The Lycian Chimera (Tribus leocapens), more often simplified to just Chimera, is an especially ancient unisex of the Synthetica class and perhaps one of the more iconic. Like all of the Synthetica class, Lycian Chimeras were alchemically created, with their only means of reproduction being creation from scratch or advanced alchemical mitosis.
Once very common in the wild, and still especially dangerous to the lives of many natural creatures, Lycian Chimeras get most of their fame as an example of the dangers of alchemy. However in recent years Lycian Chimera number has been quelled, with no specimens being spotting in the wild over the course of the past two hundred years.
Like all Tribus Genus creatures, the Lycian Chimera is an alchemical combination of three animals. In the Lycian Chimera's case, these three animals are the Nemean Lion, Aurum Capra, and Titaviper.
Furthermore, Lycian Chimera have no sexual dimorphism, or even multiple sexes, as all Lycian Chimera have unique Z Chromosomes, like all Typhos Family creatures.
While specifications vary depending on the craftsmanship of the creator, the more common Lycian Chimera ,as sighted in the wild 200 years ago, are as follows.
The front of the Lycian Chimera is part of the Nemean Lion, consisting of the forward head, front legs, and separated diagonally from the shoulder-blades to the end of the rib-cage.
Connected at this diagonal separation is the Aurum Capra, consisting of the head and neck, with the sternum connected to the lion's spine, the rib cage reaching around the lion's, and the hind legs remodeled to fit the lion's frond legs. The tail is removed.
The Titaviper is halved and is simply connected to the tail end of the Aurum Capra.
Due to it's three-beast nature it has 3 brains, hearts, pairs of lungs lungs, and stomachs. However only the Aurum Capra keeps it's other organs such as kidneys and liver. These organs are all bonded in the creation process allowing them all to work in tandem to sustain the organism.
Due to being comprised of two mammals, all except the Titaviper Tail are covered in a thick furry hide, however the coloration can range anywhere from all the same, to different shades outlining where one creature ends and another beings. However a few Lycian Chimera with furry tails have been spotted on occasion, as a mutation in colder climates.
In terms of size and scale, the average mature Lycian Chimera is 12 feet tall, and 6 feet wide, as well as 30 feet long with the tail outstretched. Adolescent Lycian Chimera can range from half this size to a quarter in cases of underdevelopment.
It is theorized that they can get larger however, as a rather old legend tells of a Lycian Chimera, dubbed "Altum Pecus" in ancient texts, large enough to dwarf even the largest dragon. While this could be passed off as mere superstition, the name given in ancient texts seems to cause creatures that normally hunt Lycian Chimera to quake in fear for unknown reasons, and has been used to keep large creatures at bay.
Behavior and Habitat
Lycian Chimera are extraordinarily aggressive, going to far as to consume their own children as soon as they are born, and ravaging whole towns on a whim. As with many alchemically created creatures, the full extent of it's sentience is unknown, however it does seem to express a level of intelligence higher than the composition of it's parts.
Lycian Chimera appear to be fully aware of their reproductive cycle and the mutations that can accompany them (see below) as well as being capable of distinguishing the difference between weapons that are harmless to it, and weapons that can actually deal damage to it's tough hide. It also appears to be capable of solving complex puzzles and even logic riddles, as shown in a 1928 in which a Lycian Chimera was placed in front of a door guarded by one of it's Typhos cousins the Greek Sphinx and allowed passage, showing also some method of communication ability. It is perhaps due to this increase intelligence that it has control over it's instincts, capable of forgoing it's natural aggression to flee from fights clearly weighed against it's favor.
Before their extinction in the wild in 1831 Lycian Chimeras inhabited parts of the Mediterranean and Asia Minor, with some reports placing them in several parts of Eastern Europe as well. Typically inhabiting secluded beaches or the tops of mountains, Lycian Chimera were solitary, only leaving their chosen home to hunt for food, which mostly took on the form of humans, various cattle, and occasionally Pegasi in the Atlas Mountains.
Territorial disputes were common for Lycian Chimera, as their homes often coincided with the homes of Dragons, Hydras, or Ogre Clans. Such disputes could often result in widespread destruction of the area, and were only settled upon the death of one of the two parties.
Creation and Reproduction
Lycian Chimera were first created in 750 BC by an unknown alchemist, who was presumably killed by their own creation. Creation of a Lycian Chimera is difficult, as one must acquire and keep a Nemean Lion, Aurum Capra, and Titaviper alive while amputating multiple body parts and proceeding to stitch them together using thread made from aloe vera leaves.
