Rise of the Runelords
A manticore has the body of an immense lion the size of a horse, the wings of a dragon, and a long tail ending in a cluster of vicious spikes. Some manticores have a lion’s head, but others have the face of a snarling bearded human with razor-sharp teeth. Unlike lions or humans, both male and female manticores have manes or beards.
It is unknown how manticores came into existence, though magic is assumed to be involved. Manticores are not picky eaters; they are ravenous eaters of meat, whether freshly killed or rotting carrion. They patrol vast stretches of land seeking food. Manticores are strangely fecund and capable of interbreeding with other lion-like creatures, including common lions, dire lions, lamias, sphinxes, and chimeras. Such crossbreeds are usually members of the mate’s species, but with manticore features, such as a chimera with a spiked tail.
Habitat & Society
Manticores are more than dumb beasts. Though not as smart as a human, they are thinking creatures capable of speech, and often strike deals with or bully evil humanoids into working with or for them, often employing such creatures to guard their lairs. They make their homes in high places like hilltops and cliffside caves.
Manticores have keen senses and are skilled trackers. They possess great strength, ripping claws and fangs, and the power of flight, but their most unusual feature is the ability to whip their tails and launch a volley of spikes at their prey. The spikes rapidly grow back over the course of a day.