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GARGOYLES - One of the Three Races (q.v.).


The exact origins of gargoyles lie so far back in the mists of time that we have no certain details as to how they came about. However, what evidence we have suggests that they are descended from the great reptiles of the Mesozoic Era, possibly pterosaurs. It is certain, at the least, that they are native to this world rather than extra-terrestrials, and that they arose through natural causes rather than being the creation of magic. Gargoyles were the first of the Three Races to come into existence, preceding not only humans but even Oberon’s Children. They enjoy a close link to the Earth that may be the result of their great age, and which may be the reason for their stone sleep (q.v.).

By the dawn of recorded human history, gargoyles had spread throughout the planet, and clans could be found all over the world. This period of prosperity came to an end, however, when humans learned how to work metal, particularly with the dawn of the Iron Age. Humans had long feared gargoyles, believing them to be demonic monsters because of their frightening appearance and nocturnal nature, but had up until now been no threat to them; at night, the gargoyles were too formidable to be safely challenged, being stronger than humans, and the crude and primitive weapons of the Stone Age were no danger to a gargoyle in stone sleep. But when humans armed themselves with iron weapons, they could come upon gargoyles in their stone sleep and shatter them. Many clans were destroyed this way, and the remainder were forced to retreat far from human society, into the wilderness where it was safe.

But not all humans treated gargoyles this way. Some humans realized that the gargoyles, because of their fighting skills, made excellent allies in defending their homes from rival human bands. These humans sought out gargoyle clans and obtained permission from them to build fortified homes for themselves atop the cliffs where gargoyles kept their rookeries. By day, the humans in this fortress would watch over the gargoyles in their sleep, and protect them from harm, while at night, the gargoyles would protect the humans’ home from attackers. And for a while, this strategy worked.

But it did not last long. As time wore on, the humans who had initially formed these alliances came to fear their gargoyle protectors, considering them unnatural creatures and savage beasts. Tensions grew between the two races, and usually, they ended with the humans turning upon their former protectors and destroying them. The numbers of gargoyles grew steadily fewer. At last, humans came to abandon these alliances altogether (for the most part), and the surviving gargoyles fled into the wilds to hide. By 1994, there were only eight gargoyle clans left.

Beyond this general course of gargoyle history, a few specific events stand out. The earliest recorded event in gargoyle history took place during the reign of Caesar Augustus (27 B.C. - A.D. 14), the first Emperor of Rome. By Augustus’s day, there were few gargoyles living in the lands taken up by the Roman Empire, largely because there was so little wilderness left in it for them to hide in, but occasionally, gargoyles were brought before the Emperor.

At that time, gargoyles’ garments did not turn to stone with them in the daytime, and so when a gargoyle awakened from stone sleep at sunset, his or her garments would be torn asunder by the process, rendering him or her naked. Augustus, a man with strong "family values" and very desirous of restoring high standards of morality to Rome, was displeased by this, and had one of his advisors, a powerful wizard, cast a "spell of humility" over the entire gargoyle race, causing their clothes to turn to stone with them henceforth.

At about this time, the legendary Irish hero Cuchulain was accompanied on many of his adventures, including his defeat of the Banshee, by a gargoyle beast which came to be known as the "Hound of Ulster" (although later on, the name came to be applied to Cuchulain himself and the gargoyle beast came to be forgotten). About five hundred years later, King Arthur Pendragon of Britain also made the acquaintance of gargoyles, although the medieval romancers who wrote about him and his knights likewise ignored their part in the history of Camelot. But few humans were as willing to accept gargoyles as these two legendary heroes had been.

And so, by the dawn of the High Middle Ages in the 11th century, gargoyles had become so rare that humans believed them to be extinct (and few mourned that). Indeed, the 11th century saw the end of one of the last alliances between humans and gargoyles, that formed between King Macbeth of Scotland (1040-1057) and Demona, which ended in 1057 when Demona betrayed Macbeth to the forces of Malcolm Canmore, bringing about her own clan’s destruction as well as Macbeth’s downfall. The Age of Gargoyles was at an end.

