Our bid to halt the Scaled Court’s foul alchemical breeding of the Mantikora ends in the aptly named northern delve of Serpent’s Nest. Through its cheerless caves and murky passages, beyond the lurking serpents, lamia, trolls and cultists, lies the Spawning Pools of Hruzizolk. A progenitor Mantikora created by the alchemists to breed without need of further alchemical infusion.
Here in the liquid pools of crimson nirncrux we also find the third of the deadly predators bred into the creation of these abominations, man and mer. Some might argue, including the Regent Cassipia, that we are in fact the most dangerous predators of them all. Perhaps because like all predators we hunt for meat, be we alone also hunt for fur and bones, pests that damage our crops/livestock, to eliminate potential or perceived threats, and also simply for profit and sport. More likely what the alchemists of the Scaled Court sought to add to the Mantikora however, was our intellect. Our capacity to reason, to problem solve, and to utilize tools in overcoming anatomical disadvantages to dominate over beasts.
But the Mantikora we face is a huge, powerful, four-legged beast with two brawny arms, the segmented tail of a scorpion, and intelligent enough to wield a monumental spear as a weapon. To fight this behemoth as one would fight against normal beasts would most certainly end in disaster. Whilst to duel with it as one would against a man or mer would end equally calamitously. To win this battle perhaps we need remember that ultimately we are but beasts, just another expression of nature, and we must fight with all the feral instincts and savage impulse that we can rouse in our blood.