|Average Height||1.06m - 1.22m (3'6" - 4'0")|
|Average Weight||40kg - 75kg (88lbs - 165lbs)|
Halflings are a race of short humanoids residing primarily in Mapledale and various other regions of Eden. They are renowned for being creative, resourceful, socially active and full of inventiveness.
They are the most cosmopolitan among all the Eden races and their life revolves around their family, which they broadly see as all halflings with the same surname.
“The Universe was made from 5 elements: Aether, Kor, Ignos, Aros and the Halflings”
Flaminio Arcillari Political Essays wittily talking about Halfling contribution to the continent's history
Sometimes these families are tied to one place or city, but more often they regard the entire continent as their homeland and their ultimate goal is to increase the prestige and power of their halfling family.
Most strangers first notice their excellency in producing and wearing the most exotic wares available, which for a skilful halfling trader always come for a reasonable price.
The trading caravans of the Halflings tend to go wherever the Humans, Denur or Elves go. The Mapledale's Halflings for example (also called Haldur) like to follow the Hadrian traders passing through their territory, offer their services and excellent cooking recipes, asking for protection from bandits.
“Nothing is less tiring for an halfling than keeping quiet.”
Euphemia Arcillari The Halfling Cultures
In some places Halflings might also have a bad reputation since under this seemingly harmless shell it has lied something way more sinister. Halflings criminal families have born in the past, and they are usually very good in expanding their crime organization, ifever a charismatic Halfling crime lord climbs the ladder.
For this reason, some Halflings families have sometimes been discriminated in the past by other races, who have seen much of their wealth being seized by halfling bandits, pirates or crime families.
The Halfling stands at around 106 centimeters (3'6). Females tend to be a bit shorter than males. They appear relatively harmless at first sight. They have soft and generally pale skin, like most northern races. Halflings whose families storically lived south of Mapledale generally have a darker complexion, usually olive, and the typical bulbous nose. Most of the so-called "Corvinian" families for example, fall inside this cathegory. The hair color of a Halfling is varied. It has been seen from Dark blonde, brown, red, black, and everything in between. Silver and lighter shades of blonde hair are more diffused among eastern Halflings called "Haldarr" or "Porporati".
Halfling fashion is usually the most elegant version of the traditional clothes of their home region. Even the commoners are never shabby when they are able to, and care to show themselves with "acceptable" clothing, which would look anyway extremely elegant to a non halfling. They traditionally like wearing all kinds of headgear, from top hats to big feathered hats.
Halflings in the inner Attian regions and partly in the Hinterlands wear elegant Attian clothes like formal robes and leather boots with bycocket or tricorne hats, while female haldurs sometimes wear even more elaborate hats.
Corvinian Halflings who've lived in Anjyarr have historically worn turbans, loose fit robes made of soft materials such as silk, cotton, linen, or satin. The Halflings who've lived in the elven cities typically wear opulent silk robes, along with tiaras or diadems.
The most traditional Halfling Attire still is the so-called "Mapledale style", which includes colorful elegant shirts and trousers, leather boots, capes of any kind and either a hood or fancy hats like a chaperon.
The Halfling elite even reaches extreme levels of opulence and enjoys looking as magnificent as possible at all times. They wear bright-colored capes and tons of jewelry to stand out amongst the crowd. Most of these Halflings are part of very old Halfling families whose progenitors have lived millennia years ago.
The only language actively spoken is the common tongue. There was an old Halfling language, a dialect of the ancient Denur language.
That old language has been abandoned by all Halfling society, as the rapid need for communication with the other races whom the live with made speaking common a requirement for the Halfling race, and in the end the only spoken language.
Culture and Society
“Halflings are not divided into smart and stupid, they are all smart and stupid at the same time”
Euphemia Arcillari The Halfling Cultures
Structure of Halfling society
Halflings generally have a strong cosmopolitan feel. Even those who live in Mapledale do not have a great attachment to the land as to the family and their own ideals. In fact, it is not uncommon for these to lend service to a faction, but this happens almost exclusively to bring prestige to one's surname or to defend one's ideal.