In spite of this, humans vaguely remembered that gargoyles were protectors, and although it did nothing to change their opinions about living gargoyles, they still placed gargoyle-like sculptures atop their castles and cathedrals, believing that they would protect these places from demons and evil spirits. So some measure of the true legacy of gargoyles remained.

In 1996, humans suddenly became aware of the existence of living gargoyles once again when Goliath and his clan were revealed to the public in New York City, and most of them were terrified. Most of the human citizens of New York called out for the gargoyles to be destroyed or captured and locked away, and some of them even joined an organization of gargoyle-hunters called Quarrymen.

The years that followed for gargoyles would be dark and dangerous ones, but in the end, humans would gradually come to realize their true nature, and learn to at least tolerate them. At some point before 2188, the United Nations finally adopted the [[Gargoyle Minority Protection Act], which granted the gargoyles Protected Minority status and treated their scattered clans as an independent nation-state. Gargoyles were still only grudgingly tolerated at this point, however, not altogether accepted. They made a comeback, however; by 2188, their numbers had increased to twelve clans (one at New Camelot in the Antarctic, and another at Wyvern Hill in Scotland), and a thirteenth clan, the Liberty Clan, was founded on Queen Florence Island that same year.

The histories of four specific regional varieties of gargoyles have come down to us, those in Scotland, England, Guatemala, and Japan. A gargoyle clan is known to exist on New Olympus, although hardly any details are known about it; it emigrated there with the New Olympians’ ancestors after coming to despair of making peace with humanity. These four clans and their varying fortunes will be discussed in greater detail later on in this entry.

Concerning the remaining clans - we know that a gargoyle clan currently exists in Korea, in mountain caves by the Pukhan River, and another in Xanadu, China, although nothing more about them than that. As we have already stated, by 2188, there will be twelve clans, the thirteenth clan will be founded that very year, and, some years after 2198, a fourteenth will settle in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.


Gargoyles are part of a biological class called "gargates", presumably descended from the great reptiles of the Mesozoic Era. The only other species in this category is that of the gargoyle beasts, which serve as the gargoyles’ companions.

The most prominent biological feature of gargoyles is that they turn to stone in the daytime. This trait of theirs, known as "stone sleep", will be dealt with in greater detail in a separate entry; for now, suffice it to say that at sunrise gargoyles (and gargoyle beasts) turn to stone or, to be more accurate, an organic substance similar to stone and remain that way until sunset. During this time, gargoyles sleep and dream, injuries sustained during the night heal, and they absorb solar energy from the sun’s rays that gives them the strength to glide at night. Without this last, a gargoyle would have to eat the equivalent of three cows a night in order to get airborne.

Gargoyles are warm-blooded, like mammals, and have a greater resistance to the cold than humans do.

However, like birds, reptiles, and the duck-billed platypus, they lay eggs. A female gargoyle lays one egg at a time every twenty years; this low birth rate is one reason why gargoyles are so rare. Gargoyle eggs take ten years to hatch. Female gargoyles nurse their young, however.

Gargoyles do not age during their stone sleep, so they age only half as quickly as humans do. Thus, a 30-year-old gargoyle would be biologically equivalent to a 15-year-old human. A gargoyle could theoretically live to close to 200, but most gargoyles die premature deaths through being slain in battle or smashed in their stone sleep. Gargoyles such as Hudson who live to a ripe old age are rare indeed.

Gargoyle appearance varies from clan to clan, often dramatically (as in the case of the English gargoyles) and even gargoyles within the same clan look very different, and are usually easily told apart. Some sort of overall gargoyle norm does exist, however, judging from the Scottish, Guatemalan, and Japanese clans. Gargoyles are bipedal (although they can easily run on all fours if they need to) and more or less humanoid in shape. They have leathery wings, usually bat-like, but sometimes glider-like (as with Brooklyn) or web-like in the manner of a flying squirrel (as with Lexington), and long tails. Gargoyles have clawed hands with three fingers and a thumb, and clawed feet (they walk upon their toes). Their ears are pointed, their teeth fanged, and they have some sort of brow-ridge above the eyes in place of eyebrows, and horns upon their foreheads.

