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Minotaur Shaman

Page history last edited by AveMaria 12 years, 2 months ago

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Minotaur Shaman




The Minotaur Shaman practices a somewhat unique form of Shamanic Elemenstation, commonly defined as "powers an abilities derived from focusing and channeling the abilities of animals found in the natural world of Battal". This holds true for the Minotaur Shaman as well... but one must remember that Minotaur themselves tend to have more in common with the animals of the natural world than they do with most races that practice any form of Elemenstation. The Minotaur Shaman, therefore, also derives a great deal of his abilities from his own Herd, and repays them by using his power to the benefit of the Herd... he is absolutely integral in all aspects of life.



A Shaman's Life

Integral as his activities may be to the Herd, the Shaman is necessarily unable to be a part of it. He lives with one hoof in the mortal plane, with his other hoof adrift in many times and worlds beyond... both feared and revered by the Herd.



The Shaman is almost always male. There are a few sociological theories as to why the Shaman cannot be female, but the simplest answer is that the Minotaur place such emphasis on reproduction, that it is an abomination to purposefully remove a fertile female from the Herd. The few female Shaman there have been have always been barren.



A Minotaur cannot become a Shaman... he must be born one. The signs of a shaman are clear from his very birth. When a calf is born carrying a sign of being touched by another world, they are immediately given to the Herd Shaman for training. If the Herd Shaman already has an apprentice, the calf is taken from his mother and set loose in the wild lands to rejoin the spirits who have marked him. If the calf were allowed to stay in the herd, the ones who touched him (possibly even Mighty Taur himself, it would bring horrible consequences for ages to come. Notable signs of Shaman Birth are described below:


  • Dwarfism -- A dwarf Minotaur (roughly the size of a human) is called an "Earth Calf", who lived for many generations underneath the soil with the "Dirt People". It is a sign that the calf has a particular talent for speaking to Plants (especially grasses).


  • Sharp Teeth -- A sharp-toothed herbivore is odd indeed. Minotaur born with sharp teeth are considered to have been chosen for communion with animals by the Spirits of the Plains.


  • Horns -- When a Minotaur is born already having horns, it is a sign that he is the reincarnation of a previous Shaman. It is considered to be a great boon to the Herd if they are given a horned calf.


  • Albinism -- The White Bull Shaman is the most sacred of all, considered to have been painted white to resemble Mighty Taur, Highest Hammer-God of the Minotaur. Throughout history, the White Bulls have been the most powerful and legendary of the Minotaur Shaman. Borr and Gorr, the great Hammer Lords, were albinos, and trained in the ways of the Shaman. They were the most deadly and fearsome of their kind ever to stomp upon the earth of Battal.


  • Barren Females -- A Cow who is unable to bear the Herd a Calf is considered a sacrifice from the Goddess Gaia, the Earth itself. A Barren Cow acts as an assistant to the Shaman, learning the ways of Plant-Talking and Calf-Birthing. Barren Cows were great midwives and nurses of the Herd. It was considered a great act of compassion by Gaia to bring about the birth of a female calf just so she could help her sisters.


In the long history of the Minotaur, only one Shaman was born a horned, sharptoothed, albino dwarf, and the resultant latent power within him drove him completely insane. He was, of course, the infamous Luuu'uugh'eeeegh, who attempted to destroy the world buy invoking Cowfall upon one of Mighty Taur's Calves. He managed to breaken the Continentaworld, but was slain by Fuuuu'uuuug, chief of the Dog-Killer Herd. As Luuu'uugh'eeeegh was unkillable with weapons, the bull-chielf smashed him with a giant log, which would become a holy symbol of their herd.


A Shaman's Powers and Duties



The most often used ability of the Shaman. By being able to speak with plants, the Shaman was able to make a great variety of potions, tonics, medecines, and poisons from the land around them. The Shaman was also responsible for reading the signs of nature and informing the dominant female of the Herd when the "Planted Ones" told him it was time for the herd to move on.



The importance of speaking to his animal brothers was three-fold


  • Communication -- Animals were great couriers of news for information, as the Shaman of the Seven Great Herds were able to communicate with each other from afar using birds and swift beasts. Roving animals also were great sources of information for the Shaman as to what was happening in the wide world.


  • Predators -- Shaman with great ability in Beast-Taming were said to be able to keep predators at bay with their incantations and spell-dancing. Considering that these two things consist of what could be observed as "bellowing and stomping around like a savage beast", it's not all that surprising.