What is their culture is exalted in the halfling criminal organizations that have sometimes arisen throughout history, the difference being that in the latter cases any work for one's family fortune takes place at the expense of all others.
The halfling race does not share a halfling national sentiment or need to form a faction as their own family is itself a faction. These Halfling families, which also involve cousins, uncles, distant relatives sharing the same surname, are generally powerful and with contacts in many countries. They are also often in open competition with each other for prestige or economic interests, sometimes even for everlasting feuds whose precise origin nobody remembers.
In more recent history many halfling families of the Mapledale region have followed in the footsteps of a certain Bandobras and his criminal organization, but much of that culture has now faded and most of the families of the Hinterlands have also returned to follow in the glorious footsteps of their brilliant past as traders and businessmen.
Celebrations and Holidays
- The Branderbuck Cook-Off
- Once a year, at the start of The Emerald Dusk, a big cook-off is held between the most renowned cooks of Mapledale and the other enclaves. All of this is done with products from the most recent harvest. The Halflings often invite other nations to participate as well. This is mostly to mock them, though, because the Halflings know they are the superior cooks.
- The Bandobras Auction
- When the trading season ends for Halflings, all old products must be out to make room for the next season's goods. There is one family that hosts the biggest of those auctions. They are one of the biggest trading families, and when the big auction comes at the end of the season, all of Eden comes to their little enclave, Aestaerius.
- This is a holiday celebrated once per celestial year on the first day of Lilith's veil. Halflings from all over Eden come to Mapledale to celebrate the founding of their most iconic city. This feast contains a big market and a dancing festival. When the day ends, there is a massive open banquet for everyone willing to celebrate this special day with them. No matter what race you are. This celebration goes paired with a lot of uncontrolled drinking and smoking.
Romance and Marriage
Marriage is just part of life for most Halflings. Family pride and procreation are key in Halfling society because a big family equals a strong one. Thus most Halflings marry at a very young age. Often right after reaching adulthood. In many Halfling families it is up to the head of the family to choose a partner for the young halfling. Every family member is a pon on the board that can be strategically used to forge alliances, squeeze out other families, and grow the family bigger and bigger.
Because the newlywed halfling couple is expected to have many children, the heads of the house are trying to find a partner they could fall in love with. When a young halfling already has a relationship when reaching adulthood, they are often allowed to marry that person after the head of the house ensures it would not damage the family's reputation.
A Halfling marriage is a feast that lasts up to a week. The official wedding bit happens on the first day; after that, it is seven days of partying. The newlywed couple is expected to open the doors of their house for the entire town to visit and congratulate them. The best wines and beers are poured, and the healthiest cattle are butchered for the entire week. The town square is transformed into a hub for all the party guests to join and leave whenever they want throughout the entire week. The master chef of the town will prepare a banquet for the entire village on the last day of the wedding to close it all off.
Poorer halflings may not have enough money for such a celebration, but they still tend to place great importance on the ceremony and try their best to meet this standard.
Life and Reproduction
Family life is extremely important for the average Halfling. It is expected newlywed couples will get their first child as soon as possible. Halfling fertility is about the same as that of Humans. Which allows them to get lots of children over their lifespan. The bigger the family, the more respected the family. Everyone in the family is expected to contribute to the town and the family businesses. This results in a culture in which your birth family decides your career path. A Halfling born in a baker's family is also expected to become a baker. This works the same in every Halfling town and enclave.
It still happens that some prodigious halflings are allowed to pursue their career, especially where they're not the firstborn, or that an halfling flees his house to pursue its dreams. These are rare case anyway, since the love and respect for the family are well rooted in their culture.