But this aside, gargoyles display a great deal of variety in physical appearance. Some gargoyles have humanlike faces, such as Goliath, Hudson, Demona, and Angela, while others have beaks such as Brooklyn. Some gargoyles have hair, while others, such as Lexington and Broadway, are bald. Gargoyle skin color varies noticeably within the same clan; for example, Goliath and Angela are both lavender, Demona sky-blue, Hudson a tannish color, Brooklyn red, Lexington a sort of khaki, and Broadway turquoise. And many gargoyles depart from this "norm" even more dramatically. The London gargoyles, for example, resemble heraldic animals with feathered wings, and Zafiro of the Guatemalan clan looks very much like a winged serpent.

When gargoyles are awakening from their stone sleep or are angry, their eyes glow. Male gargoyles’ eyes glow white, and female gargoyles’ eyes glow red.

Gargoyles are immensely strong, and can actually scale stone walls, digging their claws into the stone to provide footholds for themselves. However, despite their wings, they are not capable of actual flight. They can only glide upon air currents. When gargoyles are not gliding and are on the ground, they can cape their wings about them (with the exception of such gargoyles as Lexington, whose wings are attached to their arms).

Naturally, gargoyles are biologically very different from humans. Indeed, although both species are sentient and native to Earth, they cannot even produce children together, short of scientific or magical intervention. Indeed, gargoyle-human pairings are almost non-existent; Goliath and Elisa’s own relationship will probably be a one-of-a-kind nature.


Gargoyles live in clans, gatherings of fairly closely-related gargoyles. Each clan has a leader, and a second-in-command underneath. The leader’s function is self-explanatory; the second-in-command’s function is to lead the clan in the leader’s absence, and to succeed to the leader position in case the leader is slain or has to step down due to unfitness. (Indeed, leaders of gargoyle clans have to appoint seconds-in-command to ensure a ready-made successor for such an occasion).

Gargoyles are in many ways, a very communal race, and this is particularly the case with the hatchlings.

Gargoyle children are raised by the entire clan, and the concept of biological parentage does not exist. This custom seems to have arisen thanks to the high death rate in gargoyle society; since it is entirely possible that a hatchling’s biological parents meet death even before his or her hatching, this policy ensures that orphans will not exist in the clan, and that all hatchlings will be cared for, protected, and raised.

While this system has traditionally been the custom, it has, in recent years, been challenged in at least one individual case: that of Angela. Thanks to her having been raised by humans, she was more ready to accept the concept of having an individual father and mother than most young gargoyles, and when she discovered from Sevarius that Goliath was her biological father, looked upon him as such. Goliath disapproved of this for a long while, feeling that such an outlook was not the Gargoyle Way, and also fearing that from there, Angela would find out who her biological mother was; certainly an understandable worry given that that same mother was Demona. But in the end, Diane Maza persuaded him to accept her, which he did.

(Whether Angela and Broadway will similarly raise their own offspring to come, Artus, Gwenyvere, and Lancelot, as their own, is as yet unknown; the same is likewise the case with Brooklyn and Katana’s children Nashville and Tachi. However, it is known that Samson’s parentage will be uncertain even by 2198; gargoyles still, in general, see their children as belonging to the entire clan.)

Although hatchlings belong to the entire clan, gargoyles are a strictly monogamous race. They mate for life, and in nearly all cases, when one gargoyle in a pairing dies, the other remains single thereafter. Goliath is a rare exception to this rule, in that he and Demona have "divorced", and Goliath has moved slowly towards a relationship with Elisa Maza.

Gargoyles gather their eggs in caves or underground chambers called rookeries, generally set in mountains or high cliffs, their prefered habitat. (Wyvern Hill is a good example of such a place). Here they can be safely watched over. (It is quite possible that the necessary defense of the rookery from enemies may have been one of the reasons for gargoyles developing their protective instinct, for which see below).

Traditionally, gargoyles don’t have names. They consider the concept a peculiar human custom; as Hudson once put it, "Must you humans name everything? Nothing’s real to you until you’ve named it, given it limits.... Does the sky need a name? Does the river?" However, by now gargoyles have begun to accept the concept of names, at different times and ways for each clan. In the case of the Wyvern Clan, all of its members were nameless in the 10th century, except for Goliath. However, Demona received her name from Macbeth in 1040, following Duncan’s overthrow, and the trio, [[Bronx], and Hudson took up their names after awakening in New York in 1994. The Avalon gargoyles were all named by Katharine, Princess|Princess Katharine]], the Magus, and Tom, and the clans in London, Guatemala, and Ishimura have all adopted the process as well. There are still a few gargoyles who do not have names, though. We do not as yet know if the gargoyles of New Olympus are among these or not.

