Hippogriffs (pronounced: /ˈhɪpgrɪffsHIP-o-griffs[6]) were chimeric magical beasts related to griffons. However, they possessed the physical characteristics of horses, rather than lions and did not share the same intelligence.

The origins of these beasts has been lost to time.[7]

Description[edit | edit source]

Hippogriffs had the body of a horse, with the wings and head of a hawk or eagle. Their forelegs ended in sharp talons similar to those found in birds of prey, while their hind legs had hooves.[7] The average hippogriff was 9 feet long, with a wingspan of 20 feet (6.1 meters), and weighed about 1,000 lb (450 kg)[8]

Their hides would be colored russet, golden tan, or come in a variety of browns with differently shaded feathers. Their beaks were either ivory or golden yellow.[9]

Combat[edit | edit source]

Hippogriffs were extremely territorial and would attack any intruders in their realm, defending their mate or young until death.[7] They attacked by diving and attacking with their claws and beak. Though regarded as clumsy attackers, flocks of hippogriffs could attack in concert.[8] They could kill large prey such as bison, and were even capable of carrying it away in their talons. Being omnivores, they did not always have to resort to such tactics.[9]

Ecology[edit | edit source]

Hippogriffs were reclusive in behavior, seldom traveling far from their nest.[7] They had an omnivorous diet,[7] and would hunt humanoids as often as any other meal.[8] Hippogriffs were frequently preyed upon by both dragons and wyverns.[7]

While some seemed to be of the opinion that female hippogriffs gave live birth,[7] the majority of accounts of their ecology gave mention specifically about their eggs.[8][9]

A typical herd included one to three males, an equal number of mares and foals.[9]

Habitats[edit | edit source]

They live in temperate to tropical hills, in areas where it is particularly flat and barren, allowing them quick and easy access to the skies. A significant population existed in the Starspire Mountains in County Starspur in Tethyr.[10]

In the Unapproachable East, they could be found around the Umbergoth mountain of Aglarond.[11]

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Hippogriffs were highly prized as aerial steeds. Because they were not as intelligent as griffons, a friendly attitude from the hippogriff to the rider or tamer was not required, but they still require a specialized saddle and appropriate training. The easiest way to tame a hippogriff was to steal an egg and raise it from birth, but these were not easy to obtain,[8] due to the ferocity of their defenders.[12]

In Zakhara, the Caliphate of Huzuz raised large numbers of hippogriffs for military service.[13]

Usages[edit | edit source]

A hippogriff egg could fetch 1,000 gp, 2000 gp by some accounts,[8] while young hippogriffs would sell for two to three times that price.[9]

History[edit | edit source]

After the elven citadel of the Hand of the Seldarine was built circa 900 DR, the residents utilized hippogryphs as aerial support in battles defending the Seldarine. The history and practices of the magical beast breeding were described in the Hippogriff Riders of the Hand tome. The rider and their hippogryph trained tirelessly in working as a team. The hippogryphs were raised and trained from the moment they were hatched. They were trained on what to eat, how to perform complex battle maneuvers and respond to commands. The riders were taught o care for and groom their charges and how to handle them in battle. By 1281 DR, the citadel was long ruined and inhabited by the restless undead, souls of the inhabitants who fell in turmoil centuries earlier.[14]

Appendix[edit | edit source]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Adventures
Swords of the Iron LegionHow the Mighty Are FallenStorm King's Thunder
Referenced only
Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus
Organized Play & Licensed Adventures
City of Danger
Novels
The Gossamer Plain
Referenced only
The Crimson Gold
Comic Books
Showtime! Or, Revenge of the Living MonologueBurning Questions
Video Games
Curse of the Azure BondsSecret of the Silver Blades
Referenced only
Icewind Dale
Card Games
AD&D Trading CardsDragonfire (Moonshae Storms)
Board Games
Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Begins

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins (2014-09-30). Monster Manual 5th edition. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 184. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 146. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 152. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 190. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  5. Gary Gygax (December 1977). Monster Manual, 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 52. ISBN 0-9356-9600-8.
  6. Frank Mentzer (January 1985). “Ay pronunseeAYshun gyd”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #93 (TSR, Inc.), p. 26.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins (2014-09-30). Monster Manual 5th edition. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 184. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet and Monte Cook (October 2000). Monster Manual 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 118. ISBN 0-7869-1552-1.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 190. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  10. Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), p. 69. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
  11. Anthony Pryor (June 1995). “Campaign Guide”. In Michele Carter, Doug Stewart eds. Spellbound (TSR, Inc.), p. 59. ISBN 978-0786901395.
  12. Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 146. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
  13. Tim Beach, Tom Prusa and Steve Kurtz (1993). Al-Qadim: City of Delights (Golden Huzuz). (TSR, Inc), p. 19. ISBN 1-56076-589-5.
  14. Black Isle Studios (June 2000). Designed by Matt Norton. Icewind Dale. Interplay.
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