On the Ecology of the Lammasu and Lamia


"The offer she makes you seems like a good idea, but so does the worm on the hook to a fish" - Aldervile, Neo-Imperian Speaker

Nomenclature: Lammasu, Lamia, Manticores, Nagas, Sphinx, Shedu, Lilith, Empusa

Description: Creatures that have the head of a human and the body of a lion, goat, deer or snake, said to eat children

Things that are known:

  • Human are their prey
  • They are intelligent and have powers of illusion
  • They like to live in arid desolate places
  • They have the heads and/or torso's of humans, with animal lower bodies
  • They can see in darkness
  • They bait and trap men, using them for sex, sport, and supper


Rumors and other whispers in the dark:


  • They aren't evil monsters, just superior beings who view our children as a delicious source of tender veal
  • Their morality is complex, beyond human understanding. Amashotep's seminal works, Beyond Good and Evil, Also Sprach Lammathustra, Ecce Lammia, and Antilamia address the vast subject
  • They are likely jerks
  • It is a well kept secret that there is no separate species as lamia, it is the curse of all human females one night a month to become one
  • They are fond of associating with various other half-breeds, such as harpies and centaur. Whether this is due to distant relations or some other reason is unknown
  • They aren't any special - lions are just super horny and have no problem mating with human females. Lucky to survive, this rape is rarely mentioned. Lots of half-lion monsters though
  • The gods dream secrets, and these secrets slip into the world. They find a feline form, because those receive and transmit secrets. The forcefulness and power of the secret can sometimes mutate and warp the feline. 
  • Were a mortal to unravel the secrets of the leonine dreams, then immortality, even godhood, may be within reach. Two gods in the pantheon ascended in this way, and a secret order of questers pursues this murderous quest.
  • They are actually Zensunni post-buddhists, explaining their preference for arid, dune-filled environments
Art Adams
  • They keep dustworms as pets, from which they harvest mysture, a substance used to make lions and snakes grow human-like faces and intellects.
  • All lions are inherently evil. They lust after human flesh, and when they consume enough, they become a monster. Manticores come from the flesh of old men, young women produce lamias. Kings produce Sphinxes. 
  • They are a species that breeds true, and they suffer no defects from incest. The meaning of this is uncertain 
  • Demons don't just tempt men, sometimes noble lions fall prey, and the demonic corruption causes this horrific change
  • The Lamia-kind are neither good, nor evil, being beyond such matters. Some follow chaos and others law. Mortals try to ascribe morality to their actions, but they are simply angelic messengers of the balance, disinterested in the fate of men
  • A lamassotto is an underdark version of a lammassu
  • That Which Prowls stalks the trade routes, and celebrates melding the creatures of the wasteland and the humans who trespass into it. Some of the survivors swear loyalty to That Which Prowls and assist in playing out the long, incomprehensible, sadistic game of cat and mouse with humanity that may end in the elevation or destruction of the world.
  • They are truly vegetarians and child-like playful beasts. Guarding wastelands and other desolate places, however, poses them as a threat to the Lords of Law. The end result is that they are portrayed as a vicious, bloodthirsty, childnibbling beast.
  • A male Lamia is called a Lamio. Rare creatures with silvery hides and prodigious. . . manes. The lammassu is a protector of Lamia
  • The Goddess of Trees was struck ill, and barely managed to escape the battle of the gods, stumbling into civilization. There, she was cared for by the awed and ignorant human savages. She saw their lives up close; the way they turned to meat and away from the energy of the sun and the plants. She saw how they kept cats to eat meat that threatened what they wanted to protect. And, as we all know, the war of the gods caught up to the village and the terrified villagers betrayed the Goddess of Trees to the Master of Forges. Her dying curse was that humanity would become the mice, and their hunters would bear the cruelty of their faces.
  • They are not half-lion, all of these creatures are simply torsos on swarms of countless insects, each representing the soul of a living creature
  • Simply another form of an aberration of chaos, like satyrs, centaurs, minotaurs and platypi
  • The spectacular orgies of the Arch Magus Wyvaria tended to focus on reptiles. Lilariasha tended to use shape changing (mercifully) or just gear (best not to think about it) for coupling with spiders. But Vashtoor... he had a thing for lions. There's a reason we've killed all the wizards we could catch.
  • The Kingdom of Farragut does a spectacular trade in lamia sized slippers. They are fascinated by wearing soft, woolen booties while at home
  • Their internal organs are suffused with magic - their guts can be used to make magical bowstrings +2 of distance and deceit
  • They are not actually lion-headed creatures. They are Penanggalan, which many people believe are vampires but are actually a type of sky demon. If they feast on the flesh of men, a body eventually grows to support them. This body if feline. If they feast on other creatures, they become other creatures. Horses and steeds become centaur, felines and cats become Manticores, etc.
