December 11, 2013 at 18:00 #14084
Where did the Halflings go? The Age of Wonders development team is off to see the new Hobbit movie and celebrates by giving away 5 exclusive seats to the upcoming Ae of Wonders III beta!
[See the full post at: Where did the Halflings go? Win Beta Access!]December 11, 2013 at 18:47 #14087
They have been tired of battling against other races, as they are such a peaceful one. The Halflings have after The Shadow Magic events, discovered that once there was a treasure which could bring peace, protection and willpower to the ones who possessed it. Hence they decided to gather all their forces and people to the pilgrimage of finding such a wonderful treasure throughout the world.
Meanwhile The Gathering – as this movement was entitled by them – some other races have risen into the Halfling’s cities and settlements battling for this almost-empty place, taking advantage of the weaknesses of those who were looking for a better life and brighter future. Those battles in some places were easy to the attackers whom proudly seized them, nevertheless others were so devastating that ruins are what is left of the Halfling’s stories.
Even though some of their people could not follow The Gathering, too few is known about whether they found or not that treasure they were looking for, but for sure something special has happened to them and none have seem them ever since.December 11, 2013 at 18:52 #14088
A CLOSED beta?
Are you only going to have FIVE beta testers?
I always thought the whole point of a beta was to get outside people looking in, and more people looking to ‘break’ your game (i.e. stress test it, so you can improve it).
Anyway, everyone knows the Haflings are sitting in Aldor (the ‘Shire’ if you will), which the elves gave back to them, as a reward for their continued service, especially that of the great Ham Binger (Rayb;)), and have declared themselves isolationist. However, the Commonwealth threatens the elvish and dwarven realms so the Halfings dispatch a few troops to help, basically the more adventurous, troublesome members of their race (the Tooks and Baggins types).
It’s like in LOTR, Haflings are there but most people don’t even know they exist.
In the context of AoW3, the story takes place over a single continent, right? So not the whole entire world.
So, as a replacement/add-on to the above, there are hafling enclaves all over the northrn coastline of what used to be the Azrac steppe. This area was originally Azracian, but when they were discarded by Yaka, those that weren’t wiped out joined with elements of their human conquerors and became the Nomads, the vast majority of whom either died in the wars against the Shadow Demons, or joined Kenan in his crusade/migration to the recently liberated Shadow Demon worlds. However, those that were left still needed to trade, a market opportunity for the intrepid Haflings almost as bountiful as their trading in former Frostlings lands, in the AoW timeline.December 11, 2013 at 19:17 #14091
The real question is: where did the giant eagles go? First a few, then a convocation, then nearly every eagle screeched North in just a a few short years. The halflings, befuddled and frustrated, sent exhibitions to get to the bottom of the mystery. Most of the dispatched adventurers never returned, and those that came back were half-crazed with fantastical stories. Finally, one day, an adventurer returned — via eagle — bearing a box, and one week later, nearly every halfling in the kingdom set off into the North.December 11, 2013 at 19:19 #14092
The pure sight of Shadow Demons during the Age of Wonders Shadow Magic Campaign left the Halflings tormented by haunting images of the death and decapitation of their friends, family members, and loved ones. While the Halflings have fought numerous strong foes and succeeded, never have they faced an enemy so vicious and fierce as the Shadow Demons. As Halflings normally do after a hard fought battle to protect their homeland from evil, they returned to celebrate with the finest drink and smoke in the land, and everything seemed peaceful and good, that they might overcome the past as they always have done before and prosper together. Unfortunately for them, their entire civilization could not shake the images ingrained in their memory; the harsh sounds of the Skimmers flying down eviscerating them with teeth and claws from the sky, the pure sight of the gluttonous Harvester with an insatiable appetite for Halflings as a snack, and the dreaded Lord who successfully consumed entire armies alone. Although some enemies were able to swallow units whole, there was always a fighting chance that they would still be alive somewhere inside the bowels capable of being set free before being digested. This was not the case with the Shadow Demons, as they preferred to devour their prey piece by piece. The Halflings lacked sleep and became a community of insomniacs, crazed by fear, fighting and arguing with each other at every turn over petty matters. Communication with other races ended as the Halflings slipped further into solitude and isolationism. There is no more account of what has happened to the Halflings recently as all outside communication has been lost, but perhaps a new leader will emerge to return the Halfling civilization to prosperity once again.December 11, 2013 at 19:27 #14093
They went to our world to see their national hero Bilbo Baggins, they will be back when after the second part. If you see people in long coats who wobble when walking, you know who that is ;).December 11, 2013 at 19:36 #14094
Being an absolutely funny, peace-loving kind, the souls of the halfings were tortured by the continous death and bloodshed. After those many sad things they had to go through, they finally decided that it was high time to form the fate of the war-torn lands by themselves. Gathering all power and mana crystals they had, the halfings prepared a magic never seen before. They opened countless, unbroken channels of mana current and linked them by dangerous rituals and thousands of ancient runes of dwarven origin. This way they managed to establish the biggest life sphere node history ever seen. This power source was highly unstable, so before it ceased to exit the halfings had had time only for one magic action, one common wish told by lips of thousands or more. This wish was a simple cry of their hearts for peace: “Make everyone happy!”
