Beyond the Ringing Mountains are jungles that flourish in rains that never reach the Tablelands or the Sea of Silt. There life is abundant, the foliage thick and untamed. The undisputed rulers of these jungles are the halflings. A halfling is a very short humanoid, standing no more than 3½ feet in height. They are muscled and proportioned like humans, but they have the faces of wise and beautiful children. Halflings live to be as much as 120 years old, but once they reach adulthood, their features never succumb to their years – it’s very difficult for an outsider to determine a given halfling’s age. A halfling weighs 50 to 60 pounds and is virtually always in peak physical condition.
Halflings possess great racial unity. Though divided into separate villages and communities, halflings respect their race as a whole. Differences between them are settled wherever possible peaceably, through ritual and custom, most often under the direction of their shaman witch doctors. On a personal level, halflings relate very well to one another, and have built a considerable culture rich in art, song, and other expressive communication. They tend to rely heavily on their culture for communication, and it is difficult for a halfling to compensate for a listener who isn’t intimately familiar with halfling culture.
As such they easily become frustrated with outsiders. Depending upon how “official” a meeting is, outsiders often have to take great pains to learn local customs merely to communicate with the halflings in question. Halflings who have travelled widely outside their traditional jungle home have a much greater tolerance of those with a “lack” of halfling culture; and can communicate easily and without frustration.
Halfling culture is fabulously diverse, but difficult for other races to comprehend. A complete history of their culture, if such a thing existed, would speak volume upon volume of complex social change, inspirational clerical leaders, and in–depth personal studies of the halfling and his duty to his jungle home. Conspicuous in their absence would be references to great wars of conquest or tremendous monetary wealth – the yardsticks by which other races measure cultural success. Halfling culture cares for the individual’s inner being – his identity and spiritual unity with his race and environment. Their culture does not provide for more traditional values, and vices such as greed and avarice are particularly discouraged.
Oddly, the richness of the land may be disturbed and examined, even used for a halfling’s own gain. However, those riches belong to the land and, in the mind of the halfling, should never be moved away. For instance, nature intended a spring to bring water only to a certain area. To move the water through irrigation to some other area is not what nature had in mind. Similarly, an archaeological find in the jungle that yields a great pile of gold and metals is an event that shouldn’t be tampered with – the gold might be used to raise a spectacular series of clerical buildings on the spot, but it should not be carted off to some other location.
See the game statistics for playing a halfling.