods, and even pull Apollo’s chariot when he voyages out from Olympus.
Griffin relationships with humans are complicated. Those that believe in their existence at all are more taken in by tales of the vast amounts of gold that griffins bring back from the threshold of the Underworld, and some insist they feed the nuggets to their young.
Appropriately, such people consider it a waste of perfectly good gold, and take care to redress it. The only ones that are capable of this, however, are the Arimaspoi, a tribe that shares the lands of the griffins, the only ones the griffins are willing to coexist with, albeit in a state of unrelenting rivalry.
Bronze Feathers – The mighty Griffin’s wings are solid shields as much as they are tools of flight, providing resistance and armour bonuses – but its soft underbelly is vulnerable to arrow fire while in-flight.
Savage Gust – A flap of those wings can create an incredible wind, disrupting and damaging all caught in its wake.
Rallying Screech – The Griffin is an inspiring, powerful sight, and the significance of its presence is not lost on its allies, who will fight harder and longer when they hear its cry.
Flight – the Griffin can fly quickly across the battlefield, making it a devastating flanker and surprise attacker.
Managing the Harmony between Griffins and the Arimaspoi following them everywhere requires careful thought and action. Depending on whether the favour lies with griffins or the Arimaspoi, or whether the Harmony is (relatively) well-preserved, certain specially-tailored advantages are made available to you. The griffins depend on their incredible maneuverability, speed and flanking skills, though they could strain one’s gold economy. The Arimaspoi, on the other hand, are avaricious enough to improve gold-mining, and are the only combat units in the game that are not only immune to the effects of rough terrrain – they are even stronger on it.
Harmony – Whether you favour the Arimaspoi, the Griffins, or their alliance will decide a set of powerful buffs affecting those units. Favouring the Griffins powers up the Griffin Patriarch itself, while their human rivals provide gold if preferred. Strengthening their alliance means any army with both units is more powerful.
Griffin Aerie & Arimaspoi Camp – The unique builds used to recruit Griffins and Arimaspoi. They increase unit caps, and are buildable in major or gold settlements.
Griffin Hunt – The Griffin Patriarch’s army can enter this stance, prepping for the next turn. On that following turn, they have additional vision and campaign movement range, as well as a massively increased chance to ambush enemies they attack.
Post battle options – Feeding your Griffins post-battle will heal them and provide experience, while preparing a conquered settlement for nesting will decrease the cost of Griffin buildings.
Agent actions – The Griffin Patriarch can search for its young or feed them as unique agent actions. This provides various bonuses, as well as moving the Harmony bar in either direction.
The Arimaspoi of the far north share a strange mixture of kinship and fierce rivalry with the griffins. These Scythians, expertly roaming the wilderness around the cave of Boreas, the Northern Wind, are themselves uncanny enough, one-eyed and yet sharper-sighted than any normal human. They decorate their weapons and armour with gold plundered from griffin nests and feathers plucked from griffins themselves. Even their speech emulates the harsh, clipped cries of the winged beasts they battle. Some attribute their obsession with gold to nothing more than greed, yet the Arimaspoi claim the gold carries pieces of their kinsmen’s souls, reclaimed by the griffins from the threshold of the Underworld.
Great two-handed spears allow these Arimaspoi to more effecitvely hunt and defend themselves. They are slower than their compatriots but otherwise more hardy and more threatening.
Spear-throwing horse-riders with quick movement and quicker wits. Like all Arimaspoi, they benefit from their expert monster-hunting training, and are hardy soldiers in any sort of battle.
The griffin is among the most noble of all liminal (dual-natured) mythological beasts, incorporating into itself the animal kings of both land and air, as well as evoking the invisible threads between earth (human) and sky (divine). More pragmatically, it has long been known among savvy treasure hunters throughout the ancient world that wherever griffins are, there is gold as well. No one knows how the griffins find it, and some insist they feed the nuggets to their young.
Appropriately, these people consider it a waste of perfectly good gold, and take care to redress it.
The Griffins and the Arimaspoi present an interesing dynamic contrast between campaign and battle gameplay – careful choices between the favour of two tribes. On the battlefield, both through the griffins’ flying and the Arimaspoi’s extreme skill on any terrain, the hero is empowered as a tactical master, flanking the enemy from any direction (even from above).
The Mythic Expedition for the Griffin Patriarch will take you to the boundaries of the known world – a gruelling journey into unknown lands, and a challenge at the end of it where the foe is as completely at ease on the battlefield as you are not.