Backgrounds

Athasian Minstrel: Each noble house is surrounded
by an entourage of entertainers and
companions for hire. Athasian minstrels might be
dancers, poets, musicians, artists, or tutors retained
by the wealthy and powerful, or they might be
performers from roving troupes hired for special
occasions. Minstrels also double as spies, assassins,
and agents, concealing daggers beneath fluttering silk
or honeyed words.

Dune Trader: Dune traders frequent the citystates
and the wild lands, following the ancient
caravan routes. The great merchant houses of Athas
provide opportunities for ambitious and capable
people to make their fortunes. Serving as a mercenary,
advisor, or agent to a merchant house might
provide a character with the ability to travel on his
patron’s behalf and live in comfort.

Elemental Priest: In the absence of gods and
divine magic, many people of the deserts turn to
primal magic. Elemental priests are no friends to the
sorcerer-kings or templars, but the residents of rural
villages and nomadic tribes hold the priests in high
regard. Some are shamans armed with potent healing
abilities, some are secret assassins, and others are
fierce warriors who fortify themselves with the spirits
of the world’s primal elements.

Gladiator: Life on Athas is cheap, and the great
city-states are renowned for their bloodstained
arenas. Gladiators are warriors who fight for gold,
glory, or survival in the arena. Many are slaves,
trained from childhood to fight for the entertainment
of the masses. A prized gladiator often receives better
treatment than the typical arena fodder and might
enjoy considerable freedom despite his or her slave
status. Some gladiators are free beings who choose to
fight, lured by the rich prizes and promise of glory.

Primal Guardian: Although elemental priests
wield the powers of the desert—sun, sand, fire, and
wind—a few primal devotees cling to the powers of
life that remain on Athas. These primal guardians
wield the strength of forest and oasis against those
who would bring further ruin to the dying world.
Like devotees of the elements, primal guardians
oppose the sorcerer-kings and the minions of these
tyrants, and they command the fear and respect of
the desert peoples.

Wasteland Nomad: Wasteland nomads might be
hunters, scouts, or wild raiders with no formal training,
but the Athasian wasteland is a harsh teacher. Wanderers
don’t last long without some skill with spear or sword.
Wilder: Psionic power is widespread on Athas,
and many privileged nobles and commoners of exceptional
ability receive formal training in the Way (the
Athasian term for the study of psionic disciplines).

Wilder: Wilders are those who lack formal instruction in
psionics and master their powers on their own. Most
come from the poorer classes in the city-states, the
outlying villages, or the tribes of the desert. It’s not
unusual for a skilled fighter or an agile rogue to have
a potent, self-taught psionic power with which she
can surprise careless enemies.

Backgrounds

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