"Then there was the manticore. It was said they prowled the forests of the East, having originated in Persia and spread wherever they found food. Red, with a voice like a trumpet, and built like a massive lion, but with two key differences from that animal. Most obviously, the face: vaguely similar to a human's, but as one based on a description pulled out of a nightmare. The eyes wild and full of death, the lips perpetually curled back in a sneer that revealed the creature's three rows of teeth.
As horrible as it's countenance was, it was the other difference between this beast and a lion that warranted the most dread. For the manticore didn't have the harmless tufted tail of the king of cats... no, it had it's own manticore-sized version of the tail of one of nature's smallest predators, the scorpion, with matching manticore-strength poison. The creatures were of a very agitated nature, constantly flicking their tails back in forth in annoyance, which had the added bonus of hiding their unusual tail in a blur, and making them harder to distinguish from the back. If you somehow managed to sneak up behind a manticore without it noticing you first, you might not see the deadly sting until it was too late to run.
The only animal safe from the manticore's venom was said to be the elephant --though whether a whale would also be impervious was surely the topic of many fireside conversations. But the manticore's appetite couldn't be satisfied by just any meat... 'Manticore', if you hadn't guessed, meant 'man-eater' in the language of the Persians. "
My scanner didn't like this one, unfortunately. The colours are much less rippled looking in real life. ETA: I rescanned the especially bad parts, so hopefully the ripples aren't as noticeable anymore.
I think it's kind of funny that within a week I've done a painting with one of the lightest palettes I've ever used, and now one with one of the darkest.
Among the hunted beasts of the British Isles, in days long past, there was no quarry more sought-after than the great Red Deer, the male of which was called a 'hart'. Then, as now, the prowess of a hunter was often judged by how many heads were over his mantle, and how many prongs were on the antlers of said heads. But there was one trophy greater still than even a deer with one hundred branches on its antlers: the White Hart.
White harts (and possibly hinds) were sometimes associated, in legend, with unicorns.
There really are white Red Deer (it's possible in quite a few deer species, actually), and they're really white, not albino.