This is one of the articles that was submitted to the contest. It was written by Akuma Nikaido
This article is intended to be a guide for anyone in the community who wants to take a deep ride on Minotaur lore and its connections.
Mintwallin was the center of minotaur society. But is it still? What are the relations between the new minotaurs and the old ones? Is some mystery left to solve on Mintwallin?
The species minotaur
Minotaurs were introduced to Tibia before the version 6.0, the first version in which we have records of what was new onto the update. Not only minotaurs (archer, guard and mage included) already existed, but also places such as Mino hell on Rookgaard and Mintwallin deep on Ancient Temple, in Thais were already formed.
After that, Minotaurs started being seen in all sorts of places in Tibia, like nearby Kazordoon, the ice islands (Folda and Vega), Darashia (dark pyramid), Yalahar, Zao and more.
The ancient city: Mintwallin
In order to understand how minotaur society works, we need to take a better comprehension of its core. Although Mintwallin is the ancient Minotaur city, it was not built by them, but conquered.
The original settlement was formed by dwarves, who eventually abandoned it since it was too dangerous. Humans, then, set foot and called it the Kingdom of Kormarak. It is unsure of how or when the minotaurs, led by Markwin, drove the humans away from that place. The self-proclaimed King started a new minotaur society in the city and wrote his chronicles, divided into 5 books. Unfortunately, the first 2 were burnt out, so we may not know the first steps into organizing his kingdom, but we do know what happened after the society was built.
Understanding who Markwin is, how he became king and his fears and rage, is very useful to help us deepen our studies into the minotaur race.
Although we don’t know how Markwin self proclaimed himself King of all minotaurs, we do know that it was more than 320 years ago. Since Mintwallin was conquered by them 180 years ago, we have an almost 150 years gap between those two historic events.
We also know that, for some time, Markwin was made a prisoner by some humans, from whom he learned how to speak and write in our language. This also made him nurture a powerful hatred of all humans (note that the first time you say hi to him he’ll summon his guards to kill you and if you say bye or farewell to him, he’ll set you on fire while saying “Go to hell! Burn!”).
Markwin led a minotaur army through the maze underneath the ancient temple and settled their army on the kingdom of Kormarak. Apparently, the main reason why they fled from the surface was the fact that they were pursued by a Daemon, which could be found in Mintwallin’s nearby area.
The constant threat made Markwin block all passages to enter Mintwallin but one: the labyrinth right above the town. Mintwallin was, for him, the new soil where the minotaurs could be in peace.
Though he was the monarch, Markwin’s greatest commander, Palkar, also had great influence in the city, mainly within the younger minos. As a warrior, Palkar intended to go back to the surface and led some small groups, conquering the tunnels and making the orcs and trolls go back, catching a glimpse of hope that someday they could see the light of the sun again.
Obsessed with power and highly disagreeing about going back to the surface, the king resented Palkar’s influence and, after a dragon killed many minos that were with the general on an excursion, Markwin prohibited Palkar from commanding the army. That was the rupture point from which a civil war hatched.
Palkar and his followers were expelled from Mintwallin, not before making the capital a war zone. In order to weaken Markwin’s morale, the outcasts troop even stole the key to their secret laboratory.
The king didn’t want the outcasts to use their lab, so he lured a dragon from the dragon-pit to the outer entrance of the secret lab. Even though this intended to make it impossible for Palkar to use the lab, the attempt to lure the dragon made Markwin deadly wounded. And this was the beginning of the downfall of Markwin’s reign.
The last strike was when Palkar and his men murdered Markwin’s son, Ian, and some guards. After that, Mintwallin was just a shadow of its former glory. Deadly ill, coughing blood and full of sorrow, the mino ruler accepted his inability to defend his own city.
What happened to Markwin?
Although Markwin was heavily injured after the dragon pit incident, he still is the king of Mintwallin. From there to now, many patches have passed (pre-6.0 to 12.81.11461). Has he fully recovered? Is the minotaur kingdom safe again? Has Markwin become the king of all minotaurs again?
While it is uncertain to tell Markwin is not physically wounded anymore, it is safe to assume he hasn’t recovered his mind nor his status. On version 8.5, launched in 2009, Boveas appears on Mintwallin, disguised as a minotaur, trying to learn more of their culture. When we talk with him about the minotaurs, we receive some precious information. We learn that the main difference between our human culture and theirs is that they centered their efforts on learning how to deal with their inner rage. He also tells us that Markwin is not all that different from other sovereigns, being confronted with similar challenges and issues. Last, but not least, he confirms that Mintwallin is a shadow of what it could have been.
