“You can’t be serious.” – General Donatorix
The migrant race of Avalore. They’re considered more untrustworthy than any Trollkin, more secretive than any Elf, more frivolous than any Gnome, and an inferior soldier to all other races. For all these strikes, Halflings are not particularly welcomed wherever they go and must perpetually be on the move to assure that what little welcome they have doesn’t turn into hostility.
Halflings rise to a humble height of 3 feet. They prefer to walk barefoot, leading to the bottoms of their feet being roughly calloused. Tufts of thick, curly hair warm the tops of their broad, tanned feet. Their skin tends toward a rich almond color and their hair toward light shades of brown. A halfling’s ears are pointed, but proportionately not much larger than those of a human.
Elven wisdom holds that centuries ago, Bahl had a particularly bad orgy, siring at least several dozen half-elven toddlers. When Andromeda caught word of this debauchery, she was irate, inconsolable, and demanded her son to kill his liter before they became full grown adult demigods. Bahl, as clever as ever, aboded by his mother’s wishes by permanently stunting the growth of his progeny; through resourcefulness, the little men and women wouldn’t grow to be more than 4 feet tall and thus escaped the wrath of the gods. They would go on to become known as ‘the halflings’, carrying on their father’s characteristic wit and wiles.
No society is so defined by the hatred that has been set against it. Avalore is a world dominated by races twice as large as themselves, and they have not been generous. A fragmented people, the Halflings have no lands, no towns, not even houses. But they are bedrock that no race could ever shatter; the wagon is its keystone. It is a home – able to move with the migrant halflings. It is a business; halfling merchants sell their sought after, though often unscrupulous, wares wagonside. It is a temple; the halfling wedding for example is held around the wagon – the bride and groom stand on the tailgate as they exchange kisses. A single family will occupy a single wagon. Wagons can come together to form caravans, and caravans can come together to become Jamborees. It may seem like a contradiction for a society to be both tight knit and dispersed, but for the halflings, its everyday life.
The Halfling’s woes come from perception. They are perceived as lacking fighters. Without the proper height and reach, they cannot be positioned in a legion. They are perceived as untrustworthy. Only criminals move from town to town, refusing to settle down on farms. Whether perception derives from reality, or reality derives from perception is a question of perspective.
Halflings would protest to saying that they are homeless, for they consider the wagon to serve as much as any house and more. And when wagon come together into caravans, the often serve as mobile districts to the cities that they camp outside of. Jamborees can be as big as towns. Then there’s the infamous Jubilee – a draped and curtained mobile city complete with a scavenged siege tower. The armada of caravans that is estimated to be ten thousand strong – a halfling capital if there ever were to be one.
There are no halfling players in politics, only victims. Not to say they aren’t a topic of discussion on the Zenith. The census indicates that are (number) men and women within the Republic, but few have heard of halflings being counted in that census. The estimates say that there could be (number) to (number) halflings within the Republic, which would mean 10 to 20% of the Republic is halflings. And within urban centers, this percentage can double. The Republic has long put the halfling issue on the sidelines, but with the influx of haflings into Archaion and the explosion of the Commons, it will be an issue that can no longer be ignored and will need halfling heroes to see them through…
The potential utility of an alchemical engine to an on-the-move-family means the Halflings have a particularly invested interest in the Gnomish science. Parents frequently drop their children in gnomish lands to have them schooled as alchemist, and any decent caravan will have a resident alchemist.
If a good bard is resourceful, then that would perhaps mean every halfling has a little bard in the. And if even if they don’t play the part, they’ll find plenty of bards in their company eager to travel with them, regardless of race.
The Halflings have a patrolineal connection with Bahl that makes him often choose halflings, and thusly, makes clerics of Bahl often serve as religious advisers to halfling communities.
- As in Core Rulebook