The Minotaurs of Verdant
Once refugees from another continent far across the sea, the last eleven generations of minotaurs have been born in Verdant. Broad shouldered and powerful, these people find satisfaction in the tilling of the earth and watching their hard work come to fruition. They prefer a rural life but have adapted quite well to the comforts of being so close to Verdant proper. A family oriented species, one bull will often have three or four cows and many children, which help manage the large farms they oversee. Slow to anger, Minotaurs can none the less be stubborn and unflinching against obstacles. Quiet by nature, they care deeply for their families and will do anything to protect them.
Rulers & Government
Given that the Minotaur people live under Verdant’s governance, they are under the rule of it’s sovereign Queen and her laws. However, the Minotaur people brought much of their culture with them from their homeland. Despite the centuries that have passed since their landing, they maintain a strong cultural tradition. As such, a Council of Elders holds their traditions in place within their adherence to the laws of the land. Verdant is by and large permissive of the bovine traditions, as it was the refugees they welcomed that knew how to stabilize the unique dual growing seasons and allowed their nation to prosper in the desert. Given their long-standing devotion to the land and it’s production, the House of Agriculture has been held by a Minotaur representative for at least the last three hundred years. The House of Trade works closely in tandem with the House of Agriculture.
Allies & Enemies
While the enemies of Verdant are shared by the Minotaurs as a threat to their survival, there is very little they have personally against other races. They maintain a close, respectful relationship with the humans of Verdant, especially since it is their expertise which keeps the city well fed. This friendship has developed over time, allowing for Minotaurs to be one of the few other races who fully participate in Verdant society. They seem to get along well with the often shrewd Gabelins. It may be due to their patient, calm nature which conveys a kind of sincerity the nomadic race understands. Or it may be that the Gabelins know it is in their best interests to be nice to the people who control the crops. They seem curious about the Orcs, despite some misgivings. More than anything they seem eager to learn about the flora that thrives beyond the Greenback Mountains. The Vadels interest them, given that they seem willing to entertain any other race with the shared trait of cranial points. While they do not seem to share the outright antagonism must have for the Yenya, they are wary of them for good reason.
Religion & Belief
While the Minotaurs have no ‘gods’ or deities, they hold their ancestral dead in great veneration. The recently deceased, or those who have passed and still have family around to remember them, are considered patrons of their family and descendants. It is thought that passing on to the next world imbues the dead with certain powers over things that happen in this world. Everything from a good harvest to multiple children, familial prosperity and good health are attributed to the ancestors. They are given a place in the home where they are offered food and drink on a regular basis and spoke to as if they are still there. Many of the Minotaur families have their ancestor’s favorite treats and drinks memorized by heart as appeasing them results in good luck. Ancestors who are remembered by the people for their good deeds or leadership are considered to have special attributes and powers. They are thought to offer protection to their people as a whole and specifically the village that they were born to. Among the Minotaurs who reside in Verdant, they most revere the one who brought them from their homeland and claimed a place for them. His name was Vitovio, he was said to have a broken horn on which he wore a bronze prosthetic, and all minotaurs with horns where little bronze caps on them in his memory.
Horticulturalists & Politicians
Having remained in Verdant for multiple generations, much of social structure has been absorbed by the minotaurs. They can attempt the trials or join in the military in order to become Citizens. They hold jobs in the various markets and districts of the main city. They trade, work and apply for thralls much as anyone else does. Some of the concepts regarding gender have even taken root in their culture. However if one takes a closer look, they can see where much of their personal background has remained, creating a unique blend of the memories of their homeland with the rigid social structure of Verdant.
Part of what allowed the minotaur people to gain such a strong foothold within a new country was their advanced and adaptable knowledge of agriculture and hydroponics. As such, they were given almost exclusive control over the western areas of Verdant proper, where the fertile grasslands and seasonal flooding make for optimal farming conditions. They have adapted quickly to the two planting seasons in Verdant, putting in place various methods for utilizing both the flooding and growing seasons to the advantage of their adopted people. Because of this, the House of Agriculture is nearly always dominated by a Minotaur head, giving them stability and high standing in Verdant’s political motions.
A majority of the cities thralls are placed under their control, as maintaining a stable harvest each year is vital to the city. It is far from the worst one could expect, as it seems to be in the nature of the minotaur people to treat anyone under their watch as a member of their ‘herd’. They are reliable defenders of their property and those under their charge, as few enemies are they bandit or wild beast wants to tangle with an enraged bull.
Alongside their agricultural endeavors, they are well known for their interest in ‘crafts’. Their houses are adorned with beautiful weaving and intricate patterns which are displayed on everything from their walls to their carpeting, their clothing, and their jewelry.
Family & Marriage
While the minotaur’s adhere to Verdant’s law regarding marriage, they keep their own traditions when it comes to extended relationships. A household is maintained as one bull and one cow in accordance with the laws regarding marriage, property, and children. However, it should be noted that one bull may, in fact, have several cows, all of whom are culturally considered to be their spouse. It is likely that Verdant is fully aware of what they are doing but simply chooses not to delve too deeply considering the status of the minotaurs.
Considering Verdant’s laws regarding property and ownership, it may be surprising to discover that while the bull is considered the head of the family and household, it is the cow who owns the house, the land, and the business. Young cows are encouraged to try for Citizenship as soon as possible, as it will provide them with a proper standing within Verdant and make them a more likely prospect in marriage.
Marriages are encouraged by the families, but not arranged in the technical sense. Cows and bulls are encouraged to be flirtatious and to seek out stable relationships. While it is of no great note if two cows are interested in the same bull, every year there is a sporting event held where bulls fight one another to win the right to court a specific cow that has garnered their affection. It is generally a friendly competition, though grudges are not unknown. And all that is won is the right to speak to the cow unimpeded by another bull’s interference.
Given the large amount of work to be done in the farmland areas, cows will usually trade calf sitting duties with one another. This is made easier considering the multiple cows in a single family unit. Older children are already working, as there is always something that needs to be done in a rural home.