Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Island of the Minotaurs

For a little while now I've been kicking around an idea for a labyrinth with moving walls. Last week some of the details for that began coming together and I sketched a rough version of it. As I was doing so, however, I also started thinking about the island on which they live, inspired by mythical Crete. This article draws from that inspiration.


The Island of the Minotaurs
Of all the islands on the northeastern end of the Middle Sea, perhaps one is the most distinct, a long and narrow body of land with rocky a coast and forested inland hills. This is the home of the minotaurs, a cunning race of men with humanoid bodies and the heads of bulls. Some say that they are the unfortunate result of a coupling between a human noblewoman and a sacred animal, while others maintain that it was the influence of a demon lord—likely Baphomet or Lamashtu—that led to their rise. Whatever the case, there's no doubting that they are clever and powerful creatures. They have taken over the island, wiping almost all of the other inhabitants.

Not all of the natives have been cowed, however. The island's lone protector is a nymph named Amalthea. She dwells in a cave hidden behind a waterfall high in the island's interior. From there she provides what help she can to those unfortunate others who become trapped on the island. Amalthea

Amalthea the Nymph: Refer to page 217 in the Bestiary for details. 

Reaching Amalthea's cave is not easy task. It requires a DC 20 Climb check (15 due to the rough rocky surface, +5 because it is slippery with water spray). That assumes, too, that the nymph is not actively opposing the one who approaches her; she can use her stunning glance and blinding beauty abilities to repel most intruders, and has an impressive variety of spells, too. 

Inside the cave is a broad central cavern (1) with a natural stone table—a stalagmite with a flat top—where she receives visitors. Branching off from there are two smaller caverns, one (2) that holds an ancient shrine to the Earth Mother, and the other (3) in which Amalthea sleeps. Whatever treasure the nymph possesses can be found there.

Because the minotaurs have dealings with demonkind, they permit a flock of quasits to run amok on the island. These little demons act as messengers and spies, and also delight in tormenting any unfortunates whom they encounter.

Quasits: Refer to page 66 of the Bestiary for details.

The Agreement
What most people on Homeworld don't know is that the minotaurs have a working agreement with an agent of the Northern Empire. Once a year, that agent hires a ship to deliver convicted criminals, unrepentant heretics and similar types—the “dregs of humanity”—from the Empire to the Island of the Minotaurs.

The condemned are left in the bay of a ruined fishing village, in theory left to fend for themselves. Of course, once the quasits learn of new arrivals, they report quickly back to the minotaurs, who then come to hunt the newcomers as a sick kind of sport. 

No comments:

Post a Comment