Death and Funerals
The most tragic thing that can happen in Halfling society is losing one of their own. The death of a well-respected halfling can halt the entire town they lived in for up to a month. The funeral ceremony usually starts with a day of remembrance. The friends and family of the Halfling that passed away gather with the Halflings that show interest.
After that, the actual funeral service begins. Every halfling that dies is buried just outside the village.
The Halfling history starts in the ancient Denur hold of Dar Farhum (now Zadh Nadrozz). The first documented Halfling in history is Helena Riccoboni, one of the city's three founders.
Also formerly called Hill Denur or Small Denur, the first Halflings were a race of inventors, politicians and workers in the mines of Dar Farhum.
Undoubtedly the poorest of the two ethnicities in the city, they ruled the city council in 200 BFS when Hieronimo Riccoboni decided on the foundation of Dar Vziun. Hieronimo is credited with inventing the city's complex steam system, powered by a huge Magma Drake.
The Haldurs contributed to the growth of southern Eden for generations, and from there they sometimes migrated to the Hinterlands, where they helped the Hinterlanders establish their first cities.
Some Halfling families also followed the elves in their migrations, supporting one faction or another during the Age of Fallen Spires.
Following the famous coup in Dahr Farum, Prime Minister Leone Riccoboni and most of the Haldur in the city were massacred and forced to emigrate elsewhere (see Dahr Fahrum for more details).
“There are men who know everything, too bad this is all they know.”
Oreste Francobaldi, An History of Sudrun Republic, Quoting Leone Riccoboni’s last words
Cassandra Riccoboni, Leone’s daughter and last heir of the house, fled after Dar Farhum was couped. She went to the glade where she married Oreste Francobaldi, who wrote the history of the city.
Since its earliest moments, the Halfling history splitted into the many histories of the many Halfling families who became renown in all the Eden countries.
There are three main Halfling cultural groups: The Haldur, The Haldarr (or Porporati) and the Corvinians.
The term Haldur originally meant all the Halflings who assisted in the founding of Dar Farhum and then only that portion of the latter who remained in the Hinterlands.
In fact, today those who fled from Dar Farhum heading north are considered Haldur.
Their story is the oldest since from the foundation of the city it has maintained relations with the Hinterlands and its human inhabitants.
The numbers of the halflings who made their way north increased considerably first with the anomalous wave of goblin migration, and finally with the capture of the city by the Denur General Diocles, who slayed many of the high-rank Halflings, including Council President Leo .
“The life of the dead lies in the memory of the living.”
Oreste Francobaldi History of the Sudrun Republic
The Haldurs (♖) are highly creative, critical, and socially active. Their positivity and activism combines well with the humans, who have profited greatly over the centuries from the Haldur's openness and their dwarven knowledge of metals and good governance, the first Hinterlanders were dazzled by the democratic experiments brought by the Haldur exiles of Dar Farhum so much that they wanted to imitate and improve the republican system several times throughout their history.
Famous Haldur Surnames
♖ Arcillari ♖
The Arcillari are well known as the greatest exponents of the Haldur identity which is still known today. They are the ones who invested the most in spreading republican culture in the Hinterlands and, as in the case of Flaminio A., the art of doing politics or speaking in public.
“I believe that one has to see the end in things and not the means.”
Flaminio Arcillari Political Essays
The latter managed to convince the goblins not to attack Mapledale in the fifth century and was the first to theorize the perpetual neutrality of Mapledale. Other well-known characters are Rosario and Euphemia A., who lived around the fifteenth century AFS and known as the greatest historians of Attia and the Halflings, of which they made a ruthless portrait.
♖ Aquilani (extinct) ♖
The Aquilani family is fundamentally known for the foundation and management of Prezza L'Aquilla, and their continuous contacts and fine alliances that have allowed its growth up to the extinction of the entire family during the Rotting Plague, which saw the rise to the power of the better known Bandobras.
