One of Orn's races of smallfolk, Halflings tend to resemble short humans with noticeable sideburns and often with body hair covering the backs of their hands and the tops of their feet.
On the whole the race tends to be marked by their lively, curious nature and their high pitched voices as well as a more than healthy appetite for both adventure as well as food.
“A mushroom pie is mighty fine,
and beer can ease your grief
but I could do without them both–
If I have lots of leaf!”
Sideburns (required), blush across the tip or bridge of the nose (optional), small slightly pointed ear tips (optional), fur or hair on the backs of hands and/or tops of feet (optional).
Halflings tend to be on the shorter end of the spectrum but as with many races there are clear exceptions to this 'rule'. Their style of dress varies as widely as humans but many tend to enjoy colourful clothing and patterns.
Halflings are an easy-going, fun-loving race. They love stories, singing, dancing, and all sorts of games. They talk in high-pitched voices and have a tendency to really annoy everyone, save for one another. Most Halflings are not very combat oriented as a result of their disposition, but can be very fearsome when defending their home and those who are combat ready often take advantage of being underestimated. Most Halflings have extremely curious attitudes toward new things. Often items happen to end up in a Halfling's pouch for one reason or another, usually it got there by accident, according to the innocent looking Halfling. Due to their carefree and play hard attitude, members from many other cultures believe the Halflings to be not especially bright. This is a mistake – Halflings are intelligent and sensitive, and hate it when someone hurts someone they care about. Halflings love food and can easily become entranced by it. Eating is one of their favorite pastimes. As a result, quite a few Halflings are expert cooks and bakers, and can always find a place to work in a kitchen. Desserts are a specialty of Halflings. Halflings love to trade and generally collect all kinds of junk. It is not unusual for Halflings to have a collection of something or other that they guard fiercely. Often this collection is made up of items others would see no real value in – keys, buttons, recipes, etc. Halfling stories are often filled with exaggerations and half-truths, which make them look heroic. They seldom blatantly lie, but instead use their imagination and a convenient omission of facts to shed a more favorable light on things.
According to legend Halflings first appeared due to the actions of a group of unpleasant sorcerers who called themselves The Hallowed Enigma. The Enigma lived in a backwater barony and wanted the land that a nearby village occupied. The peace-loving villagers soon found themselves under declaration of war by this group of powerful sorcerers, and the fighting led to the entire village being cursed so that they and their descendants would forever live a child-like existence. For the next several years the war raged on and the sorcerers greatly delighted in tormenting the Halflings, until the Good Grandpa found them. The warring years were hard, as the Halflings had lost all memory of the curse that had changed them. Eventually unsure of why they were fighting to defend such a place at so much risk they left and began to lead a nomadic existence and lived mostly on the nuts and berries that they gathered in the forest. Many of their people had died, and the Enigma, even with the land they coveted theirs, tormented them relentlessly. It was then that Todd Cobblestone and the Good Grandpa came to their rescue. The 'Good Grandpa' as the halflings still call him was a wizard who arrived on their doorstep dying and hungry. The Halflings were quick to take him in and one Todd Cobblestone, town healer, managed to save the Good Grandpa. In thanks, the wizard aided the Halflings in finally ending the group of sorcerers. He also looked for a way to end the curse that had been placed on the Halflings, but was never able to find a cure, and so he cared for them almost as his own children until his death. His teachings are remembered by the Halflings (albeit most have a frippish explanation now that he had never given). After the Good Grandpa's death, his apprentice Nora Goodbody, took over as the new matriarch of the Halflings. Currently they are still a nomadic people, having spread into many various tribes and caravans, but all caravans still occasionally visit and answer to Queen Goodbody.
There are more tribes and caravans than most non-Halfings and even many Halflings will ever know; these are simply a few of the families who have gained legendary status:
The Goodest Guys - They claim to be descended from the Good Grandpa himself, and practice magic of their own.
The Thornfoot Brambles - A warrior caravan whose leader Blackberry claimed that she defeated six dragons single-handed.
The Yellow Hairs - An assassin tribe that "killed a Big Nasty Bad Guy."
