The Little Folk Edit
Halflings are curious folk. They are found in nearly every corner of Nyrondie, but never in very large numbers. They live alongside the other races, but keep their own traditions and customs. At no time, in recent history, have halflings ever mustered an army or even ruled a land of their own. And yet halflings have lived in Nyrondie longer than humans and elves, and have survived the collapse of kingdoms and empires many times over. They live lives comparable to humans, although they sometimes make it to the middle of their second century.
There are two distinct kinds of halflings throughout the realms of Nyrondie. Both share many similar characteristics, such as surprising quickness of both body and mind. However, the halflings of the northern climes differ from those of the southern in more than just appearance. Northern halflings are known as Stout, while those of the south are called Lightfoot. They smile at these names, but will answer to them.
Stout Halflings Edit
Stout halflings are quiet and earthy people, content to stay in their small communities and away from the crowds of "tall folk". They stand about three feet tall, but weigh upwards of forty or fifty pounds. Despite their awkward size, they are still halflings, and can be lightning fast on their feet. They are tough folk, able to eat and drink quite a lot. Some have been known to drink large men under the table, and walk home afterwards. They have thick curly hair, which ranges through the same colors as that of humans, with a tendency towards brown, but grow no beards.
Lightfoot Halflings EditThe Lightfoot are a curious folk, ready to go exploring at a moment's notice. They are nomadic, traveling from town to town in small troops or caravans. They bring news, entertainment, and foreign goods, and so are welcome in most communities, provided they don't stay too long. Lightfoot halflings are a bit taller than their northern kin, standing at about three and a half feet tall. They weigh less, averaging about forty pounds, which gives them a leaner, more agile look. Their hair is the same as their Stout cousins, except Lightfoot men have been known to grow wispy beards. They tend to wear long sideburns, and the women take great pleasure in strange hairstyles.
Halfling Realms Edit
Halflings have no distinct realms of their own, choosing instead to make their way alongside the other races.
Stout halflings build their small communities just inside civilized lands throughout the Grand March and Theyonwy, while the Lightfoot live as gypsies and nomads, wandering from town to town throughout Averistra, Theyonwy, the Grand March, and even Dyan. Despite this lack of a homeland, halflings have a love of nature and whatever land they find themselves in at the moment. They have an interest in maps, and some of the most reliable maps are halfling made.Halfling history does tell of a kingdom in the Freelands, many centuries ago which was destroyed by the "big folk". The ruins of this old kingdom still can be found on the eastern shores of the Freelands, and these sites are akin to holy ground for many halfings. Some communities send their young folk on pilgrimages to these ruins as a rite of passage into adulthood, giving them only a few days supplies to help them on their way. This tradition is more common among the Lightfoot than it is among the Stout, but it is still present in many Stout communities.
Halfings tend to get along well with all other races, but lack a deep connection with any of them. They are everyone's second or third best friend. They do get along better with rustic humans than with any other group, finding much in common with the quiet and simple lives of those folk.
- Humans - Most halflings get along fine with humans. Those halflings who settle down tend to do so near human settlements and even those who travel their whole lives prefer to do so in human lands. They share many of the same qualities, as well as the conflicting drives for comfort and adventure.
- Elves - Most halflings believe elves take themselves too seriously. They have little in common with elvenkind save for an appreciation for nature. However, the halflings' appreciation is much more practical and less likely to enter into the realm of the spiritual or mystical than that of the elves.
- Dwarves - Halflings and dwarves do not understand one another. Dwarves prefer hierarchy, structure, and order, whereas a halfling is happiest when he is traveling the open road on his own, or sitting by himself near a roaring fire. Simple comforts and excitement drive a halfling, two things most dwarves sneer at. However, they do share a love of strong drink, a quality that often dissolves the many differences between them.
- Gnomes - Halflings and gnomes are both lighthearted, and tend not to take things seriously. However, where a halfling would simply laugh if the High Cleric fell flat on his face during a coronation, a gnome would have poured the oil on the floor that made him trip. Halflings often think gnomes are a bit much, but they appreciate their frivolity much more than the other races do.
- Dragonborn - No two races are more dissimilar than dragonborn and halfling. Halflings have no great desire for battle, and though they are quite resistant to fear, they do not embrace it the way the dragonborn do. Halflings do not understand the dragonborn, nor do they have any real desire to understand them.
Relations Between Halflings Edit
All halflings, whether Lightfoot or Stout share the same dueling desires for adventure and for comfort. Stout halflings tend to embrace the desire for comfort, whereas many Lightfoot halflings have opened themselves up to the call for adventure. Still, they understand one another and hold no contempt or disdain for those who choose the other path. At worst, they might feel a bit of pity (tinged with regret) when they see the other engaged in their chosen life.
Religion and Magic Edit
Halflings embrace the human pantheons and worship the Nine, placing Istra at the head of their pantheon. They hold Bern in great respect, as well as Tymon, for these two represent the two sides of halfling nature. Few halflings feel the call to dedicate their lives to the Nine, and halfling paladins and clerics are a rarer sight still. However, there are a handful who are so blessed, and these focus on healing and aid, often traveling the roads helpings those they meet along the way in any way they can.
Nomadic halflings are the most likely of any race to study the true names of the other mortal races, and at least one of these true-name spellcasters can be found in any caravan of even medium size. However, halflings are less likely to study other kinds of magic. Arcane magic takes many years to master, and requires discipline and perseverance, and most halflings lack these two virtues. Those that are able to devote themselves to the arcane arts, however, most often become enchanters, in the vein of true-name magic.