A moment after they told these words, the mana current broke, the channel exploded in a shiny, frightening but peacefully harmless way. Everything was covered by blinding yellow light. When the strong light gone and only the sunshine smiled on the lands again the creatures of many races brought there by the explosion could see the thousands of halfings standing still. Their lifes last moments were kept for the eternity as they all became gold statues. In the sunlight they shined like the true teasures of the world.
After a few seconds of amazed and shock watching the creatures started to run towards the many gold sculptures. When they reached them each of them took one or two of these relics without fighting eachother (there were enough for everyone) and left for home smiling delightedly. Even if it cost their life they succeded in making everyone happy!December 11, 2013 at 20:09 #14095
I had my doubts, when Simon stepped out after the void collapsed. His hair was a shade lighter, and his cheeks were no longer pink.
I did wonder, why the caravan he’d pulled out with him–or before that how he pulled a caravan out on his own–needed to be covered at all times, and why it chittered, and made all sorts of noises wetter and worse than a Giant Spider.
I didn’t though, and it made light work, pulling the caravan down the road, and no one even seemed to mention the saliva trailing wherever it went. My brother, Lanny, was with me on the trip. He said he heard the wheel squeak, and so he went to take a look and see if he could repair it. .
We settled camp not long after that, and Simon said we better gather all the smallfolk to him. We did it, and I thought that it was odd, not that we gathered them, but when we had, he got them digging a great hole… and he covered that with a tarp as well.
No matter how many people came to us I seemed to see less and less, and I hadn’t seen Lanny in weeks. But, then he always had said that Simon was a ginger twit.
Simon even reached out to Marinus, and with all the people coming in, it seemed to me, that these new lot were sticking around, and we even stopped digging that damned hole. Though, Simon had me guard it.
There was an odd noise you know; I couldn’t place it at first, a kind of gooey, sticky, rolling, spitting, hissing sound as if the whole thing was filled with something… a lot of somethings, and they were moving.
Then I came there the next day, and there was a sign, and they’d even put a little entryway, but it was too dark to see anything, and the sign said “Free Wilberherb.” So, of course, it was immediately popular.
But, as I watched all our people file in, all types of pipes in their hands and mouths, with smiles wide on their faces… I began to worry about the screams. “Why are they screaming?” I asked myself.
When I couldn’t figure it out, I went to see Simon. He looked real sick, all pale grey, and his hair missing from his head, and when he talked his voice sounded all shaky, and scary.
He said was that he was fine though, then he touched me with his sticky hands, and said that we would all be fine, because his children would be here soon.
I found that odd, because Simon didn’t have any children. He couldn’t have. You see I knew women made children, and I knew that Simon spent all of his time with pretty boys.
I didn’t tell him that though, because he looked bad enough, and I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, still… I went and found Marinus and I told him what had happened.
“Pregnant,” was all he said. And, then he got up and started walking towards Simon’s tent. I asked him what he meant, and he looked at me with his eyes wide, and they were all red, and he smelled funny, like maybe one man had gotten back out of that Wilberherb hole after all.
He took Simon aside, but all Simon did was nod and lick his lips, not saying a word while Marius waved his arms about and talked in a real slow voice. Then Simon gave me an odd look, and said: “Let’s talk about it in my caravan.”
I shrugged, and the three of us went to the caravan’s tent cover. Now, I’ve not seen a caravan with mandibles before, in the same way I hadn’t seen a caravan that was all round with black skin, and I suppose similar to how I hadn’t seen a caravan with eyes.
Unique as that made it, it still wasn’t any kind of tent I wanted to go in, and so I backed away.
“A beautiful tent,” was all Marinus said, though his eyes were half-closed and he sounded very tired. I opened my mouth to warn Marius, that he should probably get some sleep, but then the tent opened its mouth as well… and well, that was when it swallowed him.
I told Simon to stop his tent, but all he did was laugh, and then the tent started to move on it’s own… and towards me.
I ran out Simon’s tent, and out the camp, and away from that caravan as fast as my legs would take me. But, when I woke up I thought maybe I’d misjudged the situation.
So I decided to go back, but by the time I had gathered the courage to warn Simon that his tent had gone bad, everyone was gone. Except for Simon, who rode past on the back of a black and giant, beetle.
I thought that was odd, because Simon isn’t a goblin.
Still, I knew he wouldn’t be back for a while, and I decided a smoke would help me pass the time. And, then I saw the sign for the Wilberherb.December 11, 2013 at 20:10 #14096
Growing tired of the endless conflicts that plagued the world the halflings began to withdrawing. It began at first as simple refusal to be drawn into conflicts; they withdrew all their contact from the other races. As the years passed the halflings continued to withdraw into the secret parts of the world. Using their magic they hid themselves from the other races. They slowly drifted from the thoughts of the other races eventually only being thought of as a race of the past. Most now only think of the halflings as a myth since none have been sighted in centuries. Only in the most learned circles is the history of halflings known to be true, however even they believe that the halflings no longer exist in the world. The halflings now live peaceful lives hidden in their secret groves avoiding the other races of the world.December 11, 2013 at 20:31 #14097
The halflings and their syron allies gave chase to the shadow demons through the Shadow Gates. When the Shadow Gates where all sealed, the halfling were stuck on the other side. Now, they are adventuring (as every fun-loving halfling likes to do) from world to world, seeking their way home.December 11, 2013 at 20:44 #14098
After Frodo threw the ring into the volcano, George R. R. Martin killed all the halfings. Now We have to find out if any of them survived !
