December 12, 2013 at 05:56 #14123
Where did the halflings go, you ask? Nobody knows for sure, or at least nobody who is willing to speak, but I will tell you of the rumours I have heard. It is possible that all of them are true or that none are true, but I will tell them so that you may decide truth from fiction for yourself. But first let me get comfortable, for to give all the tales will be a long time telling.
Some will tell you that the halflings are extinct. Certainly, the chaos of the time of Merlin took a heavy toll on that race – many were made refugees in the fighting between wizards before the conspiracy was revealed, causing them to flee down the Serpent River towards the isle of Aldor. Stories speak of further devastation at the hands of the Shadow Demons, and of settlements being razed by orcs, goblins, and races that call themselves more civilised in the famines that followed the breaking of the Circle. Perhaps the halflings remain yet on the sanctuary of the isle of Aldor, away from the conflicts of the mainland, some of those stories say… but perhaps Aldor too was consumed by Shadow Demons or other evils, and that is why no word has come from the island, and why no Commonwealth visitor has returned to tell the tale.
Others will tell you that the halflings left as the Tigrans did. Some speak of an exodus by sea, lead by the former wizard Marinus. Some say instead that the halflings left through shadow portals behind the Archons and Syrons, hoping for more peaceful worlds to settle as they are cleansed of the Shadow Demons. Some even speak of halflings travelling to other worlds by their own means, including fanciful stories of Halflings dropping into waste disposal receptacles and disappearing into places and times we know not where. Truly it does not matter where they have gone, only that they are… not here.
Other theories speak of the common bond between the fey peoples of the elves and the halflings, and that Julia’s grattitude for the aid of halflings in the past would not allow them to suffer a dire fate. According to these stories, halflings continue to dwell deep in the territories held by the Elven Court, deeper than any Commonwealth soldiers or envoys have penetrated, where they continue to live as the halflings have always sought to do – taking joy in caring for their farms by day and partying at night, and sharing the bounty of their harvests with the Elves that protect them in payment for that protection, although the halflings themselves do not consider it in such crude terms. With the contributions they make on the home front, members of more warlike races that ally with the Court are free to serve as soldiers instead of farmers, sparing the halflings of the need to send their own sons and daughters to war. They take no part of the politics of the Court, and while humans like us would chafe at leaving our futures in the hands of other races, the halflings are content to leave matters of war and statesmanship to others while they enjoy the pleasures of a simple and carefree life.
Commonwealth soldiers have even claimed to have found halfling homes among Elven settlements conquered by the Commonwealth, but the halflings themselves have not been seen. If halflings do indeed live among the Elves, they are the first to retreat when danger threatens, leaving their elder cousins to stand their ground.
Finally, there are claims that the halflings remain among the Commonwealth itself, using their resemblance to human children to literally live under our noses. Some claim that halfling adults live within the street gangs that are found within the underbellies of our cities, and conspiracies are spoken of that halfling crime bosses actually control these gangs from the sewers below, plotting with elves and dragons to bring the Commonwealth crashing to its knees. Others in rural areas claim that their neighbours have looked after “orphaned relatives” that never seemed to age between when they arrived and when they were sent on to “stay with other relatives” in another town. Some say that Commonwealth officials have taken part in efforts to hide the halflings from common view, using their influence to keep entire halfling communities hidden… either through respect for the founding ideals of the Commonwealth, or simply because they seek to profit from the gratitude of the communities they protect.
These are the most credible stories I have been told. More fanciful stories I have heard, of halflings flying upon a wish to the stars and of halflings being called to other worlds for their resistance to the corrupting influences of rings forged with evil magic, but if those are stories you wish to hear… than I shall require another drink.December 12, 2013 at 07:08 #14125
Assimilation – halflings and humans have a lot in common. Interest in money, an active social life, appearance. As a result, over time, these mixed race.
Exodus in the undead – in the pursuit of wealth and eternal life, they began to follow the teachings of the dead. Over time, it became the state religion and the people became undead.
However, where that may be lurking thoroughbred halflingsDecember 12, 2013 at 07:31 #14126
… Ham leaded his people through the chain of portals (he was an expert portal-master, discovering them in some very unexpected places). Before coming to their destination point, Halflings passed several strange and hostile places, but they succeeded to do it rather safely (mostly due to their concealment skills).
