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Halfling Studies

Diminuative Races of the Realm: Halflings

The halfling race is separated into sub-races, based upon the region to which they have adapted. Though all sub-races consider themselves halflings, they also consider themselves to be different from the other sub-races. Their over-riding language remains unchanged, but the dialect of each sub-race differs from that of the others.
   The most common of the races of halflings, the Hairfoot reside on the island of Olhearth, considered the halfling homeland. They stand about 3' to 3 1/2' tall and have medium brown hair, which is also visible in thick patches on their arms and feet. They are concerned with little other than personal and financial comfort. They are happily led by the priesthood of Yolla and the Queen of Olhearth, known as the Great Mother.
   The priesthood settles petty disputes, blesses the land and harvests, and tends to the sick and wounded, both halflings and animals. Their goddess, Yolla, is the patron deity of the halflings. Her shrines and temples dot the landscape of Olhearth.
   The Queen is known for her extravagant parties and the exotic gifts she presents. This has bolstered the merchant trade on the island as the rest of the nobility attempt to out-do each other with rare gifts for the Queen and parties that attempt to rival hers.
   The Olhearth fleet of merchant vessels is always expanding, as are the holdings of the merchant families, due to the need for a constant influx of exotic and luxury items.

   Through the years, the population of Olhearth has reached a critical size, requiring a substantial number of halflings emigrate. On one early emigration the northeastern forests of Elderwood were colonized by a large population of halflings. They intentionally discontinued contact with the island and became a fully independent society. However, they were discovered by the rangers of the elves very early in their development. They were allowed to stay, but were given a number of requirements, which included defending their territory from outside invasion, protecting the unspoiled woodland, and monitoring the predatory animal populations.
   Over the decades, the halfllings began to adapt to their new environment and became the Tallfellow halflings.
   The tallfellow stand between 4' and 4 1/2' with light brown to blonde hair and thinner hair on their extremities. They often us shortbows rather than the slings of their relatives, and always carry a sword. Unlike the hairfoot, who dwell in homes built under the hills, the tallfellow live in above ground villages hidden in the thickest regions of the wood. They are as distrustful of strangers as the elves and have no qualms about attacking from cover to dissuade casual visitors.
   The elves have no issues with the Tallfellow, in fact they named the region known to be populated by the short folk after them, calling the region Tallmeet. The tallfellow have a representative in the Moonlit Court and are considered to be part of the nation of Telnath. They, however, consider themselves to be a lone nation, unconnected with Olhearth and allied to the elves.

   The Stout halflings live on the edges of the dwarven kingdom. The city of Stout, named for the great dark ale brewed here, resides on the very edge of the Kiln-kor kingdom. Just as the hairfoot and the hill dwarves, the Stout have built their homes under the surface dug into small hills. The city center itself is built under a very large hill.
   The stout stand between 3' and 4' and range from dark brown to black hair with thick arm hair, but no hair on their feet. Red hair is very uncommon, but considered a sign of good luck. Their skin is a dusky hue and their eyes are always a bright blue or green.
   They use the weapons common to the dwarves, such as hammers and axes, since they are also a mining and crafting folk. The woodwork of the stout is considered to be among the best. The halflings have a trade relationship with the dwarves of the surrounding area which has remained a mutually beneficial arrangement since the cities inception.
   Every year the city hosts the Celebration of Yng, a halfling prophet that predated the migration into these regions. Even the wildlings come to celebrate the life of this extraordinary halfling.

   The wildlings occupy the wild regions west of the human kingdom and east of the dwarves. They have settled the lands left to the goblins after the "Great Rout". Though the hairfoot are considered to be original halflings, the wildlings are truly the first halflings. They are also known as the Firstlings by those who know of their beginnings.
   The wildlings are 3' to 3 1/2' tall and thinner than any other race of halfling. They carry simple spears, clubs and staffs. They are most adept with slings, able to hunt effectively with only this weapon. The firstlings are allies of the sundered dwarves and the two barbaric folk travel together on hunting expeditions.
   When King Nightbreed announced to the halflings of his Roving Isle that he was searching for new homeland on this newly discovered continent, many of the halflings had decided not to continue the search for a new homeland. They wanted the freedom of the plains, a freedom denied them on the island that was their homeland. King Nightbreed allowed those who wished to remain to disembark and continued without them until the island of Olhearth was discovered and populated.
   Now, centuries later, the firstlings have lived the freedom of the plains and have adapted to survive in the wild territory. They hail Yng as the discoverer of the Lost Halfling Tribes and each year go to Stout to pay tribute to the halfling that reunited them with the halfling kingdom, though not one firstling has ever left the plains to explore the other halfling regions.

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