The hippogryphs of Chalypsos are more omnivorous than the gryphons of Windsonde. Because most hippogryphs lack the grasping forelimbs of gryphons, they typically hunt prey smaller than themselves. Some hippogryphs work together to hunt large prey, and others are expert fishers. They will also forage on a variety of fruits, vegetables, tubers, flowers and fungus, but hippogryph beaks cannot process grass or leaves. Due to their more omnivorous nature, there is a different variety of birds available for hippogryph design than the birds available for gryphons.
The Hyppos - horse/bird hippogryphs.
The Cirvanthe - deer/bird hippogryphs.
The Kapprini - goat/bird hippogryphs.
The Anthelos - antelope/bird hippogryphs.
There is greater bird variety on Chalypsos than Windsonde so you can find the right species for you if you want a naturally colorful design!
Chalypsos hippogryphs are the approximate size of their ungulate species half, give and take 25% towards average (this means your giant draft horse hippogryph can be 25% smaller than a regular draft horse if you want, but not 25% larger, and your tiny water deer hippogyph can be 25% larger than a regular water deer but not 25% smaller). There is more natural size variation between the hippogryphs of Chalypsos than the gryphons of Windsonde.
: One or both of your hippogryph's biological parents, if you decide to depict them, should have the traits (front end species and hind end species) of your hippogryph. Members of different herds are capable of reproducing, but all hippogyphs should have traits from one or both of the parents; there NO blending of fore or hind-end species (it's one species of bird + one species of ungulate).
Example: A grouse/elk + bald eagle/horse could have the following babies:
grouse/elk, bald eagle/horse, grouse/horse, bald eagle/elk
The Hyppos are masters of the open plains and fields. Steady, loyal and honorable, this herd values the strength and health of the group above all things. All are expected to contribute, but no member is left behind. Hyppos band together to accomplish great tasks, such as felling trees or hunting large prey. Though they are welcoming to members of other herds, they expect visitors to follow their code of contact and will present a unified front to drive out anyone who misbehaves until penance is made. Due to their group strength, they have dominated the rich plains of Chalypsos since time immemorial.
They have a close alliance with the Kapprini, who live on the mountains above Molochost Steppe and Medos Valley, and have permanent settlements on rocky outcroppings throughout Hyppos territory. Because the Hyppos rarely travel far from the group, they rely on the Kapprini for information of the outside world and for goods that cannot be found in their lands. In return, the Hyppos lend their strength to the Kapprini, and protect them.
Most Hyppos are equine-based hippogryphs, though this strong herd has attracted many cervine, caprid, and antelope hippogryph immigrants over time.
The Kapprini are an obstinate, opportunistic herd. Though they make their home in the Ankanthos, Zophos, and Biblion mountain ranges above Hyppos territory, they have colonies throughout the Hyppos steppes and travel widely throughout Chalypsos. Kapprini are mentored from birth in self-sufficiency, herbal properties, geography, and barter techniques. Many Kapprini learn a craft such as healing or woodworking, but the majority make their living as collectors and traders.
Kapprini culture is marked by a deep respect for elders, and all traders pay a small tribute of goods to the Nanny Queen upon returning from a successful trip. These goods become part of the communal herd wealth and are used to negotiate with the other herds of Chalypsos.
Kapprini work closely with the Hyppos herd. Hyppos fell the wood Kapprini use for crafting, and defend Kapprini trade routes. Many Kapprini even live with Hyppos families and adopt their customs. Though they interact frequently with the Anthelos and Cirvanthe, they do not have the same respect for those herds as they do for the Hyppos. The Kapprini consider themselves cleverer than the other herds of Chalypsos, though they are wise enough not to treat potential business partners with derision.
The majority of Kapprini are goat and sheep-based hippogryphs, but there are a few cervine, equine, and antelope hippogryphs in their midst who switched allegiance to the Kapprini in adulthood, or whose parents immigrated from another herd.
The Anthelos are a nomadic herd. They have no herd leader and no home territory, though they are bound by common values and mutual respect. They roam across Chalypsos, sticking mainly to land unoccupied by the other herds.
As a group, the Anthelos pride themselves on their ability to withstand harsh conditions and fend for themselves. Anthelos live with their parents until their first successful solo hunt, after which they are considered adults and must follow their own path. Anthelos tend to be solitary, but it is not uncommon for individuals to spend a season living among the Hyppos, Kapprini, or Cervanthe to glean knowledge from the other herds.
Though they consider dependence on others a weakness, the Anthelos are dutiful in warning each other of hazards and resources. These warnings take the form of symbolic art--such as stone stacking--left behind on their travels, which Anthelos learn to read and watch for when young.
All Anthelos defer to a single Seer, born once in a generation, who can divine the presence of water. The current Seer is Basir. Anthelos will travel miles to seek the advice of the Seer at important milestones in their life. Though they do not believe in any religious system, they make pilgrimage to their favorite henges at least once a year. The Anthelos also have a certain reverence for the balance in nature's bounty...and cruelty.
Almost all of the Anthelos are antelope-based hippogryphs. Few Hyppos, Kapprini or Cervanthe ever choose to leave their herd lifestyle for the Anthelos's relatively unstructured and solitary existence.
