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Brian R. James
Forgotten Realms Game Designer

USA
1092 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2009 :  00:55:11  Show Profile  Visit Brian R. James's Homepage Send Brian R. James a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You may be interested to know that I established a Minotaur kingdom in the Realms in my Dragon article Realmslore: Ironfang Keep. Grong-Haap ruled much of the eastern Moonsea region from -981 DR through -350 DR.

Brian R. James - Freelance Game Designer

Follow me on Twitter @brianrjames, and please be sure to check out the RED AEGIS Roleplaying Game
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Brimstone
Great Reader

USA
2977 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2009 :  03:51:00  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
-Yes lets not forget that nice article BR.J!


BRIMSTONE

"These things also I have observed: that knowledge of our world is
to be nurtured like a precious flower, for it is the most precious
thing we have. Wherefore guard the word written and heed
words unwritten and set them down ere they fade . . . Learn
then, well, the arts of reading, writing, and listening true, and they
will lead you to the greatest art of all: understanding."
Alaundo of Candlekeep
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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31142 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2009 :  05:55:19  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmmm... I'd forgotten about that. They could be an offshoot of our city-state, or vice-versa... Or they could be the predecessor of it.

Was there any other info about Grong-Haap?

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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
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Australia
31691 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2009 :  06:17:30  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Hmmm... I'd forgotten about that. They could be an offshoot of our city-state, or vice-versa... Or they could be the predecessor of it.

Was there any other info about Grong-Haap?

As I recall, that's the first mention of Grong-Haap. Brian established that ancient realm for his "Moonsea" article.

I'll note further that some descendants of Grong-Haap still exist -- living in small clans beneath the Great Gray Land of Thar.

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Wrigs13
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
201 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2009 :  11:40:29  Show Profile  Visit Wrigs13's Homepage Send Wrigs13 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Is all this minotaur information in a document somewhere?

And can anyone think of a good reason why a minotaur nation could not be in unclaimed political region between Turmish, the Dragon Coast and the Shining Plains? It looks like a heavily forested mountainous region with access to the coast, which could be home to a nation similar to the Minotaurs of Kyrnn. Any obvious geographical or historical issues with this concept?

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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31142 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2009 :  13:19:44  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I personally don't like the idea of minotaur sailors. As I've pointed out before, can you imagine how strong the rigging would have to be to support them?

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ShadowJack
Senior Scribe

USA
350 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2009 :  13:27:04  Show Profile  Visit ShadowJack's Homepage Send ShadowJack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wrigs,

That area sounds plausible. We, were however trying to keep similarities between our Realms minotaurs and the DL minotaurs as few as possible. Heavy forests and mountains would be a good area for a minotaur kingdom.
Brian,
I will check this article out! Sounds like we could tie our minotaur culture in with existing Realms lore and create a whole history of minotaurs in the Realms.

Wooly,
What are you thinking about with the descent of the drow? Has there ever been a more evil group than the ancient Illythiiri? Every time some mention is made of them in a novel or source book these forebears of the drow just seem more mysterious and evil than any other... Perhaps they are the root cause of the giant kingdoms instability? The masters pulling the strings of their giant puppets, urging the giants to attack their elven adversaries... The giants were the tool the fallen elves used to strike back at the Seldarine...

ShadowJack
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Wrigs13
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
201 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2009 :  13:45:59  Show Profile  Visit Wrigs13's Homepage Send Wrigs13 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I personally don't like the idea of minotaur sailors. As I've pointed out before, can you imagine how strong the rigging would have to be to support them?



Fair point but those bad boys can't half row!

Do not try to understand the 4th edition. Thats impossible. Instead...only try to realise the truth. There is no 4th edition.
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
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31691 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2009 :  13:46:19  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wrigs13

Is all this minotaur information in a document somewhere?
I've compiled most of the relevant info posted so far, but it's nowhere near ready for inclusion on the Candlekeep main-site.

