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Dragon Hunters

Reference Documents

© 2001-2002 Draconus / Stratadrake of NEWST


One of the unique species in the world of Dragon Hunters is the airwolve (note that it is always spelled with a v, i.e. airwolve not airwolf). Airwolves are gryphon-like creatures; except whereas gryphons appear to be part lion, airwolves appear to be part wolf.

Academic Classification

Airwolves all belong to a single species placed in the new gryphona order of the academic class mammalia. The name "gryphona", translated into common tongue, basically means "feathered mammal". Previously considered a contradiction of terms, the discovery of feathered species such as airwolve, gryphon, and pegasus challenged the basic characteristics that defined mammals and birds.

Some academics believed that airwolves should be classified as birds simply due to their feathering. Others believed that their mammalian characteristics, including the nursing of their young, demanded them to be placed in the mammalia class. Eventually, after years of bickering and disputes between the various academic beliefs, the latter belief won, and it was settled that airwolves should be classified as a new type of mammal.

Justifying this decision was a lengthy explanation, written by the established chief of the academic standards community, which detailed the mammalian characteristics of airwolves versus their bird-like characteristics. The only real bird-like characteristic satisfied by the airwolves was their coat of feathers, while airwolves satisfied each and every one of the mammalian characteristics (including hair/fur). Besides, science had never ruled that mammals could not wear feathers, it merely ruled that birds wear feathers; therefore, the new classification did not actually violate any rules, it only violated the perceptions of them. Henceforth, the new classification of "feathered mammal" was established.

Airwolve Description

Their feathered, yet part-wolf, appearance belies one mystery of the airwolve kind. Ever since their appearance in the world, airwolves have mingled, mixed, and actually bred with regular wolves. Normally, this inter-species type of breeding is prohibited by nature, but in the case of airwolves, they actually thrived through their interbreeding. After several generations, the wolf population has actually diminished, while the airwolve population has expanded.

Due to their gryphon-like ferocity, airwolves have never been taken from the wild into captivity. However, they have been born into captivity. Research of this historical event revealed another phenomenon of its own. The first "domestic" airwolves were born from a wolf! It took scholars many decades to puzzle out exactly how a wolf could give birth to an airwolve, but finally, they arrived at the answer: Apparently, the domestic mother-wolf had at one point been impregnated by a wild airwolve. No one could guess how or when, but it did indeed happen. Since then, scholars have funded several scientific observations of the airwolve kind.

After more years of observation, the scholars found the answer they were looking for. According to observers, whenever an air-wolf is interbred to a normal wolf, the offspring are always of the airwolve species. Unable to explain this mystery any further, the scholars accepted their results at face value, declaring that airwolves and wolves were two species destined to mix together.

Had the scholars had access to Ancestral knowledge of genetics, they would have discovered a convicting answer. Airwolve genetics are different enough from wolf genetics to qualify them as a separate species, but they remain similar enough to wolf genetics to allow the two species to interbreed and hybridize indefinitely. Furthermore, airwolve genetics dominate over wolf genetics, meaning that if an offspring is but a wolf/airwolve hybrid, it will look and act exactly like a full-blooded, pure-lineage airwolve. Well, almost exactly like a pure airwolve. There are some small differences between partial airwolves and pure airwolves, most notably that partial airwolves have smaller talons, only a partial 'fan' of tailfeathers, and thinner wings. Pure airwolves have large taons, a full fan of tailfeathers, and thicker, meatier wings.

Considering that airwolves have a higher overall prowess than normal wolves, the chances for an airwolve becoming the 'alpha male' or 'alpha female' in any given wolf-pack are greater (and even more so if they are pure-lineage), multiplying their opportunities to breed and pass on the airwolve genetics. Given their dominant genetics, it is logically possible for wolves to be "bred to extinction" by airwolves. It is ironic that a species could be made endangered or even extinct through their very procreation, but that is the observed nature of wolf and airwolve genetics.

Like wolves, airwolves are largely monogamous and form 'breeding pairs' (as do most species of birds) by which to pass on their avian genetics. When choosing a mate, airwolves will first seek out pure-lineage airwolves; if none can be found, a partial-airwolve will suffice; and if still none can be found, the airwolve will seek out and join a wolf-pack in order to breed. This helps to ensure that the airwolves' genetics are 'purified' over their generations so that they will produce their own kind according to the rules of nature. While airwolves themselves are usually encountered in pairs, there are several occasions where an airwolve, lacking a mate, has joined a wolf pack, quickly becoming its 'alpha male' or 'alpha female'.

While the exact knowledge of genetic nature was lost when the Ancestors were wiped out, some of the basic principles remain. Therefore, although it is impossible for academics in the world to prove the science of genetics, its basic principles remain among the academics and from their observation is produced a limited knowledge of genetics:

Basic Genetic Principles

The genetics of any species are sorted into chromosomes, and contained in their cell structure. Most chromosomes are a perfect match, but one pair of chromosomes is not; this is the pair known as the "XX" or "XY" chromosome. This pair of chromosomes dictates the sex, or gender, of the individual. Male members of the species have an "XY" pair of chromosomes, while female members of that species have an "XX" pair of chromosomes.

When two members of the species are bred, each parent passes on one chromosome from their XX or XY pair. The mother, having an XX chromosome, always passes on an 'X' to the child; the father, having an XY pair, will either pass on an 'X' or 'Y' chromome to the child. The two chromosomes from father and mother are merged to form the genetical makeup of the offspring.

The inheritance of the father's 'Y' chromosome, or the lack of such inheritance, dictates whether an individual resultant offspring is male or female. If the offspring is formed from two 'X' chromosomes, it will have an 'XX' chromosome set and be female; if the offspring is formed from one 'X' and one 'Y' chromosome, it will have and 'XY' pair and be male.

Documentary Conventions:

The following symbols will be used in the parent-child genetics chart:

Parent-Child Genetics Chart

There are two rules that determine how wolf and airwolve genetics mix. If the mother is hybrid, only her airwolve chromosome will be inherited by her offspring. Also, the hybrid mother becomes barren after her first litter. The father, whether wolf, airwolve, or hybrid, is not affected by these two rules.





Wx Wy Wx Ay Ax Wy Ax Ay


Wx WxWx WxWy WxWx WxAy WxAx WxWy WxAx WxAy
Wx WxWx WxWy WxWx WxAy WxAx WxWy WxAx WxAy


Ax AxWx AxWy AxWx AxAy AxAx AxWy AxAx AxAy


Ax AxWx AxWy AxWx AxAy AxAx AxWy AxAx AxAy
Ax AxWx AxWy AxWx AxAy AxAx AxWy AxAx AxAy



Wolf chromosome


Airwolve chromosome (dominant)


X chromosome


Y chromosome (present only in males)


Pure wolf


Wolf/airwolve hybrid


Pure airwolve





For example, "Ax Ay" indicates a pure airwolve with one X and one Y chromosome (thus, it is a male airwolve).

Note that, although there are four possible combinations of paternal (father-side) genetics, there are only three combinations of maternal (mother-side) genetics. This is due to the first rule of airwolve hybridization -- if the mother is hybrid, it does not matter which of her 'X' chromosomes is wolf and airwolve, for only the airwolve chromosome will be inherited by her offspring.