The Shattered Lands
Minotaurs believe in the superiority of their race above all others. They believe their destiny is to rule the world. From youth, minotaurs are trained in combat and warfare and instilled with a strict code of honor. The militaristic society of minotaurs gives them a rigid view of the world, clearly delineated in black and white. Minotaurs value strength, cunning, and intelligence. The ultimate test of all three virtues is conducted in the Great Circus, an annual contest held in a gladitorial arena.
Minotaurs are physically imposing, standing between 6 1/2 and 7 1/2 feet in height and weighting between 300 and 450 pounds. A minotaur’s upper body is humanoid, with broad shoulders, a deep chest, and strong arms ending in fully articulate hands. For the most part, the legs are also humanlke,although their feet end in cloven hooves. Their powerful bodies are covered with short, thick fur, ranging in hue from red to brown, with rare cases of black, tan, or white -furred individuals. Minotaur heads are clearly bovine in nature. They have large, deep-set eyes in shades of dark-brown and black. Minotaurs have short, yellow-white horns that grow from their temples, 6 to 12 inches long for females, and anywhere from 1 to 2 feet long for males. Minotaur manes are a shade or two darker than their fur.
To non-minotaurs, the physical differences between males and females may not be immediately appearant, since both genders are equally powerfully built and there is no role distinction between the sexes. Minotaur dress tends to be austere and simple, nothing more than a harness and a leather skirt, although those of noble rank may wear loose-fitting robes. The harness carries weapons as well as providing a place for the minotaur to hang trophies. Minotaurs are considered adults around the age of 17, and can live to be over 150 years old.
To the minotaurs, all the other races of the world are weak and inferior. They view dwarves and centaurs with a modicum of respect, due to theur rugged, uncompromising natures. Elves and gnomes, on the other hand, are considered weak, frail creatures without any honor or courage. Kender are a nnuisance, no better than rats or an infestation of roaches. Of all the races, humans have earned the most respect from the minotaurs, for their military and naval skills are second only to the minotaur’s own.
Minotaurs are lawful, raised to believe in a strict code of honor. They are loyal to the death to family and friends and implacable adversaries to their enemies. Minotaurs tend toward evil, due to their worship of Sargas.
The minotaur homeland is actually a series of islands in the Great Sea. Their exact location is not widely known outside the minotaur race, any and all visitors not invited are summarily put to death. And those that are invited and return are sworn to secrecy. The only verified minotaur Island is Sumarr, named for the clan that resides there, handling trade with other races.
The chief diety of the minotaurs is Sargas, the Great Horned One. Humans term this god Sargonnas, but the minotairs do not agree that the two are even the same deity and are willing to back their belief with their fists. A few minotaurs also honorKiri-Jolith, the bison-headed god of just causes, though worship of Kiri-Jolith is rarer and less organized. Minotaurs who worship Kiri-Jolith or other gods are extremely rare, and keep their religion secret, for the priests of Sargas are fanatical and brutal in stomping out heresy.
Kothian is the minotaur language, though minotaurs also speak Common fluently. A clipped, abrupt language, Kothian is much like the minotaurs themselves – controlled, precise and harsh.
Clan names originate with a great hero. His or her descendants take on the name as their own, doing their best to live up to the ideals of their ancestor. Clan names are always preceeded by the diminutive “es-” ( if they are from the mythical Isle of Mithas) o “de-” (if the minotaur is from any of the outlying colonies), meaning “of” (thus Kirig de-Sumarr is Kirig of Clan Sumarr). Those with the “es-” diminutive often consider themselves superior to those with the “de-”, since they see themselves closer to the throne.
Athak, Bregan, Entragath, Kaziganthi, Lagrangli, Mascun, Orlig, Sumarr, Teskos, and Zhakan are the only recognized clans.
Minotaurs are born sailors and venture out into the world in trading or pirate ships, for although they despise other races, minotaurs are not adverse to taking their goods and money.