After returning from the east, Janistaar needed to hunt manticore for a while to provide manticore bows for trade with the centaurs and for manticore blood to help finance the county.
The first hunt started on 1643.03.15. On the hunt were Janistaar, Adrastus, Markus, Aerin, David, Vanar, Dawn, Hector, Karhad, and Henry, with Carlia, Athemenes, and Silvandrel in support. This hunt soon ran into, not a manticore, but a large jabberwock. After defeating the jabberwock and collecting a small amount of its blood, the party continued - and after two weeks found another jabberwock. This one, however, was guarding and feasting on a large elephant carcass; nearby were a number of live elephants and two manticore. After a complex battle, another elephant and the two manticore were dead. The party used up all their manticore hide gloves skinning the manticore, removing ribs for bows and a manticore heart or two, and removing as much meat as possible. The booty was then taken to Malarme for sale and processing.
The next hunt started immediately after, on 1643.05.08, with the same crew. The party travelled for more than a month without seeing any manticore. After crossing over to the outside of the western arm of the south hills, the party saw a manticore far up in the hills. They travelled very carefully up the hill toward the manticore, as the terrain was difficult for horses, and as they approached they realized the manticore numbered not one, but three. Athemenes found himself in a battle with a manticore for Adrastus' mind, and told Adrastus to please hurry. Adrastus charged ahead, with David following. Two of the manticore took advantage of the split in the party to descend upon one of the horses, whose rider had dismounted. David turned back, and the party was able to drive off those two manticore before they greatly injured the horse. Meanwhile, Adrastus engaged the third manticore, which was joined by one of the manticore that had been driven for the horse. As others approached to relieve Adrastus, those manticore too retreated. The party held the field, but had killed no manticore.
After crossing the troll hill gap, the party found another manticore in the hills, but not as high. Hoping to encourage the manticore to attack, the party marched past; the manticore and its mate attacked. This time, the party killed one manticore before they realized their mistake; the other escaped.
Travelling to Malarme, it seemed like it started raining manticore, for which the party was no longer searching. Only three days after taking the one manticore, the party encountered two more, small, which they also killed; most of these manticores' ribs were too small for centaur bows, but they still had valuable blood. The party then encountered another medium sized manticore two days later and took it as well:
Blue shielded Adrastus and red shielded David have charged the manticore. Janistaar has attempted to
take it from behind, but it has wheeled and elected to fight the earl. Hector is unable to close because
his horse does not wish to tread on the elephant's legs; Aerin, on the bay, and Dawn, on the white,
provide magical support as Vanar watches for a shot and Karhad, Henry, and Hector guard the rear.
After another three days, yet another two manticore were found; these the party avoided as they would have been forced to waste some of the blood due to lack of blood jars. Finally, after three more days, the party came to Malarme where they spent a week disposing of their booty, bringing them to 1643.07.08.
The same group immediately ventured out again on another manticore hunt, travelling past the troll hill gap to the hills near Eslan. On the way, they briefly saw a mermaid. Not too far from Eslan, they found two manticore feasting on a rhinoceros and killed both. After stopping in Eslan for resupply, they returned to Malarme. They killed one jabberwock on the way back when it happened on them at night. Treasure distribution was completed in Malarme on 1643.09.01.
The next hunt, again by the same group and on the same route, reached Eslan without sighting any manticore. Continuing past Eslan, they found a single manticore a week later, on the hillside. The manticore attempted to overcome Carlia's defenses of Janistaar's mind, and froze Janistaar's horse. Three fighters charged the manticore, which leapt into the air just as they were about to engage, and circled to attack Janistaar's horse from behind.
Meanwhile, Carlia asked for support from Athemenes. Dawn engaged the manticore in a direct mind battle, with support from Aerin. The fighters that had not charged up the hill engaged the manticore in melee combat. Heavily injured, the manticore fled, flying up the hillside, but was brought down by Vanar's arrows. Unfortunately, the fall from the flight broke most of the manticore's valuable ribs.
The group turned back to Eslan, and on the way, found another single manticore flying over the plains, which they dispatched when it attacked. The group reached Eslan on 1643.10.13, then returned to Malarme, which they reached without significant incident other than avoiding one jabberwock during daylight, on 1643.11.06.
Setting out again on 1643.11.13, the Earl and his group hoped to finish obtaining the manticore ribs required for several years of trade with the centaurs, permitting him to spend more time exploring the land to the east of the mountains. Hunting some distance from the hills and ignoring routine encounters such as a rhino, or drax circling a kill being fed on by a pack of wolves, the group reached the troll hill gap, and upon travelling west to cross the gap, came to an estuary. On the other side of the estuary, at some distance, was a manticore doing brief flights, as they do when searching for prey.
The party travelled south for a few hours until the estuary became a fordable river. They then crossed and travelled back north, hoping to spot the manticore again - which they did, either that manticore or another one of the same average size. They approached the manticore as it made a few search hops and then flew some distance to the west. They eventually caught up with the manticore and found it resting, but it flew into the air and continued to the west, sometimes flying and sometimes travelling on the ground.
The party followed the manticore, which eventually turned to fight and was killed. While butchering the manticore, Aerin, on lookout, saw two other manticore, another average sized one and a larger one, approaching. These manticore were later engaged and the smaller killed, in a battle in which David was briefly frozen despite Silvandrel's telepathic protection.
Having obtained a full set of ribs from each of the two manticore, the party returned to Malarme to have the ribs made into bows and to sell the blood, which they did between 1643.12.12 and 1643.12.19. They then returned to Janistaar's castle on 1643.12.23.
While Janistaar's group was hunting manticore, the telepaths not involved in supporting the manticore hunting were engaged in training. Elaine spent the first five months teaching Owain and the apprentices acuity, after which she spent some time with her child while Owain trained the two apprentices in telepathy. After the manticore hunters returned, the county focused on training from 1644.01.15 to 1644.06.14, when Janistaar and Carlia prepared to leave on another expedition to do more exploration of the east side of the mountains.