The new land was also a bit strange (days and nights were about twice shorter) and not so ‘free from evil’ (numerous aggressive fauna) but still suitable for life. **here follows the description of New Shire, how the Halflings called their new home*** Finally they were free to keep their life style now!
Many years have passed, the generation changed. The Halflings accommodated to the new place and even grew in numbers. But the nostalgic feelings never left them. The grass here has another hue, and the birds songs sound different (actually these flying lizards aren’t birds) So the Halflings never forget their beloved Shire…
And once an old pathfinder came to the Council of Halfling Elders. Nobody knew him but his appearance and manners surprisingly brought to mind legendary Ham Binger. He told that the Old World has changed, the Elves are united again and fight for freedom. Many other old races arised against the Commonwealth pressure. He said that he is authorized by the Elven Court to ‘ask noble and powerful Halflings for military assistance’. After some hot debates he convinced the majority of elders to set an expedition.
But the problem was that old hidden portals of the Exodus times now were blocked by ‘Spell Jammers’ erected by the Commonwealth engineers. The nearest ones were able only in the distant Nothern Wastes (former land of the Frostlings) and in the Great Swamp region (inhabited by the Lizard folk long time ago). So the Halfling march on Shire seemed to be long and dangerous… What will they face on their journey? Would they come in time to help the High Elves?December 12, 2013 at 07:48 #14127
It’s a harsh world out there. Halflings got eaten by it’s more aggressive inhabitants. Rumor is that it was a particulary vicious and hungry goblin tribe, but nobody had the courage to go and check their cooking pots.
Other races had their hands full of their own affairs and couldn’t come to aid when requested. When they finally got time to intervene they found only empty hobbit settlements. Very regrettable indeed. (Although it did not stop evil tongues sarcastically referring to the terrible event as The Great Feast.)December 12, 2013 at 08:25 #14128
That’s an easy one. 🙂
They all went on a long journey with a clan of dwarfs to help them free a distant and long forgotten fortress that was captured by a Red Dragon.December 12, 2013 at 09:24 #14131
Hobbits have taken displeasure and hid in the grass
because everybody’s rush them always 🙂December 12, 2013 at 09:53 #14133
… Marching through various lands towards their homeland with the army and wagon train, Halflings always had to deal with local problems. It did take a time but as a result they got powerful allies, they needed so much in the campaign against the Commonwealth. In the dangerous Beastmen Wood they allied with noble centaurs, in hostile volcanic area – the dragon reserve – with mighty Golden dragons.
So one summer day the Halfling army entered Shire with banners waving, drums and pipes playing the old ‘march of the Halflings’ theme. Brigadiers were riding their ponies, while the ‘chief knight-lord general’ (that old pathfinder) mounted a great eagle. All the men were inspired and ready for combat. But what they found in Shire and did they really have to fight – depends on the main AoW-3 story…December 12, 2013 at 10:30 #14135
After the magical cataclysm that Merlin wrought, Simon the Stout and Marinus the Fabulous, both great defenders of the Halflings were left powerless. The Halflings, reliant on these leaders for maintaining the defense of their provinces, were wide open to attack.
Another former wizard, by the name of Skulkan, an Orc Dreadnought was currently in a crisis. Rogue Ents, prompted by some Halflings, had wreaked his industrial base. His Orcs, thirsty for loot needed a target to attack. Skulkan, realizing his dilemma had a solution, prepared to act.
He fell upon the Halflings with fury. Wanting to plunder, kill and colonize, Skulkan ordered his chief Orc, Wazz, to start doing this. Wazz, and the Orcs underneath him, were more “practical” minded, and realized that they could use the Halflings for their “Industrial Capacity”. Skulkan, already having a tenuous grip over the morale of his Orcs, agreed. Skulkan’s Orcs, being naturally lazy, took this with great delight and started to harness the Halfling’s “Industrial Capacity”. The Halflings tried to offer some resistance, but it was too disorganized to be effective.
