Leonarii are a species of malabrandi created by the legendary demi-elven nation of the Malari, who used them as loyal spies and soldiers on the hot lowlands of northern Antarillion in order to disrupt, enslave and destroy the human tribes of the region, collectively known as Antarils. This ancient feud instilled a deep hatred into the indigenous humans, of not only the leonarii and their Malari masters, but of all kinds of magic used by the elves and all who came thereafter. Commonly able to wear the shape of a lion, a human and something inbetween, a leonarii is a person of dual natures, understanding the instinctive power of physical strength and dexterity, and also the social urge to protect the pack, and aspire to embody something greater. Channelled into Malari-dominated warbands, the leonarii were merciless and savage aggressors; today, many leonarii channel that strength and ambition into protecting and assimilating into the human societies that flourished once their tyrant masters fell, albeit in secret, fearful of being revealed and killed by a bigoted mob. Leonarii have changed somewhat over the decades, with their inherent powers changing with them. Many leonarii are unable to fully assume the form of a lion, and instead display leonine characteristics only when enraged or endangered, and others are unable to fully assume the form of a human, taking humanoid characteristics when calm and collected. Leomarii, commonly referred to as lamia, are a rare sibling to the leonarii, with the head, arms and torso of a human that splits into a lion's four legs and torso at the navel. The leomarii are exceedingly rare, and are usually created in unlikely circumstances, such as an exceptionally fortunate leonarii/leomarii pairing or when a leonarii finds and performs Malari magics associated with their creation. Leotheri are a rare cousin to the leonarii, trapped partially beyond the material world, able to manifest a physical form only where light falls. They once stalked the woods and scrubland to devour men from first light to last, but were historically wiped out by the concerted efforts of humanity.
Homo malus leo