The Cervanthe herd dwells in the forests of Chalypsos and rarely leave their territory. They treat outsiders with ambivalence, and often find it difficult to relate to the cultural norms of the other herds. Unlike Hyppos, Kapprini and Anthelos, Cervanthe culture is dictated by the passing of seasons.
In winter, known as Vinthern, the Cervanthe form a herd much like the Hyppos. Everyone comes together for the lean, cold season, gathering under the oldest oak in the forest. The Cervanthe trade stories, huddle around fires for warmth, and subsist on dried meat and fruit stored earlier in the year. As a group, the Cervanthe are better able to defend themselves from the wolves, bears, and cougars that also dwell within their region--predators that may grow desperate enough during the winter to attack a lone hippogryph, despite the formidable beak and antlers.
When the snow melts and flowers come into bloom, the Cervanthe part ways for a season of solitude and reflection. Many of the Cervanthe travel far from home during this season, called Eiar, to explore the remote regions of Chalypsos. Only the Stag King remains at the clearing of the Great Oak.
In summer, Theros, the herd draws together again for a time of bounty--and a time of industry. Food is dried for winter, and much revelry and feasting is had. An atmosphere of friendly rivalry grows in the herd as members compete in playful tests of strength, agility, and hunting prowess.
Come autumn, the friendly rivalries of summer intensify into a time of violence and aggression known as Lekkrut. Hormones rage in the adult cervine members of the herd. Both male and female Cervanthe compete to gain potential paramours--and to establish status that will impact their share of food and position within the herd during winter. Non-cervine members of Cervanthe therefore compete in Lekkrut as well, and being level-headed can sometimes make up for their lack of preternatural aggression.
The majority of Cervanthe are deer-based hippogryphs but there are a few caprid, equine, and antelope hippogryphs in their midst who switched allegiance to the Cervanthe in adulthood, or whose parents immigrated from another herd. RELIGION
The hippogryphs of Chalypsos follow a belief system tied strongly to the four seasons, each personified by a single deity. Religious practices vary strongly by herd. To the Cervanthe, the four deities are tangible, fallible entities that walk the land to visit with mortals. To the Hyppos and Kapprini, they are concepts--ideals even. The Anthelos view each deity as a distinct facet of life.
Eiar is a goddess of tranquility, reflection, and water. Each spring she brings renewing rains to Chalypsos to make the land green again. The Cervanthe know her by her brilliant green eyes and brightly colored plumage. Eiar is a peaceful goddess and grants visions to those who can find a moment of peace within themselves. To the Hyppos and Kapprini, Eiar represents the new ideas that arise both from contemplation, and sudden strokes of genius. To create something new or do something clever is to have "seen Eiar." For the Anthelos, Eiar represents the beginning of new life. The Anthelos Seer's ability to divine the presence of water is considered symbolic of a close connection with Eiar.
The god of summer represents bounty and celebration. Theros loves feasting, revelry, and competition. He is the mate of Eiar and brother of Lekkrut. Theros brings warmth and abundance to the land, helping the new life created by Eiar grow strong. Theros and Lekkrut love to compete with each other; while Theros holds the lead, the land remains warm, sunny, and green. The Cervanthe see him as golden-eyed, merry, and robust. They offer up gifts to Theros, so he might remain as long as possible. To the Hyppos and Kapprini, Theros represents community and cooperation, for these two things bring the most bounty and cheer. To the Anthelos, Theros represents the vibrancy of life, particularly the beauty and good times.
Lekkrut is the embodiment of fury, passion, and violence. The red leaves of autumn are a sign his time has come. He holds the highest importance to the cervine hippogyphs, who enter rut every autumn. To the Cervanthe, the aggressive, frenzied emotions that overtake the herd are the direct influence of Lekkrut, who lends his strength to those he favors so they may win their battles. He is always seen as antlered, with deep orange or red eyes. Lekkrut is a powerful and unpredictable god who does not like to relinquish his hold on the world, but his mate Vinthern chills his fury to ensure the seasons move on. To the Hyppos and Kapprini, Lekkrut represents impulsiveness, selfishness, and violence towards herdmates. To the Anthelos, Lekkrut represents the violence with which all living things fight to remain alive. Lekkrut is what lends an extra boost of strength when all seems lost.
The goddess associated with winter is a harsh teacher. She is ambivalent to the sufferings of mortals, only bestowing her blessings on those who prove themselves worthy. Winter's trials are what forced hippogryphs to master fire, learn to build simple shelters, and store food for lean times, thus elevating them above the other animals of Chalypsos. To the Cervanthe, Vinthern takes many forms but is always marked by her white coloration and icy blue eyes. She appears as a silent observer in times of danger, but her presence is not considered a bad omen; it is instead a challenge to overcome adversity and prove oneself to the goddess to earn her favor. The Cervanthe consider Vinthern the mate of Lekkrut. Her stoic demeanor calms Lekkrut's fury so the new year can begin. To the Hyppos and Kapprini, Vinthern represents the ability to endure hardships and come out stronger and cleverer than before. To the Anthelos, Vinthern represents the finality with which all life ends.