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Wrigs13
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
201 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2009 :  13:53:40  Show Profile  Visit Wrigs13's Homepage Send Wrigs13 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

quote:
Originally posted by Wrigs13

Is all this minotaur information in a document somewhere?
I've compiled most of the relevant info posted so far, but it's nowhere near ready for inclusion on the Candlekeep main-site.




Is it stored somewhere on-line? Even in a rough draft format.

Cheers

Do not try to understand the 4th edition. Thats impossible. Instead...only try to realise the truth. There is no 4th edition.
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
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Posted - 04 Feb 2009 :  14:25:45  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
No, it exists just on my HD.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
31142 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2009 :  14:27:34  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ShadowJack

Wooly,
What are you thinking about with the descent of the drow? Has there ever been a more evil group than the ancient Illythiiri? Every time some mention is made of them in a novel or source book these forebears of the drow just seem more mysterious and evil than any other... Perhaps they are the root cause of the giant kingdoms instability? The masters pulling the strings of their giant puppets, urging the giants to attack their elven adversaries... The giants were the tool the fallen elves used to strike back at the Seldarine...




Well, basically, without getting into the giant kingdoms or anything, that reference gives us minotaurs already in the right general area.

While we could keep the giant kingdoms origin and then add in something with this other group, I favor sticking to existing lore as much as possible. So if it was entirely up to me, the origins of this city-state would be with this group that we already have in that general area.

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Wrigs13
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
201 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2009 :  15:03:36  Show Profile  Visit Wrigs13's Homepage Send Wrigs13 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

No, it exists just on my HD.




Shame.

Looks like I need to dig out my copy of Taladas the Minotaurs

One of the big issues is creating a version of a minotaur that can be used as an average citizen. If I use the MM version then they start at 8th level, bit unbalanced compared to human nations.

Do not try to understand the 4th edition. Thats impossible. Instead...only try to realise the truth. There is no 4th edition.
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Wrigs13
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
201 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2009 :  15:06:50  Show Profile  Visit Wrigs13's Homepage Send Wrigs13 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So does this incarnation of a minotaur nation hark back to the time when giants and dragons rules the realms? Or is it more recent than that?

Do not try to understand the 4th edition. Thats impossible. Instead...only try to realise the truth. There is no 4th edition.
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ShadowJack
Senior Scribe

USA
350 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2009 :  15:57:00  Show Profile  Visit ShadowJack's Homepage Send ShadowJack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, I am embarrassed, I read through that passage you posted two times, and each time I have missed the key phrase "their minotaur servants". This puts minotaurs in the Thayan plateau area and makes the timeline more plausible... So, instead of the giants we could use this group of dark elves... This would explain why the Ketorn minotaurs avoided the UnderDark; they were staying away from their former masters... Don't hold back Wooly, tell me how you see this working out. Should we just ditch the giant tie in all together?

ShadowJack
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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31142 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2009 :  18:19:02  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ShadowJack

Well, I am embarrassed, I read through that passage you posted two times, and each time I have missed the key phrase "their minotaur servants". This puts minotaurs in the Thayan plateau area and makes the timeline more plausible... So, instead of the giants we could use this group of dark elves... This would explain why the Ketorn minotaurs avoided the UnderDark; they were staying away from their former masters... Don't hold back Wooly, tell me how you see this working out. Should we just ditch the giant tie in all together?



It's prolly easier to totally dump the giant connection. While it was a good idea, it involved spinning lore into a totally blank space. Going with the drow connection, though, means we're simply extrapolating on known lore.

I think it also allows us to borrow an idea from the Riftwar books... See, in those books, part of the elven backstory is that the two major elven races, the elves (eledhel) and the dark elves (moredhel, or the Brotherhood of the Dark Path) are physically one race -- the only physical differences tend to be in hair color, and that's not even universal. And it's possible for an elf to become a moredhel, and vice-versa.

