Powerful Sailors and Traders
Halflings were not only happy-go-lucky but also the most skilled seafarers in Elderon. With their main home lying on The Dolphin Isles of King Crab Gulf, it was by necessity they learned how to build sturdy ships and survive months at sea. An experienced halfling captain will best any other, their intuition and knowledge finely tuned from decades of experience and culture.
They created many port towns connecting the gulf, which became a vast trade hub for the world. If you want something, you come to the King Crab Gulf. The dwarves and one human kingdom were close by, with the river north of Seavale connecting the other human settlements. Further away, the Bipnottin Burrows and Mt. Draconia depended on sea shipments to fulfill their commissions.
Due to their advantageous seafaring abilities, the dwarves paid them to maintain this vast trade network for them and protect it from theft. Early on, the orcs made it quite risky to trade over land routes. By trading over sea, it kept goods secure.
Halflings were less drawn to Elderstones than the likes of Dwarves, humans, gnomes, and dragonborn, but were not as apathetic as the elves. While they certainly made use of them and enjoyed the pleasures brought to life, most did not develop the neverending appetite for more that infected nearly every other race. Instead, halfling society was happy-go-lucky and eccentric, but also stable and predictable. It had a soothing, rhythmic pull, an ebb and flow so to speak between work and celebration. Elderstones were used practically, to help ships navigate, deepen rivers, grow crops, and help nets find their catch. But they were also used to enhance halfling festivals.
Leisure Activities and Binding
While halflings were hard workers, proper work comprised less than half of their life. The majority of time was spent planning and preparing both local and national festivals, every portion of which was thoroughly enhanced through Elderstone technology. Bakers perfected pie making, creating delicacies that quite literally send you to another world of flavor. Artists were able to be especially creative, directing elaborate moving pictures, or painting the sky in wondrous firework patterns. The music, contests, and spectacles during a national halfling festival were unmatched.
One of the most well-known and cherished Halfling past-times was Dolphin Riding, which has a long and rich history. A gnomish scholar by the name of Clagknack was commissioned by Jayalyn Goldfinger, the current guild master of the Sealings, a powerful trading company. They were tasked with discovering a way to use Elderstones to read people’s minds. While originally commissioned for haggling purposes, this technology found a different use once Jayalyn’s son, Persea learned it to better communicate with his pet dolphin. At first, there was a strong mental block, the dolphin not allowing him in. Over time, the dolphin became comfortable and allowed Persea to fully connect with him. Not only was this dolphin an amazing friend, but this bond resulted in the dolphin saying Jayalyn’s life during an accident at sea. The dolphin, being bound to Persea, was able to sense his will and spring to action when his mother fell overboard.
This prompted further research into how this technology works. Every living being, it seems, has a wall and a force, both defense, and offense, determined by their willpower. Even small mammals can have strong wills, and unless you are efficiently adept, brute force is ineffective. Instead, someone must spend time with a creature so it will lower its wall to it. Only once a creature’s wall is overcome, either cooperatively or forcefully, can it be bound. The process of binding a creature permanently creates a link between the minds of the binder and the bound. They are then able to communicate with each other and feel each other’s emotions and will telepathically.
Due to the decades of binding experience and cultivation, halflings have been able to form deep, telepathic bonds with a multitude of animals, including dolphins. It is common to be visiting the Isles and see jubilant halflings riding their nautical friends. Children are often given goldfish as starting pets, as they are easy to bind with.
While not a militaristic society, dolphin riders became invaluable to the halfling economy. Around the time binding was being developed, Orcs began to engage halfling ships in naval combat. The advent of dolphin riders acted as a seafaring cavalry, performing devastating hit-and-run attacks on enemy ships.