The four legendary Halfling heroes, Ham, Lilly, Winger, and Chucky had returned from an epic quest, but had little time to explain what they had done. As soon as they had entered back into Halfling territories they were accosted by unfriendly Orcs. Not bothering with negotiations, Chucky’s taunt, using a colorful metaphor containing a cow and an Orc, provoked the Orcs into an hostile attack. Lilly and Chucky, by brandishing their weapons, chased off the Orcs.
From this moment, the four Halflings decided to figure out why the provinces were now industrialized. They decided to start by looking for the biggest Orc they could find. The biggest Orc they could first find, Wazz, was busy lording over a reluctant Halfling farmer to operate a cannon forge. Upon spotting the Halfling heroes, Wazz sent a messenger to Skulkan reporting on them and fled. Ham, seeing the Halfling working, decided to free him. The Halfling farmer, grateful for being freed, told Ham the situation. The Orcs had enslaved the Halflings and started working them on an industry to replace Skulkan’s former industrial base. Skulkan had oppressed opposition to his rule through the use of Wazz and his Orc soldiers.
Sensing the danger, Ham asked a most important question “Where is the best food in the land located?” The farmer, sensing the urgency, pointed him to the Drunken Bear, a perennial favorite of the locals. Ham, with heartfelt thanks, left the others and made his way over there. The other three Halflings, Lilly, Winger, and Chucky, decided to rally the Halflings to oppose Skulkan. Going to the far-flung provinces, they gathered up a formidable army to oppose him. Skulkan, learning from his scouts about this information, gathered his Orcs, Halfling slaves, and cannon. The stage had been set for the fate of the Halfling race.
On the day of the battle, Ham appeared back with a contingent of Elven troops, due to his influence with Queen Julia. Skulkan eager to engage in battle, used his Orc scouts to determine where the Halfling forces were being gathered. He guessed, correctly as it was, that they would gather in a location where the Halflings most valuable resource would be stored. That was food. The location would be the Drunken Bear. To there, Skulkan marched his gathered army.
The Halflings knew he was coming before he arrived. An army that large could not be silent. Hastily preparing fortifications there, the Halfling heroes, Halflings and Elves awaited their enemies. The first sign of Skulkan’s army was an Orc carrying a white flag, pursuing peace. The Halflings, desiring peace, asked for the terms of peace. The Orc beckoned his Halfling slave to bring it over. While going through the terms, a Halfing scout came back with some news. Some of the Halfling slaves that Skulkan had were being killed and mutilated. Naturally angered by this, the Halfings broke the peace negotiation off with Skulkan. They waited for the army to come, growing more impatient as the hour passed. One last batch of troops brought in by Winger arrived.
At that moment, Skulkan’s personal standard was seen on the horizon. It was an Orc fist clutching a rock, with a symbol of the sun in orange behind it. Personally leading his army at the front, Skulkan was an intimidating sight. His right-hand Orc, Wazz, commander of the artillery took his cannon to an hill overseeing the Halfings. The Halflings, for their part, were itching to avenge their fallen brothers and sisters. Ham, sensing this desire, allowed the Halflings to charge. The Halflings, with great speed, charged into the Orcs. This charge was conducted into the Orc ranks with an unquenched fury. Wazz, seeing his opportunity, opened fire from his hill into the enfilade of the Halfing army. This barrage caused in panic in the Halflings. Lilly, after slaying two dozen Orcs, was hit by a cannonball and immediately killed. The Halflings started to waver. At this moment, Ham released the more disciplined Elves into the fray. The Iron Maidens phased next to the cannon, knocking them out. Wazz, sensing that it was not going well, fled the scene. Ham, leading his detachment of Elves, charged into the fray. The Orcs, not wanting to die for such a weak cause, decided to flee. At this moment, Skulkan himself stepped onto a nearby rock and shouted “The Halfings are weak! Full spoils to all who can claim them! Charge and finish them!” Seeing their leader on the rock, in such a magnificent display, rallied the Orcs and pushed them back into the fray.