In gargoyle society, the sexes are more or less equal. Female gargoyles are the ones who lay the eggs and nurse the young, of course, but other than that, male and female gargoyles alike fight as warriors to defend the clan, and female gargoyles are just as capable as male gargoyles of becoming seconds-in-command or leaders.

The primary purpose of gargoyles is to protect. At first, this consisted of merely protecting the clan and its home, particularly the rookery, but as time went on, many gargoyle clans have since expanded upon the definition of this role. Under the influence of Elisa, Goliath came to undertake such an expansion in modern-day New York, declaring that henceforth, he and his clan would protect the inhabitants of that city, both human and gargoyle, against criminals and lawless men, which led to their patrolling the city at night and foiling crimes. By the 1990’s, the Mayan gargoyles had similarly taken upon themselves the mission of protecting the rain forest around their pyramid, rather than just the pyramid itself, and Goliath and Griff together introduced to the other gargoyles of London (or at least Leo and Una) the notion of London itself being a protectorate, rather than just the "Into the Mystic" shop.

Goliath and Hudson alike feel that protection is an important task of gargoyles; Hudson has many times repeated the adage, "A gargoyle can no more stop protecting the castle than breathing the air", and Goliath himself presented this credo to Coldstone in these words: "Gargoyles protect. It is our nature, our purpose. To lose that is to be corrupt, empty, lifeless."

And protection remains important for gargoyles, indeed. Only the most corrupt of them, such as Demona and Thailog, have rejected this duty. And there can be few anguishes greater for a gargoyle than failing to protect someone from harm. When gargoyles choose to protect an area, they will do so steadfastly, even when the humans whom they protect respond to them with fear and hatred. (Thus, Goliath found nothing strange about Raven and his "clan" supposedly protecting the very humans who had allegedly destroyed so many of them). Hudson could well be correct about it being as important to gargoyles as breathing.

While gargoyles are not perfect, there seems to be less serious crime among them than among humans.

Some punishments for gargoyles who behave poorly are known, however. For minor offences, a gargoyle can be sent to the rookery (a humiliating punishment, but one seldom inflicted). Treason is dealt with by the traitorous gargoyle being banished from the clan. [This was the fate of Yama, after the Ishimura gargoyles’ clash with Taro during the Avalon World Tour.

Gargoyles think of themselves as primarily gargoyles. Individual gargoyles may pursue particular interests, such as Lexington’s fascination with science and technology, but they never think of themselves as scientists, poets, artists, or what-have-you. They merely pursue it, without letting this interest define them.

Gargoyles have a vague religious belief, if one different from that of recognized human religions, both monotheistic and pantheistic. Their god is nameless, of course, undefined, and unlimited. Gargoyles see all things as part of the whole. Some gargoyles have an interest in the spiritual, but they merely follow this interest without seeing themselves as priests or priestesses. (The only known gargoyle at present with such interests was Desdemona). They have no creation myths, for the simple reason that they are not interested in their origins, just accepting themselves as existing.

When a gargoyle dies, the rest of the clan holds a Wind Ceremony for him or her, a sort of farewell to stone and flesh. Their own beliefs about death can be expressed in these two sayings, "Death and life is all part of a whole", and "One passes through stages, but nothing ever dies."]

