Gryffs are an elegant, heron-headed species of hippogriff. Gryffs are longer and leaner than the traditional griffin, with flexible necks, sleek hindquarters, lance-like beaks, and equine hooves. Gryffs are swift and nimble flyers, natural enemies of dark creatures.
Gryffs are sensitive creatures. They have been known to become visibly agitated when in the presence of dark forces. Some clerics have used gryffs to detect malevolent geists, pierce the glamers of vampires, and uncover the corrupting influence of the demonic Skirsdag cult. Thought to be emissaries or agents of Avacyn, gryffs are revered as divine beings. The heron-like head and wings of gryffs suggest the heron symbol of Avacyn and the shape of the markings in the silver moon. Gryffs can manifest power similar to strong Avacynian magic, and their screeching cries can call on angels and other celestial creatures.
Gryff-knights are Avacyn's aerial cavaliers. Most griffins are too surly or unpredictable to be ridden, but gryffs seem naturally suited to mounted combat, as their agility and poise translate into a smooth but maneuverable ride. Cathars of the Gryffbond Order, or simply the gryff-knights, are a type of cathar dedicated to mounted combat in the skies. Gryff-knights are paired off one-to-one with their gryff companions and stay with that union until one of them dies. Knights swear solemn oaths to their gryff companions, and it is thought the gryffs answer in kind. Gryff-knights are not like griffin riders on other planes, because they recognize the beast under their saddle is the greater being in the equation; they are merely there to aid and protect the gryff. Gryff-knights learn to read the moods and even understand the vocalizations of their gryff companions and can tell when a gryff has sensed nearby evil.