Chimpman wrote:But I really like the idea that Enduks weren't created out of whole cloth, and that there might be other related varieties of such folk roaming about out there (with yakfolk and goatfolk being prime examples).
To give some more background, I'd been inspired to try and do something with the minotaurs along the lines of what Bruce Heard did with his breeds for Lupins and Rakasta. While I eventually moved away from the idea of creating separate sub-races (since I just got turned off from the idea of different mechanics for sub-races when humans never were given the same), I was still planning on keeping the idea of them as geographic ethnicities and/or different stages of evolution.
Hence, the "aurochs" type of Minotaur, which would be the common ancestor of them all- a much larger, brutish version than even the current crop. Then, too, I had to try and reconcile that with the Enduk --> Minotaur origins, so decided they were a modified version of the race, and thus could keep that whole part of the mythology.
As can be seen, I eventually even broadened the mythos to include other "bovine" sorts of creatures, such as the Bargda, Goatfolk, and Satyrs- who were already existent in Mystara canon to some extent, as well as Yakfolk (who I think work really well in Ethengar and the Glantrian Alps/Silver Sierras, given the Asian ties there), and some other creatures.
In fact perhaps the energies of the GRoF helped to transform some of these creatures giving us the distinctions we see in the modern era.
Good idea. I hadn't considered that, but I could very easily see the Bargda being a result of genetic mutation from fallout from the GRoF. Giulio Caroletti has come up with some different takes on their origins (as well as the minotaurs) in some of his articles on the Vaults, but I kind of like this one, now that you bring up the suggestion of radiation.
Let's play around with this info and see if we can't find something that works. The "core" of Gildesh' nation could very well be these primitive aurochs-folk with the cream of the crop being transformed by Ixion into winged Enduks after having dedicated their lives (for several generations) to serving Gildesh and helping him with his appointed task.
That could work; it would make it kind of an elitist sort of caste-system, and could very well lead into the sort of discontent that led to the revolt of Minoides
(and we could use most of what Giulio came up with as a result, while tweaking it a little bit; instead of them being born without wings, it would be the ones who weren't elevated who came to resent their brethren.)
I had originally planned on the Aurochs being Davanian, in that region, with the Enduks migrating to Brun via the Immortals' Arm (and spreading out afterwards); I was going to thus keep some of the descendants of the Aurochs on the southern continent (such as the possible Antelope/Gazelle type of minotaur that I mentioned).
Other thoughts that I haven't fully developed yet: Minotaurs in the Sind/Atruaghin region. Sindhi minotaurs would probably have an elevated sort of status there (if we analogize Hindi religious beliefs), while the Atruaghin and Known World variety were going to be more "buffalo"-like in appearance and habits.
And, of course, I was planning on tying in Bruce Heard's online work with the Goatmen and their demonic origins in the Slagovich region, as well as probably changing the Yakfolk's AD&D ties to Genies to be tied to Spirits instead (to fit them better with the Ethengar Gaz).