Manticore - A Shadow Empires Tale

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  • Manticore_Teaser2_1920px-1.png

    Welcome to the Manticore quest series!

    Manticore is raising again to the skies on its enormous wings. Follow the story, solve the puzzle, and get chance to win 1 out of 350 prizes!

    General contest information

    Start date/time 03.05.2021 - 10:00 (UTC+2)
    End date/time 10.05.2021 - 10:00 (UTC+2)
    Winners will receive prizes via email. 15.05.2021
    Prizes Day 1 - 100 vouchers x 50 Gold

    Day 2 - 100 vouchers x 50 Gold

    Day 3 - 100 vouchers x 50 gold

    Final winners - 50 vouchers x 100 gold
    Winners are chosen 100 winners will be chosen randomly among all participants who gave the correct answer to each day, separately. Additionally, 50 final winners will be chosen randomly among all participants who gave 2 out of 3 correct answers.
    Gold voucher valid until 31st December 2022
    Note Each user can only take part in the contest in one community.
  • Prologue

    Spring that year was chillier than usual, so a fire was burning below the plain mantlepiece, throwing flickering shadows on the cool wooden floor. The throne hall didn’t change much since the boy first had an audience with the king. Hunting trophies and dusty banners of defeated enemies served as the only decoration of an otherwise straightforward, standard room. One banner, however, looked much more recent than the others. Of course. He already heard the news that the king’s forces, in 2-months of constant daily attacks, finally destroyed their opponents, claiming victory at the last moment.

    This time it was again the king who broke the silence.

    “I will not deny, I am surprised to see you, though it is somewhat obvious. You do not want to betray your current squad. And yet, here you are. Why?”

    There was a lengthy pause. It was almost as if the boy would never answer. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, he spoke.

    "If only I knew myself…"

  • Day 1 – "Kitten" got lost


    "Kitten" disappeared as quietly as he once came to their gates, and Claws was gravely concerned. For more than half a year that he spent with their team, she bonded to the boy, who was a great helping hand in all her recent deals. Kitten managed the squad's defense forces, and it was clear that he was enjoying the task, the responsibilities it implied, and the importance of what he was doing. Despite his young age, he managed to maintain discipline in his armies, which grew stronger and became more populated day by day.

    It was only natural then that she first thought the boy had been taken hostage when he went to replenish supplies. However, Claws quickly discarded that idea after Scorpio Tail's spotters questioned the nearby villagers who saw a lonely horseman heading to one of the Rebels core territories. The boy seemed determined and for sure rode there of his own free will. Betrayal?

    The news had a devastating effect on the Manticore squad. Fangs, who had lost all his usual cheerfulness, was pacing back and forth like a caged animal in the command centre where they all gathered for their meeting. Claws remained motionless and kept silent, which was her new normal state for the last few days. Wings, leaning to the wall to give Fangs enough space for his marching, seemed deeply buried in his thoughts.

    "Stop blaming yourself," Scorpio Tail said, his voice making everyone stop, and finally – to everyone's relief - concluded the endless rambling and marching of Fangs, who was now looking in astonishment at the nomad. For all the years that the Manticore squad had been fighting side by side, they were always used to the Hun not speaking first and limiting himself to quick tips on using his horsemen best.

    "Stop," the nomad repeated, but more firmly this time. "It was not your sole decision. We all let this happen, and therefore we all will face the consequences."

    "Wow, Scorpio…" Fangs, who was still standing in the center of the room, where the nomad's words first caught him by surprise, had now changed position, leaned to the opposite wall from Wings, copying his posture, and completed the symmetry. "In which dusty nomadic yurt did you learn such a long word? Con-se-quen-ces. I am truly impressed."

    "In the King's of Hun's yurt, actually… Fangy", Wings looked straight at Fang's face and finally smiled. "He's a younger brother of the current ruler of Horde. Guess you didn't know that, right?"

