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Mantoids are a rare race of giant tauric creatures, appearing to have an upper human torso with the lower body of a praying mantis, supported by 4 insectoid legs. They possess large, sickle like spines pointing out from the side of their arms, razor sharp nails and long antennae on their foreheads. Their features can varies quite a bit from one specimen to another though, and some of them grow their scythed appendages at the junction of their insect and human half or even from their shoulders. Their Mantis half is typically green but their colors can vary depending on their location, as the species relies a lot on camouflage. Some specimens have been sighted displaying bright and beautiful colors. While there are tales of truly gigantic mantoids, they are, for the most part, slightly smaller than other giant predators. An encounter with one of these beings is rare, as they are very difficult to find unless they desire to be found themselves. They seem to originate from a peninsula in the far northeast of the charted map, next to the Oloonde lakeland and are more commonly found here than in the rest of Felarya.
An aggressive race, Mantoids are famous for both their very fast reflexes and their ability to blend extremely well in the foliage, mimicking the movement of wind with the leaves around them, by swaying slightly from side to side. Some specimens can even change their coloration to become almost invisible, laying perfect ambushes before striking in the blink of an eye. Their blows are so fast, the eyes have trouble following them. They are also able to take flight for a brief moment in order to glide and cross obstacles, making them a very dangerous encounter indeed. Mantoids in general are pretty fearless too, not hesitating to challenge creatures larger than themselves.
Their diets consist on almost anything they can get their hands on, ranging from large animals, to humans, and even other large hybrid races. While they will simply swallow whole small prey, a mantoid is willing to catch and kill something their own size to eat, using their sharp teeth to rip into their flesh. They favorite prey appear to be Dridders, making the relation between the two races rather spicy. Some mantoids are even capable of leaping out from a concealed hiding place to snatch a harpy cleanly in flight. Contrary to adults, young mantoids hunt in group. Being usually 3 to 4 feet tall and wingless until the age of 10, they gather in pack ranging from 3 to 50 of their brothers and sisters and proceed to swarm, overwhelm and devour their prey like a school of piranhas. Adventurers witnessing that gruesome spectacle tend to have nightmares for the rest of their lives. On occasions, the Mantoid mother does contribute some food for her children as well, but they prefer to let the children hunt on their own, in order for them to become strong adults. Mantoids take pride in their strength and raise their children harshly the second they hatch. They teach them the deadly fighting style of mantoids, a unique martial art based on lightning fast moves, striking the target with terrifying strength, or slicing it so cleanly the cut are almost invisible. Parents mantoids teach it to their children as a tradition, spreading their roots to the next generation. Mantoids in general love fighting and duels and will almost never shy away from a challenge. A tournament take places every 10 years on their peninsula and the event is sure to attract every mantoid in the region.
The most famous - and probably most controversial - of their tradition is their mating ritual. When the female becomes pregnant, her abdomen become swollen from all the eggs, making movements very difficult for her, and hunting nearly impossible. The tradition is that the couple spends an entire day with each other, making the best of it, and showing how much they love one another, then at the end of the day, the female devour her male companion, so she will have all the nutrients she needs in order for her to grow and lay her eggs. Utterly incomprehensible for other races, this ritual seems entirely natural to mantoids and, if you asked a male mantoid, he would simply shrug and reply that this sacrifice is the ultimate way of showing their love for one another. This practice is mostly observed on their peninsula though, and much less often the farther away you go from their homeland.
- credits to Kikijonson for the mantoids idea.