What or who was confronting Markwin? Even though Palkar never appeared on the lore again (or has he?), the first confrontation ripped the minotaur society forever. But it was only in 2014, on version 10.50 when we found out about the new minotaurs.
Oramond was released and, with it, we discovered a new, evolved and improved minotaur race. “The fauna and flora of the isle of Oramond” is a book that can be find in Rathleton and make an important hypothesis: the new minotaurs “may have followed a call of some bold chieftain or supreme ruler, searching for a holy, paradisical land(…)”
On version 11.40 we were introduced to a new quest, Cults of Tibia, in which we discover a minotaur cult, happening on deep Mintwallin. Those cultists were revering The False God, some kind of a strong minotaur.
So, in short, since the time Palkar rebelled against Markwin, we had minotaurs leaving Mintwallin or rebelling against the king, being probably the challenges Boveas told us the minotaur king is facing. In some way, all of them were outcasts.
Speaking of outcasts, what happened to Palkar?
Going a while back, after Palkar and his outcasts murdered Ian, no more attacks were seen on Mintwallin. Before trying to predict the next moves, it is important to know how they could breach the city defenses.
When checking the city surroundings, we can find Palkar’s diary, in which the former general wrote some important notes. Let’s check them:
But that diary was not the only important document we can find while exploring The Ancient Temple. Near its entrance we can see some minotaur corpses and find inside one of them a digger’s excavation log. By reading it, we understand that the diggers never got back since they were killed by a human. In spite of that, could we say that their sacrifices were enough? The passage was open and they were really close to the Temple’s entrance, as we can see here.
So now we know what happened to Palkar, but still don’t know his whereabouts. Now the question of a million gp’s. Where’s Waldo Palkar?
Let’s dive into some hypotheses from now on, so keep in mind that starting now we will be creating questions, not answers.
Hypothesis 0: Palkar never went through the game
Ok, we know that many people and creatures presented in Tibia’s lore are not in the game and this is a possible hypothesis. This could be the case of Palkar. To be sure that we didn’t have any monster archive inside the game named Palkar, I used the “Creature Illusion” spell, only to find out that “a creature with this name doesn’t exist”. Even though this could be proof enough for some to stop searching, I don’t think this is a valid assumption in this case. Let me tell you why.
Though there are lots of personalities who are quoted in the lore and are not in the game, usually the most important ones are either add in-game as a NPC (such as Basilisk, Avar Tar and many more) or add as a creature at some time (such as Ferumbras, Morgaroth, etc.).
Not only the minotaurs are extremely important figures on Tibia’s lore (presented as a race created to be full of rage and used as pawns on the god’s war) but Palkar was a figure important enough to influence a whole new generation of minotaurs (I can’t think Kaplar being an acronym to Palkar as a coincidence).
With that said, let’s go through the other hypothesis then.
Hypothesis 1: Palkar is still inside The Ancient Temple
Since Palkar’s last tracked steps were deep inside the temple, it is reasonable to assume he could still be there. This assumption, though, becomes fragile when we analyze Palkar’s personality. From the lore back then, we know that the outcast leader is an intelligent, persuasive and powerful mino. He was obsessed with leaving the dungeon and getting back to the surface and his downfall started because of Markwin’s actions.
Knowing that, could Palkar really let his dream of returning to the surface go away and decide to live inside the Temple? And more: could Palkar live in peace with Markwin, not trying to claim Mintwallin? If the former general could claim the throne, not only could we consider it as a consolation prize but he could even use his power and influence to reorganize the mino society and use it in order to escape the Temple.
By rage or by strategy, both ways would have led Palkar to the discrown of Markwin. We could question if Palkar was powerful enough to do that at the beginning, right after he was expelled by the king forces, but after his druid convinced the dragon guarding the lab and after he and his men were able to breach on Mintwallin and kill Markwin’s son, it is more than reasonable to assume they could do it. With Markwin deadly wounded, the only question still possible is if Palkar knew about it. But since we had a lot of younger minos influenced by him still living in Mintwallin, I guess he could get some intel.
But if Palkar never got back to Mintwallin, where could he be?
Hypothesis 2: Palkar in Oramond
Ok, I know at first this seems a wild guess but it has some logic. As stated before, in the book “Fauna and Flora of the Isle of Oramond”, the minotaurs that live on the island probably got there following a “bold chieftain or supreme ruler”. Since its a society formed of outcasters, could Palkar be this leader who found the paradisiacal land?
