In "Magical Gains" the Simurgh is mentioned in passing, and recently I discovered that a fellow EP author has actually written a book about one (see link below).
As anyone who reads my blog can attest, I love random and unusual mythological/magical creatures - and the Simurgh, quite simply is a ripper!
Simurgh (Persian: سیمرغ), also spelled simorgh, simurg, simoorg or simourv, also known as Angha (Persian: عنقا), is the modern Persian name for a benevolent, mythical flying creature. The figure can be found in all periods of Greater Iranian art and literature, and is evident also in the historical places of medieval Azerbaijan, the Byzantine empire, and other regions that were within the sphere of Persian cultural influence. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simurgh]
The Simurgh is generally described as a winged creature, with the head of a dog and the body of a peacock, with the claws of a lion. Like the Griffin (with whom it shares some similarities), it is incredibly strong and able to carry the weight of an elephant or whale.
It also had an intense dislike of snakes, and is very old. Iranian legend suggests that the bird is so old it has seen the world's destruction three times. Being so ancient it is supposedly incredibly wise, having gathered so much knowledge during its lifetime. The Simurgh does not like to see suffering and will aid those in strife. There are several legends regaling the incredible selflessness and benevolence of the Simurgh.
What would a Simurgh think of today's world I wonder? In "Magical Gains" the Simurgh sits in the bustle of the Kuching Free Zone, and shares a glance with the hero Imran, then disappears. Such a good magical creature is unusual to find in the mists of mythology, and I'm certainly glad I came across it! I hope I can find more books with one in them. For now however, I'm going busy myself and order Marva Dasef's "Quest for the Simurgh" and have a read :) Buy it on Amazon.