A mul is an incredibly tough crossbreed of a human and dwarf. They retain the height and cunning of their human parent, plus the durability and raw strength of their dwarven heritage. Muls are usually the products of the slave pits – owners recognize the muls’ assets as gladiators and labourers, and so order the births of as many muls as can be managed within the ranks of their slaves. Muls are born sterile – they cannot perpetuate their kind.
A full-grown mul stands 6 to 6½ feet tall and weighs 240-300 pounds. They are fair skinned, sometimes tending toward a copperish coloration. Their dwarven ancestry gives them a well-muscled frame and an incredible constitution – mul labourers can perform heavy work for days at a time without stopping. Muls have stern facial features. They are unmistakably human in appearance, though their ears are swept back and slightly pointed. Most muls, whether male or female, have no hair or beard.
Born as they are to lives of slave labour, with the taskmaster’s whip taking the place of parents and family, muls are given to a gruff personality and violent reactions. Understandably, many never seek friends or companionship but live out their lives in servitude, driven by hatred and spite. Most, however, learn who to trust in the slave pits and who not to, gaining favour and reputation among the other slaves.
Many slave muls have either escaped or otherwise won their freedom and now live independent lives all over Athas. Of these, a large percentage have bartered their combat prowess, making their way as soldiers or guards. A few others, given to more cerebral pursuits, have turned to priestly devotions or the mental disciplines of psionics.
Muls are slaves, true, but when they are doing well in the arena, they are the most pampered slaves. It is expensive to generate and maintain a stable of muls, and their owners protect their large investments with special treatment and considerations. It’s rare that a mul who does his work well receives particularly harsh treatment as a slave. Thus, they often don’t see their slavery as all that bad a deal. Of course, when their arena or work performance is lacking, discipline is cruelly reinstated.
Like their dwarven parent, a mul who sets his mind on freedom or disruption among the other slaves is rarely kept on hand. They most often are sold or traded from owner to dissatisfied owner until they are eventually relegated to harsh labour in a remote area or sent to the gladiator pits.
The following game statistics apply to the mul player character:
- Ability Adjustments: +2 Strength, +1 Constitution, -1 Intelligence, -2 Charisma.
- Movement Rate: 12.
- Mul Exertion: Muls can work for great lengths of time, depending on the type of labour. Regardless of the type of exertion, eight hours of sleep will let a mul become fully rested, ready to begin work again.