The smallest and weakest of the Olom legacy races, halflings live in scattered farming communities in the most fertile parts of the world. Created to be the gardeners of the Olom, the halflings took to their calling with a passion. Halflings couldn’t be less interested in all of the danger and political upheaval that faces Fartherall. They’d much rather just to tend their farms and perfect their cooking to keep everyone fed and happy. Naturally charming and friendly to a fault, halflings will almost always go out of their way to feed and clothe any needy traveler who stumbles upon one of their villages.
An optimistic bunch, halflings view each new day as an opportunity just waiting to be seized; a vehicle for sharing jokes, stories, and fellowship, all while honing their horticultural expertise to the very cutting edge. Vegetables and fruit that come from a halfling’s garden are certain to be much larger and more flavorful than those of their neighbors, and none are so talented as a halfling when it comes to using these exceptional ingredients to their fullest culinary potential.
A halfling’s home is rarely private, and so they have earned a reputation for being somewhat fuzzy on the concept of personal space. They catch on to local social norms quickly enough, however, and their willingness to share proximity shouldn’t be mistaken for an inability to respect boundaries once they’ve been established.
Halflings are the only Olom legacy race to have created a race of their own. During the Age of Legends, when magic was stronger and the world more open to such things, halfling druids and gardenmasters gave rise to the dryads — the treefolk of Fartherall — to help them tend their farms and orchards. Though most of the dryad race eventually left the gardens, preferring to raise their young in the quiet and uninhabited parts of the world, a number stayed behind and serve in positions of honor in halfling communities. Relations between dryads and halflings is uniformly good.
An average halfling stands about three feet tall, with the halflasses being a bit shorter than their halflads. They dress practically for their busy work days with loose fitting trousers and tunics, but tend to don festive and colorful garments of all sorts during their off hours. One very notable aspect of halfling society is their deep dislike of shoes, which tend to overheat their naturally fuzzy feet. They feel similarly about gloves, as the backs of their hands are likewise covered in fuzz.
Halflings tend toward dusky complexions and dark brown hair with blue eyes, though the occasional bright redhead is considered a “lucky” halfling, and can look forward to a childhood of gentle ribbing and slightly higher than average expectation. Beards among halflings are rare; most halflads cannot grow facial hair, but can grow full and lush sideburns and chops, which never go out of fashion. Halfling hair grows rapidly and thick, and baldness is almost unheard of. Their hair is almost uniformly curly.
The short folk don’t concern themselves overly with matters of administration or nation-building. Their communities rarely number more than three hundred individuals, with numbers much higher often triggering a strong wanderlust in enough hearts that a third of the community will migrate to start a new settlement. This urge persists until those affected move on to build a new town and begin the cycle anew. This is exactly the reason the original dryads left to form communities of their own.
Halfling homes are comfortable but never extravagant, and always cozy — a larger house means more work to be done keeping it clean and heated. Homesteads are usually run by the eldest couple, who treat everyone else in the village as honorary nieces and nephews. Most halfling communities don’t even have a prison — respect for elders is such that anyone who acts out of line is sent to their room. Decisions are made by consensus at semi-regular moots; for severe crimes, the defendants are not allowed to participate in the consensus process. The worst punishment a halfling can endure is banishment from one’s home.
Almost all halflings benefit their community in whatever way they can because of a strong sense of community responsibility, made stronger by early Olom breeding programs. A useless halfling feels progressively less comfortable, sometimes panicking if there’s nobody around to assist, or going so far as to invent meaningless tasks to perform on a regular basis. An imprisoned halfling may, for example, obsessively move the pile of straw that serves as her bed from one end of her cell to the other, or even go so far as to organize each straw in order of length.
Halflings are great fans of all other races, and tend to see the best in them, even to the point where they’ll cover for or explain away violent behavior. Ogres, for example, just have a really hard time of it, and would live peacefully if only they didn’t need only meat to get by. Dwarves are wonderfully smart and creative, and make incredible items that will last practically forever. Life under the mountains has just made them a bit gruff. Gnomes are like cleverer and more mysterious halflings, and it’s nice to have somebody the same size! Elves are like magical nature spirits, and it’s an honor to know someone who’s lived for so long. Humans are so diverse and interesting that each one is like a fascinating puzzle to mull through, and orcs are brave warriors inspiring for how they never give up!
Alignment and Religion
Given their friendly and conscientious nature, halflings tend overwhelmingly toward Neutral Good. Concern for the well being of others is a powerful motivator in everything a halfling does, and that concern leaves little room for the minutiae of law or the willfulness of chaos.
Their religion focuses mostly on paying homage to various nature spirits and deities of the harvest, some of which are so minor as to be localized to a single settlement.
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