Gargoyles are not magical beings in and of themselves, but some (such as Demona and Una) can learn magic. Gargoyles appear to have an ambivalent attitude towards such arts. Goliath distrusts it for the most part, often uttering the cry when bewildered of "What sorcery is this?", but has accepted the fact that sometimes magical help is required to keep his clan safe; he willingly sought aid from the Magus, for example, in repelling the Archmage’s invasion of Avalon. (Much of his suspicion towards magic, in fact, may be based on his problems with various magic-workers over his life, including the Archmage, the Magus, Demona, and several members of Oberon’s Children). The Wyvern gargoyles may have had some overall antipathy towards magic, in view of Demona’s having had to take magic lessons from the Archmage only in secret, but the London gargoyles seem less suspicious towards it, in view of the fact that their shop sells magical goods and Una is a sorceress of some skill. The Guatemalan gargoyles, likewise, made a willing alliance with the wizard who crafted the Mayan Sun Amulet, and Zafiro, Obsidiana, Jade and Turquesa have (so far as we know) seen nothing wrong with making use of them. (For that matter, Goliath never condemned Leo and Una, or the Mayan gargoyles, for their connections to magic).

Officially, gargoyles don’t make use of money, considering it unnecessary to their life-style. (Under natural circumstances, gargoyles presumably obtain their food by hunting and gathering, which would certainly make a monetary system not required). However, there are always exceptions. Demona and Thailog have both gathered great wealth, although for different reasons (Demona to use in financing her schemes to destroy humanity, Thailog to make himself a force to be reckoned with in the modern world).

And the London gargoyles help support themselves economically through Leo and Una’s shop, using the proceeds for such matters as paying taxes upon the land on which they dwell.


While gargoyle clans once could be found all over the world, we only have data concerning the gargoyles that arose in four specific regions: Scotland, England, Guatemala, and Japan. There are gargoyles living on New Olympus, in Korea and in Xanadu, China, but we know too little about them to include any study of them here. We know that there was at least one gargoyle beast living in ancient Ireland in the time of Cuchulain (at the end of the 1st century B.C. and the beginning of the 1st century A.D.), but know nothing about the role that gargoyles themselves played in Irish history.

A. SCOTLAND: Gargoyles were found throughout much of Scotland as late as the 10th century; particular gargoyle homes included Loch Ness, Scone, and Wyvern Hill. No doubt, the relative remoteness of Scotland in early medieval Europe must have contributed to their "flourishing" there, although even by the end of the 10th century, they were nearing extinction.

Nothing is known about the gargoyles of Loch Ness and Scone except that they existed, and that they seem to have had some contact with humans - particularly the Scone gargoyles, presumably, since Scone was one of the leading royal seats of the Kings of Scotland at that time and home of the Stone of Destiny upon which they were crowned. The gargoyles of Wyvern Hill, on the other hand, were initially more remote and "rougher" around the edges. By 967, however, the Scottish soldier Robbie had met and befriended them, particularly their leader, then the gargoyle later to be named Hudson. In 971, Robbie introduced Prince Malcolm to the Wyvern gargoyles and secured an alliance with them, leading to both the enthronement of Malcolm’s brother Kenneth upon the Scottish throne and the building of Castle Wyvern. The alliance between Prince Malcolm and his human subjects with the gargoyles of the Wyvern clan between 971 and 994 is one of the best documented human/gargoyle alliances in Scottish history (alongside that between Macbeth and Demona from 1040 to 1057).

But, like most human/gargoyle alliances, this one ended in tragedy. After Prince Malcolm died, his daughter Katharine succeeded him to the rule of Castle Wyvern. She was far less friendly towards gargoyles than her father had been, as was her wizardly advisor the Magus. Her court took the same attitude, and by 994, only Robbie, now serving as the castle’s Captain of the Guard, was left as a friend to the clan, led by Goliath by this time. (Hudson had retired in 984 after getting blinded in one eye by the Archmage). Disgusted by the ingratitude of the humans to the gargoyles that had protected them so often, the Captain and Demona betrayed Castle Wyvern to Hakon and his Vikings, planning for the Vikings to lead the humans away as slaves so that the gargoyles could have the castle all to themselves. However, the scheme miscarried, for Hakon destroyed nearly the entire clan, and the few survivors, with the exception of Demona, were afterwards turned to stone by the Magus. Goliath, before being turned to stone, entrusted the care of the clan’s eggs to Princess Katharine and the Magus, who took them away first to Kenneth II’s court, and the following year, to Avalon.

Demona, the lone survivor of the Wyvern clan now, roamed Scotland on her own, stealing food in order to survive. Shortly after leaving the castle, she attacked a peasant boy named Gillecomgain, badly scarring his face. Gillecomgain vowed revenge upon all gargoyles and grew up to become the first Hunter, a ruthless enemy to all gargoyles and Demona in particular.

