Mythological Beasts And Spirits: Alphyn

Leonid, with eagle's talons, wingless, though, with knotted tail, Through the mist, an Alphyn sentry stared them down and gave them hail. From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III
Leonid, with eagle’s talons, wingless, though, with knotted tail,
Through the mist, an Alphyn sentry stared them down and gave them hail.
From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III

 

The Alphyn combines various characteristics of a lion, a dragon, an eagle and a wolf, so it is a type of chimera. It has a long, knotted tail. For my poem, The Staff in the Tree, I chose to interpret it as a lion with eagle’s feet, but historically only the forelimbs are those of an eagle. In heraldry, it was sometimes used as a symbol for judgment, and it appeared on various coats of arms.

Coat of arms for the Alphyn Union, a Caldavakian alliance.
Coat of arms for the Alphyn Union, a Caldavakian alliance.

Below is a more modern rendition by William O’ Connor, a well known fantasy artist who specializes in mythological creatures.

From Dracopedia: The Bestiary by William O' Connor.
From Dracopedia: The Bestiary by William O’ Connor.

My first drawing is a bit cartoonish (actually, I have a hard time escaping this), so let’s try again…

"Turn around," the Alphyn ordered, "or your lives will soon be through." Said the leader in defiance, "I see only one of you." From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III
“Turn around,” the Alphyn ordered, “or your lives will soon be through.”
Said the leader in defiance, “I see only one of you.”
From: The Staff in the Tree by Robert Lambert Jones III

Next post: another week, another creature.

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