“From the vast forest and the deep stone, we have become lone wanderers of the shadow. We heed the Call of Need and obey the Way of Blood, for we shall never shed the blood of kin.”
-a common Halfling introduction spoken at the beginning of contract negotiations
Halflings are a distrusted race of small, lithe creatures that are one with the night. They wander the land alone, lending their talents to the highest bidder, usually in exchange for only room, board, and some bit of seemingly trivial information. These cheerless folk claim to have been summoned by the Void Lords during the The Age of Retribution, yet none can answer as to where or when it is that they came from or why it is that they are here.
With their cynical and distrusting natures, Halflings manage to be blessed with an uncanny luck and are driven by a deep wanderlust. What Halflings lack in size, they more than make up for in fearless determination. Halfings maintain an even temper and are rarely excited by any situation. Violence and direct confrontation are rarely a Halfling’s first option. With their stealthy competence and deft cunning, Halfings are inveterate opportunists, always looking for the next contract and some piece of seemingly long forgotten information. They know, as the reed does, how to bend in the wind and, unlike the chameleon, how to make the walls change for them.
Physical Description: Halflings typically rise to an average height of a little over five feet. Most prefer to walk barefoot upon the land with their calloused feet, usually only using beasts of burden to carry their limited wares and few possessions. A Halfing’s raven hair is often pulled backed to reveal slender, pointed ears and almond shaped eyes of the deepest black. Their rich bronzed skin, covered in a light layer of thin black fur, speaks of their life beneath the elements as they wander the lands.
Society: Halfings claim no homeland and have no permanent settlement. They mostly travel the lands of the Humans, as the Humans are the most forgiving (or forgetful) among the races and are the most willing to make use of Halfling talents. While solitary and nomadic, when Halfings meet each other they are near inseparable until all their tales of travel have been told in grand fashion. These moments are one of the rare moments of gaiety Halfings show.
Though a society of solitary nomads, Halfling society is still one of universal family, as no Halfling will bring direct, intentional harm to another Halfling (the Way of Blood). Also, every twelve midwinters, the entire Halfing population disappears into the Forest of Dreams and aren’t seen again until the following midwinter. All attempts at following the Halflings into the forest during this time has only found the tracker on the opposite side of the forest two days later with no recollection of the time in between. All other investigations of the forest have led to no insight into where the Halflings go and what it is that they do. No Halfling is willing to (or able) to speak of this time which only lends to the other race’s distrust of them.
Relations: Halflings take pride in their ability to go unnoticed and to hear and see things they’re not supposed to. Knowing that they are outright distrusted by most, they make no concerted effort to get along with any of the other races. They use information as a bargaining chip and rarely go back on their word (unless a greater price or opportunity has been presented).
They get along with the feral Gnomes of the shadowy forests and have a mutual understanding with the Revelso, who also know what its like to be mistrusted because of their mutual history with the Tieflings. Elves and Halflings are fellow wandering tradesmen and, though their wares and methods may differ, they have garnered a humble respect for one another. Just as the Dwarves grudgingly find the Elves as useful tradesmen of goods, they openly accept the information gathering skills the Halflings have to offer. Goblins approach Halflings with a sense of awe and wonder, armed with a multitude of questions and insights usually left unanswered, if not outright ignored.
The Dragos and Tieflings mistrust the Halflings completely, though for different reasons. The Dragos view the Halflings as a blighted presence on Mother Earth, reminding them of their failures and their downfall. Tieflings fear Halfling treachery and vengeance because of the actions of the Void Lords millennia ago. This fear is not completely unfounded as Halflings do seem to take pleasure in contracts against Tieflings and have never been known take up contract with any of the Tieflings. The Orcs find the vagabond life Halflings lead as one of low station and their inability to ever give a straight answer as an existence absent of glory or honor.
Alignment and Religion: Halflings are loyal only to themselves and their fellow Halflings. Being alien to this world and distrusted by most of its native races, Halflings have accepted the fact that they do what they need to in order to survive. For this reason most Halflings are of neutral alignment.
Either their old gods have followed them or they have found favor with this world’s deities, Halflings favor gods of stealth, perception, and information.
Adventurers: With their life of wandering solitude and in search of a way home, Halflings epitomize the life of an adventurer. With their inherent luck and uncanny perception, other adventurers tolerate their presence in the hopes of a Halfling leading them to a fountain of riches or into the legends of glory.
Ability Adjustments: +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, -2 Strength, -2 Charisma.
Halflings are quick, nimble, and rely on their strong-will and instincts to survive. They lack a formal education and their appearance, coupled by their mysterious history make them distrusted by most.
Size: Halflings are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Speed: Halflings have a base speed of 30 feet.
Sight: Darkvision. Halflings can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
Outsiders: Halflings are considered native outsiders.
Fearless: Halflings receive a +2 racial bonus on all saving throws against fear and dread.
Shadow Senses: Halflings receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception and Stealth skill checks.
Sure-Footed: Halflings receive a +2 racial bonus on Acrobatics and Climb skill checks.
Call of Need (Su): Whenever a Halfling has need, he sends out a call to the nearest Halfling for aid (working on rule set).
Way of Blood (Su): A Halfling will never bring direct harm to another Halfling. To bring harm or death to another Halfling is to bring harm or death to himself (working on rule set).
Weapon Familiarity: Halflings are proficient with blowguns, daggers, hand crossbows, slings, and starknives and treat any weapon with the word “halfling” (such as the halfling sling staff) in its name as a martial weapon.
Base Height: Male 4’6”, Female 4’0” (+2d6 in.).
Base Weight: Male 50 lbs., Female 42 lbs. (+ height mod. X 2d4 lbs.).
Male Names: Antal, Boram, Evan, Jamir, Kaleb, Lem, Miro, Sumak.
Female Names: Anafa, Bellis, Etune, Filiu, Lissa, Marra, Rillka, Sistra, Yamyra.
Languages: Halflings begin play speaking Common and Halfling. Halflings with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, Goblin, and Tiefling.