(Art Source: the-lone-nomad) I’ve been trying to settle on the origins of Sphinxes and Manticores in my story setting. Like many of the races which are a blending of humanoid and animal features, Sphinxes were once a humanoid race that were transformed during the Divine War. As the gods fought each other, the distortions of reality resulting from their battles altered various people into new types of beings. My current thinking is that the first Sphinxes were originally Elves, which is why Sphinxes have such long lifespans and tend to be great intellects, sages, philosophers, and, in some cases, Oracles (someone who can see possible futures but not necessarily which future will come to pass.) Where I’m having some difficulty is with Manticores. I have come up with three possible ideas of their origins. The first is that they were some other humanoid race that was altered by the Divine War. Sphinxes and Manticores have some similarities to each other but are separate races and thus incapable of interbreeding with each other. The second idea is that the first Manticores were originally Sphinxes, likely several generations removed from the first Sphinxes, who, near the end of the Divine War, were altered in a similar fashion as their ancestors. Their cat tails became a scorpion’s and their wings shifted from being feathered appendages to bat-like wings. In this scenario, Manticores and Sphinxes are related to each other and thus capable of interbreeding. The third scenario is similar to the second but instead of some Sphinxes becoming Manticores due to random chance and distortions in reality, the first Manticores were Sphinxes who sided with an evil god or goddess and were modified into Manticores to make them better suited for combat. As with the second scenario, Manticores and Sphinxes are therefore related and capable of interbreeding. If I go with the first scenario, then Sphinxes and Manticores cannot have offspring together as they are two entirely separate and unrelated races. If I go with the second or third scenario, the results of a Manticore and a Sphinx breeding is not some kind of Sphinx/Manticore hybrid. Instead, the children of the pairing will be either a Sphinx or Manticore depending on their sex. If the Manticore is the father and the Sphinx the mother, then the sons will be Manticores and the daughters Sphinxes. If the father is the Sphinx and the mother is the Manticore, then the sons will be Sphinxes and the daughters Manticores. Regardless, Sphinxes and Manticores are both capable of good and evil. Sphinxes are not exclusively good and Manticores are not exclusively evil or vice versa, even if Manticores originated as a result of the deliberate actions of an evil deity. In my setting, the All-Father, Ahzgael, will not allow any sapient race to be exclusively good or evil, though some, particularly Eldritch Abominations, are nearly exclusively evil primarily because the good Abominations are quickly killed off by the evil ones. Manticores, therefore, may have had origins that are connected to an evil act but that does not dictate what kind of people they are, especially after so many generations have passed. To be honest, I’m leaning toward the second or third scenario, mainly because it does simplify things a bit for me. I also like the idea of Sphinxes and Manticores, which are very similar looking creatures, actually being related and capable of reproducing with each other. But I can’t really decide if the second or third scenario is better or if I’m just missing some interesting possibilities with the first scenario. Thus, I’d like people to help me reach a decision by getting feedback from them. Which of the three do you prefer? Or do you have some alternative suggestions for how Manticores came about? Let me know!