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 Bloodsea Minotaurs

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DM Evenstar
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Join date : 2010-01-23

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Character Name: Johan Jorumus
Race: Human
Class: Fighter

PostSubject: Bloodsea Minotaurs   Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:50 pm

Minotaurs are a race of bull-men hailing from the twin islands of Mithas and Kothas in the Blood Sea. They are the chosen of Sargas, the minotaur god of wrath and vengeance, whose form they emulate. Minotaurs are descended from the ancient ogres, as is evident in their strength, though unlike their cousins, they are not only strong in arm but also intelligent and cunning

Minotaurs believe in a brutal code centered on the idea of strength as the instrument of glory and respect. It is through strength that a minotaur will rise through society to serve in the legions, strength by which a minotaur may lead his clan, strength by which a minotaur may captain a vessel, and
strength by which an emperor may rule an empire.

A Brief History

The origins of the minotaur race are shrouded in controversy and myths dating back to the fall of high ogre civilization and tales of the Graygem. According to minotaur legend, the god Sargas took the form of a giant
condor, gathering those ogres he found worthy and flying them to a land on the eastern edge of Ansalon. He placed upon each his sign, transforming them into minotaurs. His greatest gift would be their horns, so they are never
without a means to defend themselves.

Actually, the earliest minotaurs were from the continent of Taladas, on the opposite side of the world from Krynn. Ogres of that continent were transformed by the Graygem, and fled opposition from unchanged
ogres. The exodus of minotaurs took place on makeshift sailing vessels, carried across the waves by the determined minotaur refugees and propelled by prayers to Zeboim the Maelstrom.

The minotaur’s first settlement on Ansalon was known as Mithandrus, the Land of the Bull. The minotaurs dreamed of the glory days of the ancient high ogre empire, but they made the mistake of landing near the dwarven
realm of Kal-Thax. Mithandrus was razed and thousands of minotaurs became slaves, working in mines under harsh dwarven rule. After two thousand years, the slaves finally revolted under the leadership of Ambeoutin and
Belim, who saw to the slaughter of the dwarves and the destruction of Kal-Thax.

With Belim’s death, Ambeoutin led the minotaurs back to their homeland, which was named in his honor. Sargas gave Ambeoutin a vision, establishing the minotaur tenets of honor and strength. He also introduced the first of the
armed tournaments, decreeing all major decisions be adjudicated through formalized duels. The first arena was built.

Upon Ambeoutin’s death sixty years later, his twin sons fought in the arena for leadership of the minotaurs. They were so evenly matched that both collapsed of exhaustion.

The brothers, fearing civil war, split the kingdom in two, with Kothas ruling the southern half and Mithas the northern. Ten years later, Kothas fell. As Mithas tried to stabilize the nation, his actions were misinterpreted as an
invasion. The ogres, under the leadership of a great Khan, took advantage of the situation, and the minotaurs became slaves once again.

After overthrowing their ogre masters at the end of the Second Dragon War in 2645 PC, the minotaurs rebuilt the twin kingdoms. The minotaur leaders agreed, in the interest of security, the minotaurs should have one absolute leader. The Great Circus was created, with Bosigarni Es-Mithas, known also as Bos of the Blood, as the first champion. Bos set up the temple of Sargas and established the Supreme Circle.

After Bos’s death, the empire again fell to ruin, and the minotaurs found themselves as slaves once more, first to dwarves then ogres. Freedom came in 2485 PC, when a gladiator succeeded in slaying the Grand Khan. Makel Ogrebane led his people on a bloody crusade through their masters’ domain, nearly wiping out the ogres. As emperor, Makel made the city of Nethosak the permanent imperial seat. Makel ruled for forty years, uncharacteristically dying in his sleep.

Makel’s death ushered in the Age of Pretenders, so named for the brief reigns of the emperors. The archer Jarisi became emperor, defending her crown for fifteen years and expanding sea exploration. In 2335 PC, the minotaurs claimed their first island colony, naming it Jari-Nyos in her honor. Jarisi’s successors once more tested the resolve of a neighbor. The minotaurs attempted to conquer Silvanesti, but the emperor was strangled when a
vine wrapped around his throat.

Weakened by the loss of their leader, the minotaurs retreated. The ogres saw their opportunity and once again conquered and enslaved the minotaurs for another two hundred years.

At the same time Vinas Solamnus defeated Ergoth in 1791 PC, a minotaur named Tremoc appeared, crossing Ansalon four times to track down his mate’s killer. His dedication stirred the realm, so much so that when
Tremoc entered the Circus to challenge for the throne, his adversary conceded without combat.

Sargas blessed Tremoc, who build a new, greater Circus and strengthened the realm. Tremoc was killed by an unknown assassin, an elven dagger stuck in his chest. Minotaur legend says the skies thundered for three days afterwards, demanding vengeance.

The earthquake of 1772 PC is chronicled as the worst in minotaur history, splitting Nethosak in two. The arena caved in, killing thousands. Morthosak became a haven of disease and chaos as refugees filled it. Tremors
kept plaguing the realm, leaving it open once again for conquest, this time by the humans of Istar in 1543 PC.

General Hymdall invaded, but he was defeated by a small army commanded by the minotaur Mitos, who secured the release of the minotaurs already taken. Mitos became emperor, withdrawing the Imperium from the rest of
Ansalon.

