#4 Ferdinand

| November 6, 2010 | 0 Comments

A world of dragons and demons, magic and might, elves and dwarves. They all live together in an untamed world where mankind has yet to completely alter the landscape. This is a world where there are secrets to uncover, arcane mysteries to decipher, lands to explore and monsters to discover.

Ferdinand is a minotaur, a race of physically powerful bull-men. The minotaur have a long, bloody history of war and violence, though the violence was mostly contained in their natural habitat, the twisting, winding tunnels and caves that honeycomb the continent just below the surface. Thanks to their environment, minotaur have developed an uncanny sense of direction. They always know which way is north, and they never forget the way they came.

Ferdinand is large, even for a minotaur. Standing almost 12 feet tall, Ferdinand’s frame is massive and broad, layered with muscle. Despite this massive body, Ferdinand is one of the most calm and peaceful people you’ll ever meet. He wears little armor, settling simply for a light shirt of chain mail and a large cloak. His bovine head bears a pair of long ivory horns that extend nearly two feet to each side. He generally carries a large walking stick with a thick, knobbly end and a large backpack.

Ferdinand’s equipment consists of a shirt of chain mail, custom-made to fit his size, his cloak, his knobbly walking stick, his backpack, and his notebook.

His cloak is the first item that is more than it seems. The cloak itself is enchanted, though only very lightly. When the wearer of the cloak draws it tight around himself, he is immune to the effects of harsh weather of all sorts. Rain, snow, sleet, arctic winds, sandstorms, they all simply ignore the wearer. In addition, it continually repairs and cleans itself.

The second item that is more than it seems is his walking stick. Though he doesn’t particularly enjoy violence, there are times when his journey brings him into conflict with the various beasts and monsters of the land. The iron core of his stick allows him to pack a little more punch when it comes down to those unfortunate circumstances. It too, is lightly enchanted, and he may use it to avoid the situations required to use it. By holding it in front of him and concentrating, it emits a calming aura that can quell the tempers of man and beast.

Finally, his backpack. This large bag is covered with pockets and pouches. And while it is a rather large bag, it’s even larger than it appears. The inside of the bag is larger than the outside, and it is enchanted so that even if one were to store the entire hoard of a dragon inside it, you could always open it to find the desired item on top of it.

The final item is his notebook. This book is a huge, leather-bound tome, filled with blank pages. Ferdinand’s pen is enchanted as well, able to change colors of ink with a though.  Ferdinand fills his tome with the findings of his journey, sketches of monsters, maps of foreign lands, pressed exotic flowers and plants.

Ferdinand is surprisingly calm and peaceful for a minotaur. He loves to explore and he has a particular interest in observing exotic flora and fauna. He has a deep and abiding fascination with the natural word, and never misses an opportunity to stop and smell the flowers.

Ferdinand was born to a relatively small minotaur tribe, one without much power. His tribe was the weakest of the minotaurs in the region. They lacked both physical and magical power, and weren’t charismatic or particularly manipulative. The one advantage that allowed them to survive was their intelligence. They learned the ways of the monsters of the tunnels and their enemies, exploiting this knowledge to their own advantage. They had a long tradition of passing down their knowledge to the younger generations.

Ferdinand was quite unusual for the tribe of small, physically weak minotaurs in that he grew fast and he grew huge, much bigger than all his peers, and even bigger than most of the adults. The other part that was unusual is that while all the other young bulls would lock horns and constantly squabble, Ferdinand was calm and peaceful. He almost never fought the other bulls, though when he finally did fight it ended rather quickly. Consequently, most of his peers simply left him alone. He seemed to have no interest in learning how to fight or hunt, and spent a lot of time wandering off into the  tunnels, exploring them eagerly.

Eventually, Ferdinand was wandering the tunnels as usual, when he smelled something interesting. Following his nose led him through one tunnel after another until, eventually, he emerged from the cave into the surface world. Blinking in the sudden brightness, once his vision cleared, he found himself in a world full of light and color and all sorts of interesting plants and animals he’d never even imagined! It was like a kid in a candy store as he wandered further and further from the cave mouth, awash in the new and fascinating things.

It was in this state the slavers found him. More specifically, they found him as he discovered that a beehive was not something to play with. So, when the slavers found a massively built minotaur flailing about in a rage, they immediately though he would be perfect material for the coliseum. They quickly netted and bound him, knocked him unconscious, and dragged him off to the arena. When it came time for his fight however, Ferdinand still had no idea what was going on. He simply picked up one of the flowers the crowd had thrown down to the ring and sat against the wall sniffing it. One of the gladiators in the ring, a half giant, tried to figure out what he was doing. When he explained it to the arena chiefs, they kicked Ferdinand out. Nobody would pay to see a flower-sniffing minotaur. He was no fun to watch get murdered, he wouldn’t fight, and he cost too much to feed.

Ferdinand, once again freed on the surface of this fascinating planet, set about exploring as he was wont to do. Learning now that life on the surface of the planet was expensive and he had nothing to sell, he seemed to have his a stumbling block. But when a mapmaker passed him on the street sketching tunnels and offered him a tidy sum to come and draw a map of the tunnels where he was raised, it seemed he figured out his task. And so, he began selling his services to mapmakers and schools. He became an explorer, traveling to distant lands to map them and learn all about the native life there.

And that is the life he has lived for the past 20 years. Ferdinand is no longer a young bull, but he still bears his characteristic size and strength as he travels through the land.


Ferdinand’s ultimate desire is discovery. He hopes to one day map the entire world and teach others all the incredible thing he’s learned.


Ferdinand’s main fear is that he won’t be able to pass on his knowledge. He’s not afraid of monsters or hazards, and shows an almost foolish bravery. He’s walked right past bears because he saw a rare herb nearby and didn’t notice the animal.

Ferdinand’s secret is the one place he can’t find. He’s never been able to find the entrance he emerged from in the first place, or the caves he used to call home.

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Category: Fantasy

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