Anatomy & Morphology
Minotaurs are one of the titans of Lathai, standing up to nine feet in height. They are mostly covered with dark hair, have two massive horns, long ears, a protruding snout, just four fingers ending in long hoof-like nails, muscular legs, a thin tail, and two hooved feet. The bones in their limbs are much thicker than their human counterparts, giving them a solid foundation on which to stand.
Male Minotaurs tend to have larger, more outward and forward horns, and an almost mane-like growth of hair around the back of the neck. The horns of the females tend to be more upward facing and altogether smaller than the males'. They have less of a mane and more of a stripe of slightly longer hair down the back of the spine, ending at around the shoulder blade.
Genetics and Reproduction
Minotaurs live in a group of up to thirty individuals, and a tribal leader who retains rights to "have offspring" as they put it. Subordinate males serve as soldiers and hunters, but can challenge the tribal leader at any time. In time shortly after the leadership position is usurped, new leaders may very young calves may be killed in order to secure their right to offspring.
Ecology and Habitats
The rocky scrubs of The Fidean Empire are where the Minotaur originally hails from, however they have migrated north to more wetland areas.
Dietary Needs and Habits
While Minotaurs eat some meat, the majority of their diet is made of fibrous vegetables, such as shrub branches and that of trees. They will often cook rougher foliage in a broth of bones to soften them and make them more palatable.
There is little seasonality in the Minotaur's natural habitat, only the coming and going of the rain. As such, there is little seasonal difference in the Minotaur's physique, only behavioral when Minotaur tribes collect and store additional water.
Minotaurs have retained their tribal social order since they were first discovered in the scrubs of Sasana. The tribe has a hierarchy of a lead bull, subordinate bulls, and cows. The tribal leader retains "Right of Offspring", in other words, all calves born to the tribe will be his (excluding, of course, infidelity which does happen more often than a Minotaur would like to admin). He doesn't take a leading role in raising the calves except sometimes in the case of him preparing an heir to take his place. Subordinate males do much of the hunting and defending the camp from wild animals and opposing tribes. Cows primarily serve a domestic role in the tribe: raising calves, cooking, and fetching water. Another more controversial aspect of tribal life is the idea of "Minotaur Retirement". Once Minotaurs become too old or sick to continue to be of use to the tribe, the elderly Minotaur will usually wander out of camp in search of a good death. This is generally in battle with a fearsome animal or another Minotaur or even Human.
Uses, Products & Exploitation
While this fact has long-since been hidden, a certain number of Minotaur tribes had been enslaved near Donora by necromantic tribes tribes that formerly inhabited the area. Descendants of these Minotaurs are still serving inhabitants of Sasana today. Because of the tribal nature of Minotaurs, however, this is of little concern to other Minotaur tribes.
The eyes of a Minotaur are usually all-pupil when seen from the front. A large horn protrudes from the skull on both sides, followed by a long, movable ear. The snout of a Minotaur protrudes forward much more than the face of a human would, ending in a wet, furless nose.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Southern and mid- Sasana, mostly in rocky, cliffy regions and lesser so in the mildly swampy parts of the nation.
Minotaurs tend to be slightly less intelligent than the average human, focusing less on education and more on tribal conflicts. This isn't to say they have no culture or technology, as they farm, keep livestock, have tribal ceremonies, inter-tribal etiquette, and ceremonies and holidays to observe.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Minotaurs surprisingly, have better eyesight than humans, relying most on their eyesight and somewhat on their sense of hearing.
Civilization and Culture
Name examples can be found here.
Size is the most important factor of what makes a good mate. The larger a bull or cow, the more attractive they are to the opposite sex. Other traits that are attractive are long manes, shining or polished hooves and nails, well-maintained horns, and good teeth. Females are generally more attracted to males who have hunting and fighting techniques.
As mates aren't generally freely chosen, there are not many courtship traditions. The tribal leader will often present a cow with a white flower or bone, depending on what is available. She can accept or refuse, though it is generally expected that she will accept. Intertribal courtship happens periodically (particularly common soon after a new tribal leader takes control) to prevent inbreeding. In this case, a tribal leader will send a subordinate male to bring flowers to the females he is interested in, and bring any females he's willing to see leave the tribe. Sometimes, a tribal leader will even sometimes send subordinate bulls to increase the deal. The cows will speak with the tribal leader and a trade will be arranged on behalf of the tribal leader initiating the trade by the subordinate male he chooses to send.
Common Customs, Traditions and Rituals
In order to become an adult, both Minotaur cows and bulls make a shield. This is generally quite big, nearly the size of a door. This shield is symbolic to each Minotaur and is maintained throughout its life. Pieces are added, carvings are drawn to symbolize important events in the Minotaur's life. If their shield breaks in battle, it is considered a great dishonor.
Long-told are the stories of the Minotaur's bravery, strength, and tenacity. Minotaurs are said to have clashed with the necromantic tribes of Donora. It is said that being hit by one of their shields is like being trampled by a speeding wagon. Little has changed for Minotaur tribes despite the evolving technology around them.
Each tribe has its own major leaders, and there are no universally-recognized historical figures.
Interspecies Relations and Assumptions
Minotaurs rarely trade with their Human neighbors, but aren't openly antagonistic as long as their tribal lands are left in peace. As their traditional homeland has no real use for farming to Humans, this isn't generally a point of contention.
- 55 years
- Conservation Status
- Minotaur tribes are increasingly rare and in smaller numbers. Some estimates are as low as 500,000 in total, but it could be upwards of 900,000 scattered across the scrublands and marshes of the Fidean Empire
- Average Height
- 7-9 ft
- Average Weight
- 350 lbs
- Average Physique
- Minotaurs tend to be quite muscular, but can have a healthy layer of fat around the midsection. This isn't to suggest they are out of shape, as even a Minotaur with a large deposit of fat is still usually quite strong.
- Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
- Minotaurs tend to be darker in color, ranging from brown to black, which was likely due to the amount of sun this region of Lathai can get.
Relationships with HumansFor the most part, Minotaur tribes are content to remain separate from their Human neighbors. However, when conflicts happen, they can quickly turn bloody. When disturbed, Minotaurs will aggressively defend their tribe and their tribal homeland. Once conflict has begun between Minotaurs and their neighbors, it also tends to linger. While there are cases of Minotaur tribes and Humans having a mutualistic relationship, this is fairly rare.
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