During this time, elsewhere in Scotland, more gargoyle clans were betrayed and destroyed (although under unknown circumstances as yet); their few survivors eventually banded together under Demona’s leadership, and by 1020, had taken up raiding human granaries in a noteworthy fashion. Threatened by the humans in general, and by the Hunter in particular (first Gillecomgain, and then, after his death in 1032, King Duncan), this last clan finally took the desperate measure of making an alliance with Macbeth in 1040, helping him overthrow Duncan and become King of Scotland. Macbeth during his reign did all that he could to restore good relations between humans and gargoyles, even appointing Demona his primary advisor. But in 1057, Duncan’s son Canmore invaded Scotland, seeking to claim his father’s throne, at the head of an army raised in England. Demona, fearing that Macbeth would betray her and the other gargoyles to the English in order to appease them, betrayed him to Canmore first, bringing about the end of Macbeth’s reign. But Canmore betrayed her in turn, having her entire clan slaughtered. Demona was forced to flee Scotland alone, and with her departure, there were no gargoyles left in the land (except for the stone figures of Goliath, Hudson, the trio, and Bronx upon the battlements of Castle Wyvern).

Or so Demona thought. However, the gargoyle clan at Loch Ness still lives on in hiding, so good at concealing itself that it even avoided contact with Goliath and his companions when they came there upon the Avalon World Tour. It may have had some form of contact with the gargoyles in London, since Griff recognized Goliath in 1940 as being of "Scottish stock". We have no details about the Loch Ness clan at present, though, beyond the fact that it exists.

Although only one gargoyle clan actually lives in Scotland now, three other surviving gargoyle clans today are all of Scottish descent, even though none of them live there. They are Goliath’s clan in Wyvern, the Clones in the Labyrinth, and the clan upon Avalon. (Demona, Thailog, and the Coldtrio, while not part of any clan at present, also count as Scottish gargoyles, by bloodline at least).

B. ENGLAND: The history of the gargoyles in England is much more sketchy. They had already settled there by the time of King Arthur, in the late 5th century, and the gargoyles of that time had dealings with him - which went unrecorded by the traditional Arthurian chroniclers such as Geoffrey of Monmouth and Sir Thomas Malory on an official level, but which may explain the presence of lions, unicorns, and griffons in the Arthurian romances.

The English gargoyles underwent much hostility from humans, however, and by the time of Canmore’s invasion of Scotland in 1057, had all been apparently destroyed. (Indeed, one of their motives for following Canmore in his war on Macbeth was precisely because they had run out of gargoyles to destroy in England and so decided to destroy the gargoyles in Scotland next). But there were some survivors, who fled into hiding. They eventually took refuge on a secluded country estate near London. At some later, unspecified date (before the Tudor dynasty began in 1485), they decided to hide more openly, and so opened a shop selling magical goods, known as "Into the Mystic" in the city, in that part of it now known as Soho. Just when they took this step is unknown, although by 1940, Una was able to tell Goliath that her clan had kept the shop for generations. The gargoyles managed to hide their true nature from their human customers by pretending that they liked to dress up as mythological creatures, wearing costumes and masks, to fit the shop’s ambience. The proceeds from the shop help support the clan economically.

The only known members of the London clan at present are Leo, Una, and Griff. Leo and Una are mates, and currently run the Mystic shop. Griff helped them run it for a while until 1940, when he was brought forward in time by Goliath from the Battle of Britain to 1995; after briefly resuming his life in the London of the 1990’s, he joined forces with King Arthur and now accompanies him in Arthur’s quest for Merlin.

One peculiarity of the London clan is that they look like heraldic animals with feathered wings, rather than the customary "norm" of gargoyles (the three specific known varieties of heraldic animal being lions, unicorns, and griffons). This feature is all the more puzzling since the gargoyles of England live almost "next door" to Scotland, where the resident gargoyles are the regular "bat-winged" variety. We as yet do not know the reason for this dramatic variation in physiognomy.

