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Origin of Minotaurs

by Giulio Caroletti

An Introduction to the Origin of Minotaurs

The history of Nimmur before the coming of the manscorpions presents an event that all enduks remember with shame: it is the death of their father and protector, the shedu Gildesh. The common belief is that an enduk called Minoides killed Gildesh in order to take its place on the throne, but, due to this, he was punished by the Immortals and lost his wings, and so did all his followers: they were exiled and were the ancestors of all minotaurs of Mystara.

However, this is only partly true: while the enduks of Nimmur were a happy people under Gildesh's rule, some of them had begun to show a genetic mutation: one every twenty child approximately was born without wings. The wingless enduks were not objects of hatred or intolerance, nor scorn: they were considered equal in rights to all other enduks. A thing that encouraged this behaviour by winged enduks was also the fact that never was the offspring of a Wingless (even of two Wingless) a Wingless, but they always bore a True Enduk. But as the centuries passed, their number constantly increased, until there was one Wingless for every four or five True Enduk.

Social tensions erupted soon when, all of a sudden, the Wingless begun to breed true. Wingless were always the offspring of Wingless. The leader of the Wingless was a powerful enduk named Minoides. He asked several times for auditions with Gildesh. He was intending to offer suggestions to save both species, finding some compromise, maybe dividing the country in two. However, although Gildesh did never know it, Gildesh's advisers and counsellors refused him access to the supra-natural enduk ruler. Mocking the wingless enduk, they played with his feelings, forcing him to wait forever in the halls of Gildesh's palace, and then telling him that the enduk's king hadn't time to waste for such an inferior being.

In the end, Minoides became furious, and he and his lieutenant Eritteus conceived a devious plot to kill Gildesh. It is not known how exactly they managed to murder the nearly-Immortal king, but in the end, their purpose was reached. But after the death of Gildesh, Ixion's wrath stroke hard against the Wingless and the Winged alike, against all those who had furthered Gildesh's death. Firstly, the Immortal changed all the enduks who had mocked Minoides into Wingless. Then, he made the air magically poisonous to all Wingless. He didn't care what they did thereafter, but in this way, the uncompromising Immortal was sure to purge his follower's kingdom of all that was impure.

The Wingless decided to flee a kingdom that had become uninhabitable to them. The now poisonous atmosphere of the area moved them first westward, until they reached the sea. Determined to set too much distance as possible from the hated shores of the Enduk kingdom, Minoides decided to start a completely new life.

After the loss of faith in Ixion, that Minoides blamed for all his suffering, the minotaur leader sought the protection of Poseidon (= Protius), hoping that he could help the minotaurs on their long quest on the sea. Poseidon agreed to sponsor Minoides. He told the minotaurs to travel westward and cross the ocean; then they would have had to sail all along the coast of Skothar, until they would see a bird made of water rise from the sea before them: if the minotaurs had followed it, they would have been guided to their new kingdom. At the same time, Poseidon also warned Minoides about the fact that he would never help them anymore, nor would he interfere with their quest, nor hinder them, until they would find the Waterbird.

Eritteus, that had helped Minoides to kill Gildesh, and had been his right-hand all the time, didn't agree with Minoides' choice. He didn't understand why Minoides had sought the help of an Immortal, when Ixion hadn't helped them, and had banished them from their ancestral lands. Moreover, the minotaurs didn't have any seamanship skills. Eritteus, mad of rage at the current situation, took with him a large following of minotaurs and left northwards. [See Bargda: the Curse of Eritteus]

Led by Minoides, all the remaining minotaurs left Nimmur. First they crossed the ocean. Many minotaurs lost their way on the ocean, and were doomed to die, except a small number. [See A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers]

During the many years of travel, the minotaurs waited for Protius' Waterbird to show. The death of minotaurs from plagues, hostile natives when they stopped for days or months for rest, and the total absence of signs from the Immortal Protius, led, through time, to the separation of small minotaur groups from the main migration led by Minoides. One by one, small groups of Wingless, that from his name had taken the name "minotaurs ", left him to settle down whenever they found an unsettled area, or friendly natives. [See Oriental Minotaurs]. Minoides still travelled on, keeping faith in the words of Poseidon.

In the summer of 1'699 BC, Minoides reached the area of the Teslan Coast (now it is known as Minaea). There, the minotaurs were greeted by the sight of a marvellous phoenix with feathers made of salt water. The bird rose from the sea, and with a musical cheerio it welcomed the minotaurs. Following it into land, Minoides was guided to an unsettled area where he built a city, Erech.

Erech was built in an area abandoned by the Teslan after a raid. Although some village rests warned the minotaurs of the presence of other intelligent beings, they had faith in Poseidon, and ended their long journey. [See Rise and fall. The New Way and the Savage Ones.]

However, not all the Minotaurs were happy about the situation. Between 1'699 and 1'204, many groups of minotaurs, for a reason or another, left westwards, towards Brun. There they gave birth to another branch of the minotaur race, the most commonly known by Old World's adventurers and people. [See Western Minotaurs]

A last note: not all minotaurs are descendants of the Wingless Enduks. The Minotaur Curse has struck hard upon many races in the long history of Mystara. Once again, this is a story of hardship and suffering. [See Children of the Damned]