Out of all the races, Halflings were hit the hardest by Skyfall. Although most survived Skyfall itself, it was the aftermath that killed them. When they reemerged from the bunkers, nearly all aspects of their life were gone, turned to dust. Halflings existed as a powerhouse of sea trading and animal husbandry. Now the world is near abandoned, oceanless, and many species extinct. Even worse, there was no stable soil to grow food. While they tried to remain calm, it didn’t take long for their primal natures to kick in. Halflings became fractured into tribes and are trapped in a neverending resource war. Despite being small in stature, they are far from powerless. In the absence of physical strength, modern halflings have become brute forces of binding might. It is not uncommon to come across an entire consortium under the control of just a few halflings. They mostly spend their days warring with each other and desperately scavenging what they can.
In contrast, halflings fortunate enough to be on the mainland find themselves in much the same situation they always have been; reliable, fun-loving traders. Halflings are as common among the hardy trade caravans as they are raising the spirits of those in settlements. Despite being molded by a harsh reality, many retain the outlook of generations past.
Your halfling character has a number of traits in common with all other halflings.
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2, and your Charisma increases by 1.
Age. A halfling reaches adulthood at the age of 20 and generally lives into the middle of his or her second century.
Alignment. Most halflings are lawful good. As a rule, they are good-hearted and kind, hate to see others in pain, and have no tolerance for oppression. They are also very orderly and traditional, leaning heavily on the support of their community and the comfort of the old ways. Since Skyfall, they have been morphed by their resource-scarce environment, shifting towards lawful neutral. While most halflings do not go out of their way to attain power or to hurt others, it is often by necessity they find themselves in these very positions.
Size. Halflings average about 3 feet tall and weigh about 40 pounds. Your size is Small.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet.
Lucky. When you roll a 1 on the d20 for an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll.
Brave. You have advantage on saving throws against being frightened.
Halfling Nimbleness. You can move through the space of any creature that is of a size larger than yours.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common, Halfling, and 2 languages of your choice. As the central race of trade, halflings frequently were in contact and conversed with outsiders.
Cantrip. You have access to the message cantrip. Through deeply embedded cultural practice, even the most fledgling of halflings possess binding capabilities.
Subrace. Among the halflings emerged two prominent subraces; the Streamlined, and the Attuned.
Streamlined Halflings. These halflings were the result of centuries at sea. As their name implies, streamlined tend to be both taller and slimmer than normal halflings. In addition, their navigational skills have become instinctual. Streamlined are great swimmers and navigators.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
On the move. Your base walking speed increases by 5 feet.
Powerful Swimmer. Your swimming speed is equal to your base walking speed. In addition, you can hold your breath for twice as long.
Darkvision. You have darkvision up to a range of 60 feet.
Helmsman. You have expertise in water vehicles and proficiency in perception.
By the Stars. When you are able to see the stars, you are always able to determine which way is north.
Attuned Halflings. While all halflings have binding potential, a small subset show a remarkable aptitude for the art. These "attuned", while physiologically identical to normal halflings, are enveloped by a calm and controlled confidence. They appear ever in touch with their surroundings and those around them. Attuned halflings possess an unbridled control of their mental faculties and are able to direct them as they see fit.
Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom or Charisma score increases by 1.
Friendly Fellow. You have proficiency in animal handling and persuasion. Your ability score for these skills is equal to the ability score increased with this subclass.
Binding. You have the power to bind to others. As an action, you can attempt to bind to a non-hostile beast with a challenge rating less than or equal to your level that you can see. If the creature chooses the resist the bind, you must make a wisdom/charisma (depending on the ability score increase) contest against the beast to bind them.
Once bound, you can communicate with the beast telepathically as if they are under the effect of animal friendship and speak with animals. In combat, they act on your initiative. A creature remains bound with you until you or your allies act hostile towards it, it dies, or you relinquish the bond. You can relinquish your bond at will. If you do so, you must make a wisdom/charisma contest, or the beast becomes hostile to you. Should your beast die, you are paralyzed until the end of your next turn as the pain of death reverberates back through your bond.
At higher levels. At 10th level, you can bind to hostile beasts. At 15th level, you can bind to friendly humanoids.