Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Journal of Khazrel Nakhu “Journey to the Cities Afar” 32’s93


”Of all the races I have encountered, and I have encountered many, none are so much of a conundrum as the Halflings. In a broad view they appear to be stoic beings; humorless, pragmatic, thieves, and ruthless traders. Their Sheriffs run amuck going where they please and seemingly set them selves upon random tasks with a zealous agenda. Most non-Halflings find them to be self-righteous, bitter, and undoubtedly troublemakers. “

“After spending much time with them I find this assessment to simply not be true. They are in fact quite fill of mirth when in their own domain and enjoy life as much as any Dwarf with two maids in his bed and mead in his belly. However this is rarely seen outside their hilly forts, and only their mongering traders and fervent Sheriffs are viewed by the outside world.”

“Be patient with my analysis on how this seems to be so. First let me speak of their appearance. All Halflings are at least a head or two shorter than a Dwarf. They are often gangly with dexterous limbs and a mop of long weedy hair upon their head that range from blonds to browns but most dominantly, red. Freckles are common and the skin runs the full gambit of fleshy tones. Halflings have large wide eyes that are shifty compared the stony gaze of Dwarves – and their eyes are usually blues and greens.”

“When in the presence of danger or high stress, all but the best trained Halfling Sheriffs naturally freeze like a statue. This can be a bit unnerving when a horse kicks a barn wall and 30 Halflings around the stables all but go dead still. However in the wilds, his response makes them very difficult to spot, particularly in high grasses.”

“Halfling villages are never so large as to hold more than a few thousand individuals. They are well kept, using a myriad of building materials from loose hides to the finest marbles. Halfings are fond of multi-tiered structures and most of their dwellings hold 6 or more rooms. Contrary to belief, Halfing dwellings are large enough for a Human to stand straight in.”

“Halflings are prolific traders and hard bargainers. Be warned that any trade done with a Halflings will require haggling, and in fact most Halfling are insulted if good are not haggled for as it brings the notion that they are not worth bargaining for. Halflings are one of the few races that deals with the unseemly types of Warggots, Goblins, Snowbolds, Redcaps and their ilk. I do not know why this is, but it appears the Halflings have a reputation as worldly traders that are pragmatic enough to offer a fair deal to any. Thus many goods that are unseen by the eyes of Dwarves can be seen at Halfling markets. Likewise should a Warggot get his hands on Dwarven goods, there is a fair chance a Halfling is involved. Halflings also barter more than use coins in their trade and I recommend any visitor to bring a wide array of goods as you never know what will be high valued and what will not. While I could not buy a good crossbow for 30 gold coins, I could buy it with a simple block of salt.”

“Halflings are highly social and gatherings are common every evening among ten or hundreds of folk. Many dwellings have open door welcomes and those who come are welcome to walk in, join in the fellowship, have a snack, and leave – all several abodes in one evening. Halflings likewise have a great deal of festivals, at least one per month, and other events such as weddings, funerals, births usually offer another chance to feast just as often.”

“Halflings are very political amongst each other and families fie for political clout and land control. They rarely have open hostility and in general crime is rare. Those who do break their few laws are usually put to death quite quickly however, and I am somewhat surprised to learn that Halflings know little in the ways of mercy. In particular to those who break a Halflings sense of fairness - they are often hunted down and have removed their feet for petty infractions. I bid any traders to fulfill any deals he has committed to for such reason.”

“Vagrant Halflings often turn to thievery, which is the penultimate crime among Halflings – taking things which are not yours. It seems that those Halfings who have nothing to loose find a certain amount of pride in such work. Death is certain should they be caught but a fair amount of respect is given by a populace should crimes of theft be committed by clever means. Indeed many Halfling folk heroes are ingenious thieves who have been redeemed in some fashion. A romantic view but I have yet to know such a person personally. Many of these thieves are prodded to flee their home villages and traverse to the cities of other races where they can better hone their trade.”

“It is well known that Halflings have a presentience to see the future. I have learned that this trait is in every Halfling to some degree but few have the sense powerful enough to predict the future with accuracy. I am told that presentience is a waking dream rather than a constant sense. It simply occurs at seemly random intervals and can not be forced. Regardless it is true that presentience is very real, and many races come to the Halfings for services in regard to weather prediction to the sex of an unborn child. By dictate, only the Halfling Sherrifs are allowed to speak on behalf of presentience, so services in that regard are limited but not unheard of. Oddly enough this service is always free and never bartered for.”

“Naturally those with excellent presentience are put into leadership positions and I am told this ability runs strong among particular families. It is no wonder that these families are the natural leaders of their kind. Particularly strong presentience in a Halfling who is also adventurous can pursue a career as a Sheriff. A Sheriff, for those that do not know, roam the world setting events into a certain motion – towards a persistent future that they can see and must strive to attain. I find this troublesome since the Sheriffs will not share what exactly this future is, only that it is for the betterment of prosperity.”

“Sheriffs therefore are their own law and often do many bewildering things in the service of this predefined future. I’ve seen them lay a bottle of milk at a Warggot den, I’ve seen them save the life of drowning children, I’ve seen them slay a walking messenger for no obvious reason. It is no wonder that Sheriff are ill-trusted but given a certain respect among those they come across. A likewise most Sheriffs feel the burden of their duty and are stoic folks with sullen gazes. Authorities are very weary of them but most give them enough berth to allow them to do what they need too, then quickly send them off.”

“Rarely some Halflings have a waking nightmare and go quite mad. These individuals see a particular future and are never the same again. A cog is switched, they snap, and they are a completely different person, and usually quite motivated by what they have seen. These are among the most dangerous folk I have ever encountered in my journey as they seemly follow their own hidden agenda and appear to be free of any sort of compassion or morality. When this happens it is not uncommon for an entire group of Sheriffs to hunt this individual down - often for years until they are caught and slain. I am troubled that the Sheriffs go through such lengths and even more troubles when they fail.”

“I suppose that tales of murdering Sheriffs, rude merchants who deal with Warggots, and strange thieves that lurk in the night all give the Halfings an undeserved reputation. By in large they are a pleasant race and it is pity that most other folk do not see this side of them. Such is the way of things however.”

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