|Environment||Temperate and warm deserts and mountains|
Source: The Armageddon Echo, pg(s). 88-89
Maftets are a mysterious race of ruin-dwelling creatures believed to be somehow related to sphinxes. These intelligent creatures all too often come into conflict with adventurers; what adventurers see as treasure-filled ruins ripe for the plundering, maftets see as home.
Maftets look like toned, bronze-skinned humans from the waist up. Their skin is covered in intricate tattoos that pulse with mysterious, eldritch power. Their faces and heads look human except for their eyes, which are more cat-like. Below the waist, maftets have the legs of a bipedal lion, though sometimes their legs look more like they belong to leopards or some other variety of great cat. Further adding to their monstrous appearance, maftets also sport a set of dark-colored, hawk-like wings that grow on their backs from between their shoulders. Maftets stand an imposing seven feet tall and normally weigh up to 300 pounds.
Habitat and ecology
While maftets may look like some sort of offshoot of either sphinxes or lamia they are their own race. In fact, maftets hate lamia with a passion and will kill any they come across. A maftet's preferred habitat is abandoned ruins, as they seem to be spiritually drawn to such desolate places. If no ruins are available they make do with clifftop caves or atop mountains. They prefer to dwell in either mountains or deserts. Maftets are omnivorous, preferring to eat fresh meat but sometimes in their desert homes they do not have that option. When prey is abundant they typically hunt large herd animals like aurochs.
Maftets live in small prides of ten or fewer members, not including any children the pride may have. These prides claim one set of ruins as their own. Particularly large ruins sometimes boast more than one pack of maftets, with each having its own territory though this is a rare occurrence. Maftet prides are much like lion prides, with four to six females doing most of the hunting. The rest of the group is made of a small coalition of male maftets, usually between two and four, who defend the pride and teach the young the art of war. Maftets worship the long-dead and nearly forgotten god of beasts, Curchanus.
Maftet youths learn to fly around within their first year and are taught the art of warfare as soon as they can hold wooden training scimitars. Young maftets are considered adult at age twelve, when they undergo ancient rituals marking the transition to adulthood. These rituals begins with the maftet receiving its tattoos from the pride's shaman, who is usually the eldest female. The youth must then spend an evening reciting the deeds of its ancestors, after which it receives its pair of scimitars. The final part of the ritual begins with the next sunrise, when the young maftet, together with other children its age, must set off into the world to hunt and kill a lamia.