Give me a beta-key and I will do it!
😀December 11, 2013 at 20:46 #14099
The halflings fought bravely to defened their home land from the shadow demons invasion, but fortune didnt smiled at them in that dreadfull hour. Shocked from the sight of their joyful and bustling cities fall one after another, and their brethren slaughtered without murcy, they fled for their lives. Many of cource were run down, but there were some who found unexpected refuge in small underground tunells, too small for the shadow demons to follow, but just high enough for the small stature halflings. (can be substituted with a shodow realm portal, like hiding under the enemy nose) From the fear of pursuit and thinking the world has come to an end, they went deeper and deeper into the caverns (or shadow realm) never looking back, feeding of mashrooms and small critters they could find, and though most have died during this journey, there were some who survived. The survivers built new villages, and slowly adapted for living in their new home, changing in the process.
2000 years have passes since that dreadful day, and the halflings are now some thing diffrent, not that chearfull race, but a new skulky shadowy race. (devolved/evolved if you like) Though some of them still remember their ancestors and try to live with them as an example, the others succumb fully to their new home and become evil creatures, wishing pain and death for all who did not helped them it their hour of need.
And now after so long that the halfling were gone from the blessed continent, their new descendants finally found a way back! Will they help and honor the long forgotten halfling name? Or will they seek revange?December 11, 2013 at 20:49 #14100
Something very evil stirred in the Halfling lands. It did not take shape physically, not yet. Instead it focused on the minds of the strongest Halflings. The morals of sheriffs and heroes alike began to dissolve. They demanded more for protecting the lands, which they got through intimidation or otherwise. They also banded together and held secret meetings. Rumors started to spread that the sheriffs were tired of peace and wanted battle with the neighboring races. The Halflings grew more scared and confused with each day, feeling like they were under militant rule, and fearing the brink of unwanted war.
One night, a Halfling elder who was wise in the ways of magic, awoke in a cold sweat. He had seen what would happen if they stayed in these lands. He knew he must send these visions to all of the other Halflings, and as fast as Halflingly possible. But he also knew that if he did, he would be too weak to prevent the evil from taking over his mind as well.
He woke up an eagle rider and demanded that they take flight at once. After reaching the highest point the eagle could fly, the elder made the eagle rider promise that he would not try to save his life. Confused, the rider agreed. The elder then let go, hoping to reach as many of his kinsfolk as he could before he hit the ground.December 11, 2013 at 21:04 #14101
Well, knowing what we do about the character of Halfling leaders like Ham Binger (fondness for comfort, grand romantic gestures) and the Halfling people in general (small, good at hiding, mercantile, good farmers, generally peaceful but with allies among the Centaurs, eagles, and other Fairy people like the Leprechaun), and the history of the commonwealth, something like this probably happened.
The Halflings were happy, at first, when most of the Archons and Syrons left to chase the Shadow Demons, and the power of the Wizards failed. As they didn’t seem to rely much on outright magic (none of the racially halfling units use magic, as opposed to the other races), they probably weathered the transition better than most (The majority of the Humans turned out to be relying on Phobius’s magic without knowing it). When combined with their general peacefulness, the halfling settlements formed a block of relatively prosperous, intact towns eager to trade food and goods.
Indeed, through the chaos, would be conquers who thought the halflings were an easy prize found out (the hard way) about their excellent defensive prowess. A combination of good slingers, poison dart shooting rouges, pistol armed sheriffs, Centaurs (and possibly Leprechauns) would give even the most aggressive post apocalyptic warlord pause.
After the dust settled, and Humans started to form the Commonwealth, halflings probably jumped at the opportunity to join a peaceful, trade friendly, equal coalition of races in a fantasy UN/ Federation.
Unfortunately for the halflings, the “equality” part of the Commonwealth started to fade, as the innate aggressiveness of humanity led them to take a more dominant role. As this wasn’t an easily identifiable outside threat, the peace minded halflings probably barely noticed as human officers started to wield more and more power. And that is when industrialization started.
Because the main character for the Commonwealth side is a human dreadnought, we know that there is industrialization within the nation. Historically, children were employed in factories because their small size and general nimbleness allowed them to work well with dangerous machines in cramped spaces. Halflings are noted for being clever with their hands and small size: it doesn’t take much imagination to think of them as the perfect Steampunk labor force.
Of course, given the halflings peacefulness and interest in commerce, this state of affairs probably took many decades to occur. Eventually, the halfling leaders and merchants realized they were in a serious bind. Their farms were less productive, as many halflings left to work in factories, and the pollution further reduced yields. The destruction of nature also forced the Eagles, Centaurs, and Lepruchans to desert the halflings. The halflings found themselves abandoned by their most powerful allies just as they faced the prospect of losing their comfortable way of life.
Nevertheless, as Halflings are surprisingly (to others) doughy in a crisis, their leaders met in a still rural halfling settlement on the outskirts of the Commonwealth (smokestacks could be seen only in the far distance). After much debate (and feasting), the Halflings decided that their only option was to leave the Commonwealth behind.