C. GUATEMALA: The surviving clan of gargoyles here (barely surviving at this point, in fact) was allied with a powerful Mayan wizard (presumably human) in the late 10th century. He made for them the Mayan Sun Amulet and four pendants powered by it, so that the four gargoyles who wore the pendants could stay awake in the daytime and protect the step-pyramid at Chac Ix Chel where the clan lived during that time. The original four gargoyles for whom these pendants were crafted passed these on to successors as time went on, until they reached their present-day wearers, Zafiro, Obsidiana, Jade, and Turquesa.

By the 1990’s, these four gargoyles had developed their "mission of protection" to defend, not just the pyramid where their clan lived, but the rain forest around it. They were aware of the many rare and beautiful flowers and medicinal plants found in it, and knew that if the rain forest was destroyed, these plants would be destroyed with it, lost forever. So they drove off anybody who came to the forest to cut down the trees, local farmers and corporate developers alike. (In the process, they became perhaps a little too fanatical in their defense of the rain forest, ignoring the fact that the farmers were cutting down trees to clear enough land to grow crops to feed their families).

Around 1993, a band of looters came upon the pyramid during the day, while the four pendant-wearers were away patrolling the rain forest, and ransacked it, smashing the rest of the clan in its stone sleep into rubble and taking the Sun Amulet away with them. The clan’s eggs survived, presumably hidden somewhere where the looters never found them. Zafiro, Obsidiana, Jade, and Turquesa were left on their own. To make matters worse, in 1996, Cyberbiotics, under Preston Vogel’s direction and without Halcyon Renard’s knowledge or permission embarked on a forest-clearing operation in the gargoyles’ rain forest. When the gargoyles fought back against the developers, Vogel employed Jackal and Hyena to deal with them. After the terrible duo learned about the Mayan Sun Amulet, Jackal sent Hyena off to New York to destroy it (the Sun Amulet having wound up there in the American Museum of Natural History), planning to destroy the gargoyles in their resulting stone sleep. Fortunately, Lexington and Broadway foiled Hyena’s museum robbery and saved the Sun Amulet, and Jackal was routed by the Mayan gargoyles (with a little help from Bronx, thanks to the Avalon World Tour having sent Goliath and his companions to Guatemala). Vogel decided afterwards to cancel the rain forest operation and dismiss Jackal and Hyena.

Elisa offered the Mayan gargoyles another possible way to keep the plants in their charge safe from humans. She and her friends took Turquesa and Jade to Avalon, with many flowers and herbs from the rain forest, to plant there; they would be safe from humans on Oberon’s enchanted isle. Turquesa and Jade have since returned home to help Zafiro and Obsidiana continue to protect their home.

The gargoyles in this region, for the most part, adhere to the "gargoyle norm" in terms of physical appearance, with the exception of Zafiro, who looks very much like a winged serpent. (Quite likely there were gargoyles with a similar physical appearance in the past of the Mayan clan, which gave rise to the legends about the winged serpents or couatl found in Central America).

D. JAPAN: Gargoyles in Japan seem to have enjoyed a happier history than gargoyles in other parts of the world. During Japan’s feudal period, gargoyles fought alongside the human samurai of the island.

Brooklyn’s mate Katana comes from this period of history. Later on, as Japan became more peaceful, the gargoyles retired to the remote village of Ishimura, where they live harmoniously with the human villagers. The gargoyles help them protect Ishimura by apprehending thieves and other criminals who come there.

Japanese gargoyles practice bushido, a Japanese code of honor roughly analogous to the code of chivalry in medieval western Europe. They also taught this to humans from time to time, including the Ishimura-born businessman Taro, although he proved to be a poor student. The gargoyles of Ishimura live by Bushido’s teachings, feeling that these have helped them to live with each other and with the humans peacefully and honorably.

In 1996, one of the gargoyles of Ishimura, Yama, became dissatisfied with his clan’s secluded existence, and made a secret deal with Taro to have the gargoyles relocated to a "gargoyle theme park" where they could be revealed to the world, Yama and Taro having different definitions of what this meant, however.

