Also known as the First Race, gargoyles were the second sentient species to evolve on Earth. (The previous race became known as the Lost Race.) Descended from the same line that created dinosaurs, gargoyles developed a humanoid form, powerful claws, wings that enable them to glide, eyes that glow when they are agitated or surprised, and a prehensile tail. They lay eggs, which take ten years to hatch, and age at roughly half the rate of human beings. (In other words, a 34-year-old gargoyle would be the equivalent in physical age and maturity to a 17-year-old human.) They also developed the ability to hibernate as a sort of living stone during the day, absorbing sunlight during their so-called "stone sleep."
Most gargoyles are reptilian in appearance, although breeds in a few regions took on the appearance of certain animals- for example, the English gargoyles may resemble mammals or birds, while Guatemalan gargoyles may resemble snakes. A related species, gargoyle beasts, developed in parallel to the gargoyles proper.
After the development of the Second Race (humans), gargoyles- driven by their innate instincts to protect- often formed alliances with local humans, protecting their settlements by night while the humans protected the gargoyles by day. In 10, a Roman wizard known as the Magus cast the Spell of Humility for Caesar Augustus. This spell allowed any possessions that a gargoyle thought was part of them- particularly clothes, which previously tore off gargoyles when they awoke- to turn to stone with them.
By the end of the 10th century, however, the long-running alliance between humans a gargoyles was fraying. Many went into hiding as clan after clan was wiped out by fearful humans. Only a few isolated pockets, such as New Olympus or Ishimura, Japan, continued to have an open relationship with gargoyles- and those areas hid them from the outside world.
The awakening of what became the Manhattan Clan in 1994 led the gargoyle race to a new era of both danger and hope. During his Avalon journey, Goliath forged ties with many hidden and less hidden gargoyle clans across the planet. In 1996, after the Hunters revealed gargoyles' existence to the world, groups such as the Quarrymen arose. However, after a time, efforts from both species began to forge a reconciliation between the two races. By 2198, humans and gargoyles live side by side once more.