Still, it would not be easy, even given the fact that halflings are small and naturally skilled at hiding. The only way to avoid the Commonwealth scouts and escape without a major war would be to take advantage of the halfling’s natural ability to cross forests with ease. Unfortunately, most of the forests in the Commonwealth had been cut down to fuel industrialization. Moreover, Flame tanks and Landships could easily destroy what remained to corner their escaping workforce. The halflings needed a forest the Commonwealth dared not destroy. . .
It was then, at the desperate gathering of the halfling leaders, that the representative of the High Elven Court came. The High Elves chose well, as she was a mighty warrior on Griffin back, Tall Helmed and shining eyed. The Halflings bowed, awed (though not so much that they forgot how much the High Elves loved flattery) by the beautiful personage and her mount. One of the halfling leaders (who had specifically limited his eating and drinking for rhetorical purposes) dramatically kneeled before the Elf.
“Many blessings upon you; it has been uncounted years since we have had the pleasure of greeting such an august, and may I say beautiful, personage.” The Elf suppressed a chuckle at the sight of all the short men and women staring at her. The little people are so easily moved; nevertheless, they will prove useful to us.
“In turn, I convey the appreciation of the Court; many yet live who remember your service in the great wars, and the gift of Aldor before them! In memory of these deeds, as well as the pleadings of the Eagles and Centaurs (the halflings murmured, and the Elf did chuckle this time), yes, they remain your allies, though it sometimes seemed your people had forgotten them. In any event, the Court grants you safe passage through our woods, and to a fair land beyond, far from the Commonwealth!” At this point, a vision came to all the Halfling present, of a far away green country, lush and well supplied with all the resources needed for a good life.
After the excited chatter died down (and the few sorcerers and priests present surreptitiously verified the illusion), the (relatively) abstemious halfling bowed even more deeply.
“Let us tipple the blessings we wished earlier on you and the Court, oh fair savior of us all. This beneficence will never be forgotten, until the very end of time itself! What gift of ours can ever repay the Court for its mighty kindness?”
Ever merchants negotiating a price, though the good is their very freedom, the High Elf thought. They do have a kind of low cunning, that is charming in a way. I see why Queen Julia is so fond of them. The Elf took a gilded scroll from here saddlebag, and carefully unfurled it.
“A wise question, a fitting tribute to the intelligence of your kind. The Seal I bear is not only a grant of safe passage, but a treaty of allegiance. Sign it, and we will come to your aide at need, and you to ours when your new lands are settled, and your grandchildren are prosperous beyond your knowledge.”
And so it was done. The halfling leaders signed the treaty with the High Elven Court that day, and begun to make preparations. Over the next few months, supplies were secretly laid, weapons were gathered, and everyone was properly informed. On the appointed day, the halfling workers launched a grand strike, and retreated to the fully independent halfling villages on the edge of the Commonwealth.
Commonwealth officials, knowing that the halfling villages lacked the food supply for an extended stay, and their weakness for good eating and comfort, thought this was merely a labor dispute that could be resolved with a paltry raise or complimentary sweet cakes. Those that grew too suspicious were either bribed to look the other way, or died with a bevy of poison darts in their backs.
After a few weeks, when the humans thought the halflings would be ready to cave in, a lightly armed commonwealth party traveled to the largest halfling settlement, with a few small gold chests (and a large amount of food and drink) to settle the dispute. A second (and much more warlike) party arrived on a Landship, and found the first party tied up and alive, with its gold (but not the food and drink).
No human has seen a halfling since. The High Elven Court strenuously denied any involvement (though the Commonwealth suspected their involvement), and =refused to allow the Commonwealth leave to track the halflings through its lands. To this day, no one in the Commonwealth knows where the halflings have fled, or if they will ever return.December 11, 2013 at 21:59 #14102
The Halflings had a bloody, bloody war of genocide not but two generations ago. The start of the conflict is lost to history, but legend has it that there was some manner of affair between the Halfling prince’s favorite pony and his best friend; a centaur-halfling.
The results were immediate and tragic. Pony-halfling fought against centaur-halfling, and centaur-halfling fought against pony-halfling. Cities were razed and crops trampled beneath iron-shod hooves. In the middle of this terrible war over whether riding or being a horse was best, no one expected a third faction: the eagle-centaur-pony-halflings.
Were they humans, short, eagles, or ponies? No one knows. But they left tragedy and devastation in their wake. Diplomats couldn’t reason with a foe they did not understand, and soldiers could not trample an enemy terrible to even look at. After ten years of conflict, the Commonwealth absorbed the pathetic lands previously occupied by the Halflings. They might rise again some day, but for now, the non-horse related Halflings bide their time and wait. The short will rise again, they say, and kick your shins really hard.December 11, 2013 at 22:00 #14103
Written from the words of Ham Binger:
“So you want me to tell you where did the Halflings go? Well, you’ve always been my dear friend but one cannot tell such a wonderful story with an empty stomach and parched throat… What?! Stewed mushrooms from the Silver forest and golden wine right from Valley of Wonders? Alright, listen!
