Diet: Small animals, some fruits
Height: 3 feet
Lifespan: 15 years
Habitat: Savannah and gallery forests
Activity Cycle: Cathemeral
The origins of the dezeedra are shrouded in mystery. It is thought to be artificial for the damage it wreaks in any environment it finds itself in, and yet even ancient carvings in what is now the Leontide Confederation associate the creature with kingship, dating it far before any other artificial beast, let alone one of such power. Whatever the provenance of the beast, it is a terrifying creature, possessed of magical might, the power of command, and surprising intelligence.
The slender body of a dezeedra is as frail as it appears, but despite the oversized arm they must carry, they are still nimble enough to scamper up walls and trees. That arm, of course, is what carries their true power. It is not true muscular strength that makes it dangerous but the magic within, expressed through the glowing crown that the creature summons when it casts its magic. Any being touched by the hand finds their will sapped away, becoming susceptible to the wishes of the dezeedra. Unthinking animals are even more vulnerable to this power, losing their will when the creature even passes close. When pressed, the king of beasts can even summon forth burning rays of light from the sky, carrying the same mental power as their hand so that even those who are not slain outright may fall to their will.
Of the sexes, it is female dezeedra who pose more risk to civilized beings. The males are territorial, building up small armies of all sorts of monsters to defend a plot of land and contend with others of their kind, but females are nomads, taking their armies on the move and riding roughshod over anything that stands in their way. Thankfully, most villages are wisely walled off, but a determined dezeedra can find a beast able to topple those barriers. Dezeedra pups are capable of walking within a few hours, and follow their mother for the better part of a year before splitting off on their own. Unlike mammals, they do not breast feed, and feast upon meat from the moment they are born, using their abilities to catch insects and feeding on their mother’s scraps.
Among many of the nations that make up the confederation of Leontide, it is a coming of age ritual for royalty to hunt a dezeedra, taking them as a living or dead trophy to express their prowess. While considered impressive, these princes are always flanked by hunters experienced with these beasts and very often only strike the killing blow once it has been set up for them by their companions. Some of the mightiest kings of Leontide have even tamed members of this species, although with their power and wits, this has often ended in tragedy for both parties.