Call of the Vigilant
Chimeras are very unintelligent creatures, which is fortunate, because otherwise they could probably lay waste to most of Barsaive unopposed. Chimeras are powerful enough to pose some slight danger to dragons, but are far more threatening to the Namegiver races.
Many different kinds of chimeras exist, though all share certain similar features. They are large creatures, often standing taller than eight feet at the shoulder. They all possess a lion’s body and head, and two extra heads that sprout from the base of the neck. Finally, every chimera has leathery, bat-like wings that enable them to fly. Where chimeras differ is in the two extra heads. The most common chimera has a serpent and a goat head to either side of its lion head, but there are far stranger assortments: a lion, a frog, and a goat; a lion, a rat, and a hound; and so on. The chimera’s extra heads determine its powers, though not every chimera with the same three heads has exactly the same abilities. Chimeras are known to breathe fire, sense astral creatures, and inspire mortal terror in those who see them, to name just a few of this creature’s powers.
Chimeras mate every three years. The male chimeras hunt various animals, attempting to find and slay the most powerful foes in hopes of impressing the females. After each male has caught two such creatures, he presents the carcasses to a female as a gift. She examines them and chooses her mate based on who has brought her the strongest beasts. The female and her chosen male each eat one of the gifts as a precursor to mating. The litter of three to five infant chimeras, born a year later, all have the middle lion head flanked by the heads of the two creatures eaten by the parent chimeras.
Fortunately for those who must fight them, chimeras can be fooled with simple tricks. They make particularly easy targets for Wizards, who can control their tiny minds with little effort. Before the Scourge, attempts were made to use chimeras to guard kaers. The creatures didn’t follow orders terribly well and proved almost impossible to train. Despite this overwhelming disadvantage, many Wizards will still pay amazingly high prices for newborn chimera cubs.