When the world was still getting used to living without wizards and healing the wounds from Shadow Daemon invasion the young Commonwealth was seeking to expand to the West. I was in the human capital when their herald (quite a pompous guy I must say) announced that it is a destiny of Commonwealth “to civilize all nations westward”. And what we have in the West? Right, the Shire and the Trading cities! That’s why I headed straight to the Three Muskets Inn to think the situation over and get some refreshments. They have exquisite baked mammoth stakes there, I must say…
Nothing came to my mind, so I started musing about good old times when wizards took care of such things and simple travelers like me did not have to addle their heads about future of the nations. And then I remembered the executioners, you probably never heard of them with the Mending and all that good stuff, but these guys were nasty dark elven warriors back then with their life leeching red swords and shroud of darkness cloaks. These cloaks immediately caught my attention. With them they could hide themselves and those travelling with them from any sight including magic. Gave me a lot of trouble when I was sneaking inside Arachna’s underground castle to get a taste of her famous pickled spider eggs. Anyway, I thought that something like this could help in our situation so I immediately set out to find Kareos, the only former executioner I knew.
Luckily Kareos lived not far from the Trading cities. When I told him about my idea, he pulled a dusty black cloak out of cupboard, showed it to me and explained that it won’t work anymore as to activate the magic the executioner had “to project the blackness of his heart” through the cloak. Was my entire journey in vain? Of course not! You are dealing with Ham Binger here! I immediately inquired if one could project something else, like natural desire of any Halfling to hide at sight of danger? Kareos immersed in reflection for a minute or two and then replied that with some changes in the embroidery it indeed can be possible.
So long story short we traveled to the Halfling lands, spoke to the sheriffs and set all the folk sewing. In two weeks while Commonwealth bureaucracy was still tossing around papers all was ready. Over all the land the magical fabric was waving in the wind like giant flags. I well in advance instructed the sheriffs to induce some panic to increase the effect of the spell. And it worked like a charm! Not only the ancient dark elven magic hid all the Halflings and their towns and villages, the spell, which Kareos and I have changed, concealed the land itself making lush, fertile domain look like desolate wasteland.
That’s how we hid all the Halflings from the war and other unpleasantries. Wish I could see the look on the face of the Commonwealth commander who had to report that there are no one to civilize and no land to grab. Marvelous, marvelous work!”December 11, 2013 at 22:24 #14104
Ham Binger went mad and thought all Halflings to be hams… and ate them all.
The end.December 11, 2013 at 22:48 #14105
After the gate to the Shadow Realm was sealed and the magic of wizards annulled, the old balance of power was shattered and broken. A long period of strife, chaos and uncertainty ensued as old enmities, feuds, friendships and alliances adjusted to the new realities.
With no magic to even the odds, many of the more physically powerful races and factions gained an immediate upper hand in the struggle that followed. Those who were strong, unscrupulous and ruthless prospered at the expense of others who held on to higher ideals without sufficient force to back them up.
Warlords, whether human, orc, goblin, dwarf or other, carved realms for themselves, taking from those who did not have the strength of arms to hold on to what they had. Blood flowed freely, much of it belonging to innocents trampled by the harsh boots of roving and raiding armies.
The Tigrans were individually strong and powerful, but they lacked the focus and organizational skills required to face the more coherent, disciplined and well led forces of other races. A race of individual warriors, their war parties were routinely on the losing end of a bitter struggle for fertile and rich lands, cut down by the well organized companies of soldiers working in concert. Eventually the remnants of the proud tiger people retreated to the more inhospitable areas of the world that had been left uninhabited in the wake of the disruption of magics that had turned deserts and wastelands to farms and woods. They are rarely seen by the elves of the reconstituted Elven Court or the humans of the Commonwealth or the satellite factions orbiting around either major power. What encounters there are, are often swift, merciless and bloody and the unfortunates to do so either vanish without a trace or their shredded remains are found days or weeks later.
The fate of the halflings was different. Well organized, orderly and not without skills in matters martial even if they were not the staunchest warriors, the halflings saw the coming trouble and prepared for it. However, they were much weaker physically than either humans or orcs, or even elves, and they had never been as numerous as humans, orcs or goblins. Beset on many sides by such foes who possessed similar discipline and often a propensity to viciousness and bloody-mindedness that would brook no opposition, the halflings had to abandon most of their holdings to seek safety in greater numbers.
Their elven allies of old could not come to their aid, their attention focused on the reunification of the sundered kinship of old. The former dark elves had been foes of the short folk and many halflings regarded the unified elves with suspicion instead of the former friendship. They were left on their own to face their enemies. The wars fought over the halfling lands were long and bitter, but eventually attrition took its toll and the little people had to give in before more powerful enemies.
Many were enslaved by human warlords. Others were killed by orcs and goblins. Those who could sought refuge in small enclaves in lands that were at least marginally friendly. Many went to the lands of the elves and established halfling districts in elven settlements. Some have founded new villages in deep woods or remote hills, hidden from all but few outsiders. Those halflings more attuned to the earth and who had traded extensively with the dwarves fared the best, seeking help and succor in the underground cities of their allies. Yet others followed the vanquished Tigrans, but not much is known of what happened to them. Perhaps they found the feline folk and struck up an alliance, or perhaps they perished in the wilds, but no one has any hard evidence of either. Some of the little people travel the lands as itinerant merchants in large family groups or small clans and view all outsiders with suspicion and hostility.
