Runboard.com
You're welcome.
SAMPLE BANNER

runboard.com       Sign up (learn about it) | Sign in (lost password?)


 
theintrepidgnome Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user
Global user

Registered: 02-2013
Location: Australia
Posts: 102
Reply | Quote
Halflings of Aolyth


--Log in or sign up to see linked image content--


Most scholars speculate that the halfling people were not naturally born to Aolyth, but rather, that they migrated from Amn or somewhere along the Sword Coast. The reason for it has been lost to history, but the most popular thoughts on the matter are that halflings either came naturally, following their seemingly inherent instinct to spread throughout the world, or that they were driven out of whatever home held them by some misfortune. Whatever the case, the halfling people have worked hard to integrate themselves into the daily life of the island-nation.

Their time has been far from idyllic. Whilst they once had a home north of the Emain River, the wars of other races destroyed it. Magic embittered the soil, making it impossible for the halfling people to continue growing their farms. As a consequence, the halfling people took to the roads and the byways of the island, living migratory lives. While most seem happy this way, halflings have settled in near every civilization in Aolyth that would host them.


Appearance:

Physically, halflings stand between three feet and three and a half feet. Their women tend to be shorter than their men. Although some shorter and taller halflings do exist, they are incredibly rare. Halflings tend to be a little doughy, though this is perhaps because halflings prefer to eat as well as they can, rather than some born trait.

An oddity among halflings is that some appear to have leathery-soled, furry-topped feet, while others have feet that resemble humans. They speculate that this is perhaps due to their time on Aolyth somehow. Further, their ears are pointed in a way reminiscent of half-elves.

The most common hair colours among halflings would be brown and black, though blonde is not unheard of. Their hair is straight. Their complexions tend towards a ruddy, reddish colour. Their eyes, like their hair, tend to be brown, but hazel and blue are also possible.

Outlook:

Halflings are optimistic, though it would seem to an outsider that they have little reason to be. These are a people who have been kicked in the stomach time and again, by the war that destroyed their homeland and by the savagery of the island-nation surrounding them. In spite of it, halflings keep on smiling, telling tales of better days and of days that might yet come. It's a saying in Aolyth; "spirited like a halfling."

Pragmatism is highly valued among Aolyth's halflings. A race of scavengers that live on what they can find, they've learned that everything has a value and that the task is done best when done efficiently, with a minimal cost. This isn't to say that halflings are necessarily greedy or prone to hoarding, but they've learned very well that everything they come across may have a great value.

Adventurers:

Halflings naturally fall into roles that benefit from agility, speed and cunning. Rogues, Rangers and Bards are all exceedingly common among halfling adventurers. Some spiritual halflings are drawn to the role of a Cleric. Sorcerers are more common than Wizards among halflings, if only because their people's migratory style of living does not lend itself well to study and research.

Often, halflings are motivated to become adventurers to provide for their clans. Other halflings simply find their natural wanderlust too strong to ignore, and the pace of their clan too slow to satiate them.

Society:

Each clan has its own unique traditions and customs, meaning that a halfling clan on the opposite side of Aolyth may seem somewhat alien to a human adventurer. Often, though, they follow strict centric traditions that form a provisional moral code among the halfling people, as well as share common values. This is a consequence of halfling clans absorbing one another and exchanging members throughout the years.

The vast, vast majority of halfling clans are matriarchal. Halfling men often joke about how strict and severe their women can be, though an outsider may find it difficult to notice these traits. Traditions are enforced by the women as the mothers of halfling clans; "mother knows best" is a saying often taught to and believed by young halflings. Contrarily, men are often traded between clans to prevent the problems inherent of small, tight communities - namely regarding breeding. The male exchange is also used to diversify a clan's range of skills.

It's expected that exchanged males will take wives and settle into the lifestyle of their new clan. Certain things, like marriage, will make a male exempt from being asked to live with another clan. Men may refuse to be exchanged to other clans as well, if they have a genuine objection to it, but a social expectation exists that they will "do what is best" for their clan and therefore accept the decision. This bartering of males isn't regarded as a negative thing; merely a necessity that opens up new opportunities in a male's life. The trades are conducted every few years, when the clans meet.

The values centric to halfling societies are these: that children are incredibly important and ought to be protected, that an ally is something to strive for an enemy is something to avoid, that theft is to be the very last resort of a clan and that the most important thing a halfling may do for his clan is "be useful."

