Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pellatarrum: My Halflings are Different

In contrast to dwarves, halflings are always cheerful, even if they're not happy. In fact, many races find halflings so annoyingly perky that it sometimes results in fisticuffs. This suits the half-folk just fine, because they find as much pleasure in a good brawl as they do in eating, drinking, singing, and dancing.

Halfings come in two distinct varieties. Pastoral halflings live in lightly wooded areas of rolling hills, where they enjoy the simple bucolic pleasures of farming, fishing, and raising livestock. Nomadic halflings have an adventuresome spirit and frequently join the wind-caravans that circumnavigate the Dayspire. It is not uncommon for halflings to switch between these two cultures at different stages of their lives, and doing so is seen as a healthy and natural act.

At the risk of perpetuating broad racial stereotypes, halflings are a fusion of  Irish, Australian, and Gypsy cultures. Eat, drink, fight, love, explore, trade, have children, die brilliantly -- that's a halfling's dream.

Halflings are the only minor race that willingly associates with kobolds.

By all outward appearances, it would seem that halflings are just smaller, happier humans. And by and large, this is basically correct; all halflings love life and family, and according to their age and seasonal whimsy they either love peaceful communities or rousing adventure.


Where halflings came from is a mystery to the rest of Pellatarrum. If other races know -- and it's a fair bet that at least one dragon knows -- then they are keeping this knowledge to themselves, because secrets are power and currency.

But the half-folk are pleasant and innocuous, with little ambition above "Have a good life." Surely their origin is nothing to worry about. Halflings have never raised armies, or committed atrocities. Even their greatest heroes are closer to being "eccentric" than "epic."

Still, you have to wonder why they refuse to talk about it with outsiders. And why they associate with what are, essentially, the fingers of dragons. And why kobolds have never once stolen a halfling child. And why halflings hate goblins so very, very much.

Oh, you didn't know that last part? Well, nothing to worry about. Probably just a cultural quirk. They're the same size, after all, and probably compete over the same resources.

Except for the fact that you never, ever find halflings and goblins in the same area, occupying the same ecological niche.

Oh, but that's just silly. These are halflings, after all. It's probably just luck. They're a lucky, happy people, don't you know.

No, nothing to see here. Move along....


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