Among the Golla Banne there is a story of a lost pact. Golla Banne who made a pact with the Barrage Toryou(great wild cattle). So long ago even the spirits do not remember this pact went south. Upon hearing of the strange rituals and rites of the Minotaur, wise old Golla Banne know this to be the lost pact. The Minotaur have fallen away from the old traditions. Turning the pact into something vulgar. The Golla Banne can only shake their heads at these people. they have lost the truth of the world. They have become tainted by the touch of false gods and the facade of civility.
Humans tell the tale of the great bulls of the south and men with the blood of bulls in their veins. the First Men fought a great war with these men. They were not human,they worshiped strange gods and sacrificed the children of their enemies to their chief god Astellod(Red Star). They tell of tortures in heated metal bulls, and of eating the dead. In these stories the Humans always defeat this wicked empire and bring the light of true civilization to these southern barbarians.
The Empire of Iracillam was not the first time the known world was ruled by a singular race. In the first age, while the Duara, the Risjar, and the gods played their games, an great kingdom arose in the south lands. Upon the great southern steppe, in the valley where rivers meet, the Mnemior(memory) carved out an empire that would stand for a thousand years. To this day, their monuments and architecture still stand. Ruined and broken, but massive and unforgettable. Now all that remains are a few scattered city states. It is the dawning of the third age. The Mnemior cling to their customs and beliefs, for they know the great kingdom of Gi Ma(Our Land) will one day rise again.
All hail Astellod, may his wisdom shine upon us. Now is the time for the story of the choosing of the Mnemior. Listen well, for there is a lesson to be learned. Strength is not all, planning and cooperation can make a boon out of a bane.
At the dawning of the first age, the Theotoi(first gods) gathered together and began to discuss which god should get which domains upon the world. Cthonia(plenty) was the strongest of the gods and so he chose first, he was the lord of rain and the plants that grew from the ground. Ydat(water) was the younger brother of Cthonia and so chose next, all the rivers and oceans were his domain. Zopoat(animals) was the sister wife of Cthonia and chose to care for the beasts of the land. Down the line of gods it went, until it came time for the least of them to choose his domain. Astellod was the red star in the south; the star that never varies or changes position. He chose the domain of a single creature, the Toryou. A wild and mad beast, Zopoat did not even argue for keeping it.
Astellod was not satisfied with his lot and so hatched a plan. He want to the people who would become the Mnemior and offered them the Toryou if they would become his people. They agreed and became the first people in the known world to domesticate an animal. Soon others followed, each one diminishing the power of Zopoat. To feed their beasts they domesticated the grains and the vegetables of the land. Cthonia lost much power and grew angry with the Mnemior. He gathered his gods together called for a great cataclysm to destroy these people. Only Astellod spoke to Cthonia first. He said that the plants still needed the waters, and the beasts needed protection from predators. These Mnemior would give sacrifices and offerings to the gods to protect themselves. This is the origin of Mnemior and their many blessings.
The Mnemior that most people meet are not the those living in their own kingdoms or lands far to the south. What most people know of the Mnemior are from the few bloodlines that live among the Humans, Elves, or Dwarves. When Gi Ma fell the Mnemior were spread across the land. When Iracillam rose up, the humans made sure to keep the Minotaur spread thin. They were never allowed to grow in strength. Now that the empire has fallen, many are picking up the old ways again.
Mnemior cities tend to be constructed around a few great monuments dedicated to their gods. They keep their houses low to the ground so that all approaching their city will see the greatness of their monuments and know wonder at the gods of the Mnemior. Agriculture and Animal Husbandry is very important, every house has a garden on the flat roof as well as a garden in the center courtyard. The stables and barns of the city are often the most highly decorated secular buildings in the city. Often the Mnemior will trade with the G'no Ma Duara for strange new breeds of animal or plant. Even those who live among the other races will have as large a garden as they can manage and will have many animals to aid them in their daily work. Cows are sacred animals and to kill a cow is seen as a great offense.
Things that are always true about your Minotaur aspect:
- Minotaur have a perfect memory. If they have seen or heard it, they will remember it.
- Astellod is unchanging in the southern night sky. Sailors have long used the red star as a navigation point. As his true servants, Minotaur always know true south no matter where they are.
- All domestic animals treat the Minotaur as friendly unless the Minotaur becomes aggressive.
- Minotaur society is complex and encourages lateral thinking. Invoke when you are trying to solve a problem in a non-direct manner.
- The minotaur understand plants and domestic animals better than any other race. Invoke when dealing with plants or domestic animals.
- Minotaur society is based around cooperation and persuasion. Invoke when you are trying to convince someone of something for the greater good.
- There is some truth to the old stories of sacrifices and eating the dead. A Minotaur can become convinced of the greater good so much that they would do nearly anything to serve the needs of the whole. Compel when sacrificing yourself or someone else would serve the greater good for the mission at hand or for all Minotaur everywhere.
- Minotaur hate wastefulness. This can come across as callous and unfeeling. Invoke when your practicality would cause problems for yourself in the scene.
- Minotaur love to scheme and play at social dominance games. They will spend months playing social games to get what they want. Often when it would be far easier to just ask for what they want. Compel when your indirect actions would cause more trouble than they are worth.
Bull Dancer: you have mastered the complicated a dangerous Bull dance. At the festival of harvest you have stepped into the arena while your friends goaded a a great bull to attack you. A true bull dancer will never be touched by the beast. You are one such being. Add +2 to your defense when dodging a creature larger than you.
Lavyris: Your mind is a maze. Normal Minotaur society is a maze of compromises, deals, and hidden agendas. You have studied the maze, you know it like you know yourself. You have become Lavyris, maze-minded. You gain a +2 to all charisma actions involving manipulation and subterfuge.
The Rush: Minotaur have a weapon that other races do not. They have the Keprat(horns). Most never choose to use this ancient weapon, as their are so many newer and more forgiving weapons. For those who practice it, its unpredictability in battle makes it worth the time. Few can defend against a master of the Rush. When using Keprat, on a successful attack when you have traveled at least one zone, you do an additional three stress. However if you fail to hit with them, you take stress equal to the amount the defense roll beat your attack roll.
And there is my take on Minotaurs. I will admit I was not sure if I could make them interesting when I started out this post, but as I started researching, a lot of really interesting ideas started to come together. I hope you like them as much as I liked writing them up. As always I would love to hear what you think about my work. Any comments, critiques, or thoughts would be welcome. This is the last of my playable races posts. the next post in the series will be the Magic items post, followed by my monster manual. So stay tuned!