The halflings are not gone and dead. They can be found wherever there are folk who are kindly, or who will tolerate them and where they can be reasonably safe from persecution and torture, but they are no longer a major power in the world. The discoveries of the druidic arts and the new forms of sorcery came too late to save the now vanished shires and way of life of the short folk. The halflings have not lost their fundamental optimism and positive outlook on life, but they are not as carefree as they once were. Their hospitality is now only extended to kinfolk and proven friends and their friendship does not come easily. Where it is given to outsiders, when given at all, such an outsider will have risked life and limb or done great service to the small folk. Word of such persons will spread like wildfire through halfling communities, by means known only to them, but whatever method used, it is reliable. Impostors who have tried to falsely claim the mantle of Halfling-Friend for their own gain have more than once been found face down in the gutter, never to rise again.
There are rumors of sorcerers and other figures of power among the scattered halfling communities, but all outside attempts to ascertain the truth of such things have turned up nothing but shadow and mirage, insubstantial and fleeting as dream images. Who knows if there are forces afoot planning a reemergence of the halflings, to once more take their place as a power in the world? As they once were in the days of old when great halfling heroes fought beside the Keepers against the Cult of Storms and later protected their people in service to Marius and lesser halfling wizards, perhaps they shall be once again? And come such a day, let those who have done them so much wrong tremble, for while their stature is short, their memories are long indeed.
I think that should suffice. Given how much I liked the Tigrans as a concept, I decided to toss them in for free. 🙂December 11, 2013 at 23:41 #14106
a halfling named Whistlebritches looked into the mirror to see what may yet come to pass. what he saw was dwarven theocrat named Arlow with the possibility of being in beta for the game of his dreams.
being a goodly people the halflings sacrificed themselves in the hopes they might win favor with the powerful Triumph, allowing the good Arlow this opportunity.December 11, 2013 at 23:44 #14107
a mysterious robed figure appeared to the halflings and said to them “it is time for your people to fulfill the bargain we made many years ago”. so this figure cast a powerful spell and all the halflings were shrunk( even more than they are now) and put into a bottle(the good stuff).this bottle was hidden away and comes with a cryptic message that translates into “when a dragon king shall rise to threaten the world, only then shall this bottle be opened”December 11, 2013 at 23:51 #14108
Isn’t it obvious?
All the halflings went to New Zealand to participate in the filming of the Hobbit sequel. After making bank they are now home in Denver, Colorado and busy building front porches to smoke on. No great mystery.December 12, 2013 at 00:13 #14109
The halflings with the help of a new but simple build style stolen from some dwarves have all hidden themselves inside an obvious but hard to find place.
They live a happy existense there and while many armies merchants and others passed them by they havent been found (yet).
It is only a matter of time before others might find out there is an entire kingdom hidden in between cities and its the question if they can fend off the brutes that rule with strength and power when they are found.December 12, 2013 at 00:28 #14110
Oh HELL yes! This is what I was waiting for!
I think it would be really awesome if there was some really dark stuff that went on in between AOW: SM and AOW 3, like say that the halflings were subject to gruesome experiments by the commonwealth using magic; since adding depth to the sides is always great and maybe you can make a mini-campaign in a DLC that goes into specifics… I know its kind of a skeleton frame of what might of happened to the halflings but its something to work with
Or maybe, lets say most of them just simply couldn’t handle the human/draconian/etc expansion (and again maybe delve into a bit of a campaign about this) and simply died off in slavery some of them took up residence on the Isle of Last Goodbyes since technically they did own that isle before giving it back to the elves and maybe it can come full circle where the half lings gave away the island for a kiss but somehow get it back under similar circumstances (again maybe something that can be put in as a DLC) which would be pretty dang cool.
I didn’t read any of the other suggestions posted before I made mine so if any of my suggestions were already made, my bad! Anyway I hope you guys like it!!December 12, 2013 at 00:28 #14111
¨ … Halflings are not born fighters. I have heard many stories about legendary Halfling heroes standing ´tall´ against Goblin hordes, Orcish warlords and creatures of darkness. Whether these boisterous tavern tales have any truth in them I can not know for sure. The only effective combat-skills I have seen any Halfling perform of late were ´parry, flee and hide´.
We have been doing just fine during these long years of peace and abundance. The Orcs and Goblins have been keeping a low profile, leaving trade-routes free for commerce. Those nasty dead walkers seem to have been contained by them nice, shiny people. And it looks like the Wood Elves have managed to control or convert their menacing, dark counterparts.
But now … there is talk of a wind of change. A revolution in technology which has the potential to alter the face of our beloved valley. Rumours have it that there is strife between those who cling to the old ways and those who favour so called progress. It is causing turmoil across the continent, tearing families apart even, into different tribes and factions. There´s rogue agents running amock, sorcerers rallying strange beings to their sides, sightings of Giants and Dragons. But what´s worse … even amongst our own peoples there seems to be dispute now.
We will watch this wind and see what it brings. We will take no part in the quarrels of the longshanks. And yet … we can not sit idly by. If this wind turns out to be a storm, we need to be prepared and keep our people safe.
So, children … I have important tasks for each of you:
Berend, you will be our chief of intelligence! Grab your cloak and find out what you can about all of these affairs.
Randall, look for an Elf willing to train our people and a Dwarf willing to arm them. You are in charge of the Halfling army!
Elza, this contraption you have crafted for baking meatpies, could you find a military use for it perhaps? Or are there any other designs you know of?
Elize, make sure our peoples remain well-hidden so we can lay low if the stormclouds burst. The spirit of nature will help if you plead with her, I´m sure.
