In the aftermath of a battle, the dead are sometimes left for scavengers to devour. These are referred to as feed for the hobranx. And though the fearsome hobranx, who is equipped with scythes on its arms, is certainly capable of slaying its own prey, it prefers to scavenge. This phrase also came to reference the outcome of a situation which the participants are unlikely to live through.
This phrase has come to reference the outcome of a situation in which the participants are unlikely to survive.