A greater race in Azolin
Halflings are clever, capable opportunists. Halfling individuals and clans find room for themselves wherever they can. Often they are strangers and wanderers, and others react to them with suspicion or curiosity. Depending on the clan, halflings might be reliable, hard-working (if clannish) citizens, or they might be thieves just waiting for the opportunity to make a big score and disappear in the dead of night. Regardless, halflings are cunning, resourceful survivors.
Halflings prefer trouble to boredom. They are notoriously curious. Relying on their ability to survive or escape danger, they demonstrate a daring that many larger people can’t match. Halflings clans are nomadic, wandering wherever circumstance and curiosity take them. Halflings enjoy wealth and the pleasure it can bring, and they tend to spend gold as quickly as they acquire it.
Halflings are also famous collectors. While more orthodox halflings may collect weapons, books, or jewelry, some collect such objects as the hides of wild beasts—or even the beasts themselves. Wealthy halflings sometimes commission adventurers to retrieve exotic items to complete their collections.
Halflings stand about 3 feet tall and usually weigh between 30 and 35 pounds. Their skin is ruddy, their hair black and straight. They have brown or black eyes. Halfling men often have long sideburns, but beards are rare among them and mustaches almost unseen. They like to wear simple, comfortable, and practical clothes. A halfling reaches adulthood at the age of 20 and generally lives into the middle of her second century.
Halflings try to get along with everyone else. They are adept at fitting into a community of humans, dwarves, elves, or gnomes and making themselves valuable and welcome. Since human society changes faster than the societies of the longer-lived races, it is human society that most frequently offers halflings opportunities to exploit, and halflings are most often found in or around human lands.
Halflings on Azolin
Halflings have no lands of their own. Instead, they live in the lands of other races, where they can benefit from whatever resources those lands have to offer. Halflings often form tight-knit communities in human or dwarven cities. While they work readily with others, they often make friends only their own kind. Halflings also settle into secluded places where they set up self-reliant villages. Halfling communities, however, are known for picking up and moving en masse to some place that offers a new opportunity, such as a new mine that has just opened, or to a land where a devastating war has made skilled workers hard to find. If these opportunities are temporary, the community may pick up and move again once the opportunity is gone, or once a better one presents itself. Some halfling communities, on the other hand, take to traveling as a way of life, driving wagons or guiding boats from place to place, and maintaining no permanent home.
Halflings reputedly once had a vast sprawling kingdom in the lands now called the Tannarian Hills. Among the ancient ruins the ogres have now laid claim and built their vast ziggurats and iron citadels for war. The gentle cyclops also dwell amongst some of these ancient ruins, the history of which exceedingly complex throughout the innumerable hillsides of the region.
The halflings were also the sacrifical race for the creation of the starshines that reinforce the Skywall that surrounds and seals Azolin from the rest of the multiverse. This mass sacrifice left the halflings a feral version of their former selves. Almost no civilized groups of halflings can be found freely wandering Azolin. The majority of halflings dwell on the splinter continent to the north, the Vast Forgotten. Lately, however, several subraces of halflings have been getting slightly more prominent, enough to afford travelers a small chance of seeing wandering halflings through city's friendly to nonhumans.
Halflings tend to be neutral. While they are comfortable with change (a chaotic trait), they also tend to rely on intangible constants, such as clan ties and personal honor (a lawful trait).
The chief halfling deity is Yondalla, the Blessed One, protector of the halflings. Yondalla promises blessings and protection to those who heed her guidance, defend their clans, and cherish their families. Halflings also recognize countless small gods, which they say rule over individual villages, forests, rivers, lakes, and so on. They pay homage to these Feyfolk Pantheon deities to ensure safe journeys as they travel from place to place.
Halflings speak their own language, Hin, which uses a cipher of the Common script. They write very little in their own language so, unlike dwarves, elves, and gnomes, they don’t have a rich body of written work. The halfling oral tradition, however, is very strong. While the Halfling language isn’t secret, halflings are loath to share it with others. Almost all halflings speak Common, since they use it to deal with the people in whose land they are living or through which they are traveling.
A halfling has a given name, a family name, and possibly a nickname. It would seem that family names are nothing more than nicknames that stuck so well they have been passed down through the generations.
Male Names: Alton, Beau, Cade, Eldon, Garret, Lyle, Milo, Osborn, Roscoe, Wellby.
Female Names: Amaryllis, Charmaine, Cora, Euphemia, Jillian, Lavinia, Lidda, Merla, Portia, Seraphina, Verna.
Family Names: Brushgather, Goodbarrel, Greenbottle, Highhill, Hilltopple, Leagallow, Tealeaf, Thorngage, Tosscobble, Underbough.
Halflings often set out on their own to make their way in the world. Halfling adventurers are typically looking for a way to use their skills to gain wealth or status. The distinction between a halfling adventurer and a halfling out on her own looking for “a big score” can get blurry. For a halfling, adventuring is less of a career than an opportunity. While halfling opportunism can sometimes look like larceny or fraud to others, a halfling adventurer who learns to trust her fellows is worthy of trust in return.