The minotaurs became slave-soldiers to the Dark Queen’s forces during the Third Dragon War in 1060 PC. The Warlord Crynus made them the right arm of his legions. During this time, Kaziganthi de-Orilg slew his ogre captain and fled into Solamnic lands, where he was saved by the legendary knight Huma Dragonbane.

KazDragonslayer, as legend calls him, fought at Huma’s side and bore his body after his noble sacrifice against Takhisis. Many legends of Kaz’s life after the Third Dragon War emerged, including one where he fathered a subrace of minotaurs known as the Kazelati.

With the change to the Proclamation of Manifest Virtue in 94 PC, the minotaurs were once again led from their homeland in chains by the forces of the Kingpriest of Istar. The minotaurs rejoiced at the Cataclysm, as the
Blood Sea was born and the minotaur lands, now two islands, were forevermore separated from mainland Ansalon. The minotaurs would never be slaves again. Their new emperor, Toroth, looked to the east, claiming islands in unexplored regions of the Courrian.

Many years later, in the years of the War of the Lance,Emperor Garik Es-Karos was assassinated. The new leader,Chot, held power within the Supreme Circle, yet political rivals delayed his ascension to the throne. Chot used this time to solidify his claim to the throne by making an alliance with Ariakas and assigning the sons of his political rivals to fight in the harsh climate of Icewall under the command of the White Dragon Highlord Feal-Thas.


Physical Appearance

Minotaurs are physically imposing, standing between 6 1/2 and 7 1/2 feet in height and weighing anywhere from 300 to 450 pounds. A minotaur’s upper body is humanoid, with broad shoulders, a deep chest, and strong arms,
which end in fully articulate hands.

Their powerful bodies are covered with short, thick fur, ranging in hue from red to brown, with rare occurrences of black, tan, or whitefurred individuals. Minotaur heads are bovine in nature.

They have large, deep-set eyes in shades of dark brown and black. Minotaurs have yellow-white horns growing 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. A common misconception among the lesser races is that minotaurs have hooves, when in fact, their feet end in twin toes with hoof-like toenails.

Surprisingly, minotaurs pay close attention to their appearance. They tend to keep their horns polished and shiny. Many minotaurs wear earrings, and some also wear nose rings. They keep their fur as clean as their situation
allows. Most are not vain, but almost all minotaurs believe in looking their best.

To non-minotaurs, the physical differences between males and females may not be immediately apparent, since both sexes are 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 a minotaur to hang trophies.

Psychology

Minotaur society works on the precept that to be weak is to be wrong. Strength is the raw power of life, giving minotaurs the ability to triumph. While strength is often defined as physical power, it is an all-encompassing
concept including a strong mind and a courageous heart.

Some have the misconception of minotaurs as stupid brutes. However, minotaurs are very intelligent, which they use to surprise their enemies in combat. Their cunning minds make them excellent tacticians.
Honor gives structure to minotaur society, allowing them to resist chaos and enslavement. All minotaur law is centered on their code of honor. A minotaur’s word is his bond; once given, it is never broken. A minotaur is
expected to accept all responsibility for his actions and to face punishment for any misdeed. Those who show cowardice are treated no better than the lowest of vermin.

No minotaur may slay another minotaur; anyone who slays another without cause of honor will be executed on the spot. If a cause of honor exists, the two parties will settle it in the Great Circus. Whoever loses in the Games
is dishonored, while the victor’s name is cleared of any wrongdoing.
Minotaurs are fiercely loyal, especially to those to whom they owe a debt of honor.

The minotaur hero Kaz Dragonslayer once owed a debt of honor to Huma
Dragonbane, never leaving his side, though minotaur records claim it was Huma who swore an oath of honor to Kaz.

Minotaurs are taught to put clan and empire before themselves. Individual
desires come only after one has met his duty as a citizen of the empire
and a member of his clan.

Social Structure

A clan consists of several families who can trace their lineage back to
a single ancestor. The clan’s elder determines the course of the clan
and their position within the empire.

All minotaurs serve the empire. To do otherwise is treason. Clan
leaders and elders are considered nobility, though any minotaur can
reach this level of status through loyal, exemplary service. In the
past, if a minotaur could defeat the reigning emperor in combat in
the Great Circus, he or she would become emperor. This tradition was
abolished by Hotak de-Droka after he usurped the throne from Chot
Es-Kalin. He ordered the throne become hereditary in order to form a
line of succession and create stablity in the Empire’s rulership. When
Sargas returned to Krynn and saw what Hotak had accomplished, he
saw the wisdom in Hotak’s decision, even if he despised the former
emperor’s methods of bringing it about.

Sargas decreed that Faros Es-Kalin would rule with Hotak’s daughter and that the new line of imperial succession would begin with them.
The Games serve several functions in minotaur society. They
are a form of entertainment open to all; a minotaur can test his skill against other minotaurs or against fearsome beasts. Minotaurs who have grievances against one another settle them in blood duels in the Games; the winner
proclaimed the victor and in the right. A minotaur who is dishonored, such as through failure in his duty, can reclaim his honor through the Games, though this often leads to his death.

Even wedding ceremonies center on the Games. The Games are far more than combat; they are tests of skill and strategy. The minotaurs create a myriad of fighting surfaces and obstacles for the Games, including beds of
hot coals, shifting sand, swinging axes, shifting surfaces, and columns of poles with spikes underneath. Most cities and towns in the Empire have some version of the Games, though when most minotaurs think of the Games, they
think of the Games in the Great Circus of the capitol city of Nethosak.
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