Religion and Spiritualism:
Halfling deities will be listed below.

Halflings seem naturally religious as people; perhaps a reflection of their seemingly natural optimism and want to believe in better days ahead. However, due to their migratory nature, halflings very rarely build shrines or chapels to their gods. They believe that the gods live around them, following them as they move across the landscape of Aolyth.

Clerics are well-respected in halfling communities, but they aren't revered as they might be among other races. Rather, Clerics are regarded as people that have a habit of making almost too much sense and knowing more about their deities than anybody else. The only authority they have is in the wisdom they express.

Relations with Other Races:

As a rule, halflings go out of their way to remain on good standings with every race. As such, most halfling clans can honestly proclaim to have no enemies. That isn't to say that halflings may pass safely through any civilization, however. That the Tu'atha mightn't count halflings among their enemies does not mean that the halflings are their allies.



Last edited by theintrepidgnome, 10/28/2013, 10:20 pm


---
Characters:
Calchas Blaesus: A mad seer.
10/28/2013, 9:15 pm Link to this post Send Email to theintrepidgnome   Send PM to theintrepidgnome Blog
 
theintrepidgnome Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user
Global user

Registered: 02-2013
Location: Australia
Posts: 102
Reply | Quote
Re: Halflings of Aolyth


Halfling Religion


--Log in or sign up to see linked image content--

Halfling clergy


The halfling gods of Aolyth are made up of The Mother, The Three Hounds, The Scamp and The Fruitbearer. It's understood by the halflings that each of their deities are able to walk with them and appear at will, but very few halflings ever have personal encounters with their gods.

The Mother:
Treasure your family; they are what gives meaning to life. Obey the traditions of your clan, for only the ways with value are preserved. Defend your clan and family fiercely, for without either, life becomes difficult and cruel. Always look ahead and never dwell on the malice of the world, for I would not have created my children if I did not believe they could live and thrive.

The Mother is also known by the names The Eldest Elder, Yondalla and She Above. She is a Lawful Good deity that fosters the majority of halfling paladins. Most halflings believe that she appears as a middle-aged woman of their kind, carrying a shield in one hand and a cornucopia of food in the other.

The Three Hounds:
Vigilance sits at the bed, defending you as you sleep. He asks nothing in return. Protection is his nature and his family is all that he values. Friendship stays by the children, keeping them from despair, reminding them that even in the most dire circumstances, things will one day be better. Loyalty sits waiting after you have joined Those Who Have Been, remembering you and shepherding you through the soil itself.

The Three Hounds are always worshiped together. Each is named for the virtue they express most. Vigilance is a defender, Friendship is a companion and Loyalty is a creature that commemorates the dead. The former two are Lawful Good and may sponsor paladins, while the latter is Lawful Neutral - but a paladin of one deity is effectually a paladin of the other two.

Clerics of the Three Hounds strive to embody the ideals of the dogs. They would be a staunch protector, they would strive to be a friend to the majority of people they come across and they would be fiercely loyal even beyond death.

The Scamp:
Life is meant to be lived to its fullest. Find what you enjoy and devote as much of your time to it as you may. The world is meant to be explored. Collect tales, that others may learn from your many experiences. Don't shy away under your matriarch's skirts; be yourself, even if it may sometimes defy tradition.

Despite his heretical teachings, The Scamp is well-liked by most children and young halfling men. He represents individuality, creativity and their natural need to explore the world around them. It's believed that The Scamp is The Mother's youngest son and therefore no matriarch would presume to forbid following him. However, many cautionary tales exist about The Scamp biting off more than he can chew in the harsh world around him. Somehow, though, he always seems to escape these dire situations - The Scamp has yet to die, so any story about his death would be very obviously false.

The Scamp is a True Neutral deity; in spite of his wild inclinations and boasts, he remains very much a mother's boy at heart and would never dare to scorn her. Likewise, he would deny spells to anybody who outright abandons all of their clan's traditions.

The Fruitbearer:
Life surrounds you. Indulge it. Give in to your whims and your wild urges. When you hear music, dance. When you feel hungry, eat. I am in the growing and the thriving things; when you walk with them, you walk with me.

Many suppose that The Fruitbearer may be a sylvan thing. She is a provider of food and clothing, in the form of animal skins. Halflings don't believe that they offend her by hunting. In fact, they believe that The Fruitbearer provides animals for the express purpose of being eaten and worked into clothing. The Fruitbearer is a neutral deity.