The two founders of this prestigious family were Isotta and Olympia Aquilani, who arrived in the Hinterlands around the fifth century, where they began to transmit the dwarven knowledge of metallurgy and their knowledge of hardened steel. They are also responsible for the invention of the bell.
They died during the city's capitulation during the famous Hobgoblin invasion. Another famous member was the Haldure entrepeneur Arturo Aquilani. He financed the project of a Hinterlander couple who invented the printing press and an instrument for measuring time, which he called a clock.
♖ Merma ♖
The Mermas are known as the “Mapledale Creators”. Ludmilla Merma is the legendary founder of Mapledale in 700 BFS. Ludmilla is said to have been the first halfling to leave Dar Farhum, when the Hinterlands were still inhabited by warring human tribal clans.
Ludmilla taught some of them modern administration and the art of building pleasant houses, as well as the use of iron, turning Mapledale into a unique town of Hinterlanders in the vale.
“Halfling are good for nothing but capable of anything.”
Euphemia Arcillari The Halfling Cultures
The extremely peaceful policy of Mapledale and its prestigious yet humble history as a welcoming city led by skilled Halfling politicians has allowed its survival, thanks to the protection guaranteed to it by all (or almost all) of the peoples of Eden.
This policy still continues today, where the Podestà Eustachio Merma continues the policy of perpetual neutrality theorized by Flaminio Aquilani in the sixth century.
The Haldarr, or Porporati (♗), are the halflings who during the Age of the Fallen Spires joined the elven kingdoms in their earliest formation, after all elves were banished from Dar Farhum by the so-called despotic decision of the city council.
The Haldarr are smart, resourceful and full of inventiveness and are famous for their creative flair and their often excessive resourcefulness.
“Thinking is like living twice.”
Oreste Francobaldi Memories
Famous Haldarr Surnames
♗ Francobaldi ♗
The Francobaldi are by far the most famous Halfling house. They are known by all those in Eden who are at all interested in history and they are famous for having generated what is believed to be "the greatest Halfling of all time", i.e. the brilliant Evaristo Francobaldi.
The noble Oreste Francobaldi was the progenitor of the family, known both as a philosopher and as an historian, told of the Sudruns and the origin of the Halflings after the killing of Leone. He is one of the major Halfling historians, as well as famous for having married Cassandra, the daughter of Leone Riccoboni.
"If you have a vegetable garden next to the library, you will lack nothing."
Oreste Francobaldi Memories
Evaristo Francobaldi, was a Haldarr scientist, philosopher, architect, sculptor, painter, draftsman, treatise writer, magician, mathematician, anatomist, botanist, musician, engineer and designer who lived in Aerial at the turn of the 11th century.
He is considered the most brilliant person who has ever walked on Eden and has contributed to progress in countless fields, especially in the study of the anatomy of monsters and demons and in the understanding of magic, so much so that many of his elf contemporaries said "he might have surpassed in acumen and extraordinariness even the great archmages of old, which is very remarkable for a non-elf."
“Once you have experienced the thrill of flight, when you are back on the ground, you will continue to look at the sky.”
Evaristo Francobaldi Diary of an Ornithotterist
His greatest artistic work was the so-called "Maam Lea" a painting that is said to seem almost alive to the point that the high elf lady portrayed in the painting could follow the viewer with her gaze.
His amazing inventions were also famous, such as "The anti-dragon chariot" for hunting Fire Dragons, never tested, or his "Ornithopter", which according to legend allowed him to fly from Aerial to the Sepherum Sea. Most of these projects or works have been lost or arrived incomplete due to the excessive dispersion of his art and the enormous black market that was generated. He died of old age at the age of 82.
Ambrogio Francobaldi is Evaristo's less known direct cousin. He was a talented architect and was in charge of the construction of the Phoenix Temple which he designed himself. Alas he died trying to surpass his cousin in greatness. He built a building with a tower that was too high, as his calculations did not take into account the effects of the wind and thus ended up crushed during construction.
