The swirling snow fell on the soldier's shield,
covering the symbol of Hrothen's Hope.
The swirling snow fell on the dwarf's black beard,
and melted into the darkness.
-opening poem of Hrothen's Curse, a dwarven tale
A character who is undergoing changes of personality (like buying off mental disadvantages - flaws - or changing alignment) might confront personifications of aspects of his personality in dreams: a griffon representing the courage he needs to face a terrible foe, or a satyr standing for the lecherousness a warrior must overcome to be admitted to an order of knights who must uphold vows of chastity.