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.
Below is a more modern rendition by William O’ Connor, a well known fantasy artist who specializes in mythological creatures.
My first drawing is a bit cartoonish (actually, I have a hard time escaping this), so let’s try again…
Next post: another week, another creature.