The bull-folk exhibit many of the same characteristics as the bulls they resemble. Both genders have horned heads covered with shaggy hair. Warriors braid their hair with teeth or other tokens of fallen enemies. The thick hair covering their large bodies varies widely in color, from bright white to medium red-browns to dark brown and black. Many Minotaurs shave or dye their fur in patterns signifying their allegiances and beliefs. Other methods of decoration include brands, ritual scars, and gilding or carving their horns.
Adult males can reach a height of 6 1/2 to 7 feet, with females averaging 3 inches shorter. Both genders have a great deal of muscle mass even for their considerable size, and physical prowess plays a large part in their social structure. Minotaurs can live as long as humans but reach adulthood three years earlier. Childhood ends around the age of 10 and adulthood is celebrated at 15. However, most minotaurs don’t form their own families until at least the age of 25. They spend those 10 years proving themselves to their elders.
As omnivores, minotaurs consume enormous quantities of both meat and vegetation. Great banquets mark important social and religious occasions, and a successful feast is often a point of regional pride; competition between regional cuisines is fierce, sometimes violent, and eagerly anticipated. Minotaurs are particularly mindful of meals before great ceremonies or displays of skill, and the hosts of such events can earn nearly as much honor as the champions by providing memorable feasts. To fail as a host brings deep shame.
Minotaur HornsThe most valued accessories of any minotaur are his or her horns. Grown by both sexes, horns display an individual’s status and strength, and they provide a ready weapon in battle. Those who lose part or all of a horn suﬀer considerable stigma and must constantly demonstrate their worth; the term “brokehorn” is a fighting insult. Some temples will magically regrow a damaged horn for a minotaur who completes a quest or series of trials, though a few famous warriors have gone through life “broken” as a mark of pride and resilience. Those minotaurs who choose to keep a reminder of their failing are the most driven among them.
Many minotaurs chronicle their victories with carvings or etchings on their horns. Warriors display representations of defeated foes, and artisans mark theirs with accolades their work has won. For instance, the killer of a cyclops might have a square rune with an eye in the middle, and the maker of the killer’s weapon might have an axe rune with a crown above it. Others earn markings from the great mazes they have solved.
All minotaurs who honor their heritage take great care of their horns, polishing and shining them. Some even gild their horns with precious metals to draw atention to their achievements.