Gargoyles are rare creatures. They are humanoid in appearance, with functional wings similar to those of a bat. They are made of living stone, and as such are occasionally confused for golems. Gargoyles are known for being reclusive, stoic, and highly logical in all facets of life.
Little is known about the earliest days of the gargoyles. Even their own histories, jealously guarded and kept only among themselves, are vague on the subject of their origin. It is known that the first gargoyles were created, stone constructs given a semblance of life, though the identity of their creators remains a mystery. Perhaps it is the shame of their forced servitude that obscures these accounts, perhaps time- the only surviving term left referring to their creators is “The Masters,” and as such, those aware of the ancient stories are either resentful or afraid of the power of these beings.
It is known that the first gargoyles came from a mountain, known to them as Sobieruyurai. No living gargoyle truly knows which mountain is Sobieruyurai- however, scholars and political figures have, throughout the years, claimed certain mountains as Sobieruyurai, either based on discoveries of artifacts or simply as a ploy to gain social power.
Most legends claim that the gargoyles of Sobieruyurai were guardians, clever and unparalleled in battle. The Masters were able to control them, and could impose their will upon their gargoyles. Rumors exist which claim that artifacts remain to this day, relics of the Masters, which can cause Gargoyles to act most unusually and against their own will.
Some accounts say that the gargoyles were abandoned, and left Sobieruyurai on their own. Others say that they escaped from their harsh masters, their wings taking them as far away as the wind would take them, perhaps even overseas in their flight. Some say that they were exiled, cast out from a good home. There are no verified accounts dating back that far, only oral tradition, and every story told is different.
There are considerably more clear accounts regarding the earliest years after their departure from the mountain. The gargoyles, great in number but with no home, spread out across the land, each claiming territory for their own. These gargoyles, acting with no masters for the first time, acted with great greed and fought frequently over land, thinking not of their long lifespan, which let them live for two hundred or more years, but rather of their immediate desires. They used their wits to most devastating ends, manipulating both each other and the beings of flesh who thought they had the right to own property near “gargoyle” lands. In this fashion, gargoyles were thought a menace and hunted severely, until their numbers had dwindled greatly.
Now, gargoyles are very clever creatures, and they saw that if they continued acting in such a fashion they would surely be wiped out in under a century. As such, a great meeting was called, summoning their kin from every corner of the land. The gargoyles, enjoying logic above all else, debated for years, high in the mountains that could only be reached through flight. Finally, it was decided that no more should gargoyles freely act on emotions, as it was their own greed that nearly brought them to ruin. They also decided to leave the land of those of flesh, cloistering themselves away, in their own clans. Twelve gargoyles in particular offered to lead, and from these twelve leaders came the great clans, which gargoyles to this day wear the markings of.
The twelve clans are as follows:
A gargoyle tends to be born into a specific clan, and while some individuals have switched clans before, it is a very uncommon occurrence, and, if not handled delicately, something of a scandal. While the color of a gargoyle’s clan markings are chosen for them by the circumstances of their birth, the pattern of the markings is something which each gargoyle decides for themselves as a rite of passage into adulthood. This rite can be taken at any time, between the ages of 20 and 100, depending on the gargoyle. Until the Rite of Marking, the gargoyle will simply wear their clan colors in three straight lines, above their eyebrows.
Modern gargoyles are not emotionless, but they consider emotional displays to be quite shameful. They are fans of logic, and especially enjoy riddles. While many gargoyles live peaceful lives, the fact remains that they were created as guardians, and it is quite rare to find a gargoyle who does not have a natural knack for weapon-play and the art of battle, if they choose to take it up.