Manticore

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Manticore
Lazzero and Linxia face a manticore.
(Creature)

Manticores are monstrous winged predators that combine the features of several creatures into a deadly whole.1

Appearance

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.1

Ecology

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.1

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.1

Habitat and 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.1

Manticores are known to revere the archdevil Barbatos2 and the demon lord Nurgal.3

Abilities

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.1

On Golarion

Manticores have been encountered in the Hold of Belkzen4 on the Nesmian Plains of southern Nirmathas,5 and in the hills of Glenebon in the Stolen Lands of the River Kingdoms.6 They were once hunted by the warriors of Sarkoris in what is now the Worldwound.7 In Varisia, manticores live in the hinterlands of Magnimar,8 the Stony Mountains,9 and the Devil's Elbow.10

Manticores are occasionally encountered in the Darkmoon Vale of Andoran, where they inhabit Arthfell Forest and Darkmoon Wood. The Greenfire Circle and Fangwatch keep their numbers in check, and many have fled north to the Five Kings Mountains. A powerful manticore named Grazhgaugh closely guards a grove in Darkmoon Wood; some say he is guarding an ancient elven artifact.11 Two prides of manticores live in the Roiling Den, in the Chelish city of Corentyn, where they aid in the protection of the city through a partnership with the human ranger and Chelish Navy Lieutenant Frazura Antelo.1213

In Garund, they live in the hills in the Mwangi Expanse,14 in the Takalak Hills on Motaku Isle in the Shackles,15 and in the Gembasket of Katapesh.16 They are also rumored to live on Bag Island in the Shackles.17

Bordering on the neighbouring continent of Casmaron, manticores live across the fertile regions of Maharev in the desert nation of Qadira.18

Manticores also sometimes venture into the upper Darklands caverns of Nar-Voth.19

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Paizo Inc., et al. “Monsters A to Z” in Bestiary, 199. Paizo Inc., 2009
  2. F. Wesley Schneider, et al. Kobold Quarterly 22, 14. Kobold Press, 2012
  3. James Jacobs. “Lords of the Abyss” in Lords of Chaos, Book of the Damned Volume 2, 22. Paizo Inc., 2010
  4. Sean K Reynolds & Greg A. Vaughan. “Bestiary” in Skeletons of Scarwall, 77. Paizo Inc., 2008
  5. Crystal Frasier. “The Nesmian Plains” in Trail of the Hunted, 66. Paizo Inc., 2017
  6. F. Wesley Schneider. The Stolen Lands” in Guide to the River Kingdoms, 51. Paizo Inc., 2010
  7. Wolfgang Baur, et al. Sarkoris” in Lost Kingdoms, 50. Paizo Inc., 2012
  8. James Jacobs & Adam Daigle. “Plots and Perils” in Magnimar, City of Monuments, 45. Paizo Inc., 2012
  9. James L. Sutter. Varisia” in The Hook Mountain Massacre, 68. Paizo Inc., 2007
  10. Erik Mona, et al. “Bestiary” in Children of the Void, 79. Paizo Inc., 2008
  11. Mike McArtor. “Chapter 1: Wilds” in Guide to Darkmoon Vale, 27. Paizo Inc., 2008
  12. Jeff Quick. Corentyn” in Cities of Golarion, 22. Paizo Inc., 2009
  13. Amanda Hamon, et al. “Gazetteer” in Cheliax, The Infernal Empire, 11. Paizo Inc., 2015
  14. Tim Hitchcock, et al. “Encounter Tables” in Heart of the Jungle, 62. Paizo Inc., 2010
  15. Mike Shel. “Shackles Gazetteer” in Isles of the Shackles, 11. Paizo Inc., 2012
  16. Stephen S. Greer & Amber E. Scott. “Land of Adventure” in Dark Markets, A Guide to Katapesh, 6. Paizo Inc., 2009
  17. Mike Shel. “Shackles Gazetteer” in Isles of the Shackles, 6. Paizo Inc., 2012
  18. Jessica Price. “Adventuring in Qadira” in Qadira, Jewel of the East, 37. Paizo Inc., 2017
  19. James Jacobs & Greg A. Vaughan. Nar-Voth” in Into the Darklands, 19. Paizo Inc., 2008