At the Height of ancient Valislad, mages of the realm and guild mages both used Minotaurs as slaves and test subjects. For 800 years the Minotaur population was the subjects of intense magical manipulations. After the Sundering, the Minotaurs fled their captors and sought refuge in the northern mountains. Two communities were formed as the minotaurs began to form their own cultures again. Most minotaurs settled in what they called the Citadel of the Sun, an ancient fortress city that had been abandoned for nearly three millennia. Some went further north and settled into a cavern complex once inhabited by Druegar that they called Starfall. Divergent cultures formed and the toll of years of magical manipulations warped these once simple creatures. Contrary to popular belief, Minotaur females do exist. The females of the species look remarkably like the males and unless someone takes a good look at the genitals, few people would ever notice a difference. Minotaurs tend to be monogamous creatures and when they mate, it is for life. The gestation period for a minotaur is only 5 months with the child reaching "adulthood" in 12 years. The lifespan of the minotaurs has been magically expanded and some have been known to live in excess of 600 years.
Due to the ravages that their race experienced, Minotaurs have a deep distrust of magic. Their innate immunity to certain spells and abilities has been lost. Wizards and Sorcerers are considered enemies and most minotaurs have a distrust of Bards and Clerics also. Recently, the minotaurs of Starfall have begun to worship a new god and clerics are becoming more popular in the deep earth.
The Forsaken: One out of every 100 children are born "tainted" with the magic that has changed the minotaur society. These minotaurs are changed and are marked from birth as being different. These children are always born with black fur and either yellow or orange eyes. They are gifted with sorcerer abilities from birth and are able to cast two zero level sorcerer spells three times per day. These children are shunned by society but are not banished until they actually embrace their arcane powers. Many of the children try to "fit in" and learn the way of the warrior. This is seldom successful as the lure of their innate power inevitably lures them down arcane paths. Minotaurs who become arcane spellcasters are always banished from society. These "rogue" minotaurs can often be found either leading barbaric humanoid groups or serving as the arcane might in bands of marauders. The most famous Forsaken ever was Iliako Bonecast. She was banished from the Citadel of the Sun over 500 years ago and now rules over a small town of humanoids as their "lord." Instead of the normal ability modifiers, Forsaken get +4 racial bonus to Strength and a +2 racial bonus to Constitution.
All Minotaurs have the following racial traits:
- Large size: As Large creatures, Minotaurs suffer a -1 to their AC and -1 Attack Penalty.
- +4 Str, +4 Con, -2 Cha (Forsaken: +4 Str, +2 Con)
- Skill Bonus: Minotaurs gain a +6 to Intimidate and +8 to Perception
- Thick Hide: Minotaurs gain a +4 Natural Armor bonus due to their thick hide.
- Scent: Minotaurs have an almost supernatural scent ability. They can track prey by scent whenever applicable and gain a +10 bonus to perception checks when scent could be a factor. Minotaurs also suffer a -4 penalty to any save due to smells.
- Supernatural Toughness: All minotaur characters get an extra +2d8 hit points at 1st level.
- Natural Attacks: The Horns on a Minotaur's head are good for something other than helmet reshaping. A Minotaur can execute a Gore attack against any opponent within 10 feet. The Minotaur character simply lowers his head and skewers the enemy doing 1d8 (plus one half the strength modifier) piercing damage. A Minotaur can also execute a charge maneuver and do 4x the gore damage.
- Base Speed: Minotaurs have a base speed of 30 feet.
- Sprinter: Minotaurs gain a +10 foot racial bonus to their speed when using the charge, run, or withdraw actions.
- Languages: Minotaur begin play speaking Common and Giant. Minotaurs with high Intelligence scores can choose Aklo, Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Gnomish, Orc, or Sylvan.
Citadel of the Sun
The identity of the original creators of this fortress city is a mystery lost in the past. Minotaurs now walk the maze like streets, content to be sequestered away from other humanoids. The city is divided into two main sections. The outer section of the city is built like a great wheel, large streets spiraling out from the inner city to empty into an open area in front of the cities 15 foot reinforced walls. Guard towers ring the outer walls of the city and only four gates, conveniently located at the compass points. Minotaur craftsmen work diligently and traders come from all over to buy rare crafts and sell raw material.
Starfall was named for the circumstances of it's discovery. When the Minotaur people first fled the Valislad empire, the scouts that sought a safe passage through the mountains witnessed a falling star strike the base of one of the mountains. Following the path of the fallen star, the minotaur scouts found the point of impact. Where the star had struck the mountain, stone and earth had been blasted away to reveal an ancient doorway. After forcing the stone portal, the minotaurs found a vast underground city long disserted by its original inhabitants. The wandering minotaurs took possession of the complex and began mining the iron ore from the surrounding corridors.