    "Yes, you are not the only noble member of our squad, and not the highest born. So, bend your knees, serf." This phrase, pronounced in the usual emotionless manner of the Scorpio Tail, caught Fangs entirely off guard. It took him few anxious moments before Fangs finally realized that another impossible thing had just happened: the nomad was joking!

    The mere dumbstruck look on Fang's face was more than enough to get all of them bursting out in a fit of laughter.

    "I always knew there was something off about you, Scorpio…" Fangs said, still unable to keep his countenance, wiping his newly formed tears from laugher. "One day, you should tell me your story. So, back to the matter at hand, what do you think they plan? And what do we do?"

    "I think you know best what they plan, Fangs. After all, the boy had been spying for your former alliance." Claws spoke with a weak voice, but she seemed to go back to her calm state once more, albeit slower than usual. "As for what we are going to do, it's simple. We’re going to battle.”

    Task: The task below is one that the Manticore squad gives to those who wish to join their armies. Try solving it.


    You're escaping from the Natar capital, and there are three doors in front of you. The door on the left leads to a volcano cave filled with lava. The door in the centre leads to a deadly assassin. The door on the right leads to a tiger that hasn't eaten in three months. Which door do you choose?

    • Left door
    • Central door
    • Right door

    ➡️ Submit your answer here! ⬅️

  • Day 2 – Finding the place


    "So, how exactly did you meet our Hun? And why did you hide from me that our dear Scorpio Tail is in fact His Royal Nomadic Highness Scorpio Tail?"

    "You just answered yourself. You keep inventing him odd titles, and he feels uncomfortable." Wings smiled. "Although, on a more serious note, I do not know much myself. I joined the squad later when those two were already together. Claws went wild after losing her children in that Rebels-Marauders attack, jumping from one group of mercenaries to another. Then one of the robber gangs decided to expand their territories and hired Claws to lead an expedition to the Horde. There she found our Scorpio Tail. You know him. He is the best horsemen leader I ever met or have ever heard of, which is what Huns value most in their kings. Rumors are that his elder brother sent assassins to kill him because he feared his popularity among their soldiers. It was one hell of a fight, but Scorpio managed to survive, though he was seriously wounded. The rest you can guess."

    For the next few days, the squad was moving north without giving much rest to anyone. Claws and Scorpio Tail went ahead, looking for a position where they could fortify themselves for the upcoming battle, while Wings and Fangs had to keep their armies pace, still spending most of their time in the saddle. The messenger they sent to the Dynasty returned relatively quickly along with a long cordial message from their leader, who sincerely apologized that insurmountable obstacles and a drastic rundown of their faction economy, as well as enormous recent losses in the local battles, prevented them from sending any support. Still, he wished the Manticore squad all the best and hoped that they would overcome those slight difficulties they had been reporting.

    Fangs summarized the message in short-form with relative ease, genuinely impressing the messenger, who even mumbled it few times to remember the new expressions he had just learned.

    “One day, I will make Scorpio tell me more about that fight." Fangs promised. “And he doesn’t seek vengeance? He left his faction and possible leadership just like this?"

    “Why are you asking me? You have a better source."

    "But he's not talking to me! He's gone back in his shell and only gives orders to his men."

    "Strange… Scorpio talks to me, though. Perhaps, this has something to do with the fact that I do not call him His Royal Nomadic Highness?"

    "But he is… Ok, got it." Fangs laughed. "I just can't help myself. Bend your knees. Don't ever tell him, but his voice at that moment… I almost did what he ordered me to do, you know." He looked embarrassed.

    Wings laughed. He would never admit that aloud, but Fangs was not alone back then who almost did the same.

    Task: The task below is one that the Manticore squad gives to those who wish to join their armies. Try solving it.


    You need to unlock the sword and steal it. Can you find the missing number in the combination?

    ➡️ Submit your answer here! ⬅️

  • Day 3 – Don't kill the messenger!


    "Is he truly insane? He honestly believed that the white flag would stop me from killing him?" Fangs said furiously. "How can he even dare to come here after his betrayal?"