Johnson, it is vitally important that you should keep our peoples united, their spirits high and their beliefs firm.
Tatum, your fiddlings with the arcane may yet become useful. Train followers so you can aid our valiant but physically lacking Halfling forces.
¨when you are finished making notes, set out to find me Ham Binger … if ever he existed at all.¨
¨I sure will, mommy … after lunch!
¨Daddy would have been proud!¨
* recordings by Jack Joyful Junior of the first official Joyful family meeting.December 12, 2013 at 01:01 #14113
Halflings are cheerful folks, they love music, laughter, peace, and good food more than anyone else. There are only a handful things they dislike, for example late dinner, tasteless food, adventure and war. While the first two can be easiliy solved with a good cook(and Halflings are among the best) the other two are more nasty one.
Adventure! This word is one of the Halflings greatest nightmare(and a nightmare is especially bad for Halflings, because after one they are too nervous even to eat something). No decent Halfling would ever go to an adventure. Although there is a particular Halfling(Ham Binger)a great adventurer who done many great deeds, and legends says he even steal a kiss from Julia herself. But the old Halflings says he is an exception. He was born in a special year under a special star.
War! The worst guest. Always come uninvited, always overstay the welcome and always consume more than what would be seemly. So we can say war and the Halflings are not the best friends. But Mr war is not that type who cares about your feelings, like it or not he will come with many faces: dragon raid, goblin offense, wolf attack.
Nobody knows when, but at some point the Halflings stood up and shouted: “Enough is enough! Too much dinner were missed because of these nasty wars!” Saying this was of course easier than doing it. But after a 48 meal long debate they found the solution: “We need the help of a great wizard!” So they went out and found the greatest living wizard, the wisest among the wise. Of course a wise man like him had a solution for this problem: “I will cast a great spell, an illusion to hide you from unwanted eyes. They will see you as small trees and bushes and your home as tiny hills” So the wizard casted the spell and hide the Halflings. Who knows, once the Halflings might ask this wizard to dispell the illusion then all the valleys and meadows will be filled with laugh and joy again, but until that, walk with opened eyes and ears because those small trees and bushes near you might be little Halflings. 😛December 12, 2013 at 01:17 #14115
After Julia ordered Merlin’s public execution for the destruction of the Wizard’s Circle, the only place he could find refuge was with the Halflings. Though small in stature, everyone knows the Halflings have the biggest hearts. The Halfings did not hold a grudge against Merlin for destroying the Wizard’s Circle because they understood it was necessary to seal off the Shadow World. For a time the Halflings secretly harbored Merlin to hide him from those seeking his life.
Although the Halflings bore no ill will against Merlin, they were still hard hit by the destruction of the old source of magic. Many Halfling lands that were fruitful became deserts without wizards to control the weather. The leprechauns found their powers greatly diminished and their ability to defend the Halflings was even less than that of the sheriffs and centaurs. With a weaker defense, the Halfling lands that remained productive were taken over by others.
Merlin observed the plight of the Halflings with great sadness and presented them with a solution: an undiscovered continent. During his imprisonment in the Shadow World, Merlin used magic and Teryn to observe much of the world. Through magic Merlin saw a small continent previously unknown to him. The continent appeared mostly uninhabited and fertile from what Merlin saw, and it would at least offer the Halflings refuge from the current conflicts. The Halfling leaders accepted the plan in the hope that it would protect the lives of their people and allow them to again bring in bounteous harvests.
Only a privileged few Halfling leaders were told the complete plan until the preparations to launch the Halfling race for the new continent were complete. On that day, an uncountable number of ships and eagle riders set off in search of the new continent. Almost no Halflings chose to remain behind in the known lands.
That was all over a thousand years ago. No one knows of the Halflings fate, but there are some tales from sailors and pirates in this day that tell of sighting strange ships with crews of small men
P.S. The Halflings invited Merlin to come with them, but he declined saying he still had work to do in the known world.December 12, 2013 at 02:45 #14118
Wake up, wake up Jonny greenfingers cried!!! All of the small folk rushed to Jonny’s side breathlessly crying, is it orcs? Goblins? No Jonny said. The humans on planet Earth came through the Void and stole all of our Hilshire Gold Bud and took it back to Colorado. Quick we must follow before they smoke it all up. Grab you War Eagles and Ponie and call all the Centaurs. It is time to March on those foul humans!! And they were never seen again.December 12, 2013 at 03:27 #14119
“And that, my children, is the story of the war fought between the Commonwealth and the Eleven Court.” The old gaffer then leaned back in his chair, contemplatively puffing on his pipe. He was smiling benignly, as storytelling to an appreciative audience always put him in a good mood. Some grumpier and less sensible Halfings his age would make a habbit of fussing about the younger generations. “Tis so terrible,” they would say, “Youngsters don’t respect their elders no more. I never was so cheeky when I was a wee one.” And all the other grumpers would harrumph and nod at this seemingly uncontested wisdom. Bill looked down at the awed children still sitting in a silent circle around him. Seemed perfectly respectful to him.
One of them piped up from the back. “Um, sir, Mr. Bobbin sir?”
Bill chuckled softly and said, “I’ve told ya before. Mr. Bobbin is my son now. You can call me Bill.”
That caused the voice from back to pause. But it soon came right back up. “Well then, uh, Bill, why didn’t the Halflings fight in the war? Just seems kind of funny we don’t show up in a story like that.”
