Fire crackling in the dead of night, smoke slithering and choking its victims, scales chinking like armour, being underestimated, skulls piled high from your previous enemies, a blazing inferno that no one could hope to stop, being famous worldwide, being feared by all who know you, hoarding everything precious in your sight, being worshipped as a god, taking out your rage against the world, the small smell of burning that makes you question your safety, appearing out of nowhere, dramatic entrances and exits, trying to live up to your name but knowing you’ll never make it.
Whatever happened to the griffons? Did they ALL join the Talon Mercenaries?
No, but a great many of them did. Griffonstone, the Griffon’s homeland, was impoverished for a long time, and the griffons had no leader like the Princesses of Equestria or the Caesar of Roam. The lack of infrastructure and leadership led griffons to hoard what they could for themselves or their immediate family, which led to a near permanent recession because no one was willing to spend their hoarded bits unless absolutely necessary.
Gawd liked to tout how the Talons didn’t play politics or take sides, working for whoever payed, but during the great war that unilaterally became the zebras. Equestria could certainly afford to hire Talon Mercenaries, but with pegasus ponies and unicorn magic, no one on our side felt like they needed them. Since the zebras were willing to pay and the griffons were poor, they were willing to take on dangerous, violent, and unsavory work.
The sad part is that, in spite of casualties, the influx of wealth from the mercenary work actually did benefit Griffonstone as a state. The griffons who weren’t actively taking mercenary work still saw improvements because those who survived brought back their earnings and were more willing to spend, in part because they knew they might not come back from the next mission. It wasn’t just the new money, but rather the willingness to spend it that re-ignited the Griffonstone economy. As a result, the Talon Mercenaries were glorified even among the griffons who stayed home.