Mishipeshu
Lynx subaqua
Family: Mammalian
Classification: Semi-sapient
Manifestation: Corporeal
Pronunciation: MISH-ē-PESH-ū
A mishipeshu kitten.

The mishipeshu (MISH-ē-PESH-ū), commonly known as the Underwater Panther, is a very powerful creature native to the Great Lakes area of the United States and Canada, which are part of what is referred to as Mishipeshu Province in the Magimundi, 'mishipeshu' translates into 'the Great Lynx.' They live on the islands in the Great Lakes. They are formidable fighters, and are known to be highly dangerous.

Mishipeshu and thunderbirds are mortal enemies, and will fight to the death whenever they encounter one another. This sense seems to be instinctual and impossible to stop once started. Thunderbirds and mishipeshu both appear to wield elemental magic, and the clash of air and water in their various forms, combined with the physical combat of the two creatures creates quite a spectacle.

Mishipeshu are equally at home in the water or on land. They are excellent swimmers, but they also can walk along the bottom of lakes if they choose. The mishipeshu possess the ability to breathe underwater, as well as to walk through snow without leaving tracks (although the mechanism making either of these possible is unknown).

Mishipeshu live in family groups with an alpha male and several females. When male mishipeshu reach adulthood, they start challenging the existing alpha for dominance of the chain. The loser of this challenge is forced to leave the group and become a solitary hunter.

A juvenile mishipeshu is called a kitten. The word mishipeshu is both singular and plural, like sheep or fish. The collective noun for a group of mishipeshu is a chain.

Habitat

The mishipeshu live in small family groups in the islands of the Great Lakes.

Biology

Mishipeshu have the head and paws of a giant cat, the antlers of a deer, dagger-like spikes running along its back and tail, and is completely covered in scales.

Diet

Mishipeshu are carnivores. They will eat small mammals, birds, and fish, but prefer to hunt larger animals, such as reindeer, deer, and elk. Mishipeshu have been known to hunt and consume mermaids as well.

Magical Uses

The pelt of the mishipeshu can be made into magical clothing that is naturally resistant to water. The antlers and spikes are used to make wands. Its ears can be made into potent hearing charms. The breath of the mishipeshu can be collected and used in a potion that allows the imbiber to breathe underwater for approximately one hour.

Defense

No wizard has ever survived the attack of a mishipeshu. Mishipeshu have been witnessed taking great wounds and losing copious amounts of their luminescent, silver-blue blood, without so much as slowing down. Simply put, none but a thunderbird may hope to kill a mishipeshu in open combat. Any parts of a mishipeshu that are used as spell components are presumed to have been naturally shed over the course of its life, the remains of the dominance conflict between males, or harvested from the carcass after a battle with a thunderbird. It has been noted that when in the presence of a mishipeshu, dropping to one's knees and touching one's forehead to the ground in obeisance has, with notable consistency, meant being spared harm. When rising after the great creature leaves, this respectful approach may result in being left a gift of uncut precious stones, or thunderbird components like feathers or talons.

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