The Halfings and Orcs started to fight for hours, until Chucky’s limp body was help above Skulkan’s head with the claim “See? This is their greatest warrior, slain by my hand. The day of the Orcs has come!” At this moment, the Halfings started to waver. The Iron Maidens, done spiking the cannon and hunting down the artillery crew for the Orcs, charged into the flank. This caused the Orcs to start wavering. At that same moment, Skulkan had been forced by a wily Leprechaun to retreat. The Orcs, seeing what they thought was their leader fleeing, combined with the Iron Maiden charge, caused a full scale rout. Skulkan was powerless to stop it this time. The Halfings, tired of the fighting, let the Orcs go, as they had no intention to watch after Orc prisoners or slay anymore. It was at this moment when the Halfings realize the full scale of what had happened. The Halflings had lost more than a quarter of the people involved, and framed the battle as a victory with great cost, one of irreplaceable value. To this day, the battle of the Drunken Bear is told as a cautionary tale to the Halflings.
Dreading another fight like this, and there were bound to be more of them, the Halflings decided to leave the continent and sail to another world. Where? Well, they decided to sail into the unknown. From then on, no one quite knows what happened to them.December 12, 2013 at 11:10 #14139
After shadow magic all races lived peacefully and they were equal before the law. That did not last … humans gained more and more power and started using races like Goblins and Halflings like elots ( Greek history, smth like slaves of ancient Sparta). Halflings could not leave like this so they disappeared without a trace, before they did they vowed that they would emerge an ancient secret power so that no one would ever take advantage of them. Now they prepare …so when the time is right THEY will claim power!December 12, 2013 at 11:26 #14140
During the Shadow Magic Era, halflings had tremendous casualties and most of their lands were devoured by Shadow Demons.
Keep fighting would probably lead to their extinction , so they found a way to survive. Leprechauns showed them the way to the end of the rainbow. Halflings followed them , and their tracks are lost ever since.
Some say , that when a rain stops they can hear happy voices echoing out of nowhere…
Patiently they are enjoying their lives, waiting… Waiting for the right time to start building their civilization once again.
Prophecies talk about a big Cataclysm , and a day after that where Huge Rainbows will appear.
Are Halflings really extinced? Are they waiting for that day to enter the realm once again?
Age Of Wonders 3 is on it’s way, and Wonders are expected to happen…December 12, 2013 at 11:54 #14142
They’ve all gone to watch the premiere of “The Halfling 2” of course.December 12, 2013 at 11:54 #14143
Where did the Halflings go? Well, I can explain that. Take a seat and listen to this tale.
The gentle folk have decided they have had enough. After being made to fight, or rather being torn apart, by enemy upon enemy, they didn’t see a way forward anymore. They had to defend themselves with the likes of a Sheriff and Satyrs, while the enemy came at them with Hell Hounds, Titans, Abominations, Icedrakes, Manticores and even the dreaded Dire Penguins!
The halflings were desperate. Would they ever be at peace to enjoy elevenses as it was intended to be enjoyed? Then they heard about a epic tale that told of a halfling that could disappear from sight at will, by means of a magical ring. This idea brought hope to the halflings, was there a way to avoid combat and eat second breakfast in peace?
They went to their friends the leprechauns and got them to agree to work their invisibility magic, so that it could be forged into a ring. This would give the halflings the ability to disappear, just as in that famous tale. However this deal came not without cost and the the halflings had to make a big sacrifice. The leprechauns would, from now on, have unlimited access to halfling food stores, taking whatever sweet cakes or other delicious morsels they desired. Many halflings wondered or it would be worth this terrible cost. Still the chance of avoiding the horrors of war, made them decide it was worth it in the end.
They crafted ring after ring and secretly distributed them to every halfling. Then one day, with no declaration of any kind, they disappeared. The halfling homesteads, villages and cities were empty. They had prepared and packed up silently. Moving their civilization to secret hideouts. Concealed halfling burrows, hidden places in friendly forests and so on. Those places and the ability to go where they wanted unseen, meant freedom for the halflings to enjoy life once again.
So, for all intents and purpose, the gentle folk are gone. They are watching however. How can you tell? Well keep an eye on your cookies!
Will they be allowed to keep their peace? We’ll have to wait and see.December 12, 2013 at 11:59 #14145
First of all, quoting from the Dev Journals:
“At least I vetoed the idea of having the Halflings massacred. But yeah, there’s currently no playable Halfling race anymore. I’ve been reassured this won’t be a permanent solution… but um… no, as much as I would love to, I really can’t make the story about the Halflings. … At this point in history, your people were well assimilated into the Commonwealth and Elven Court, and you really have no beef with anybody, so you didn’t go to war like some of the other races.”
