"We is strong. Strong like the mountains. Strong like the tide. Great Ones know this, like well our strength so they set us to guarding the special places. Holy places. Prey comes to us there. Mostly not worthy prey, but still tasty. The little ones call on us to make war for them and sometimes we do. But they also fear us and that is good. They should fear us. Their blood smells good too."
- —Kartush, Minotaur.[3a]
Minotaurs, also known as Bullgors, are a massive bull-headed breed of the Beastmen race that are known famously for their savage temper, brute strength and an insatiable hunger for hot blood and raw flesh. Often growing to twice the height of a man and far greater in muscular bulk, their thick-skulled heads are broad and ugly, and their sharp horns can eviscerate with a single thrust. Many have the cloven-hoofed hindquarters of a beast and other deformities of the body that the touch of Chaos brings.[1a]
Though they are less intelligent than even typical Beastmen, they are unnaturally strong and powerful, and make formidable warriors. Minotaurs are possessed of a terrible hunger for flesh, particularly the flesh of Humans. Yet it is not the gnawing hunger a mortal feels when deprived of sustenance, but a deep thirst for the unholy exhilaration the Minotaurs experience when they consume the flesh of their enemies. In this state, they join with the power of the Chaos Gods and share in a part of their glory.[1a]
Gathering in loose tribes ruled over by the strongest of their number, the Minotaurs live a nomadic existence, and they go wherever the scent of blood is strongest. Attracted by raw flesh and steaming gore, they often gravitate to the herdstones where the Beastmen make their unholy offerings to the Dark Gods. During the most hideous of rituals, scores of sacrifices are made in savage offerings led by the Bray-Shamans, sending the Minotaurs into a frenzy which only the blood of yet more victims can sate. Even a glimpse of the colour red is sometimes enough to rouse the greed of a Minotaur tribe, for it reminds them of the glories of blood-mad gluttony.[1a]
It is said that Minotaurs are the keepers of dark shrines to Chaos and the tombs of fallen champions deep within the farthest reaches of the forests, where even Beastmen fear to tread. Here they pile all of their trophies, including the weapons, armour and skulls of defeated foes in praise of the Chaos gods, often in such quantities that the mounds of rusting treasure and foetid remains obscure the shrines they are actually guarding completely. Because of this, Minotaurs are held in a strange reverence by Beastmen, who are at once in awe and fear of the favour that the Minotaurs receive from their gods.[2a]
Not every Minotaur is destined for a life of guardianship. The greatest among them catch the eye of the Chaos Powers. These are favoured just like Human champions of Chaos, exalted in the eyes of their fellows and given one of the Great Marks of Chaos. These Minotaurs are called Doombulls and they are dangerous in the extreme. Those that have been favoured by one of the Ruinous Powers usually have traits that their God finds pleasing or abilities in keeping with their lord’s influence. Thus, the Doombulls of Khorne are often covered in blood red fur, whereas the Tzaanbulls of Tzeentch are actually skilled sorcerers. Doombulls often rise to lead entire armies of Chaos followers, beast, man and daemon.[2a]
Within the dark forest of the Old World, the Minotaur race has since gone through many transformations throughout their long and horrible existence. The mutating powers of Chaos is strong in places that harbour these creatures, and as such, in time, some of the Minotaurs would begin to mutate ever further into creatures of even more grotesque appearance.
- Ghorgon - a cannibalistic variant of the more common Minotaurs, the Ghorgon is a four-limbed, ox-headed creature that has a thirst for flesh that is beyond even those of the largest and most ferocious minotaurs. Consumed entirely by its bloodlust, the Ghorgon would hunt down and slaughter every living creature it finds, be it Beastmen, Human, Greenskin or fellow Minotaurs alike.[1c]
- Cygor - the Cygors are distant cousins of the Minotaurs, but because they hail from the most tainted of all the realms of the Old World, they have diverged greatly from their kin. They are huge, hideously malformed giants, similar in form to Minotaurs, yet each possessed of but a single eye that barely sees the world in the centre of its forehead.[1b]
"A Minotaur, with axe in hand, can hold its own against dozens of enemies with vicious, brutal fury."
- —The brutal Minotaurs.
When called to war, the Minotaurs reach into the piles of weapons and armour heaped in offering before the herdstones, equipping themselves with the largest and most formidable weapons they can find. These weapons were laid before the herdstones in celebration of victory, their erstwhile owners slain upon some forgotten battlefield. In amongst the rusted blades can sometimes be found those once carried by the warriors of long-lost empires, crafted using methods and metals no longer known to any of the peoples of the world, fragments of tarnished armour that might have been made for the guards of long dead, forgotten kings.[1a]
In truth, a Minotaur is capable of tearing a warhorse apart with its bare teeth and cares not for the heritage of such items, but these tools of war make them even deadlier still. Though normally ponderous and slow-witted, battle turns Minotaurs into raging bulls and the scent of blood drives them to violent excess. The scent of gore in their flaring nostrils drives them wild and they bellow their hunger for all to hear. They charge with a thundering impact, horns lowered to impale, then strike blow after blow against their hapless enemy. Once their victims have been hacked apart the Minotaurs slake their thirst by tearing at raw flesh with their gore-encrusted nails and gulping down great hunks of steaming meat and the blood of the dying even whilst the battle rages on around them.[1a]