According to Minotaur legend, they were born from pain, the pain of the goddess Nagek Ha (Wailing Mother). They believe that when the universe was created, Nagek Ha birthed the stars, the earth, the oceans, the beasts, and all the other races. But after that great work was done, Nagek Ha was still in agony. So she carved a knife out of a mountain and cut the pain out. That pain landed on a peninsula jutting off the continent and became the first minotaurs. That is what they believe. What is known for sure is that for as long as the Horn of the Earth (the peninsula) has existed, the minotaurs have been there, hunting, sailing, raiding and embracing their pain. For centuries, they existed free and savage. Now they serve under the rule of the Heildish, who have curtailed their piracy, and instead turned their naval talents against the Reaverkin. Because of the minotaur’s talent for sailing, Heildish trade ships have enjoyed a safety unknown on the seas for centuries. The minotaurs themselves chafe at the servitude and the loss of much of their culture which the Heildish deem to be too cruel or vicious, but also enjoy the chance to test their suffering against the Reaverkin and their spine-ships.
About what you’d expect. The minotaur’s belief in and veneration for pain and suffering leads them to practice an assortment of body modifications. Two such modifications are universal; the facial scarifications that serve as rite of passage, and the sharpening of the teeth which is done for spiritual as well as practical reasons. Other common modifications include piercings, scars, and tattoos of all sorts in all places. The value of the modification, the prestige it grants is in direct relation to how painful it would have been to get. Horn decorations are also important to the Minotaurs, serving as a way of demonstrating rank and honor. Indeed, there is a complex language of decorations and ways of wearing them that communicate any Minotaurs history.
Minotaurs are organized into large, familial clans bound together by kinship and oaths. The clans are largely cooperative, keeping any conflict to ritualized combat or competitive tests of suffering. Each clan is led by a Chieftain (Zokuch) who makes any decisions dealing with the outside world, commanding raids, negotiating with the Heildish, that sort of thing, as well as a Clan Mother (Ichizok Ha), who makes decisions related to what’s going on in the clan. While it is common for the two to be mates, it is not required. Beneath the two leaders are the Clan Champion (Ichizok Sen) who acts as the Chieftain’s right hand, and the Hunter (Hant), who investigates any matters of concern to the Clan Mother. Status in the clan is based upon prowess in battle, especially during oceanic raids, and upon the ability to endure pain. Anyone who proves they can out suffer one of the clan leaders can oust them.
Beyond the Clan Mother and Chieftain is the Scar-Talker (Hankon Hanash), the clan’s spiritual and magical expert. It is the Scar-Talker who leads the clan in rituals venerating the Wailing Mother, showing through their pain that they have no forgotten what they are, and what they owe her. The Scar-Talker prepares his spells every day through an hour long ritual of self-harm, cutting and burning runes into his flesh. When the time comes to cast the spell, they reopen the wound or irritate the wound, ripping off scabs or rubbing dirt into burns.
As may have become clear by now, the minotaurs worship their creator, the mother-goddess Nagek Ha. Since they believe that they were born from pain, they believe that is the essence of their people. For a minotaur, suffering is an expression of the soul, of the force that animates them. They also realize that being the amputated pain of their goddess, they cannot expect her love; really they don’t believe Nagek Ha can love. Instead, they worship her in the hopes of keeping her appeased. It is worship born from respect and fear, the only thing the minotaurs truly fear.
Go with Japanese sounding names, supplemented with descriptive “honor” names, usually dealing with a particularly impressive act of self-harm or endurance.