  • Divination -- Certain animals were said to be in constant contact with the "Other Worlds". Worms, moles, and other burrowing creatures could speak with the "Dirt People". Birds and butterflies could speak to the Sky. Moths and skunks could speak with the "Night Spirits". And some animals were said to be the agents of the dead, the Gods, and faraway planes of which only the Shaman himself had ever seen.



Shaman were charged with overseeing the birth of Calves, to give medicine, look for signs of greatness or doom in their birth, and to make sure the mothers were not posessed by evil spirits.



One of the most important functions of the Shaman. The Shaman takes the newborn calf into his arms and takes him into the Spirit Tent. He then communes with the agents of Mighty Taur to look into the calf's future, forsee his death, and give him a name in the Minotaur Tongue which describes it. He commits the name to memory, which is not revealed until it dies. The Shaman then makes up a short one or two syllable name for convenience sake that has absolutely no meaning in the Minotaur Tongue, and this is what the Calf is called by their parents and peers for the rest of their days. (There is one exception: Shaman Calves are told their true name from the very beginning... it is considered to be their first lesson in far-seeing, and the knowledge of their death makes them fearless in battle. In the words of Hammer Lords and Shaman, Borr and Gorr: "This would be a good day to die... ...but not for us!).



When a Minotaur dies, the Shaman sits at the foot of their funeral pyre in a trance. He travels up the column of smoke with the dead to the Celestial Grasslands, where he presents them to their Minotaur Ancestors and Mighty Taur.



The Shaman has the ability to gaze far across space and time. By putting himself into a trance (usually with the aid of Vision Grass), the Shaman can look far across the miles of land or sea, high into the heavens, deep under the earth, back into the beginnings of time, or into the distant future... and even into the happenings of the far Planes. Unfortunately, the Minotaur Shaman himself has little control over that which he sees, and must depend upon his Spirit Guides to show him whatever they think he needs to see.


War Magic

The most remembered powers of the Minotaur Shaman are those he uses upon the field of battle. Some would say that the powers of nature that the Shaman are able to conjure when motivated to spill the blood of his enemy are so powerful as to never be forgotten.


  • Bloodlustiness -- It is not in the nature of the Minotaur to have a taste for blood... yet through his ability to commune with the meat-eating predators of the wilds, the Shaman can summon these savage desires within himself and his people. Even the gentlest of Bulls can be transformed in to a savage killing maching by a skilled Shaman.


  • Hammercraft -- Shaman can make powerful weapons from simple materials such as wood, stone, and grass. Most powerful were the Herd Hammers of the Bull-Chiefs, and the weapons of the Hammer Lords. The Shaman could enchant hammers to give their Bulls greater strength when hefting their mighty weight, or even give them the ability to strike foes instantly dead from a single blow (though, even when unenchanted a single strike was all it took from a 1850-pound Minotaur). The Shaman would also enchant a Hammer to protect a warrior from ailments that would make him weary on the field of battle, particularly gastronomic disorders.


  • Warcry -- Harnessing the spirit of the wind, the Shaman could unleash a bellowing battlecry so deafening as to render his enemies nearly helpless, and often nauseate them with the awesome smell of half-digested medicinal plants unleashed from his ruminant stomachs.


  • Stampede -- The most fearsome of all the Shaman's abilities was of that to grasp the minds of his entire herd... every last Bull, Cow, and Calf, and lead them running at top speed to bear down upon an opposing force, their massive bulk and thundering hooves crushing everything in their path. This magic was rarely used, as it placed the entire herd at risk for battle... but in the few times it has been recorded in history, no enemy has ever withstood its fury.


  • Cowfall -- At night, the Shaman conteplates the luminous "Sky Herd" that can be seen making their way across the great expanse, grazing away the darkness until it gives way once again to sunlight, only to be swallowed by evil darkness, which is then grazed away by the Sky Herd, and so on. The stars are a holy symbol of rebirth to the Minotaur, which is why only the holiest among them are allowed to use them as weapons. Indeed, only the mightiest of Shaman were able to invoke the Cowfall, wherein they would summon members of the Sky Herd to fall earthward and crush their foes. (Elemenstrologists and Astronomolologists, of course, believe these incidents to be random descents of the common Meteoric Cow, which are certainly not stars that eat darkness away from the sky... however, none were ever brave enough to try and dissuade the Minotaur of their beliefs, so the whole matter was left alone. See Minotaur Cosmology)


Source Material


Much of what we know about Minotaur Shamanism is found in EL:TTLoG, which principally tells the story of the twin albino Hammer Lords, Borr and Gorr. The tutelage of a certain Savannah Ranger under a Shaman is also of some plot significance in EL:MtF. The information found in The Elemenstor Saga Companion is (as usual) of minimal contribution.


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