Last edited by theintrepidgnome, 10/29/2013, 4:20 am


---
Characters:
Calchas Blaesus: A mad seer.
10/28/2013, 10:13 pm Link to this post Send Email to theintrepidgnome   Send PM to theintrepidgnome Blog
 
theintrepidgnome Profile
Live feed
Blog
Friends
Miscellaneous info

Registered user
Global user

Registered: 02-2013
Location: Australia
Posts: 102
Reply | Quote
Re: Halflings of Aolyth


Halfling Clans


Currently, Aolyth is home to four clans: the Briarfoot, the Cobbledrum, the Shortwick and the Greyhill. Each, except for the Shortwick, have lost many of their unique customs to the bartering of males throughout the years. Outsiders mightn't be able to differentiate at all, in fact. But each clan has accumulated its own somewhat unique history and yet maintain some idiosyncrasies. When most people around Avendel refer to a halfling clan, they will usually mean the Briarfoot, who are the most populous and successful.

Not all halflings will be a part of a clan. Likewise, halfling adventurers mightn't see their clan as a vital aspect of their lives. That said, the majority of halflings in Aolyth are indeed a part of one of the four surviving clans.

The Briarfoot:
Known as nomadic caravan merchants throughout Avendel and the surrounding towns, the Briarfoot are the most easily recognized clan of halflings. They have spread the furthest, dug their roots the deepest. Perhaps it's a matter of exposure, but among the clans they seem the most mundane. The Briarfoot are concerned with surviving and thriving in Aolyth, an environment not suited to the short stature and weak arms of halflings. They approach this in a practical sense; by acquiring the things they must use from the Cobbledrum clan and selling the things that they won't to humans who value it more. Briarfoot have very little desire for fancy dresses and gems: they'd prefer coin, which they can use to provide for their families.

Family is centric to the Briarfoot way of life. Within the clan, each individual is expected to marry by twenty five. This isn't a requirement, but those who don't may be seen as "a wee bit odd." Children are fiercely protected by the whole of the clan. Their education is often left to the elders, who are praised for their experience and wisdom (even if slightly senile). During the meeting of the clans, Briarfoot halflings will be interested in acquiring males who express either a persuasive personality, experience in hunting or navigating the wildlands, or some sort of affinity for the animals. However, due to being the most populous of the clans, the Briarfoot are afforded the leniency of prioritizing whether the males will fit in well with the rest of the clan first and foremost.

Often, the Briarfoot clan is spread out throughout Avendel and its surrounds. Two members of the clan mightn't see one another for weeks at a time. Some Briarfoot might complain that this has restricted the bonds they would otherwise form, but the elders of the clan insist that it is necessary to ensure their continued flourishing in Avendel; the clan follows the direction of its elders without much vocal protest.

The Cobbledrum:
The second most common of the halfling clans, the Cobbledrum have most recently begun diluting their own culture and traditions in order to imitate the Briarfoot. Some members of each clan predict that, sometime in the next twenty years or so, the Cobbledrum will be absorbed by the Briarfoot altogether. In honesty, the Cobbledrum don't mind the notion (save for some opposed elders who yet stand in the way.) The Cobbledrum are less successful as merchants and caravan-shepherds, but they've a unique merit in that they've learned to craft new wares.

Where elves might make bows and ironwood armour and dwarves would craft mithril platemail and shields, the Cobbledrum create practical necessities. Clothing, baskets, awnings, even some genuinely well-carved furniture. Often, they barter their wares to the Briarfoot even outside the clanmeets; the Briarfoot happily use what they will and vend what they won't to the other races. This symbiotic relationship is one of the primary reasons that the Cobbledrum look forward to a future as Briarfoot.

Among the Cobbledrum, education is handled first by elders and later by craftsmen. A child will spend the first twelve years of their life learning their clan's history and mythology and the next ten learning to ply a trade, such as carpentry or even knitting. During clanmeets, Cobbledrum halflings look to acquire halflings who express talent for that sort of thing, though throughout the last thirty years they've prioritized exchanging men with the Briarfoot over the Greyhill or the Shortwick.