(Yama believed that the gargoyles there would be gradually revealed to the humans as equals and as teachers of bushido, while Taro planned instead to display them as curiosities for his own economic advancement). Fortunately, with some help from Goliath and his companions, who were visiting Ishimura on the Avalon World Tour, Taro’s scheme was foiled. The humans of Ishimura have since drawn closer to the resident gargoyles and even learn bushido from them, while Yama was banished from the clan for having initially assisted Taro and has since joined the Redemption Squad.

Known members of the Ishimura clan include Kai, its leader, Yama, and Sora, Yama’s mate. One cultural feature of the Japanese gargoyles distinct to it is that when they enter their stone sleep, upon the roof of a temple in Ishimura, they do so facing inwards, to thank the villagers for protecting them and to show that they trust them, rather than outwards as other gargoyle clans do.

{In the real world, gargoyles are primarily associated with the great stone buildings of medieval Europe, particularly cathedrals, although they were also placed atop castles. Technically speaking, the term "gargoyle" applies only to waterspouts shaped like bizarre creatures, made to carry water away from the building that they have been mounted on; such statues, when they do not serve such a purpose but are merely mounted atop a wall as pure decoration, are called "grotesques".

The exact origins of architectural gargoyles are uncertain, although they may have been rooted in part in the pagan beliefs of pre-Christian Europe, lingering on in the people’s memories even after the dawn of the High Middle Ages. As per the animated series, medieval people often saw gargoyles as a means of frightening demons away from the cathedrals upon which they were mounted, protecting them from the forces of Hell. The image of gargoyles as protectors, therefore, is indeed an accurate one. However, not all medieval churchmen approved of these sculptures; one in particular, the famous theologian St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), denounced them as absurd, useless, disgraceful, and a waste of money. Judging from how many gargoyles were raised upon such cathedrals as Notre Dame in Paris, few seem to have heeded his angry words.

One colorful legend about the origin of gargoyles states that in the 6th century, the town of Rouen was threatened by a dragon named Gargouille that arose out of the river Seine. Gargouille laid the lands around the town waste and devoured everyone in his path, until Archbishop Romanus defeated and slew him. He then consigned the dragon’s body to the flames, but Gargouille’s head and neck were too toughened by its fiery breath to be consumed. So the Archbishop had Gargouille’s head mounted upon the walls of the town as a commemmoration of the dragon’s defeat. This, so the story goes, is the origin of both gargoyles themselves and their name. (In actual fact, the word "gargoyle" appears to derive from the French word "gargouille", meaning "throat", used here in an onomopateic sense to echo the gurgling noises that water makes when it goes down a throat).

Legend also states that the gargoyles of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris come to life at night and go flying about the city. (This legend was unknown to the Gargoyles production team at the time of the making of "Gargoyles", however, and must be judged as merely an amusing coincidence).

Gargoyle-like sculptures, depicting fearsome creatures as "protectors", can be found in various other cultures, such as the Mayans, the Chinese, and even the ancient Greeks and Romans. This is reflected in the series’ portrayal of the non-European gargoyles discovered during the Avalon World Tour in Guatemala and Japan. (The series also made use of a parallel notion in "Heritage", the totem poles of the Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest, although as a red herring here; the creatures portrayed on the totem poles were actually "animal ancestors" of the humans who had originally raised them, rather than gargoyles, and the apparent gargoyles which Goliath and Angela met there were actually illusions of Raven).

Gargoyles still crown buildings today even in modern times, in the United States as well as in Europe. In real life as well as in the world of the television series, New York is filled with gargoyles; there are more gargoyles there, in fact, per square mile than anywhere else in the U.S. These new gargoyles are less horrific and more comical in appearance, however; a great many of them are even caricatures of noted personalities (particularly the gargoyles built in universities, who frequently bear a suspicious resemblance to members of the faculty).

Living gargoyles are often found in modern-day works of fantasy, and even more often in fantasy role-playing games, such as TSR’s "Dungeons and Dragons", although unfortunately they are usually portrayed in such games as evil monsters. Somehow, perhaps because of their monstrous appearance, gargoyles have been transformed in the public imagination from protectors of the Church to demonic creatures. The Disney animated series has, happily, gone back to the older roots of gargoyles and restored them to their original function in it, although acknowledging the more recent and darker interpretation of them through the theme of the humans’ fear and hatred of these beings.}