Ambassador/General Thistlethorn's Militia - Nearly defeated the Orc King Aug single-handed.
Blueberry Thistlebush Betters - A gambling caravan that claimed to have beaten the Good Grandpa himself at poker.
Raspberry Woodenleaf's Finders of Things - Raspberry once found the key to the Good Grandpa's treasure chest in his pouch. It had fallen in there by accident.
Doc Appleseeds - A caravan of healers that once saved over fifteen kittens from a cold!
There is no such thing as a conventional family in Halfling society. Rather, the entire community will assist with raising the young. The group is one big family, which sleeps, eats, and plays together. The Halflings also prefer to sleep outside on the ground when the weather permits, and they will always try to sleep in a big pile that they refer to as a "sleeping pile".
Laws: The Good Grandpa established some laws that the Halflings have lived by ever since. They are called the Rules of Seven. Any Halfling that breaks one of the rules is sent to a place deep within the dark caves called the Ledge of Spooky Noises, where he/she will have to stay the night (a very scary experience, as all of that howling is surely caused by ghosts or werewolves!)
The Rules of Seven:
- No fighting each other unless you're mad.
- No stealing unless you need it more.
- No public nudity unless it's really hot.
- No wandering around alone unless you're bored.
- No chopping trees with spirits unless they call you names.
- No playing with Faeries unless it looks like fun.
- Always listen to your Elders unless they're dumb.
Names: Most Halfling names have to do with something found in nature. A Halfling child is named at birth, but may change their name as they get older. Some Halflings are known to change their name every year or so just because they want to. Males and females use the same first names, as there is little distinction between masculine and feminine roles in the society. Family names have become prevalent in the last few decades, with the child adopting the mother’s family name.
Examples of some Halfling names are:
First Names - Ash, Beany, Berry, Brushy, Cotton, Crasanthis, Daisy, Elm, Fern, Holly, Ivy, Lark, Leafy, Maize, Millet, Oak, Pine, Rose, Sprig, Sprout.
Family Names - Ashbriar, Berrymouth, Brandymoss, Bristleberry, Brushybrow, Burrlip, Burrowback, Gardentoe, Greenthumb, Honeydew, Lillyhair, Mellonlip, Oakenweed, Ricecup, Roseythorn, Smallfoot, Songwhistle, Tanglefoot, Thistlethorn, Thornapple, Trailfoot.
Marriage: Halflings "marry" freely and of their own will. Halfling "marriage" is a mockery of the traditional role of marriage, and is treated as a game among Halflings. Typically, two Halflings claim to be married for a week or two, at which time they grow tired of playing games with one another and go out in search of new husbands and wives.
Death: Halflings are only sad when someone they know has died, which lasts for ten to twenty seconds before they begin singing songs and dancing to celebrate the death. Halflings do not bury their dead, but usually practice cremation.
Halflings tend to like all races, even the 'grumpy' ones because those are the most fun to talk to because of the colors they turn in the face.
Many other races can find halflings somewhat overwhelming, and often think they are all childish fops despite the fact that many Halfings are quite capable adventurers.
Avaren - Pretty Lady, if you like healing she's your girl!
Kragg, the Forge Father - The ones with the beards are the grumpiest, and that makes him pretty cool.
Thareon, the North Star - He's like the Good Grandpa but not so old, maybe he can teach us some magic.
Ivelis, the Wanderer in the Wind - He's just like us! Are we sure he isn't a Halfling?
Often times Halflings wander off to become adventurers simply because it sounds like fun. Other times those Halflings who are a bit more subdued than their kin may do so simply to get a bit of a break.
Many Halflings make excellent thieves and pickpockets due to their size but have to work on their tendency to chatter. Healers are another popular role for Halflings as well as mages. Halfling warriors are a bit rarer but are no less fierce than any other combatant, especially if their food or family are threatened.
Goat Botherer - A rude person
Bog Trotter - Trolls
Jingle Farmer - A beggar
Come Flood or Famine - No matter what
Ear Sucker - Someone who is overly fond of elves
Free Pie Costs a Penny - Nothing is free.