So Halflings are there, but have no beef with anybody – they live partly in the Commonwealth, partly at the Elven Court and are busy buying and selling and feasting. To make them a playable race, something will have to happen that will pull them – or at least a sizable part either out of the Elven Court or the Commonwealth or both.
While this COULD be a rather tragic or epic or complex story, the truth – as always – is much simpler:
Once the tension between the Elven Court and the Commonwealth are escalating into open hostilities, some of the more far-sighted heads in both Halfling communities in the Commonwealth and at the Elven Court start to realize that, inevitably, IF the Elven Court is at war with the Commonwealth, that will mean Halflings being at war with EACH OTHER one way or another, and since both Halfling communities still have ties with each other, it doesn’t take the Halflings long to establish a secret movement for becoming independent and neutral – removing themselves from both Commonwealth and Elven Court to become a separate and neutral nation once again.
Currently, a couple of adventurous Halflings are exploring the lands for a suitable place to fall back to, claim for themselves and found a new nation upon, and once they come back with the right location, it’s only a question of finding the right moment for the Halflings to leave the warring nations and found their own Halfling Nation again.
Of course, those Halflings that think a bit further ahead, have seen enough to know that an independent Halfling Nation, if in reach of the warring empires at all, will be pulled into the conflict eventually, and will either have to pick sides or defend their neutrality, and no matter what it will be, they will need weapons and allies …December 12, 2013 at 12:25 #14146
Eh.. I don’t agree with a closed beta so I will not participate out of principle. Open up for pre-orderers to join and I’ll pay to help improve your game.December 12, 2013 at 12:42 #14147
Halflings drank themselves into a stupor and will not be able to participate until an expansion.
There are so many graphomans.December 12, 2013 at 12:52 #14150
Eh.. I don’t agree with a closed beta so I will not participate out of principle. Open up for pre-orderers to join and I’ll pay to help improve your game.
There are so many new mechanics at work here that raise so many questions that as things stand, I am 50/50 over whether to buy at release, or wait for the rest of you to do so, and be the guinea pigs…December 12, 2013 at 14:53 #14154
Seeing his intestines squishing out of his body, Erens initial terror turned into total unbelieving shock. His bottom torso was lying a few feet away, a red puddle forming around it. The giant sword, which cut him in half, was still in the hands of this persecutor, this strange Barbarian who had been hunting him for the last few days. He really was strange, Eren pondered while his vision turned darker and darker. A while back he had been visiting a Nomad tribe with a handful other Halflings to trade spices and exchange information. The impressive statues of the barbarians and their wild appearance impressed Eren so much he never forgot that evening. But this one, the one who ended him, he was different. Something about him seemed to be off. It almost appeared like he was emitting a cold blue light…
“Why?” Eren asked, the effort almost making him black out. The hulks expression didn’t change, he just continued to look at him without any visible emotions crossing his face. The coldness started to swallow Eren more and more, his feelings going limb. He was going to die, he knew that. But why? What had he done to make this man hunt him down like that? He coughed up blood and a last time he gathered his strength to repeat his question.
Without replying anything the cold eyes of the barbarian kept resting on Eren like he was just patiently waiting for him to die. If he had had the strength left Eren would have started to cry, but the only thing that managed to escape his throat was a silent whimper.
Sigrids first emotion after hearing the news had been anger. She had wanted to scream and fight against this development, but by now all that was left was exhaustion and a numb feeling.
There had been a reason why they had left the Old Lands behind. It hadn’t just been because of the bad memories and the constant reminders of the suffering under the Shadow Demons. They had wanted to secure a life without any chance of something like that ever happening again, they had wanted to live away from the other races, away from their conflicts and away from any kind of involvement. It had all worked out perfectly for such a long time. For all she knew, the other races probably thought by now the Halflings were extinct.
Sigrid was old by now, even by Halfling standards. She had been born in the Old Lands and she had experienced the terrors of the war first hand. The new generations hadn’t though and that was the problem, she thought. If they had been there…
The first kids born here in the New Home were grown up now. They started to fill positions that had been filled by old Halflings before and the old Halflings, who really knew what was at stake, started to die out. These kids didn’t know how well they were off…
Sigrid caught herself letting her thoughts wander off and forced herself back to the here and now.