The reason the two races are different goes back thousands of years, to when a race of godlike beings, the Valheru, ruled the world. The elves (all types) were their slaves. The eledhel were generally left tending to the forests, while the moredhel were more often directly serving the Valheru. So the moredhel were basically tainted by that association. When the Valheru left, the elves said "Yay, we're free!", but the moredhel said "We will reclaim the power of our lost masters!", and continued to visit and hang around places the Valheru had been. So they became some really evil gits (though not as bad as drow), while the elves went the route of common fantasy elves. Some moredhel have thrown off the taint and Returned, becoming eledhel, but there have also been some elves that fell and joined the Dark Brothers. Moredhel and eledhel can distinguish between the races on sight, but any other race is going to have to rely on where they are and what the elf-type is doing.

Anyway, our civilized minotaurs could have split off and shunned their former masters, but some of them could have relished their former status as paid bullies and favored servants. So the latter group could still hang out in the Underdark and be happily savage, while the others tried to better themselves.

Oh, and as an aside, the name "Ketorn" just doesn't work as well for me. I keep wanting to call it "Keltorn", which I like better.

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Ashe Ravenheart
Great Reader

USA
3079 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2009 :  18:28:07  Show Profile Send Ashe Ravenheart a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by ShadowJack

Well, I am embarrassed, I read through that passage you posted two times, and each time I have missed the key phrase "their minotaur servants". This puts minotaurs in the Thayan plateau area and makes the timeline more plausible... So, instead of the giants we could use this group of dark elves... This would explain why the Ketorn minotaurs avoided the UnderDark; they were staying away from their former masters... Don't hold back Wooly, tell me how you see this working out. Should we just ditch the giant tie in all together?



It's prolly easier to totally dump the giant connection. While it was a good idea, it involved spinning lore into a totally blank space. Going with the drow connection, though, means we're simply extrapolating on known lore.

I think it also allows us to borrow an idea from the Riftwar books... See, in those books, part of the elven backstory is that the two major elven races, the elves (eledhel) and the dark elves (moredhel, or the Brotherhood of the Dark Path) are physically one race -- the only physical differences tend to be in hair color, and that's not even universal. And it's possible for an elf to become a moredhel, and vice-versa.

The reason the two races are different goes back thousands of years, to when a race of godlike beings, the Valheru, ruled the world. The elves (all types) were their slaves. The eledhel were generally left tending to the forests, while the moredhel were more often directly serving the Valheru. So the moredhel were basically tainted by that association. When the Valheru left, the elves said "Yay, we're free!", but the moredhel said "We will reclaim the power of our lost masters!", and continued to visit and hang around places the Valheru had been. So they became some really evil gits (though not as bad as drow), while the elves went the route of common fantasy elves. Some moredhel have thrown off the taint and Returned, becoming eledhel, but there have also been some elves that fell and joined the Dark Brothers. Moredhel and eledhel can distinguish between the races on sight, but any other race is going to have to rely on where they are and what the elf-type is doing.

Anyway, our civilized minotaurs could have split off and shunned their former masters, but some of them could have relished their former status as paid bullies and favored servants. So the latter group could still hang out in the Underdark and be happily savage, while the others tried to better themselves.

Oh, and as an aside, the name "Ketorn" just doesn't work as well for me. I keep wanting to call it "Keltorn", which I like better.



Huh... That's almost exactly the Eberron history of the Elves/Drow being slaves to the Giants before their fall.

I actually DO know everything. I just have a very poor index of my knowledge.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 04 Feb 2009 :  18:51:44  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ashe Ravenheart

Huh... That's almost exactly the Eberron history of the Elves/Drow being slaves to the Giants before their fall.



Really? Perhaps Keith Baker is also a fan of Raymond E Feist... The Riftwar books have been around for years; I was reading those before I ever read anything by TSR (except the Endless Quest novels).

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ShadowJack
Senior Scribe

USA
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Posted - 04 Feb 2009 :  20:22:11  Show Profile  Visit ShadowJack's Homepage Send ShadowJack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I loved the story of Pug as he goes from a nobody to one of the Great Ones! Wooly, it seems you and I read the same books growing up... I read the Riftwar saga long before I found the first Greyhawk novels. (Gord the Rogue) I will be pulling out my tomes in the next couple of days to research the re-write of the Keltorn Minotaurs. (I also like the suggestion of the name change)

ShadowJack
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 04 Feb 2009 :  22:37:31  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
How about Kelthorn? I like the idea of getting the word 'horn' in their somehow.

