Num: 1 – 2
Spd: 4 (ground) 8 (flying)
Dmg: 3d8 (claws), 2d6 (bite), Slam (see below)
Gryphon Mastiffs are the largest of all of the gryphon sub-species. They are thought to be the progenitor of the various gryphon breeds, but that is the subject for academics, not for those that hunt or train them. Mastiffs stand 16 feet tall at the front shoulder, and can easily peak in up to 4th story windows if standing on their hind legs. They have a wing span of nearly 100 feet, and their powerfully muscled leonine bodies can weigh in upwards of 4000 pounds.
Gryphon Mastiffs need to consume huge amounts of meat and are often seen along the coasts near their mountainous homes hunting killer whales, pods of dolphins, or even deeper at see hunting huge fish such as blue-fin tuna. They do not discriminate in their prey, and while they prefer to leave men alone, they will feast upon them if the opportunity presents itself. They have an extreme fondness for eating the flesh of horses and larger Gryphon Mastiffs will eat a whole horse in a day.
Mastiff cubs are kicked out of the nest as soon as they are able to fly and hunt on their own. If more than one Mastiff is found at a time, it is usually a mother teaching her cub to hunt or it is a mating pair. Like all gryphons, Mastiffs mate for life, but will only be seen in pairs during rutting season.
In combat, Mastiffs are horrifying against small numbers of troops. They prefer to strike from the air, snatching with their claws and flying up, dropping any prey that puts up too much of a fight. They will go after horse-mounted cavalry without fear. Often times, the Mastiffs will circle their quarry like sharks, scoping it out and analyzing it with a canny intellect. Most often it will attack with both of its front claws and then its bite an a round if in close combat. Otherwise it will fly by, attacking with a paw trying to snatch up smaller targets. They can perform a Slam attack, but doing so is risky. If taking most of a round (two move actions) to dive on a target, they can make a single attack and hit with all four claws, effectively landing on the target hard, and dealing 4 attacks for 3d8 simultaneously. When they do this, they are prone for their next action as they recover from the shock of falling out of the air onto a soft target. The victim is also knocked prone and remains so until the gryphon moves, even if the attack itself scored no damage.