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 laborers, 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.
Born as they are to lives of slave labor, 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 favor 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 half-dwarves, a cross between a male Dwarf and female Human. Because of their large bone structures, the pregnancy is hard on both the mother and Mul, usually resulting in the child having to be cut from his/her dying mother's body.
When created, the player must decide if his mul character will be considered a demihuman or a human character. As a human, the mul character can have unlimited advancement in any class and become a dual-classed character later in his career. As a demihuman, a mul can become a multi-classed character in accordance with the multi-classed combinations table in Dark Sun Boxed Set. Once the decision is made, the mul character will forever be considered either a human or demihuman in all ways.
A mul character adds two to his initial Strength score and one to his initial Constitution score. While often cunning and bright, a mul's training rarely encourages the mental disciplines, so mul characters subtract one from their initial Intelligence scores. The rigors of their upbringing in bondage makes them sullen and difficult to befriend —mul characters subtract two from their initial Charisma scores.
Mules are able to work longer and harder without rest than are most other races.
Regardless of the preceding type of exertion, eight hours of sleep will let a mul become fully rested, ready to begin work again.
A Mul is slightly taller than a Dwarf, but slightly shorter than a Human. They are completely hairless like their Dwarven ancestors, and are incredibly muscular. As tough as any Dwarf, Muls are stronger because of their extra size.
A full-grown mul stands 6' to 6 1/2 feet tall and weighs between 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 laborers 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.
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 labor in a remote area or sent to the gladiator pits.
The notes given on roleplaying each race are also very important, since a character earns additional individual experience point awards when played according to these racial descriptions.
- Dark Sun Boxed Set. 2nd Edition. TSR Inc.