Gryphon & Butterfly


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Stormdancer - the roleplay descriptions.

Stormdancer appears in several places, and is somewhat different in all of them... but most of the differences are in relative size, and personality. His general structure and coloration are the same... so I'll give you the description as he exists on SpheresMUX, the place where he's probably the most active... outside of various chats, bulletin boards, and the like. :>

As a general overview, he's a gryphon of extremely classical build - from the last rib foreward, he's raptorial, from that point back, he's leonine. From beak to tailtuft, he's shades of grey, blue, and black.

And now, since this is an artist's reference... time for the painful details. Feature by feature. Inch... by... inch.

Beak - Dark smokey blue/grey, fading to black at the tip and along the edge. Shaped somewhat like a Harris Hawk's beak. The tongue is very pale, almost white pink at the very tip, quickly fading to dark grayish-pink. The inner mouth parts are moderately dark pinkish gray, much like a Rough-Legged hawk.
Cere - Very pale bluish grey, following the general lines of a Rough-Legged Hawk.
Face - The pattern of bare skin between the cere and eye is much like that of a Ferruginous hawk - fairly small, and with a fair amount of 'whiskering'. As with the Ferruginous, there's a darker triangle behind the eye, the upper edge continues the line of the eye-ridge back and down, while the lower continues the line of the beak back, and up. The upper edge of this curved triangle is much darker and more defined than the lower edge, which is quite a bit lighter.
Eyes - A warm, dark golden color, with black pupils. Intensely focussed, but with some humor - much like a Harris Hawk.
Head - The general shape of a Golden Eagle - sleek and smooth, though with a bit more 'crown' to make room for the larger brain. No ears, but fairly subtle eartufts instead. The crest is also raisable, running down the centerline of the skull.
Neck - Imagine the mottled patterning of a Ferruginous hawk, but instead of white, rust, and dark brown, he's grey, dark blue-grey, and black. Very sleek and smooth, with a darker lap of feathers marking the shoulder.
Wings - He's a broadwing - wings shaped somewhat like those of a Red-tailed hawk, with the patterns of color being much the same, but again, in grey, dark blue-grey, and black. Each wing is about 1.4 times as long as the span from beaktip to the base of the tail; the total wingspan about 3 times.
Forelegs - Feathered to the knee, scaled below. The scales are a pale grey, about the same shade as the cere. The claws are long and black.
Forebody - Like most avians, he's a bit paler on the throat, chest, and underside than above. His feathering continues to just before the last rib, cutting off rather abruptly. His chest is a bit deeper and more strongly developed than most - a result of his extensive challenging of the high winds.
Hindbody - Although quite leonine in shape, the coloring of his forebody continues to the back. The patterning is not quite so sharply defined, but the transition is quite subtle. He, like normal lions, has four vestigial nipples. Unlike lions, however, he has no belly-button - a sign that he was hatched, not born.
Hindlegs - Very classic lion, with broad paws and retractable claws.
Bits - Yep, he's visibly male. And like most images of classical gryphons, he's not 'hung' like a lion, but instead equipped more like a dog or horse... or a cross between both, more accurately. Very softly furred sheath that extends out along the belly from between the hindquarters, and moderate scrotum, tucked back between the hindlegs, closer to the back than the front. Here is an excellent illustration of this, done by Kynekh.
Tail - Very leonine, accounting for a little more than 1/4 of his total body length. The last tenth is a pure-black tuft of fur. There are no feathers on his tail or rump - no tailfan, or feathertip.

Notice that all the sizings above are relative. On SpheresMUX, Stormdancer stands about 3 1/2 feet tall at the shoulder - about the smallest he is anywhere. By this scale, he weighs in about about 620 pounds, he's about 6'4" from beak to rump, and his his wingspan is approximately 18 feet. Rearing up fully onto his hindquarters would place his head nearly 9' off the ground. Other places he is as much as eight feet, at the shoulder... but in general, about 4'-5' is reasonable.

And here is where some example images by various artists will go, when I get them gathered together. I hope to put every example everyone anywhere ever does - don't want to leave anyone out! But so far, I've only got a few thumbnailed and linked.

by Nambroth

by Cara Mitten

by Kynekh
(r rated)

by Nambroth

Photo references:
Harris Hawks: Decent head-shot, beak gaped
Nice collection of pictures
Mantled over a kill
Nice profile
Another profile, from a higher angle
3/4 profile
Straight-on from front
Ferruginous Hawks: Fair summary of info, one nice fullbody profile.
Fair full-body shot.
Nice chest shot
Gorgeous shot of the back, wings spread.
Another perfect picture of the back, wings folded.
Several nice shots. An adorable one of 4 chicks!
Pretty chest shot
Still looking for a good head-shot.
Rough-Legged Hawks: Excellent head shot!
Very nice shots of the back & underwing
Nice soring, chest, and chicks shots.
Really nice portrait.
Very nice soaring shot.
Golden Eagles: VERY nice headshot! And a very good soaring pic.
Nice shot from the front, with head in profile
CUTE chicks!
Nice pic of a resting bird, leaned foreward.
Another standing bird, nice profile.
Couple of decent shots - also check page 2.
A collection of links to photos
Another page with links to 3 very nice shots.
Lions: Webshots has many, many nice pics.
Several nice pics.
Terribly organized, but good pictures.
Very good general resource!
General: Golden Gate Raptor Observatory

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