Slaves of Athas
Sweating Under a Dark Sun
By Matthew Sernett
The Dark Sun Campaign Setting introduces the concept of character themes. With this new mechanic, players can add an extra layer of depth to their characters and have that reflected in the powers their characters use. Slaves have always been a part of Athasian society. Their lives are hard, often short, and for most, deprived of dignity. A small minority—those who are sufficiently brace, desperate, or lucky—escape to better things, but they can never lower their guard against the threat of discovery.
An escaped slave’s only hope is to see freedom as a rebirth. Old haunts, one-time friends, even family—all need to be avoided for fear of being recognized and turned in. Hide the brand, disguise the tattoo, cover up the scars, explain the calluses away—successful escaped slaves do all this and more. Escaped slaves must take up a new name, a new history, and if one can manage it, a new appearance. The strong will and sharp mind such a life requires often drives successful escaped slaves back toward their former owners, exchanging one master for another: revenge.
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About the Author
Matthew Sernett is a writer and game designer for Wizards of the Coast who splits his time between Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering. Recent credits include Player’s Handbook Races: Tieflings, The Plane Above: Secrets of the Astral Sea, and Magic: The Gathering: Zendikar. When he’s not making monsters or building worlds, he’s watching bad fantasy movies you don’t realize exist and shouldn’t bother to learn about.