After this process is completed, Typhos-1 must be injected into the creature's body as soon as possible to limit the risk of it dying, and then Typhos-2 must be injected an hour later to bond the three organisms together.
The margin for error is high, due to the snake's reptilian nature against the two other mammals of it's composition, there is a 50% margin in that the Titaviper is not bonded to the conjoined mind and will begin to attack the other two heads, often resulting in it poisoning itself and dying.
Like all Typhos Family organisms, Lycian Chimeras reproduce through Advanced Alchemical Mitosis. This process involves entering a hibernation-like state after consuming up to ten times it's own body weight and secreting a combination of Typhos-1 and Typhos-2 as well as genetic material from the three original bonded organisms until a small pool of organic matter is formed.
The "parent" guards the pool for a number of weeks until eventually the matter forms into an adolescent Lycian Chimera. The newborn immediately runs away as the parent runs it down, if it is caught then the parent will consume the newborn, then proceed to create another. It is believed that they developed this as a way to more efficiently develop new mutations to aid in escaping larger predators, as many animals such as dragons and larger creatures in the Typhos Family frequently hunt Lycian Chimera.
Five Hundred Years Extinction and Chimera Ethical Bill 1860
Being exceedingly common in the wild during it's time, the Lycian Chimera took a great many lives, to the point that grand culls were issued by all the major nations in Europe to eradicate them in the early 1300s. These culls took a great many generations, and they were hence called the "Five Hundred Years Extinction", ending only after five hundred years of bloodshed in the 1800s. Numerous innovative hunting methods were developed in this time such as Springheel Combat and Mutagenic Mimicry among other methods. Furthermore these culls resulted in the creation of the more easily tamed French Chimera as a hunting companion, and in more recent times as pets, by alchemist and revolutionary female hunter Jeanne d'Arc.
However, the brutality of these culls, as well as how thorough the hunters were, sparked controversy in the later years of the culls. Several years after the culls ended and with the publish of Naturalist Charles Darwin's book "The Origin of Species", which discussed the value and validity of alchemical life among the theory of evolution and other similar matters, several movements were formed for the protection of alchemical life. Many believed that the creation of life for servitude was an affront to the liberty and freedom of their creations, and that if life is to be created then it should be respected as all other life.
Spearheaded by alchemist and author Lewis Carroll, the fight for laws for the ethical treatment of alchemical life was not very long, due to Empress Victoria, lone leader of the British-Roman Empire, empathized with the pleas of these activists.
Within a year the Chimera Ethical Bill 1860 was written and instilled into the governments of all the British-Roman Empire's subjects. The bill as such states that without the proper licensing and approval, the free creation of alchemical life is forbidden. Any offenders are to be fined a considerable sum, have their tools taken away, and have their creations be given a place in an ecosystem where their introduction would do the least damage, prioritizing locations where the impact would be positive.
Since the introduction of this bill, there was an surge of sentencing, and upwards of a thousand new species were meticulously placed into variable ecosystems. This also marked the beginning of the study of alchemical creatures, often known as Synthetizoology, to classify these new species. While there are groups that believe that such actions were an affront to god, or nature, many viewed this as merely an increase in diversity.
In order to enforce these laws, the Bureau of Alchemical Creatures was formed as a branch of the law to specialize in tracking down offenders and finding opportune locations to introduce their creations into the wild. In unfortunate cases where the creature has been deemed too dangerous to release to the wild, they are put down by professionals as painlessly as possible. The BAC still exists today.
Despite it's official declaration of extinction in the early 1800s sightings of wild Lycian Chimera are actually fairly common. While mostly disregarded as just hoaxes, occasionally strange tracks are found, and small towns mysteriously get destroyed overnight in the area Lycian Chimeras inhabited.
No concrete evidence has been found however, and these occurrences can easily be explained away as regular Nemean Lions, dragons, and even the occasional rouge French Chimera. However, the possibility of Lycian Chimera still remaining in the wild had not been disregarded by some descendants of the hunters during the Five Hundred Years Extinction, who roam the land in search of any surviving beasts.
The prospect of surviving wild Lycian Chimera has been considered by the BAC and in response any survivors found are to be delivered to the nearest BAC Office alive if possible for safe and ethical termination. Furthermore, in recent years some Lycian Chimera are created fresh to serve as guard-dogs or to be used in illegal fighting rings. This act is strictly prohibited across the majority of the world including countries that are typically relaxed about the creation of alchemical life. Such creatures are to be terminated as ethically as possible on site, due to the high likelihood of being battle-hardened beasts.