I'm also going to have to figure out how all of this relates to my own ancient (as in primordial) Minotaur Kingdom I placed in the Utter East (in the mountains). I had tie-ins with the Yakfolk to the South, and also placed Bargda (Ibixian in 3e) - Goatfolk - in the eastern Yehimal region. I had it where all three are were created in ancient times as servitor races of the Rakshasa (living in the Indianesque portions of FR - lower Utter East, the Sempadan, Tempat larang, and the lower K-T/Malatran Jungles).

I've also created a race of half-Minotaurs, called Vogalts, for my homebrew world. basically HUGE Vikings (Firbolgs?), but when they take off their helmets... the horns are still there!

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I personally don't like the idea of minotaur sailors. As I've pointed out before, can you imagine how strong the rigging would have to be to support them?

Spidersilk (with the highest tensile strength known) purchased from the Drow?

quote:
Originally posted by Wrigs13

And can anyone think of a good reason why a minotaur nation could not be in unclaimed political region between Turmish, the Dragon Coast and the Shining Plains?
Yes.

Its called Cormyr.

As for a placement for modern 'Minotaur Pirates' a'la Taladas, I'd just give them the Isle of Prespur and be done with it. I forget what's there, but I'm sure losing it won't make a bit of difference to FR lore.

Certainly goes against canon, but if you want 'em, then that won't effect much.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 05 Feb 2009 16:29:46
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
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Australia
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Posted - 04 Feb 2009 :  23:16:48  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Anyway, our civilized minotaurs could have split off and shunned their former masters, but some of them could have relished their former status as paid bullies and favored servants. So the latter group could still hang out in the Underdark and be happily savage, while the others tried to better themselves.
This is certainly a possible interpretation. And it ties in with canon Realmslore rather nicely. We know small numbers of minotaurs have been seen regularly in many slave pens of the Drow Houses of Menzoberranzan -- some of them could be our minotaur savages. Drow would also press slave-minotaurs into battle as foot soldiers when they go to war. And Red Wizards utilise minotaurs as personal bodyguards as well -- so I'm sure some of our civilised minotaurs may have found work elsewhere.
quote:
Oh, and as an aside, the name "Ketorn" just doesn't work as well for me. I keep wanting to call it "Keltorn", which I like better.

I'll agree with this. "Keltorn" is often how I mentally refer to the place.

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Wrigs13
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
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Posted - 05 Feb 2009 :  09:35:59  Show Profile  Visit Wrigs13's Homepage Send Wrigs13 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

How about Kelthorn? I like the idea of getting the word 'horn' in their somehow.

I'm also going to have to figure out how all of this relates to my own ancient (as in primordial) Minotaur Kingdom I placed in the Utter East (in the mountains). I had tie-ins with the Yakfolk to the South, and also placed Bargda (Ibixian in 3e) - Goatfolk - in the eastern Yehimal region. I had it where all three are were created in ancient times as servitor races of the Rakshasa (living in the Indianesque portions of FR - lower Utter East, the Sempadan, Tempat larang, and the lower K-T/Malatran Jungles).

I've also created a race of half-Minotaurs, called Vogalts, for my homebrew world. basically HUGE Vikings (Firbolgs?), but when they take off their helmets... the horns ar still there!

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I personally don't like the idea of minotaur sailors. As I've pointed out before, can you imagine how strong the rigging would have to be to support them?

Spidersilk (with the highest tensile strength known) purchased from the Drow?

quote:
Originally posted by Wrigs13

And can anyone think of a good reason why a minotaur nation could not be in unclaimed political region between Turmish, the Dragon Coast and the Shining Plains?
Yes.

Its called Cormyr.

As for a placement for modern 'Minotaur Pirates' a'la Taladas, I'd just give them the Isle of Prespur and be done with it. I forget what's there, but I'm sure losing it won't make a bit of difference to FR lore.

Certainly goes against canon, but if you want 'em, then that won't effect much.