Bill leaned forward and squinted, trying to identify just which child was asking the question. After a few moments of searching, his old eyes manged to locate a small girl with delicate blond hair on both her head and feet. She was looking at him with a mix of inquisitiveness and slight apprehension. Inwardly, the gaffer nodded to himself. Of course it would be her. She was famous in their little part of town for always having hundreds of questions for whomever she could catch long enough in one spot to ask. But she was so earnest and disarmingly polite in doing so that no one seriously minded, and only gently teased her on occasion. Satisfied, Bill leaned back again.
“Well, young miss, that is an interesting question. An interesting question indeed.” Bill decided to puff a few more drags from his pipe while he gathered his thoughts. The crowd of children waited in patient silence.
With a rough clearing of his throat, he began. “Now, the way I see it, it isn’t such a big mystery. There’s a number of good reasons why we Halflings would stay out of such a mess. So tell me children, what’s one of thing you can always say about a Halfing?” The children stared at him, knowing that the question was rhetorical. “We mind our own business. That’s not to say we don’t like to gossip, or be unneighborly and hide in our holes all day. But we tend to let the big folk tend to their own affairs, and us to ours. Bigger people get to warring, and us Halflings can often find ourselves getting trampled under foot.”
A few more puffs while he contemplated some more.
“Furthermore, we were mostly living in Commonwealth claimed lands at the time. And the folks running the Commonwealth had always treated us decently, far as I’ve ever been told.”
Another small voice let forth with their opinion. “But, aren’t we friends with the Elves? I mean, we like the Elves, right?” Bill didn’t need to look to know who this one was. It was Ted. Ted loved stories about Elves, had begged Bill to tell them again and again. No mystery who said that.
Bill nodded in response to the query. “That’s right, that’s right. We are friend to the Elves. But Elves are Elves, and Halfings are Halfings. And much of what they think important don’t really concern us. They are just so different. What with living practically forever, always singing in those proud voices of theirs and communing with ta’ wild life like they was old chums. Elves are good folk, but they’re not our folk.”
And with those last words, the old gaffer considered the matter settled. A new voice, this one smaller and squeakier. “Was Julia really as beautiful as people say.” Little Jenny, just barely in her sixth year of life. Bill cracked a grin at the beatific innocence of her.
“Oh yes, old Julia. The grandest queen the Elves have ever known. Say, that reminds me of a story I heard of her some time ago. Now listen carefully. Its about Julia, filled with fairness and goodness, and her brother, whose soul was a dark as shadow and as harsh as a blizzard.” The children hushed again, eager for another grand tale told by the beloved old man.December 12, 2013 at 05:33 #14121
A thousand years since the great war with the shadow demons, the halflings as a race had reacquired a mass of wealth. Being from strong hardy farming stock they still had the capacity to continue food productions in the torn and weathered wastelands left from the dispersed wizards. They had excelled in shipping trade from the small but successful of ‘Marious Co’ with food exchanged for whatever the other races could sell, tools, literature and labour which brought the blessed continent out of the famine that had spread over the continent. This had led to opening up new treaties and contracts with races such as goblins and orcs (as halflings are easy to forgive others and so cheery to stay angry at), some say they were the founding stone of the beginning of the empire.
With these new dealings came of a new way of a future life using of all the races strengths, the halflings monopolized the merchant guilds, owning most of the guilds, loans and businesses in each city and became investors of dwalven technology and goblin beetle mining and capitalizing on many others.
When the CEO of Marius enterprise found out war was on the verge, he had called the board of all the industrialists, bankers and investors who were of course other halflings, to discuss whom they would side with if at all. After a a week of heavy discussion the decision became…
Although the empire is primary halfling owned, they have never forgotten their ancient pact, solemn swearing to be a keeper first, thus making them unable to act in war against the elven council. They had released a statement with the results annoying both sides, but no actions were taken due both parties are funded by halfling wealth.
So the war was to commenced with the halflings owned war machines, expenses and food rations and the owners just watched idly of their profit loss, and silently cursing other races raw tempers.December 12, 2013 at 05:55 #14122
As far as I know the extinction of Halflings is related to the Commonwealth expansion. Logging woods, building roads, industy and settlements and so on… But the main reason was the intervention of the imperial officials into the Halfling life style. They started a special ‘social program’ with hypocritical slogan Full-sized life standards – to half-sized men! In deed it was nothing more than forced assimilation: all Halflings must wear shoes (there were special supervisors controlling this); leave their holes for barracks (‘new comfortable accommodation’) and so on. Traditional holidays were forbidden and replaced with the imperial ones, even the diet have been changed.
Of cause Halflings suffered much, their numbers decreased every year. They were too peaceful for rebellion, they tried to resist (mostly by imitating new rules and trying to keep old ones) but the forces were unequal. The situation went even worse with so called ‘Commissary of All-Equality’ foundation.
Once (so called ‘The Exodus Day’) the imperial officials inspecting Halfling region… found it abandoned. How could Halflings disappear so quickly? The rumors say it was Ham Binger’s job – the mysterious Halfling prophet, which traveled much and found some new habitat for his people – ‘the land free from evil’. He has been declared wanted for his ‘destructive’ activity among Halflings as a nasty extremist, but appearing here and there he always managed to avoid the police…
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