The Donestre are a race of lion-headed humanoid monsters dating back to the days of Alexander the Great. They were infamous for their perplexing actions - their ability to speak any language, them befriending travellers from other lands before devouring them, leaving only a decapitated head that the monster would then sit by and mourn.
This act of mourning sets the Donestre apart from many other monsters of the period. It is believed by some researchers the mourning of the Donestre is symbolic of how travellers would mourn a loss of their own identity when trying to become part of a foreign culture (this is also used to explain the cannibalism but involves a lot of psychology and philosophy that is not necessary for this wiki).
The Donestre are but one of countless humanoid monsters that were likely a result of exaggerated tales by explorers of exotic animals, foreign cultures and medical mysteries as well as symbolism for social and religious wrongs.