“One of the worst results of being a slave is that when there is no one around with a whip, you find you have almost lost the power to act without it. We were not just born into this. We were made for it. And in this truth, we can find purpose, and despair.”
-from Alto, a freed slavebred of Vesterine, in a letter to his former owner
The Slavebred are a product of magical transmutation, humans whose souls were twisted up with those of animals to make them easier to control and tireless workers. The Slavebred were created by the Autumn Court to eliminate the need for human slaves, and sold as soldiers to the Summer Court. Most still live as chattel to the Apsara, but the Ferals recently gained their freedom in Ackenzal and the escaped descendants of the earliest experiments, the Wildlings, live in the Spellsung Woods where they take any opportunity to strike out against their former owners. Most slavebred are of breeds specialized for a given task. In Ackenzal, almost all Slavebred are descended from those sold to the Ondine as soldiers, and were mingled with the souls of dogs and cats to better fight the Ackenzal rebels. Later, these same soldiers would become slaves to Ackenzal, though not as soldiers. The Slavebred of Apsara are usually mixed with cows and horses, making them docile and tenacious workers. The Wildlings were an early attempt to make a slave army, and were crossed with the panthers of Spellsung woods and other great predators. They are wild, almost sociopathic, and barbaric. There are also those slavebred who were affected by the Fellwright of The Second Starfall, the effects of which seemed to exaggerate their animal heritage. They, like those touched by the fellwright of solely human ancestry, are afflicted with birth defects and the health problems associated with giganticism.
Most Slavebred, besides the Wildlings, have an instinct to obey orders, a quality that even the freed rebels of Ackenzal have a hard time eliminating. Simply telling a Feral to perform a task may set them out to perform it compulsively.
Play a Slavebred if you want…
- To have both an animalistic nature and a compulsive habit to obey.
- To have a direct connection to the history of the campaign setting.
- To be able to excel as a ranger, barbarian, or fighter.
- Use the Shifter statistics from the Player’s Handbook 2 for Slavebred of Ackenzal. Use Thri-Kreen statistics from the Dark Sun Campaign Setting for Slavebred of the Spellsung Wilds. Use Gnoll statistics from the Monster Manual for the chattel of Apsar. Languages are Vulgate and Havsprog for Ferals, Seelie for Wildlings.
Physical Description: A Slavebred’s appearance is determined by the animal nature instilled in them. There are many different kinds of slavebred, though in general they can fall into one of through groups. In Ackenza and Zapandil, the Ferals have pointed teeth, amber eyes that shine in the dark, brown skin and black claws that, depending on whether the ancestry is canine or feline, may retract. They tend to have brown skin and thick body hair, and the colorations of hair vary. The Wildlings of the Spellsung Woods have tails, and much longer claws and fangs, while the chattel slaves of Apsar have hands with only two fingers and cloven feet with thick, almost hoof-like nails, incredibly broad shoulders, and vestigial horns. Slavebred are short lived, being lucky to reach the age of fifty, but also mature much faster than humans; most are fully grown after only twelve years.
Playing a Slavebred in this campaign: Your biggest difference from others is the strong animalistic nature that will shine through in your behavior. Depending on your breed, this may be a canine loyalty, an equine tenacity, or a feline independence. You also have to combat a compulsive to obey, something you should roleplay as best you can. You may have an inferiority complex based on your ancestry, and you may have problems with the fact that the Slavebred, with the exception of the barbaric Wildlings, have no real culture to call their own. You will struggle with finding an individual identity, and this may lead you to latch on to any one factor of your life that gives an identity, be it a family, a job, or a religious calling.