Though it makes some sense after you go through this idea, there are certain facts that go against this hypothesis. Neither of the new minotaurs cries Kaplar (which could lead to a hint that they are not influenced by Palkar), nor their lore meets the former general one.
When checking the library out, we can get a little description about the creatures. Minotaur amazons were born with the renewal of the doctrines upon the command of the priestess Ralda. There were no current quotations about Ralda anywhere on Tibia, so it is not reasonable to associate her to Palkar.
Minotaur hunters rarely were used in combat with other beasts, but we don’t know much more, since they are a very closed society and it’s hard to get intel about them.Though it is possible that Palkar was familiar with them, to infer that they followed the general is a long shot.
Moohtants are the crude form of minotaurs engulfed by rage. They can be found in any minotaur society, but in Mintwallin they tend to be tossed away from the sight, since minotaurs find them “unclean”. We don’t have any clue of how they could be related to Palkar.
Mooh’tah warriors are the elite soldiers that are able to dominate their rage and even transform that anger into spiritual energy. Generally mooh’tah masters that are more worldly form elite squads. It is fair to assume that was Palkar’s case. If there were a group of minotaur on Oramond that could have been following him, probably mooh’tah warriors would have been the ones. We don’t have, though, settlements of mooh’tah warriors-only, so if Palkar guided them there, the question remained: how?
We can discover this answer when reading Worm Priestesses’ entry in the library. Worm priestesses are nothing less than the ones who revere the “great worm of legend, that lead several families of minotaurs from oppression in Mintwallin to a land that should be theirs to conquer”. With this quote, we can conclude that it was a worm, probably related to rotworms, that created the tunnel. We also find while reading the library that worm priestesses are self-proclaimed prophets and they do not reunite in anyone’s name.
With all of this in mind, it is really unlikely to find Palkar among the new Oramond minotaurs. So if those outcasts were not led by the general, where is he?
Hypothesis 3: The False God
When Cults of Tibia quest was put into the game, we were introduced to a new minotaur society, who revered the false god. Since this society is an outcast one, one of the assumptions we could make is that the false god is actually Palkar. Since it is not new that CipSoft sometimes uses a different name when referring to someone known (such as a prisoner instead of the mad mage), it could have been a possibility.
I tried talking to NPC’s such as Jamesfrancis and Gerimor (Cults of Tibia) and Markwin about The False God, but got no answers that could slightly refer to Palkar. Since we lack tools to test this hypothesis valid or not, this still remains as a possible, though not probable, one.
Hypothesis 4: The Horned Fox
Although it seems a blind guess to assume Palkar may be the Horned Fox, this seems for me the most acceptable theory.
First of all, let’s talk about the timeline. As told before, those events happened before/until update 6.0 (both Palkar’s rebellion and King Markwin’s deadly wounds). Until that time, it was only possible to find the minotaur species inside The Ancient Temple (on mainland) and on Minotaur Hell (in Rookgaard). Both places were related to Mintwallin, reinforcing the concept that the minotaurs were united under an only king.
It was only on 6.1 that Kazordoon and its surroundings were introduced but, until then, the secret hideout was still not present in the game.
On update 6.2, the ice islands (Folda, Vega and Senja) were added to the game and, with it, the first minotaurs totally disbanded from Mintwallin.
Between the updates 6.61 and 6.97 we got the creation of the secret hideout nearby Kazordoon. Also minotaurs started to be seen on Plains of Havoc. Also, a new continent called Darama was discovered. Minotaurs were seen on the Dark Pyramid. Although the secret hideout was found, we still had no words about The Horned Fox.
Only on update 7.5 two of the most famous minotaur bosses were added into the game: General Murius and The Horned Fox. The first one could be found in Mintwallin and the second one in the secret hideout.
Speaking of bosses, others of interest are The Apprentice Sheng, added on update 7.9 and Mooh’tah Master, added on update 8.54. Even though there are other minotaur bosses, those 4 are the most important for this theory, so we’ll keep track of them.
There were also several quests added into the game related to the minotaur lore, such as Mad Mage Room and Devil Helmet (in Mintwallin surroundings). On update 8.1 another quest was added, called To outfox a fox. This is an important quest to this hypothesis, so I gotta put it in here.
