Usually the product of a magical variant of genetic engineering, a chimera is an organism that is composed of two or more different species. The name comes from a legendary monster of Greek Mythology that was one-third lion, one-third goat, and one-third dragon or serpent. Using spells, a skilled sorcerer can fuse two or more living beings together, or in a more complicated set-up, take samples of genetic material from multiple creatures and mix them together, growing an entirely new life-form, like a kind of biological golem.
While the intelligence and free-will of the latter type of chimera can vary, pre-existing, living beings that are made part of a chimera in full will retain all of their former intelligence and awareness - if the composite creatures were particularly intelligent, the chimera may actually be even smarter then the original. Thusly, while it is simpler to fuse beings to create chimeras, it can also be more dangerous to the chimera-maker. Creating chimeras from scratch also gives the sorcerer who creates them greater freedom over their final form; for example, the sorcerer Daymia created a chimera by merging together two blow demons and was able to sculpt the resultant chimera into the guise of a suit of armor with dragon-like head designs on its shoulderpads. This chimera granted the user the ability to cast and sustain two more spells at once, in addition to any spells they could cast and sustain on their own.
It has to be noted that this branch of magical research, due to its nature of tampering with living creatures and the forces of life itself, is controversial in both the public eye and amongst sorcerers, though it is not a universal taboo as is the case with immortality research.
Some of the creatures commonly used as components to a chimera are trolls (for their regenerative skill), golems (for their physical resistance and sheer strength) and lesser demons, as well as related beings like brass demons and blow demons (for their ability to cast spells and their great pool capacity). At least one type of chimera (the beast Zanaffar) is likely to contain parts of a dragon, but this kind is rare. Rarest of all are chimeras that incorporate true mazoku of higher rank, which tend to be extremely powerful (physically and magically) as well as intelligent, cunning and vindictive. Any sorcerer who creates a mazoku-chimera is typically either extremely powerful, utterly insane, and/or suicidally arrogant.
Zelgadiss Graywords is the most famous example of a chimera in the Slayers universe. In his case, he is one-third human, one-third blow demon and one-third golem, his original human self serving as a base to which the other components were crafted. Another prominent chimera character is Copy Rezo, who is eventually revealed to be a hybrid of a copy of Red Priest Rezo and a mazoku. This is possibly the reason why he is at least as powerful as the original Red Priest, even being able to cast the mighty Blast Bomb.