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.
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 sale of gryphon eggs is considered a crime in most human and dwarf holdings, but black market eggs can be had for prices at around 2 to 3 times less than the amount of a fully trained gryphon.
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.