  • Lamias have no digestive systems, in fact their bodies are purely mechanical support systems for their heads. Their heads are the last remnants of an ancient empire that depended on machinery for survival. They were cursed by the gods for the misuse of their physical bodies and now suffer, eternally 
  • Lamias and Lammasu can remove their own eyes. When they do so, they loudly utter prophecies. No one knows the accuracy of these prophecies, it's hard to listen after you've just seen something rip out its own eyes
  • They are difficult to perceive and viewing such creatures is difficult on the mind, draining sanity or wisdom
  • No matter their form, they detest combat. Much better through spell, word, or deed to have lower forms do their fighting for them
  • Each is violent and aggressive because when they tear themselves into existence a dark shadow is created at the same time. This shadow form hunts them to destruction
  • Each is a different manifestation of a pure emotionally ideal, Lammasu's are intelligence, Lamia's jealousy, Manticores are anger, etc.
  • All of these are in fact guardians of thresholds, doorways, and portals. It is impossible to cross one without being within their vision. This is the root of their knowledge and power.
  • They are all just different lineages of Rakasta bloodlines
  • It is the name for a female vampire. Their powers of mentalism are so strong, that the only memories are those of a beautiful woman crossed with a deadly predator
  • They are actually enlightened ascetic beings who have chosen to remain behind in earthly form
  • House cats were ordered to play nice with humans so that they could serve as a spy network, funneling truth about humans and witness of their deeds to the dark judges that await them. When enough intelligence about humans reaches them, these strange leonines transform in a more human direction, shaped by the nature of the insights the cats send them about what humans really are.
  • The leonines are assigned by the cosmic to shepherd the human race, but they chose servants of the wrong temperament. They were unable to agree on how best to handle humanity. Those that insisted on control, pushing, and goading humanity to achieve its destiny became male. Those who preferred seduction, trickery, and thinning the herd became female. Their task is a failure and the dissapointment of the cosmic is palpable.
  • Leonines once ruled the world. Humans could only ascend by wielding chaos magic, and crushing human frailties into the animal perfection of the world's rulers. By forcing human flaw and personality in to permanently shatter the balance of these once-regal beasts, they destroyed their ability to work together.
  • At the end, the heroes faced Gozer, who insisted they choose the form of their destruction. All Rae could think about was Mr. Mittens, his innocent and wise house cat. Since then, the leonine form of the destroyer has gained in power and aggression in the corners of the world, as a millennial-long agenda of destruction unfolds.
  • The foundation of the world is not stone, but secrets. The leonine guardians of the world are tasked with protecting it. However, their society is matriarchal. The men dislike their servitude and the discrimination against them. Some slipped out of their enclaves (a man's place is at the hearth) and try to support and encourage the seekers of secrets, the faster to erode the world's underpinnings so they can transcend to the next world. Meanwhile, the ladies seek out the races that are addicted to riddles and puzzles, and finish them off as cruelly as they can--still, they cannot quench the thirst for mystery that humans stole from the cats long, long ago.
  • The priests of the Rakasta are gifted by their feline goddess with more and more leonine features as they are infused with more and more cosmic and divine energy, eventually becoming immortal. Therefore, when slain, they must contextualize and motivate their existence as they re-exist. They go insane a little, but the better they manage their obsessions, the more lucid they remain.
The ecology series is a crowdsourced series of articles, and contributors can be found on google+ under the hashtag #crowdecology. They are limited posts, but following me on G+ will allow you to see them. All artwork is credited where the artist could be found. Classic ecology articles from Dragon magazine are used both for reference and inspiration; the whole impetus of the idea was to create 'classic' ecology articles that are actually useful. Let's Read the Monster Manual by Noisms is also a source of inspiration.  

4 comments:

  1. Hmm ~ Lots to think about here :D

    Also, I like the term "lamassotto".

    ReplyDelete
  2. Contribution to the ecology of the Lamia
    http://chaudronchromatique.blogspot.ca/2013/06/contribution-to-ecology-of-lamia.html

    ReplyDelete
  3. They seduce young men into orgies, at the end of which the lamias die. Their human halves melt into a tasty goop that tastes like chocolate, which their partners are to eat, and their snake halves slip away and lay empty.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Lamias seduce young men into orgies, and die at the end of them. Their human top halves melt into a goop that their sex partners are expected to eat, which tastes like chocolate, and their snake halves flop down empty, like a shed skin.

    ReplyDelete

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