Halfling Species in Valtena | World Anvil


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From The Peculiar Case of Halflings

The Smallfolk of the Flying Islands pose a rather curious case about our understanding of species and sapience. They weren't created, that much is clear, nor did they originate from another plane of existence. Except during the periods when they lower their islands below the clouds, they have no interaction whatsoever with other creatures. I have found another account describing great chains falling from the sky like meteors and strange creatures with floating backpacks descending like wingless birds. I wouldn't have believed these stories except that I saw it to be true with my own eyes. They stayed for several months coming and going between their islands and the ground on a regular basis.
Thoughts on the Smallfolk
Halflings are the culmination of inbreeding between humans, dwarves, and elves over many generations. They are one of the few races to inhabit the world which weren’t created by one of the Gods of Creation. They are specially adapted to living in the high altitudes of the Flying Islands which float above the cloud layer. It’s unknown exactly how well other races fare in such extreme conditions, but the halflings find living up there as easy as living on the ground is for most other sapient creatures.

Basic Information


Halflings are notably much shorter than humans or elves. They lack the distinctive grey skin of the dwarves. Their ears are pointed like with the elves, and there are reports that halflings show slightly more aptitude for magic than humans. They are bipedal and have tough skin. They are also of robust health and rarely fall ill.

Life Stages


Like all humanoids, halflings give live birth, and the infant is entirely dependent on the mother for nourishment and survival. They are unable to walk for the first year but begin to develop more rapidly after eighteen months. Within two years, they are busy toddling around and speaking much to the delight and dismay of the parents. Young halflings are known to be a mischievous bunch.


Young halflings are expected to live with their families and learn from the family unit. Most halflings have several children. They are dependent on the family and community for protection and education. They start growing in independence and exploring the world but always under the watchful eye of an adult.


Between ten and sixteen years, halflings go through puberty and remain close to their families and homes. They form bands among others their own age and start to explore their own interests and paths towards a good life. It's a period of personal growth, and they all come back around eventually.


One of the more unusual parts of a halfling's life is being a rucker. From sixteen until they decide to settle down, halflings are encouraged to explore and travel among the islands. They are known to be a rowdy bunch, and most adventurers on the islands are ruckers.


The most notable marker of a halfling adult is the desire to settle down. The appeal of adventure wanes, and for many halflings, this is now the time to settle on an occupation and start a family. No more dalliances or flitting interests. Most halflings return to their hometowns, but others settle further afield.


Those that manage to reach the ripe old age of 100 years become known as wisened. Their bodies and sometimes minds start to fail, but their long lives grant them a place of great respect within the community. Wisened eccentricities are permitted, and many are fantastic storytellers for the tweens and ruckers.


The halflings live in towns and villages across the hilly regions of the flying islands. Farms dot the flatlands, and their homes are circular structures built primarily from stone and wood but covered up by grassy earth to give the appearance of a mound. More urban halflings build floating homes with ladders and chains to reach the ground.

Dietary Needs

They are omnivorous but have a distinct preference for plant based sustenance. Husbandry is significantly harder in their native environment. Most meat comes from hunting the birds and sky beasts that live above the clouds.


Smallfolk are an industrious and curious lot. They have a most peculiar fascination with the levitation crystals that grow abundantly on their islands and use them with prodigious ingenuity. Despite not having any wings, they have figured out how to fly and build their homes even higher than their already elevated island.
— Thoughts on the Smallfolk

Additional Information

Geographic Origin and Distribution

Halflings only exist on the Flying Islands above the world. It's exceedingly rare for them be on the ground, and there is only one recorded case of a halfling living off of the islands. In 245 EDK, Viluri Redblossom Kazhdavyk appeared in Qunid and received an audience with Balkorrus King. She remained a member of the court for several years speaking with scholars and mages of the time and provided the most detailed known record of halfling culture at the time.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Being a mix of different humanoid races, halflings possess some of the qualities of each. They have sharp hearing and keen eyesight like the dwarves and elves, and they're especially light footed. Halflings are also very fond of food and seem to have a keen sense of smell for it, though whether that's innate or learned is unclear.

Interspecies Relations and Assumptions


Halflings display surprising amounts of tolerance and acceptance towards other humanoids, but the reverse is rarely the case. Humans in particular are very distrustful of halflings, and the elves show apprehension towards anything that wasn’t created by the gods. The dwarves, perhaps fortuitously, are reluctant to give an opinion on halflings and largely regard them as mythological.


The history between halflings and draconids is short, but remarkable. The two groups get along surprisingly well, and in the two instances when the halflings were able to trade with draconids, there was intense interest from both sides. These accounts are well recorded as a prolific exchange of goods and knowledge despite the relatively short period during which they were able to interact.


It's unknown if goblins and orcs are aware of the existence of halflings. Some halfling myths describe creatures called "imps" which are green halfling sized monsters that cause destruction and prone to violent outbursts. It's unclear if these descriptions are about goblins, but they don't line up with myths about true imps.


Clear records of interactions between halflings and beastfolk are hard to come by, but there are several stories and myths that describe monsters who closely resemble beastfolk in appearance. They are portrayed as creatures to be feared and reviled and of a wilder sort than the domestic halfling.
Typical male halfling
Typical female halfling
Genetic Ancestor(s)
100 - 120 years
Average Height
Males: 4' - 4'6"
Females: 3'10" - 4'4"
Geographic Distribution
Long ago, before you or I were born, all the ground was on the ground! Until one day, it suddenly wasn't! What happened? Special crystals ripped the ground out of the ground and sent it flying into the air. And when the people who lived on the ground came out of the ground, they realized that their homes weren't on the ground anymore. It turns out, a bunch of places felt the ground fly, and they were our ancestors. With no way to get back down, they learned to live together and how to harvest the crystals. And over the generations and generations, that's how you and I came to be.
— The Ground Fell Up?!
So when the ground rumbles, tumbles, and shakes
Up high in the sky, a halfling you'll wake

Cover image: by DigitalCurio

This species has multiple parents, only the first is displayed below.
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