Gryphons are mythical creatures first created on The Land in LY 576. They were the second species, after I-Dragons, to have human intelligence incorporated into their genetic design, and the first genetically engineered species to exist exclusively of intelligent members (as there were and are still various non-intelligent dragons, predating those engineered with intelligence). According to the intelligence classification system implemented in 774, gryphons are classified as "semi-intelligent." However, as of 913, the United Villages of the Chaos recognizes all "semi-intelligent" species as being fully intelligent.
Gryphons are something of a rarity, among the Land's mythical creatures, in that their design by Sorreters is essentially identical to their description in Terran mythology. They consist of the body of a lion, and the head, wings, and forelegs of an eagle. Since both lions and eagles are naturally occurring animals on the Land, no substitutions were required. However, Sorreters did include some DNA from katoro to allow gryphons to grow larger than ordinary lions or eagles. There is also the fact that Landian lions are red in color, rather than the more typical golden color of Terran lions.
In 580, Sorreters relocated several species of mythical creatures to various uninhabited locations around the world. Gryphons were transplanted to central Near Land, where they took up residence in that continent's largest forest. However, there are still at least a few gryphons living in southern Sorret Forest. And in 773, during the talks which led to the intelligence classification system, a number of gryphons moved to Monab Forest.
It should be noted that on Earth, there have been various ways of spelling the name of this mythical creature, including "griffin," "griffon," and "gryphon." Over the years, there has been just as little consistency among Landians who write the word. The creatures themselves were taught to read (by spirits), though writing was problematic for them; obviously, they cannot hold pens. However, they have ways of writing, such as using their talons to scratch on stone. This is inconvenient for a number of reasons, and therefore, gryphons tend to keep their writing to a minimum. The ability, however, was used to help demonstrate their intelligence during the 773 talks in Monab. (A universal translation spell can be used by humans to communicate with gryphons, but this spell was not developed until 879.) And despite the sparsity (and brevity) of their writing, gryphons are known to enjoy reading, if they can get their claws on a good book.
The significance of the preceding paragraph is most apparent in the fact that gryphons have, historically, been just as inconsistent as humans in choosing how to spell the name of their species. In fact, they have taken the matter far more seriously than humans ever did. Sometime after the Coming of the Order, gryphons were inspired by humanity's first war to wage one of their own, among themselves. For several years, they fought over whether their race should be spelled "griffin" or "gryphon." The incident that actually triggered the war was the question of what their forest should be named. While humans have often referred to it as the "central Near Land woods," it had never been given an official name, as it wasn't near enough any human settlements to be considered an issue. However, when the Coming increased travel between villages in southern and northern Near Land, more and more people began to pass by the woods, and map-makers wanted an official name they could print on their maps. It seemed obvious to name it for gryphons, but that brought up the secondary question of how to spell it. Despite the fact that no one had felt the need for consistency in this matter before, the fact that map-makers were now looking for a universal name for the forest made it seem only natural to want a universal spelling, as well. So, the question was put to the gryphons themselves, as to how they spelled their species' name. No one could have imagined such a seemingly simple question would lead to a war. But the creatures saw their war as no more frivolous than that the humans had so recently waged, for their own reasons.
The war was finally ended in 915, with those on the side of the spelling "gryphon" winning. Thus, the woods were officially named "Gryphon Forest." At the same time, the gryphons declared all the land between Gryphon Forest and the western coast of Near Land to be "Gryphon Country." (The areas inhabited by gryphons had long been called "gryphon- or griffin/griffon- country" by humans; the the gryphons now capitalized that term to use as the name of a nation, apparently inspired by humans starting their own nations, just as they had previously been inspired by humans' war.) It was shortly after the end of their civil war that they began a war with the harpies that lived in Harpy Forest, on the eastern coast of Near Land....
It should also be noted that the gryphons who lived near Sorret and Monab took no part in the war. While the Sorretian gryphons apparently preferred the spelling that ultimately won out, the Monabite gryphons were mostly in favor of "griffon," which wasn't even in the running, at least for the majority of the war. Nevertheless, once the gryphons of Near Land had resolved the matter, those on First Land accepted the spelling "gryphon" for themselves, as well.