The Shortwick:
The Shortwick remember the days of their homeland, when they lived north of the Emain River. They remember the wars between other races that laid waste to their home. They remember, mostly, how apathetic the elves were despite the fault being theirs. The Shortwick remember the lessons of the old world, of days most other halflings would much sooner let pass into obscurity. Their elders are very old, certainly too old to be proper halflings; frail, willowy things with white hair, wrinkled faces and bony fingers.

Traditionalists who shun the new ways of the clans they regard as flippant, the Shortwick attend clanmeets if only because it is an old way, one they refuse to abandon. It is very rare that they barter across their own males, preferring instead the intensely close bonds of their own community over the allure of diverse skills. This has led some to speculate that the Shortwick are inbred, hence their evident lack of social skill, but the reality is that they've been consorting with meddling fey things long enough that the acquisition of new men is no longer a concern.

Their appearance reflects the meddling; the Shortwick are the only halfling clan with a unique look. Their skin is unusually pale, their hair is almost always black and at times, their children are born with little horns, tails, cloven feet or cobbled fingers - some reminder of their impure heritage. These particular children are taught to keep their unnatural traits covered up when in the company of outsiders. Even among their own people, the matter is treated solemnly: it serves as a reminder that breeding with other creatures has become a necessity.

The Shortwick live migratory lives, as with the other clans, but they keep to the very outskirts of society. They prefer not to meet with outsiders. In particular, they hold a strong enmity for elves, especially Tu'athan elves, whom they blame for the destruction of their original homeland and every misfortune that has followed as a consequence. Fortunately, the Shortwick have little inclination toward violence, instead preferring to sit and brood over their poor circumstance rather than act in retaliation. If the Shortwick were to act against a Tu'athan clan, they would almost certainly be destroyed, a fact which does not elude them.

Druids, witches and sorcerers are most common among the Shortwick.

The Greyhill:
A common halfling response to danger is to avoid it, or head around it. The Greyhill are known for having a different approach: to head through danger with a sword in hand and the rest of your clan at your side. Most reminiscent of Faerun's Strongheart, the Greyhill value martial skill, physical competition and shows of bravery. A consequence of their diminutive stature conflicting with their rough philosophy, the Greyhill have learned to become cunning tacticians and trappers in order to survive the harsh wildlands of Aolyth. Where the Shortwick only pose a risk of being spiteful, the Greyhill may be considered a genuine threat if crossed.

As with other clans, Greyhill children are first educated by their elders, whom are often veterans of numerous battles in their own right. Then they will learn to defend themselves and find an ideal martial position within a clan. Military philosophy governs how things are handled within the clan, with a clear hierarchy marking progression from a young child, to a student in arms, to a swordshin or slinger, to an experienced leader, to a veteran, to an elder. By virtue of their cunning, many halflings of the Greyhill clan live to be elders, though they do experience more deaths than each of the other clans as a consequence of their fearless ways.

Children are, as in other clans, immensely well-defended. A Greyhill warrior will most often choose to sacrifice their own life rather than let one of the clan's children be hurt. This sort of thing is idealized in Greyhill stories, which are often of heroic warriors who died in righteous battles for the continued survival of the clan. But the Greyhill are, at their very core, survivors, though they are survivors who prefer to kill what might kill them first rather than hide meekly. If a challenge seems too tough, they will back down, knowing that fighting is purposeless if it doesn't preserve their people.

Noncombatants do exist among the Greyhill, who know well that they cannot survive on might alone. Often they are men from the Briarfoot clan, though some Cobbledrums can be found as well. They fulfill roles like preparing food, creating clothing, repairing wagons and so on.

Unlike the Briarfoot and Cobbledrum, however, the Greyhill prefer to move as one tight-knit little army. They number roughly sixty halflings at the moment and make their way through the outskirts of society, much like the Shortwick. However, where the Shortwick brood in the woods aimlessly, the Greyhill profess their intent to carve out a new, settled home for the haflings of Aolyth. Often, when hearing about pestilences and dangers faced by the other clans, the Greyhill will move to the protection of their people.

Paladins are most commonly Greyhill.

--Log in or sign up to see linked image content--

A Cobbledrum halfling bard


Last edited by theintrepidgnome, 10/29/2013, 5:10 am


---
Characters:
Calchas Blaesus: A mad seer.
10/29/2013, 4:14 am Link to this post Send Email to theintrepidgnome   Send PM to theintrepidgnome Blog
 


Add a reply





You are not logged in (login)