It was Reimunds fault, she was convinced of that. He had been the one starting to talk about preparing to go back, about securing their rightful place. And the young Halflings listened to him! That was about the worst for her. They listened to his little deceitful speeches and were nodding and approving of what he poisoned their simple minds with! And he wasn’t even from around here…
Reimund had come to the village of Freudheim about a decade ago and had been gaining influence ever since. He had said he was from Friedmark, which was a little town far away almost at the other side of the New Home. But he had never answered, why he had left there.
Remembering the argument they had had yesterday after she confronted him, she felt a chill wandering down her spine. He had been so secure, so self-righteous. His cold gaze upon her, after he had humbled and disgraced her in front of all the people she had known for so long, had made her shiver and question her own thoughts. There was something about him that made you feel worthless and dumb, you just couldn’t argue with him. He was so cold…
Yet she knew in her heart that what he was leading them into was wrong and bad for the entire race of Halflings. Since she seemed to be the only one concerned and the only one questioning him, she had to go investigate his origin and his motives herself.
“Good luck, old girl!” she said to herself, while an expression of certainty conquered her face, “finally you’ll get to visit Friedmark…”
The young Ham had been named after the famous hero Ham Binger, yet right now he had the feeling the name was chosen wrongly for him. He was afraid, there was no way he could deny that. His breath forming clouds in front of him, he stood in the snow in front of the barn with five other lads from the village. They had been summoned by Markus, the eldest member of the village and the only one who had experienced the escape from the Old Lands firsthand. He had said people had heard strange noises coming from the old barn standing a little way secluded from the rest of the village.
That’s why they were here and why they were armed. Ham wasn’t so sure though how much good they would be with their pitchforks, slingshots, spades and scythes. They had never had a real fight and basically knew nothing about how to use their weapons except for farming…
The growling from the barn had stopped shortly after they had arrived and now they were just waiting for Markus to come with the rest of the young men.
Ham had been afraid before coming here, but now he was really scared. And it wasn’t just because he’d have to face some wild animal or because of the blood leading to the barn. No, it was only because he had seen these footprints, these giant footprints. Seeing them alone would have been bad enough, but thinking to know what had caused them was even worse.
When he had been a little boy and was just starting to learn how to read and write, he had owned a book about all the fantastic creatures from the Old Land. It was a good book, with lots of pictures and vivid descriptions bringing joy into every boy’s heart. This book had ignited a flame inside young Ham. He never lost interest in the subject and when getting older he had started reading more serious books on the matter. In these books pictures hadn’t gone entirely though, some for example showed the footprints of a Doom Wolf…
The rest of the party arrived. With Markus they were nine now.
“Is the creature still in there?” Markus asked. The frightened bunch nodded in unison.
“Ok lads, this is how it’s going to work: Everyone except Bjorn and Ham will come with me, enter this barn and kill whatever is hiding in there. You two are going to guard the entrance in case it tries to escape. For the rest, you all have been inside this barn and know that it’s full with junk and shelving, making it easy for this creature to hide. We need to stick together and face it as one. Nobody leaves the group. As soon as someone sees or hears anything, alert the others. Besides that everybody follows my commands. You lot got that?”
An agreeing mumble was all they managed.
“No need to be that scared, it’s probably just an injured animal”, Markus said reassuringly. The look on his face said something entirely different though and Ham somehow got the feeling that Markus knew what it was they’d face in there. He tried to suppress a shiver. “Please let me be wrong”, he muttered silently.
After a short preparation the party moved out. With a nagging shriek the barn door swung open and revealed what lay beyond. The blood track continued deeper into the barn, but apart from that everything seemed normal. Slowly the Halflings walked inside, their weapons drawn, until the darkness swallowed them.
Ham stood there waiting, trying to see, trying to hear what was going on and always throwing nervous glances at Bjorn, who seemed to be just as frightened as he was. What if they miss it and it comes right at us, the only way out? He closed his eyes, tried to concentrate as hard as possible on his hearing, his senses tensed so hard he almost felt them tearing.
