Mantisks are predatory insectoid creatures. The fine coat of fur covering their endo-skeleton is a disguise to trick possible prey and to hide their own shiny bodies from view.
The endo-skeleton is nigh impenetrable, and even they cannot break through it. An enchanted weapon will be able to wound them, but even then with difficulty -- the only unprotected areas are its eyes and the insides of its mouth. Strangely, the skeleton seems to lose its strength after they die, softening and collapsing. Because of this thick skeleton they have a poor sense of touch, and do not react to subtle sensations.
The lifespan of a wild mantisk is 8-12 years. During the mating season the female lays 6-8 eggs, which the male will fertilize. These eggs will hatch into pups after two months. The babies become adults after one and a half year, and though many don't make it to adulthood, mantisks are a common sight in the forest.
Despite the similarity to wolves, mantisks almost always travel alone. When hunting they pick one target they feel is big enough to fill them, and attack suddenly at a tactical time. Often they can steal a creature from a horde, grabbing it and running away to lose any family it may have before tearing it apart with its fangs and mandibles.
Despite their menacing look, the scythe-like blades protruding from a mantisks's back are mainly for self-defense purposes and rarely used in hunting or fights with other mantisks. However, approaching one isn't advisable; they are incredibly territorial and suspicious of other creatures, and are as such easily driven to attack.
Despite this hostility, mantisks are generally friendly with each other and do not mind resting in the same area. Weaker specimen have even been known to group together if they are starving enough, a temporary alliance to ensure their own survival. Outside of these rare alliances and chance meetings, however, the only time mantisks meet is during mating season. This is also the only time where mantisks will attack each other; the female is fiercely protective of her eggs and pups, and will attack even other mantisks to ensure they are kept safe. The father, thus, runs as soon as he has fertilized the eggs and after that, the female will generally be left alone until her pups have grown up and left the nest.
Only a female with pups will have a nest, burrowed into the moss and dark light of a deep cave. They will dig their own path into a mountain if necessary, using their scythes to break the rock. Other mantisks can rest in any environment, however they prefer thick vegetation - perhaps as a result of their youth in a cave.
AppearanceEditMantisks resemble brown wolves at a first glance, but their eyes glow a soft green and two long, scythe-like appendages protrude from their back. Their hind legs as well are strangely proportioned, and the tail barely responsive. They are covered with a layer of brown fur; beneath it lays a greenish grey-brown endoskeleton with no tail or ears, only a pair of antennae. Within their mouth is a long row of sharp teeth, along with two large mandibles. Mantisks do not have a tongue.
Mantisk pups do not yet have fur, and their shell is soft and moldable. If they sustain injuries during this period it will stick with them for the rest of their lives. There is no visible difference between male and female mantisks.
There is another species called the Black Mantisk, which is smaller and has a black coat. These mantisks are faster and more fragile than the common mantisk, and thus more sneaky. They are also rarer; the common mantisk considers them a threat and will attack on sight, often sending the black mantisk running back into hiding. Some black mantisks have made a game out of teasing them because of this.
In the past a mantisk was used as a character, and was given a strengthened shell as a reward. However, because of this it lost its sense of touch, which drove it to insanity. It attacked everything in sight and revelled in destruction and its own invulnerability, attacking and killing even other mantisks. It was eventually killed by Zakragon, the only being that could harm it. As well, a blind black mantisk has been in play in the past.
In one of their first appearances, a mantisk talked. This has since not been brought up, and as such it's easily explained as a unusually intelligent specimen who has since disappeared.
Although technically called "mantisk", they have been known as "wolfmantises" throughout their existence in the RP and have never been referred to as "mantisk" even once. In fact, the name was only mentioned in relation to the black mantisks.