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The Origin of Manticores (Jungle of Raza)

Legends of the creatures
By: Duzzla (2009 Legend Contest Winner)

Our tale starts a long time ago, when the jungle was still young, and the spirits of animals and plants had just began to move into their now familiar places. The spirits of plants and animals began to form trees, flowers ,and all the different animals that lived. And at first, all of these creations were peaceful. But, little by little, the feelings in the jungle began to shift. All the different kinds of animals were so different, each beautiful in their own unique way, that the birds and beasts all began to think that their race was better, more refined and powerful than all the others.
      Then the thoughts of the animals began to turn to jealousy, superstition, and hunger for more strength and more territory, and at last a terrible war broke out. The spirits in the trees, plants, and wind wept for all the fallen animals that had died in the huge battle, and all the hate and blood that was slowly seeping into the ground.
      The jungle became a dark place, dangerous and full of hate. Finally, the spirits came to a decision, and decided to create a guardian and a peace-keeper. From the earth a strong and powerful body was created. Black, red and green was the creature, all colors from the earth. Plants and fallen blood made the being full of color and decorated its mane. Claws, sharp teeth and peaceful eyes, full of wisdom and kindness - all were granted to this animal from the spirits.
      From the spirits of the winds it was given the wings of bat and the gift of flight, a whipping tail to protect itself, and the ability to fly through the heavens, to watch over the verdant land and the many animals. The spirits of trees gave the creature compassion, and patience, a sense of pride and justice, the knowledge to make good decisions and settle arguments with no bloodshed. From the earth spirits came speed and strong muscles, the energy to always protect and defend the creatures of the jungle.
      The creature's body was finally finished, a work of art and cooperation, and the spirits then gave the ultimate gift, and gave to it life from fragments of their own souls, giving the new animal a life and a spirit of its own. They blew life into it, and waited for sleep to fall from their creation.
      When the creature awakened, and saw all the hurting and sorrow in the jungle, tears started to flow from its eyes. It saw all the beauty of its home, but saw too the hate that had grown there, and the sadness that had come over these lands. Taking flight, the powerful animal flew high over the treetops, and landed in a clearing in the center of the jungle. The beast let out a mighty roar, a roar full of pain, that called all the animals of the forest to it.
      All the animals heard the roar and became still, stopping their fighting. They began searching for the source of the roar, something they had never heard before. All the creatures began travel to the clearing, anxious to see what new species had come into their home. They quickly gathered in the clearing around the new being, watching it cry from sorrow. With the spirit of the jungle within it, it began to speak. compassion and tolerance must be taught, they must bond together in a force impossible to break. Happiness and freedom must again visit these lands, and the animals listened, the hatred and dark feelings they harbored disappeared. The spirits saw all this, knew that the balance was once again complete, and they rejoiced.
      Peace returned and the animals and the plants returned to the old way, lived in harmony, and coexisted once more. The creature became the guardian, and the spirits created a mate in its image to ensure there would always be guardians, to watch over the jungle and preserve the peace and well-being of the inhabitants. Together the first of this new species guarded the forest and the animals that lived within, and all was well.
      The creatures become the ancestors of a new race, the manticores.
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