To the other races, halfings are the child-race of Callimhros. The diminutive halflings have short attention spans, intense curiosity, and a fearlessness that serves them well in battle, but often lands them (and those traveling with them in danger.
Halflings live a carefree existence where every new day is a day of wonderful secrets just waiting to be discovered. Their most defining character traits are their insatiable curiosity and their utter fearlessness, which makes for a frightening combination. All dark caves need exploring, all locked doors need opening, and all chests hide something interesting.
Young halflings around the age of 20 or so are afflicted with “wanderlust,” in intense desire to depart their homeland and set out on a journey of discovery. Almost all halflings encountered outside their homelands are on wanderlust. Halflings are tantalized by the prospect of the new and exciting, and only the most extreme circumstances force them to place their own self-preservation above this pursuit. Even the threat of imminent demise does not deter halflings, for death is the start of the next truly big adventure. It was this sense of adventure that lead them to find the Gnomes.
For as long as the halflings can remember they have been united with the Gnomes of Whistledown. Awed and inspired by their technology the halflings knew they had discovered a new and wondrous place. The gnomes, too were inspired by the halflings as they saw a lucrative investment in their large farm plantations and explorative nature. During the Race Wars the gnomes and the halflings were the only races who worked together, attempting to stay out of the war as much as possible.
While halflings have a modicum of instinct for self-preservation and will not readily give up their lives in seeking adventures, their propensity to act on impulse at the expense of common sense makes them reckless in dangerous situations—a volatile addition to any adventuring party. Boredom is the halfling’s arch-nemesis, to be conquered at any cost. It is said that nothing on Callimhros is as dangerous as hearing a halfling say, “Oops!”
The unquenchable curiosity of halflings drives them to investigate everything—including others possessions. Halflings appropriate absolutely anything that catches their eye. Physical boundaries or notion of privacy are both alien concepts to them. They are as likely to be more captivated by the feather of a golden eagle as by a sapphire. Halflings are never happier than when their hands are in the pockets, pouches, or backpacks of those around them. Halflings do not consider such appropriation to be thievery as others understand it. Halflings term this “handling” or “borrowing” because they firmly intend to return what they pilfer to the proper owner.
That being said halfling society has a hidden, darker side as meaningful, developed, and important as the face maintained for the unassuming public. During their young adventurous years, many stray from the rules of the community and involve themselves in the disdained affairs of thievery, subterfuge, adventuring, and vagabond life. They often join guilds and try their hands at various professions or seek out other half ling settlements so as to mingle with different cultures.
Throughout history halflings have gotten along well with anyone and everyone they meet, though they won’t hesitate to declare their dislike for someone who hurts their friends. When meeting new people (no matter of what race) halflings immediately offer their hands and introduce themselves. When halflings meet each other, they enter a discourse that can last for hours while they try to determine how they’re related and compare the interesting items in their pockets and pouches.
The feelings of the other races towards halflings are as various as the halflings themselves. The elves consider halflings annoying pests and do not like being harassed with questions and stories of adventures. While some Adelinians find halflings amusing and admire their sense of loyalty to their friends, most are baffled or irritated by Halfling behavior. Dwarves not only consider halflings to be “lazy doorknobs” but think of them as a race of thieves. Halflings do get along with gnomes, who share their curiosity (even if theirs tends towards technology), and most humans are always happy to join halflings in their wanderings or welcome halflings into their homes.
Despite their curiosity-driven wanderlust, halflings possess a strong sense of house and home that develops over the years. A halfling takes great pride in his domicile, often spending above his means to add to the common comforts of home life.Halflings are fond of an unadventurous bucolic life of farming, eating, and socializing later in life. They enjoy seven meals a day, when they can get them – breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, and, later in the evening, supper. They like simple food such as bread, meat, potatoes, and cheese, and also like to drink ale, often in inns. Halflings also enjoy an ancient variety of tobacco, which they referred to as pipe-weed, something that can be attributed to their love of gardening and herb-lore.
Some Halflings live in “half-holes”, which were the original places where they dwelt underground. They are typically found in hillsides, downs, and banks close to the farmlands that older halflings tend. However they were replaced by brick and wood houses when they allied themselves with the gnomes. This diversity of housing was furthered after the unification of the races after the Skraeling War and some individuals of the other races moved into the halfling homeland. Some older style half-holes are still in use by more established halflings. Like all halfling architecture, they are notable for their round doors and windows, a feature more practical to tunnel-dwelling that the Hobbits retained in their later structures.
The greatest place to see halfling architecture is their capital of Wulfgarn, which lies beyond the expansive rolling farmlands of the west, which surround their fair city. Unlike most capital cities Wulfgarn is an agricultural city, with sprawling fields cultivated by hardworking halflings, aided by antique golems and clockwork machines gifted to them from the gnomes. This endless farm land provides the largest agricultural trade economy in Callimhros.
Halflings usually adopt the religious beliefs of the societies with which they travel through during their wanderlust. Unsurprisingly, many halflings worship the gods of humankind, such as Ariadne, Baymond, and Ehlonna. Despite their practical commitment to faith, it is very rare for halflings to become clerics, paladins, or similar devout servants of these deities. More often, these rare, individuals choose Freya, Gilan, or Sehanine as their patrons. Rumors also tell of a disturbingly large cult venerating the treacherous aspect of Zehrull. These apparitional preachers usually remain in the background and, being halflings, have perfected the art of blending in and avoiding attention. Nonetheless, the growing number of bloody deeds and assassinations that oddly benefit halfling communities make the cult’s emergence difficult to deny.
Halflings stand just shorter than gnomes but make up for what they lack in stature and strength with bravery, optimism, and skill. The bottoms of their feet are naturally covered in tough calluses and the tops often sport tufts of warming hair, allowing for barefoot travel. Most have almond skin and brown hair.
Forever living in the shadows of their taller kith and kin, halflings dress in whatever styles suit the culture in which they dwell. Ironically, their greatest strength is their perceived weakness—halflings can count on the advantage that they are continually underestimated, an edge they exploit mercilessly.