    "I would not recommend doing it, Fangs, not now" Claws voice was cold, direct, sobering the once furious Fangs. "He is bringing information. Don't you want to know?" She shifted her glance from the lonely horseman slowly approaching their squad with the white flag and habitually looked around. Everything appeared fine.

    They found the perfect place, an abandoned fort which they managed to restore relatively quickly. The brink where the fort was located formed a concrete basement. The river here made a sharp curve, so in addition to the walls, the fort had a natural defense from three sides. A good place. Almost ideal. It will take weeks to break through the outer barriers, let alone take the citadel entirely.

    "I remember we had the same conversation when we first met him, Claws." Fangs sighed. "Wish I had killed him back then."

    "Wish you did." Claws agreed. "He's here now, though. Hello… Kitten.”

    "Don't call him Kitten," Wings said, looking at who once had been the fifth member of the Manticore squad. The boy avoided looking back. "He lost the right to this name when he decided to betray you. In the place I grew up in, we called people that like weasels."

    "So, what did the king want you to tell us?" Claws said, shrugging her shoulders. "I respect any white flag messengers, so you will have the chance to get out of here alive. Just once, though."

    The boy looked hopeless, and Claws once again had to repress her involuntary motherly feelings toward him—the poor soul.

    "The king offers you a deal. If you choose to surrender, disband your squad, move your forces under his command and acknowledge his superiority, he will let you live. If not…" he could not continue.

    "We all know what happens… if not." Claws said, ending the winter-long silence. "You have been with us long enough to know our answer already."

    The boy nodded. Fangs laughed.

    "Go, bend your knees to the king, Kitten. Acknowledge superiority… Good gods! He hasn’t changed a bit! Thanks for reminding me why I left them back then." Fangs turned away.

    "I wish you would win this battle!" The boy suddenly said.

    "I wish we would." Claws replied. "Farewell… Kitten. You did what you had to do. Now you are just stretching Fangs' and Wings' patience, and this might end badly."

    "Don't call me Kitten," the boy said, getting back on his horse, now looking at Claws with a sad smile. "I guess Wings is right. The weasel sounds more fitting for me now. After all, I do deserve it." He left without saying another word.


    Decades later, people avoided the river's curve, and only the bravest of the shepherds or distant travelers unaware of the local legends dared to stay there for the night.

    No one remembered who won or lost in that bloody battle and why the half-burnt fortress was called "The Manticore den." This was the last battle for the Rebel king. He died in his bed the same year, poisoned by an unknown assassin, who has not been found ever since.

    Rumors say that sometimes, in the darkest hour of the night, a ferocious cat rises to the skies on its enormous wings, and the northern winds still bring the voices of people who were once fighting there.

    "Hold the line! Not a step back! For Manticore!"

    Task: The task below is one that the Manticore squad gives to those who wish to join their armies. Try solving it.


    There are five villages sitting next to each other. Each village’s owner belongs to a different tribe. Each village has different walls of a different color. Each village owner drinks their own specific beverage, eats a different type of food, and keeps a certain type of pet. None of the villages share any of these variables— tribe, wall color, beverage, food type, and pet—they are all unique. Here is what you know:

    1. The Teuton lives in a village with red walls.

    2. The Gaul keeps rats.

    3. The Hun drinks tea.

    4. The village with green walls is just to the left of the village with white walls.

    5. The owner of the village with green walls drinks coffee.

    6. The man who eats spicy food keeps spiders.

    7. The owner of the village with yellow walls eats veggie food.

    8. The man in the central village drinks milk.

    9. The Egyptian lives in the first village.

    10. The one that loves fast food has a neighbour who keeps snakes.

    11. The man who eats French food drinks beer.

    12. The man who keeps bats lives next to the one that eats veggie food.

    13. The Roman eats Italian food.

    14. The Egyptian lives next to the village with blue walls.

    15. The one that eats fast food has a neighbour who drinks water.

    The question is this:

    One of the villagers keeps an elephant, who is it?

    • Villager 1
    • Villager 2
    • Villager 3
    • Villager 4
    • Villager 5

    ➡️ Submit your answer here! ⬅️