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Avlis Races: Halflings

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Avlis Races: Halflings

PostAuthor: Orleron » Sat Jan 08, 2005 10:41 pm

Halflings
Perhaps the most easy-going of the Avlissian races, halflings are creatures of comfort who play it safe and attempt to avoid the conflicts of the wider world. Being the creation of Berryn, the goddess of morning and spring, halflings make the most of these two times by using them to express their calm comfortable serenity and pleasure at being alive. However, enemies who wish to exploit this race should beware, because, as the expression goes, when halflings are cornered ?they are a raging storm of teeth and fists?.
Personality: One particular proverb suits the majority of halflings: ?If you do not bother me, I will not bother you. If you bother me, I will avoid you until I cannot.? Generally, halflings crave comfort and tranquility. Listening to the wind moving over the rolling hills of their beautiful homeland is their greatest thrill in the day-time, and at night they love curling up by the fire in their mound-homes with a good pipe of mellowsmoke weed. Working for a living is a simple necessity that requires minimum input just to keep their simple lives going. Halflings will plow and farm whatever they need and then retire early in the afternoon to sit in the sun before heading inside for the night. In the spring and summer months, they have wonderful cookouts and parties with their neighbors where they talk about the latest town gossip, another thing they love almost as much as the rolling hills of Ferrell
At some point between their teens and thirties, halflings experience the desire to see life outside their home range. Intensity of the desire varies, and could be satisfied with something as simple as spending time with relatives on the other side of the country, or it could warrant a trip around the continent. Invariably, when the wanderlust has passed, the halfling desires some comfort and will usually return to their favorite place. In most cases, that place is their homeland of Ferrell, but halflings are well-known to live in other areas where they have found some sort of comfort and acceptance, or in some cases, areas where they are not able to leave whatever ties they have established. Halflings who willingly wander for their entire lives are not understood by some of their more conservative kin. These adventurous types seem to have ideals based more on making the world a better place for all by serving a cause, or achieving personal gain.
It is a regarded fact that halfling tempers are slow, but once activated they can be extremely dangerous. Because of their size, halflings understand their limitations in combat or physical confrontations, and they tend to be slightly more devious in their approaches to things when concerned. For smarter specimens, the consequences that their enemies meet can be devastatingly destructive and cunning.
Physical Description: Both male and female halflings stand between three and four feet tall, with females averaging shorter heights. Depending on their family traits, male halflings can have either very stocky or very lean frames, and it is unusual to find one with a balanced physique between these two characteristics. Their skin tone is usually fair, though they get a considerable tan when they spend time outside. The sunlight can sometimes also give their hair a lighter sheen, highlighting their thick locks of brown, black, red, or blonde with a contrasting color. Females tend to wear their hair long and down around their shoulders, while males, who often have curly or frizzy hair, will keep it above the shoulder. Halflings have either brown, blue, or green eyes, with some specimens having yellow. These are regarded as lucky, and their eyes are taken as a sign of favor from the goddess Berryn.
Halflings rarely wear shoes, and have no trouble at all going everywhere barefooted. The tops of their feet have hair that is as thick as that on their heads, and usually is the same color. The skin on the bottom of halflings? feet is extremely tough and rugged and able to withstand minor sharp trauma and large changes in temperature. Essentially, a halfling?s outfit will end at the shoes.
Above the ankles, halflings like to dress in fine homespun garments made for comfort. A few have a taste for gaudy and unique fashions, but most are content to dress in earth tones and wear serviceable clothing that enables them to do their work and also rest and relax. Tunics and breaches are standard fare, but many halflings also value keen belt buckles and wrist cuffs for formal occasions.
Relations: As a people, halflings desire to stay neutral in any conflict, in order that they do not incur threats from nearby enemies. They will rarely take part in the wider politics of the world, as a nation or people. Individually, some halflings will see injustice and wish to offer help to other races, such as the fairies or elves, whom they regard as having a passable understanding of nature and comfort. Humans sometimes make halflings uneasy, because the human personality often strikes the halfling as being intense and unpredictable. If given a chance, however, halflings can warm up to them and even consider them friends and allies.
Most creatures have no ill opinion of halflings because they do not see them as any sort of threat. This makes it easy for self-serving halflings to take others by surprise, because the victim usually does not see it coming. Even orcs and shaahesk have a neutral attitude towards these creatures, mainly because they are too small to either be a formidable enemy or productive slave labor, in their perceptions. Creatures who know what halflings are almost always also know that halflings will not impose ill will on anyone else unless they are threatened first, and few have had reason to make these threats.
Alignment: Halflings tend towards neutral good. Their ideal is serving the greater good of society so that all may achieve tranquility and ease. In their beliefs, everyone should take the time to sit down, breathe, and enjoy the scenery, and anything they can do to facilitate that for another individual is done happily. They tend to also be compassionate and caring, though some individuals are known to find their society?s complacency to be irritable. These will develop ambitions that serve the individual more than the greater good, and they can tend towards true neutral, or even evil.
Halfling Lands: Halflings occupy a beautiful land of rolling hills and country pastures called Ferrell. The nation is very small and politically neutral in most respects. Mound homes with round circular doors and finely manicured lawns and gardens dot the rolling countryside there, and tiny village communities are all closely interrelated. The biggest village community, Kitanya Hill, is regarded by the halflings as a ?city?, though to most it is little more than a large hamlet. Government and law activities, which are limited, take place there, and it is regarded as a holy site where the halfling race was originally created.
Religion: To different extents, all halflings acknowledge Berryn, their creator, and the goddess of morning and spring. Some worship her as their only divine guide and will serve as faithful priests and priestesses. Berryn?s beliefs focus around the enjoyment of life and nature. Morning and beginnings are also sacred to these creatures, who oddly resist change. When looked at more carefully, however, it is seen that they resist changes that are out of the normal progression of time and the seasons.
Some halflings will opt to worship other gods. Dre?Ana is popular among female halflings who wish to wander the continent. O?Ma and Gorethar are also common alternatives.
Language: Halfling language is loosely related to dwarven and gnomish, but the languages have diverged too far to be mutually understood. In actuality, halflings rarely use their own tongue, even among their own kind, for they seem to prefer the common tongue that is spoken by merchants and trade caravans that occasionally wander across their homeland.
Names: Halflings take pride in their last names because the names designate family and region of where they live in Ferrell, yet only halflings really know how to decipher the names in this manner. Some say that the halflings just have every possible halfling family name memorized in their heads. First names are given at birth and tend to repeat from father to son, or skip a generation. For households with multiple children, it is common to start naming the kids after aunts and uncles. New names only seem to come into the mix when heroic deeds are performed by someone the halflings admire, though this is a rarity.
Male Names: Ando, Briery, Ceriadoc, Damo, Fendrick, Huril, Jackodon, Milo, Pergeran, Quinto
Female Names: Allie, Annie, Belana, Dina, Ferlina, Galandra, Hester, Jamia, Keirana, Shayna
Family Names: Harlan, Greenthumb, Meygle, Nantoon, Teriak
Adventurers: To an extent, there is a duality in halfling society that consists of individuals who wish to remain at home or wander in areas close by, and individuals who wish to know more than their small lands can teach them. These two groups fail to see eye to eye on the matter of leaving family behind to satisfy an urge. This can create some turmoil I the lives of wandering halflings, but nevertheless, many overcome it and find ways to make an impact in the larger universe.
"Truth has no form."
--Idries Shah

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Orleron
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