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Minotaurs

The minotaur are a people divided, both by geography and politics. Once united under the Charcan empire, a series of succession wars saw the minotaur splinter into chiefdoms, which over time consolidated into three; one for each rainforest. These chiefdoms are non-hereditary, with the position of chief being granted to those able to claim it from the previous holder. As a result, chieftains who manage to hold on to power are universally respected in minotaur society as forces to be reckoned with. Nevertheless, they have preserved a shared culture valuing strength and persistence above all else, along with a tendency towards wanton aggression. The origins of the minotaur have been lost along with their empire, though some speculate that they were created by Pachal the God-eater, the god of strength in their pantheon. They consider the orcs and satyr to be the failed first and second creations of Pachal respectively, and thus, distant, if degenerate, cousins. What makes the minotaur superior is what was gifted from Pachal: the Ixtli.   Minotaur culture revolves around the Ixtli: challenges or feats of strength that demonstrate a minotaur’s standing in society. Ixtli challenges are either: Acts of Might, or Acts of Deed. Acts of Might are generally duels against other challengers, or fights against beasts and monsters; Acts of Deed include summiting a mountain, or moving a boulder. Some Acts have become almost institutionalised due to their popularity, with many minotaur attempting these challenges yearly - some perish in the attempt. No minotaur can be considered an adult without completing an Ixtli, an important distinction. Adults who fail an Ixtli are bound in servitude for a period of time determined by the community, or to a victorious challenger for a year; children cannot be bound in servitude. As a result, the strongest minotaur will often be accompanied by retinues of bondsmen; if sufficiently impressed, these bondsmen may even choose to enter the service of their master once their servitude is completed. Some famous chieftains have even managed to overwhelm small tribes with the sheer size of their retinue.   The Eastern Chiefdom is ruled by Apumayla the Crone, an ancient woman said to have the power of foresight, which she used to great extent in her youth to consolidate the tribes of the Eastern Morang under her banner. Ruling through great guile and enjoying the confidence of her people, though aged, she has made the most of the rainforests’ advantages, doing what no other tribe was willing to do, even after the centuries of living there - adapt.   The Central Chiefdom is ruled by Viracoch the Sun-singer, a cunning leader and mighty warrior who earned his nickname by completing a challenge set in during the days of the Charcan empire that none had yet been able to complete: climbing the Jayamara Peak, the highest point on South Guayal. It is said that his victory chant that day was so loud that it caused an avalanche in the ravines below. Held together more through personal magnetism and force of will than any loyalty, the Central Chiefdom has begun striking out against the tieflings of the valley once more.   The Western Chiefdom is ruled by Hausan Cracked-horn, a minotaur so antithetical to traditional minotaur values that his chieftainship is questioned daily by those unable to accept him. Scrawny and unkempt, Hausan represents the waning tradition of minotaur mages, most of whom died out along with the empire. Yet, despite the best attempts of the shaman and warriors of the Western Morang, Hausan has managed to best them in every challenge thrown at him, and thus cement his rule.   Minotaurs speak Tauran, a Demihuman language.

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