♗ Dendolo ♗
The Dendolos were a famous Haldarr family who lived as courtiers in the court of Aerial. Tiziano Dendolo was one of the greatest innovators of art in the 12th century. Titian collaborated in the design of Aerial's first urban plan and invented perspective in pictorial representation. He is also counted among the greatest sculptors of all time.
“Why do not you talk?”
Tiziano Dendolo raging at one of his sculptures.
It is said that his art was so advanced that his laboratory in the mountains was filled with gargoyles curious about his art, and that his sculptures at some point came to life.
“Painting holds divine strength in itself.”
Euphemia Arcillari Lives of the Halflings, quoting Tiziano Dendolo
He died young at the age of about 40, in a love quarrel in a duel for single combat. Also belonging to this family was Cornelia Dendolo, historian of the elves who lived in the XIII century. Cornelia collaborated in drafting the first bestiary of Eden, which at the time contained 17 rare creatures and many plants.
The Corvinians (☩) (or Corvini) are those who were convinced by the Dark Elves to follow them during the Age of Fallen Spires, on their westward adventure, thus settling in Anjyarr or the Heartlands.
Famous Corvinians Surnames
☩ Calandrini ☩
The Calandrini are a famous family of navigators and explorers. Cecilia Calandrini is remembered for being the first to make the journey across the Coral Sea in the 5th century, returning with a ship loaded with elven wine.
She was also the first to explore the Jungle of Spiders but died young of a fever from a monkey bite.
“The tongue is not enough to tell and the hand to write all the wonders of the sea”
Cecilia Calandrini Exploration Diaries
Gaspare Calandrini is perhaps one of the most iconic Halflings ever; his resourcefulness and criminal ingenuity were noted in the 15th century. Calandrini was born to a Halfling family who moved to Anjyarr, where impatient with too rigid rules, he studied ever more ingenious ways to smuggle prohibited goods into Anjyarr, or rare goods such as the Sun Lotus out of Anjyarr. He quickly became very rich and then moved to the Heartlands where he retired to a peaceful life offering his navigation knowledge to the Attians. He invented the lock pick and perfected the encrypted message, which he used to enlist Halflings from all over the world to join his band.
"In the Haldur vocabulary, idealist becomes synonymous with stupid and intelligence with cunning."
Euphemia Arcillari Lives of the Halflings
He died in old age, trying to invent fireworks.
☩ Fiaschi ☩
The fiaschi were distinguished bankers and businessmen who are said to have made their first fortunes trading with the dwarves of Dar Zenur. Their legendary progenitor, Dionigi Fiaschi, arrived in Anjyarr around the 4th century where he found an easy way to produce silver and gold coins, which he had stolen by observing the blacksmiths of Dar Zenur. This method was later copied throughout Eden. The high quality of the Anjyarri coinage soon gained fame and Anjyarri coinage began to circulate everywhere west of the Spine. He died of old age amid lavish riches in Al Khadir.
Even more famous was Fosco Fiaschi, belonging to a younger branch of this family who lived around the 9th century. Ruthless and unscrupulous businessman, he invested his capital everywhere in the Heartlands and in the Kingdom of Hadriana, participating in the construction of Adelsburg through his invention: the bank. Fosco Fiaschi offered a never-before-existed money protection service, allowing merchants to deposit their money upon departure and then withdraw it at their destination. This important invention greatly limited banditry and made Fosco make many friends and enemies.
“Friendship ends where interest begins.”
Famous quote attributed to Fosco Fiaschi'
We owe him the invention of the Andros, the single currency of Eden. He died assassinated by a criminal Haldur gang, reduced to absolute poverty by his invention.
|Human Races||Attians · Khadans · Hinterlanders|
|Elvish Races||High Elves · Wood Elves · Dark Elves|
|Orcish Races||Orcs · Goblins|
|Other Races||Halflings · Tieflings|