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Halflings

Halflings are the mystery of Desaroque. According to the Orcs they have been on the continent for as long as their kind, Sometimes they trade with each other, sometimes they fought against each other, although they didn't cross paths often. They are always depicted as small, but consistent in size--something that used to bother the giant-kin race, who thought that their aether-riddled, shrinking bodies would eventually be as small as a halfling.   According to the Dwarves, the Halflings are completely surface-born-and-bred race. They never had an account of slimmer dwarves who reached the surface earlier than the rest of dwarvenkind. The tomes inherited from the giants didn't describe anything of the sort either. Dwarves and Halflings have a lot of similarities, though, and some dwarven historians have contemplated the possibility that the halflings have similar origins to the dwarves: born of construct but became humanoid, except that they belonged to the cloud giants instead.   Humans have a different theory. Perhaps they were humans during their early history, who migrated from Agra and got separated from the rest of their kind. Their small size is because of the aether scars, just like how modernday giant-kins are all humanoid sized. It didn't exactly fit with orcish account, but humans usually chalked that up to inaccuracies, because of the subjective account of the observation.   The halflings themselves? They don't care as much about these questions. They are creatures who live in the present, opportunistic and gutsy, preferring to take a chance to beat the odds. At times, the halflings have said that they only needed their quick feet to survive during the cataclysm era, and their ability to take advantage of the situation. This is of course an unacceptable explanation to the other races, especially orcs and dwarves, who respectively had to rely on aggression and defence to survive. The halflings just shrug.

Additional Information

Geographic Origin and Distribution

Most modern halflings live on the planes by the Azsgorian rivier, and some live further north near Lake Menthis. Historically, they have been roaming the Matolian plains during the cataclysm era, although they are pushed out because of the expanding desert from the west.

Civilization and Culture

Common Customs, Traditions and Rituals

Unlike the other races, the halflings don't have an established way of living. The lightfoots and the ghostwise were nomads like the orcs, while the stouts made home inside rocky caves not unlike dwarves. This tendencies can show even in their modern day counterparts, where stout halflings prefer to settle down--usually by the Aszgorian river or lake Menthis, the lightfoots are usually merchants, traders, and explorers, even to the interior of the Matolian desert, and ghostwise halflings form small tribal villages near Lake Menthis, on the site of "the Boneyard".   They do however, have their reputation as the ambassador between east and west, although different halflings have different opinions on whether or not this is a good thing. Ghostwise halflings for example, are quite reclusive and traditional and reject this role, while lightfoots usually take it up readily. Stout halflings just think other humanoids can be dumb seeing race-focused tribalism.

History

It is hard to condense halfling history into one, as hard as it is condensing human history with their different cultures.   Early stout halflings lived permanently along the Andel's ridge, a series of low mountain range that is now the barrier between eastern Desaroque and the expanding Matolia desert. During the cataclysm era, both sides of the mountains were green, and this is where the halfling ancestral home is. Sadly, most evidence of their early society has been covered by the sands. Haflings on the north nearby lake Menthis were more likely to be nomadic, but they tended to create temporary villages their tribe could use during their season migrations: more to the north and closer to the lake by summer, more to the south east by winter. Northern halflings used to have problems with raiding orc tribes during the winter though, as most of their temporary settlements were left in the area, unoccupied. It is said that this was how ghostwise halflings developed differently from their cousins, to protect their winter settlements from the raiding orcs. That being said, southern stout halflings traded regularly with the orcs, perhaps without knowing the troubles they caused to the northern ghostwise halflings.   The arrival of the elves caused what would be later known as The War of Thorns. Before the portal to Paradise was closed, the elves were both explorers and immigrants to the continent from a society with way more advanced magic. The halflings didn't take kindly to the condescension of the elves towards them, and planned to blockade them from migrating further east where the heart of halfling society lived. This created a 4 year war that changed the relationships between northern halflings and orcs, who also didn't like the newcomers who, at the time, were likely to treat the native Desaroquian as lesser humanoids. The halflings won the war, though not without lots of casualties. The field where the battle that turned the table for them was now known as "the Boneyard".   Unfortunately, this piece of history tend to be glossed over by the elves because of how short the war was in their lifetime. Also because the following events, such as The Fall from Paradise, and the civil war were more significant to the elves than a battle over territory around a lake. And the orcs weren't an active participant in the war, at least not enough for the history to be passed down through the majority of the tribes.   Later on, the relations between halflings and elves were getting better, and they have been the connection Nymean elves have to the eastern part of the continent, usually for trade. Haflings also served as middlemen and mutual contacts between the new human settlement on the base of Azsgorian river and the elves on the west. They became some sort of couriers, traders, or messengers for two very different societies. They also sometimes served as a mediator between humans and orcs, having an okay history with the orcs but also liking humans. This didn't happen often though, as both humans and orcs preferred to just fight it on. Halfling sandsurfers (a name for Halfling explorers of the Matolia desert) also serves as the representatives of the Isoharians when it comes to be the third party mediating the war between elves.

Common Myths and Legends

Pavirul is somehow the only God who consistently showed himself as a halfling. Other Gods tend to show themselves as the race of the corresponding humanoid they contact, or they show their bizarre, eldritch forms. Except for Pavirul, who always show himself as a halfling shepherd or traveller with a goat and a mask.

Lifespan
250 years
Average Height
90-120 cm

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