Minotaurs

Minotaurs embody the tension between civilization and savagery, discipline and madness, for they stand in two worlds. Tugged toward violence but bound by conscience, numerous minotaurs are driven to rise above their dark impulses. Such a minotaur seeks the balance between the monstrous and the refined. Many of them have become corrupted by the demon lord Baphomet and have given into their bestial instincts. Minotaurs must struggle to become more than the beasts they resemble or else succumb to the demonic brutality they despise.

—from the Player’s Handbook 3

According to legend, Baphomet set out to subvert the minotaurs because of their strength, passion, and deeply instinctual nature. As the demon lord of madness and savagery, Baphomet wished to bend the minotaurs to his will and use them to fuel his power. He sent demonic agents among the minotaurs promising them strength and power, and with the help of the minotaurs he attracted to his cult, Baphomet performed a ritual to summon the demigoddess Arassadi, the First Minotaur. The demon-lord bound the Mother of all Minotaurs to physical form, attacked, and consumed her. As he absorbed Arassadi’s essence, Baphomet forged a link to all minotaurs and became the Horned King. To this day, all minotaurs struggle with the effects of Baphomet’s curse, which seeks to twist their thoughts and corrupt their natural instincts. Many minotaurs have succumbed to the curse and become bloodthirsty thralls to the Horned King, worshiping the demon lord as a god. While the minotaurs who have retained their sanity differ over the best way to preserve their identities, they are unified by their hatred and grief for their fallen kin.

The Stonehoof minotaurs live in semi-nomadic tribes that seek to make peace with their animalistic side by communing with nature. The Stonehoof minotaurs tribes migrate seasonally, alternating between growing crops and foraging for food. They are almost exclusively vegetarian, eating meat only as part of a few ritual hunts. Instead they rely on their ability to digest tough plant matter through most of the winter by eating bark in addition to nuts and dried fruits they harvested. Stonehoof minotaurs also commune with the primal spirits by traveling alone in the wilderness for several days every few months and by taking eating certain plants and mushrooms that heighten their spiritual awareness. Stonehoof minotaurs are renowned wilderness guides matched only by elves in their ability to survive and navigate in the wild.

Wayfinder minotaurs follow a philosophy called the Way of the Labyrinth, which is dedicated to mastering oneself through a combination of introspection and discipline. The labyrinth is used as a symbol for both the process of self exploration and structure advocated by the philosophy. Wayfinders meditate daily on the winding path of their spiritual journey and the process of navigating their own fears, self doubts, and dark impulses. Each Wayfinder clan has their own labyrinth pattern (similar to Celtic knots) that they were on their clothing to identify themselves. Furthermore, Wayfinders pursue structure and discipline by dedicating themselves to the mastery of mastering one or more crafts, martial styles, or mystic arts. As a result, Wayfinder clans are particularly renowned for their martial and psionic skill, and people from all over travel to secluded Wayfinder clanholds and mountaintop monasteries to learn to refine their martial and/or psionic abilities under the tutelage of minotaur senseis.

Minotaur Backgrounds

Reformed Savage: You were raised within a minotaur tribe that had allowed itself to be corrupted by the demon lord Baphomet. You abandoned your tribe and the Horned King in your youth, and now you struggle to suppress the demonic corruption that stains your soul.

Associated Skills: Endurance and Intimidate

Stonehoof Minotaur: You have a deep personal connection with the plants, creatures, and spirits of the wild. You are at home in the wilderness and know how to spot its signs.

Associated Skills: Nature and Perception

Wayfinder Contemplative: You have dedicated yourself to introspection and spiritual exploration as a means of keeping your dark impulses at bay.

Associated Skills: Insight and Religion

Wayfinder Warrior: You have combine introspection and with rigorous physical discipline to keep your dark impulses at bay.

Associated Skills: Athletics and Insight

The People of Korla

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Minotaurs

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