As the World Burns
Muls are half-dwarves, descended from the union of a human and a dwarf. They have the stature, agility, and mental flexibility of humankind, coupled with the physical resilience and endurance of dwarves, a rare combination of qualities that makes muls more than a simple blend of the two races.
Because they are strong, tough, quick, and blessed with fantastic endurance, muls are highly prized as slaves. In fact, most muls are born into slavery. Muls make outstanding gladiators, slave warriors, and heavy laborers, enduring toil and hardships that would kill lesser folk.
Muls who set their hearts on freedom are difficult to keep in chains. Some escape to the wilds and become raiders or join tribes of ex-slaves, whereas others who escape become mercenaries and sell their fighting skills to whomever they can. Muls who dont flee captivity can win their freedom in the arena or by completing a dangerous task for their masters. A few highly prized gladiators receive so many privileges and comforts that they are effectively free, enjoying great latitude to go where they want and do as they wish.
Muls are hard, driven, pragmatic folk with little remorse or sympathy in their hearts. Many grow up under the lash, having been taken from their parents while very young and subjected to brutal training for the arena or grinding toil in fields or quarries. Consequently, muls have a hard time offering friendship and trust to anyone. More than a few muls, scarred by the hardships of their upbringing, spend their days as bitter, violent misanthropes. Others are suspicious, grasping mercenaries who have learned never to lift a finger on behalf of another person without establishing what they will gain from providing aid. Despite their tendency to be sullen or self centered, muls can learn to work alongside others. Growing up in the slave pits and the underclass of society taught them how to forge alliances and understandings; their survival demanded nothing less.