Good point about spidersilk, it at least sets a pecedent for a material capable of holding an adult minotaurs weight.

I was not talking about Cormyr, but the unclaimed region south of the ragon reach.

I wasn't thinking about pirates in particular, more a small insular nation of minotaurs. Xenophobic and loyalist but recent provocation has caused them to look beyond their own borders.

I am not sure that in 3rd ed the strong race makes good carpenters means good ship builders hence good sailors rational even holds up. It was really a construct of the 2nd ed rules as far as I can tell.

I think if they do use boats they should be viking style ships with significant oar propulsion.

Do not try to understand the 4th edition. Thats impossible. Instead...only try to realise the truth. There is no 4th edition.
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 05 Feb 2009 :  13:14:36  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wrigs13

I am not sure that in 3rd ed the strong race makes good carpenters means good ship builders hence good sailors rational even holds up. It was really a construct of the 2nd ed rules as far as I can tell.

I think if they do use boats they should be viking style ships with significant oar propulsion.



I don't think that even the 2E rules implied any nautical or even woodworking leanings for minotaurs. I think them being sailors was entirely something from Krynn, and the fact they stuck the minotaurs of Ansalon on a couple islands. Even the minotaurs of Taladas weren't as nautically inclined.

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The Sage
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Posted - 05 Feb 2009 :  13:40:49  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I think them being sailors was entirely something from Krynn, and the fact they stuck the minotaurs of Ansalon on a couple islands.
Well, Krynnish minotaurs didn't originally start on Ansalon, nor on the Blood Isles. But that's a discussion for another message board. *wink*
quote:
Even the minotaurs of Taladas weren't as nautically inclined.

Actually, the minotaurs of Taladas have long had a history of nautical inclination. Even before the first Cataclysm.

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 05 Feb 2009 :  16:46:42  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wrigs13

Good point about spidersilk, it at least sets a pecedent for a material capable of holding an adult minotaurs weight.
I only knew that from playing Alpha Centauri - there's an audio clip when you discover some new tech that says as much.

quote:
Originally posted by Wrigs13

I was not talking about Cormyr, but the unclaimed region south of the ragon reach.
After re-reading what I wrote, I realized it might seem a little misleading. What I meant is that Cormyr has a history of not letting anyone else expand their borders anywhere near theirs - the last time it happened they chased them all the way back to Calimshan (that was in the Giant's Run - even further away then the area you are pointing out).

quote:
Originally posted by Wrigs13

I wasn't thinking about pirates in particular, more a small insular nation of minotaurs. Xenophobic and loyalist but recent provocation has caused them to look beyond their own borders.
Well, I was never a big fan of the Dragonlance material, but I've always loved Minotaurs, and the book on them for that setting was one of two DL products I ever purchased.

There's just something so sexy about Minotaur Vikings.

quote:
Originally posted by Wrigs13

I am not sure that in 3rd ed the strong race makes good carpenters means good ship builders hence good sailors rational even holds up. It was really a construct of the 2nd ed rules as far as I can tell.
As was noted above by others, it has more to do with their proximity to water - Island cultures tend to develop strong navies.

As for the Minotaurs of Krynn always liking the sea - from what I remember, they were originally Ogres, and I've never heard of Ogres being very fond of water. Although Krynnish Ogres are different then most, and I'm not all that knowledgable about that setting, truth be told.

Does FR have any instances of Sea-faring Ogres? (I realize that it is slightly O-T, but it's related to the discussion at hand) I know of a Hill-Giant Pirate Captain, but I don't recall any Ogres.

Anyhow, Realmsian Minotaurs are NOT Ogres, so thats neither here nor there.

quote:
Originally posted by Wrigs13

I think if they do use boats they should be viking style ships with significant oar propulsion.
Just to change it up a bit, my Norse-like Half-Minotaurs had double banks of Oars, like a Bireme, but still looked like a Longship. The ones the Jarls use - Greatships - had triple banks (like a trireme).

Now, you put all of that impressive Minotaur Muscle behind a double bank of oars, and you can practically waterski behind the thing.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 06 Feb 2009 04:39:56
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