Return to Races
The history of the Minotaur is a story of a people created to be slaves and warriors. Forged by the hand of the dark Lord Vagma, from the bodies and souls of a herd of cattle sacrificed to his dark temple, Minotaurs regard themselves as an ‘unfinished’ race, imperfectly made to build the Black One’s dungeons, and fight his wars. The Minotaur people have lived under the yoke of darkness for many years, before eventually freeing themselves, to pursue the life of the unchained, as promised to them by their Champion, the great bull Moah.
A huge tome, written over the course of a lifetime, the ‘Guide to Norland’ has been created by human scholar Dahwyn to detail all aspects of life in the realms. The following extract may be of some interest to Catlines in the realm.
Excerpt from ‘The Guide to Norland’
The Minotaurs are not a subtle race, they have been built to carry great loads, and swing huge axes, hence they enjoy fantastically strong bodies, and extremely literal minds. They have an extremely squat and solid build, being almost as wide as they are tall. The thick bones of their bovine origin are only partially suited to walking on two legs, hence they have a markedly stooped stance, with the large humps on their backs often rising above the level of their massive heads. Minotaurs have rather short and sturdy hind legs, adapted to supporting the great weight of the Minotaur’s heavy musculature, rather than running, leaping or sneaking about. Their sharp hooves grow throughout their lives, and if not worn down by constant travel over rocky ground, soon become cumbersome and overgrown.
Minotaurs enjoy a peculiar and unique gate, as their wide hips, and the ‘backwards’ configuration of their knees gives them a slow, but implacable walk. Whilst walking, a Minotaur’s long, thickly muscled hands may brush against the floor, and occasionally, when wounded or raring drunk, a Minotaur may well resort to walking on all fours, as their arms and shoulders are still not far removed from this purpose. Most of Moah’s people resist the urge to do this too often as it is said to resemble the way that mine slaves walked, when freed from years of hauling carts, and crawling around tunnels…
Long, glossy, horns are considered to be a source of great pride amongst the various herds of the Minotaur people, and they are often ornamented with bands of precious metals, or studded with jewels. Some warriors are given to wearing a band for each year they have battled the forces of Vagma, whilst others associate different metals with defeating different foes. Minotaurs also decorate their long and pointed ears with studs, rings and trophies of battle. Whilst the colour of their pelt differs from herd to herd, it is generally considered good form to have a long, glossy pelt that is free from mud, ticks and parasites. These trouble Minotaurs as much as ordinary cattle, much to their chagrin.
Minotaur diet also remains much the same as that of other bovine creatures, and all Minotaurs poses the four graded stomachs of their ancestors. Grass, hay, oats and bran are all favorite fodder for Minotaurs, and as they increasingly spread out from their homelands of Mythmere, merchants are beginning to develop trade in dried grass from the tribal homelands of the Minotaur people. Over the course of a day Minotaurs will spend perhaps an two hours grazing, and about six or so chewing the cud. It is not at all uncommon to see a Minotaur charge into battle, slay several enemies, loot their bodies, and posture in victory, all whilst chewing cud, at a regular and measured pace. Occasionally, in moments of extreme joy, shock or anger, Minotaurs will actually spit their cud out, usually with a very good aim.
Minotaurs have rather poor eyesight when compared to other races, with shortsightedness and colour blindness being fairly common. Their eyes are quite small, and set far back in their head. In contrast, Minotaurs have an excellent sense of smell, with their large damp noses able to detect the vintage and origin of a bale of Hay with ease. Similarly, Minotaurs have a good sense of hearing, being able to direct their hairy ears to hear sounds coming from almost anywhere. They also enjoy an innate ability to sense the atmospheric changes that herald rain, though this tends to make them want to lie down.
The differing herds of the Minotaur people are all fairly distinct from one another, as there is little inter herd breeding. Female Minotaurs, who tend to be a little more placid than their male counterparts, are the true holders of power within the herds, dictating who should marry who, when to move encampment and how to raise calves. Minotaurs live a slow moving lifestyle, roving over the scrub lands and plains of Mythmere, camping in tents and around cave networks. Family based herds of perhaps fifteen or so individuals wander Mythmere during the summer and autumn, gathering together in the spring with other bands of their bloodline, to arrange marriages, and swap gossip. The eldest bull is the titular head of each band, but the Bull’s wife generally rules life with a hoof of iron. Minotaurs are slow to breed, yet fairly long lived, providing they do not die in battle. Of the three bloodlines, the Thunderbrow tribe seems to be the most numerous and prosperous of the tribes.
Minotaurs have no language of their own, for when they were created, the Dark Lord did not wish them to be able to plot against his rule. Instead they were taught to speak the common language by the slave masters of Vagma. Time has seen the people of Moah add their own phrases and accents to the language, as well as many gestures and inflections of body language, it remains however, just about intelligible to an attentive listener. Minotaurs, due to their origins, tend to have very deep and drawn out tones, and frequently snort to punctuate their sentences. Flicking of the ears is also an important part of the way they communicate, however, they are willing to forego this when speaking to humans or other ‘bald’ races.
Race Champion Moah
Moah is the champion of the minotaurs. His symbol is a brass minotaur skull, wreathed in flame.
The great Bull Moah watches over his herd with a kindly, but jealous eye. Having lead his people from lives of slavery under the Dark Lord Vagma, Moah bids all his folk to hold their horns high in pride, and fight evil where ever they find it. He prizes strength, bravery and honor, and calls on all his people to follow in his hoofprints. Moah wields a blade of vengence forged by Lord Zir, and is all too happy to use it on those who would threaten his people.
The Thunderbrow Minotaurs are the loudest of all their bloodlines. They come from Thunderpass and are a recently freed race. For years they worked under the yoke of slavery for the mighty Lord Vagma. Almost all of his dark dungeons and dread temples where dug out by hundreds of Thunderbrow Minotaur. Once they escaped his grasp they integrated with the other races. Thunderbrow Minotaur are proud, bad tempered and strong willed.
The Split Hoof Minotaur have two long splits on the main hooves, they often wear rings in their noses and ears. Most dribble constantly, indeed in Split Hoof circles a good dribble is a sign of a healthy Minotaur. They have shiny noses and bright red eyes. Split Hoof Minotaur can smell a lie a mile off and have no truck with followers of the dark arts. They are the smallest of the Minotaur bloodlines, but don’t get the wrong impression they are still a good eight foot at the hump.
The Mailed Fist bloodline is the warrior clan of the Minotaur. Unlike the Thunderbrow these great Minotaur were rewarded their freedom from Vagma, he was impressed with their combat ability and lead them to major victories over the Elves and Dwarves. Once given their freedom the Mailed Fist acted as a giant mercenary army, though they did well they never managed to scale the heights that had achieved under the watchful gaze of Vagma. Slowly the group disbanded, many went on to become pit fighters or gladiators, thriving on battle. Others took to joining the military wings of other cities and races. Should Vagma ever return there is little doubt in most scholars minds that he would once again find a huge army of Mailed Fist descendants ready to heft an axe and sunder enemies armour for the dark ones cause.