Now that we formed a timeline, another important point is that several times CipSoft uses references of our world on their quests, hunting grounds, NPC’s and on the lore. Some of them are deeply well-established, like Frodo or Sam (as a reference to Lord of the Rings), Telas (as a reference to Nikolas Tesla) and others (see here for more https://tibia.fandom.com/wiki/Allusions#Famous_and_Historical_People) but every now and then new allusions are discovered.
After some time searching for possible allusions that Palkar could been meant to have, I found a famous person called Netaji Palkar (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netaji_Palkar). But since sharing the same name/surname isn’t enough to think of an allusion, let’s check a little bit more about Netaji’s past.
Netaji was a sarnabaut, which literally means commander-in-chief (supreme commander). He was a great commander who had been in charge of many expeditions and had a great popularity within the people of his own. He was the first in command of a man who founded an empire (Maratha). While Palkar wanted to expand his people’s domain, his ruler was afraid of the heavy losses the population could suffer and decided not to conquer new areas, even giving up some of the areas they already have. This caused a scission between them and Palkar defected to other forces.
Comparing this history to the lore, Palkar was the commander-in-chief, had a great popularity and charisma, wanted to expand the mino’s domain and this led to a split between those two rulers. Although there are differences in both histories, the similarities are close enough for us to assume this could be an allusion.
Analyzing the timeline, we can see that after the incident that made Palkar an outcast, many minotaurs started being seen outside Mintwallin. Those could all be called outcasters, since they don’t live under Markwin’s influence. But, again, thinking that is pushing our luck, so let’s get some solid proof.
When update 8.1 got launched, we were introduced to a new quest called to outfox a fox. When talking to Budrik, if we ask him about The Horned Fox, he’ll tell us he is an outcast who was expelled from Mintwallin.
Now for some knowledge, calling someone a fox in English means that this person is very clever and deceitful. This matches with the description of Palkar. Not only that, but when we invade the secret hideout we can find a document written by The Horned Fox. As we saw before, there are only a few minotaurs who are able to write (that we know) and Palkar was one of them.
Last, but not least, even though both General Murius and The Horned Fox were added on 7.5 update, neither of them emits the cry “Kaplar!”. It is reasonable for General Murius to not say such a thing, since he is Markwin’s new commander. Also, assuming Palkar is The Horned Fox, would it be weird to see him screaming that. But could it have been only that CipSoft decided not to use Kaplar anymore?
This doesn’t seem to be the case, since both Apprentice Sheng (added on 7.9) and Mooh’tah Master (added on 8.54) shouts “Kaplar!” as one of their sentences.
Each of those arguments alone already are plausible, but when we see the whole context, this hypothesis seems pretty decent. Assuming it is right, we get a final question to ask: why would Palkar loot a mining helmet?
Analyzing what the former general passed through until he established himself in his secret hideout, many of the difficulties were formed because they lacked a way to dig their escape. They are now living on a mountain that was clearly sculpted from the inside and that is connected from the underground. Liking or not the dungeons, Palkar knows that it may be necessary for them to survive to use the tunnels sometimes, so it makes sense for him to be looking for equipments that can help him on the cause.
We haven’t seen many changes in the surroundings since a long time, but can we expect their domain to expand in the next few years? Time’ll tell us.
This article intended to expand our knowledge about the minotaur race. As we took our little rodeo and took a look at their culture, we discovered how their lore was nurtured and learned more about them. We now understand a little bit more about King Markwin and his relations, how Mooh’tah was developed and used in order to help the minos in refraining their inner rage and in order to get stronger.
We got to understand a little bit more about the quests created because of the mino’s lore, such as The Devil Helmet Quest, inspired on the ancient daemon that haunted Mintwallin surroundings; The Mad Mage Room Quest, inspired on the prisoner arrested in mino city; and The Kingdom of Kormarak Quest, which tell us a little bit more about the old reign that was conquered by Markwin’s troops.
We even took the bull by the horns and deepened our research trying to locate Palkar’s whereabouts. We unlocked the origins of Oramond’s minotaurs and saw how The False God strengthened his cultists. By looking into our world history and by comparing with Tibia’s lore, we could speculate what’s the relation between The Horned Fox and the former commander-in-chief.
Even though we opened some doors and expanded our knowledge, there are still many doors locked, some that we don’t even know it’s there. I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I did writing it and I’m looking forward to seeing your opinions and theories.
To Pontes Bigodudo, who tried some dialogues and got some books on areas I couldn’t access and to Ashrya, Uriel and Friist, who helped me revise the article.
|Cavaleiro Kyon Efusa
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I love how articles uncover more content in Tibia and help me understand Tibian universe better.