Then suddenly he heard a noise, a suppressed coughing coming from another direction than the noise the group was making. Opening his eyes in wonder, he saw someone coming from the shadows in the barn. It definitely wasn’t a Doom Wolf, it was a Halfling. After he got a little closer Ham corrected himself: This wasn’t any Halfling, this was Sheriff Slinger, the most prestigious person of the entire region! What was he doing here?
Ham looked toward Bjorn and saw that he was just as confused as he was. Not knowing what to do, he shouted toward the approaching figure: “Stop!”
Apparently though he was even less similar to Ham Binger than he had thought, since Sheriff Slinger just kept walking towards them, not even hesitating for a second when hearing the command.
“Mr Slinger, you need to stop and tell us what is going on! What are you doing here?”
He was very close now, but still he didn’t even seem to notice that he was being spoken to. A few steps further he just walked past the two overtaken Halflings, paying them no attention.
It took a few seconds for Ham to shake off the initial confusion. “Now stop right here!”, he said while grabbing the Sheriffs should and pulling him around.
This actually made Slinger stop, but only for a few seconds.
“Take your hands off me, boy!” he hissed. “My day has been bad enough as it is and I’ll not have a half-wit like you telling me to stop!”
Ham was perplexed. This was not at all how he had imagined the noble Sheriff Slinger. He had always been described as a nice and warm-hearted person making the people around him feel happy and valuable by listening to them and taking his time for everyone.
Yet the Sheriff standing here in front of Ham seemed to be filled only with disdain and ignorance towards his feelings. It seemed to Ham a certain emotional coldness was oozing out of the Sheriff, like he was condemning his behavior, his very existence. Before the Sheriff turned to leave, Ham got a last glance at his face and what he saw there made his heart stop for a beat.
His eyes were blue!
This wasn’t right, the Sheriff was famous for his green eyes!
“I need you to stop again, Sheriff Slinger! If you don’t, I’ll have to make you stop.”
He did stop, but every inch of his body and every notion he made while slowly turning around seemed to radiate pure spite and hatred, which could almost be felt physically by the two young Halflings.
For a second he was just standing there, starring them down, until there was a gasp from Bjorn. “His eyes…” he began, but before he could even finish his sentence a loud bang resounded and Bjorn was thrown backwards, half of his head splattered through the snow. The Sheriff stood there, his pistol drawn, smoke twirling out of the barrel, rendering Ham stunned in terror.
All of a sudden everything went very fast, the thing pretending to be Sheriff Slinger drew its sword and jumped at Ham, who barely parried his first strike and lost his spade when trying to parry the second. With the blade put to Hams throat the creature spoke: “What is the right color for the Sheriffs eyes?”
The sheer terror was overwhelming for the little Halfling, yet somehow he managed to stutter an answer. “His eyes are green…” Even before he had ended his sentence he swore he saw the creatures eyes turn green.
Being certain he’d be dead any second now Ham closed his eyes and whimpered helplessly, yet the death blow didn’t come, instead he heard a little thump and then felt the blade being released from his throat. He opened his eyes just in the right moment to see Markus storming through the barn entrance with a slingshot in one hand and a sword in the other. With a single swing he decapitated the injured Sheriff kneeling before Ham with his hat torn and blood gushing out of the side of his head.
Before the head even touched the ground the entire body started changing, turning white and somehow very alien.
Markus let out a growl, “Changelings!”
—December 12, 2013 at 15:05 #14156
All as one, the halfing race gathered together, the biggest gathering ever known to happen. There they agreed that they would each and all of them go searching all the corners of the world for the missing class reveals. And they were never seen again..December 12, 2013 at 15:26 #14157
Cool stories so far! Of course more people will be in the beta. Only the winners will be guaranteed access plus get perks like earlier access.December 12, 2013 at 15:30 #14158
“Halflings like usual weren’t disturbing anyone. But like usual someone had to disrupt their idyll. Commonwealth. On the green hills appeared towers made of stone. The fields drove the machines made of metal. On the mayors’ seats sat people made of hate. But that wasn’t the worst. They did the worst later.
They took from the Halflings what matters most to them.
Their peace and harmony.
They delegalized the pipe-weed!
Forks have been sharpened, scythes was placed on edge…
…and have been broken by stone, metal and hate. Halfings didn’t see the stars, because they were covered by smoke rising above the hills. But they knew there are so much more of them on the sky now. Though they belive that after death they become stars. And they knew another thing.
That they had to be hidden like that stars. They went east. To the Sun. Because the Sun is a star too.
Many of them get tired and stopped. They mixed they blood with humans and lived among them.
But some of them didn’t give up. And found lands even more beautifull than their home. They are hidden there and are repearing their forks and scythes.
And someday the smoke will fall…”
– “Lies of Commonwealth” by count Lorden, the great Doctrinarian of High Elven CourtDecember 12, 2013 at 15:46 #14161
Cool stories so far! Of course more people will be in the beta. Only the winners will be guaranteed access plus get perks like earlier access.
Darn.. I suck at writing stories. A friend of mine is a novelist though so I’ll pay him to write me something awesome! Need to get my paws on the backstory and lore of the world first thenDecember 12, 2013 at 15:56 #14163
peaceful hobbits now enslaved by elves and goblins), but soon they will rise!December 12, 2013 at 16:06 #14164
Halflings drank themselves into a stupor and will not be able to participate until an expansion.
If that implies the expansion is a cure for hangovers, I’d insta-buy it.December 12, 2013 at 16:49 #14166
Everyone knows that the halflings had enough of fighting for territories, might and honor and they dislike all the monsters walking the earth, it was all too exhausting for them, so they built up a mighty tavern under the ground and eat and drink and have one feast after another for ever and ever, they just come upside sometimes for a little real sunlight (they have magical spells cast sunlight in their holy tavern, maybe controlled by their theocrat leader, who knows, nevertheless great place to be…) and to gather fresh vegetables. But it is known that halflings are masters of hiding, so they haven’t been seen since years.
there are also rumors that the goblins somehow discovered this secret holy damn cool mighty tavern and made plans for an ambush. long story short, they managed to attack and overrun these full of food and beer halflings by surprise and enslaved them to work in their darkest tunnels, deep deep under the earth to gather resources and search for a legendary item the wise of the goblins found out about in their ancient books.
will the halflings ever see the light again? that’s in the hand of the devs, but there are rumors that some halflings might have done the impossible: they escaped! ..and are looking for help somewhere in the upper world.
there are also rumors about a goblin theocrat who might attempt to stand against his own kin and tries to free the little fat guys.
also the dwarves are digging tunnels in the deepness, I bet they likely know about this legendary item and do their best to find it before the goblins do. …they could free the halflings by surprise.December 12, 2013 at 17:16 #14167
In the wake of years of fighting C.H.O.R.T.L.E. (Council for Halfing Organization Revelry Travel Laughter and Education) decided they had their fill of battles and demons, and decided to withdraw from the lands of the other races. Additionally, rumor has it that a halfling child was found within a mana node. As can be expected, the infants ability to manipulate magicks was remarkable and the halflings withdrawal was due in part to a desire to protect the young wizard so that one day, he…or she could ensure the safety and prosperity of halfling kind.
While the halflings had given the elves Aldor, that island was never their true homeland. Aldor has a sister island named Malodor, which, unlike the name suggests, actually smells quite pleasant. Malodor, while protected by rocky outcrops that would wreck larger vessels allowed small halfling ships to pass through with a bit of finagling. There the halflings waited and watched, keeping tabs on the world from high above on their eagle mounts, knowing one day they would return, and ooooh what a party they would have then!December 12, 2013 at 19:03 #14180
“The’re taking the hobbits to Isengard.” Everyone knows this. 🙂
As for the halflings, they set their ponies free and laid down their swords and armor and now all of them have concealment and invisibility. So, they are still around, but you won’t see them. So, next time you hear a rustle in the leaves, don’t assume immediately that it’s just a bunny or a squirrel.December 12, 2013 at 21:53 #14235
Hi Guys! This text has been translated into english from hungarian by an east-korean rizshántoló. So pls. forgive him for his poor english.
The following story is true in every point from the very beginning to the very end, but for the protection of personality rights we changed all the names.
Where the hell did the halflings gone?
The guys at Victory studios were desperate.
‘Release date is just too close. What if the Boss finally finds out what happened?’ one of them cried. Let’s call him Bob. ‘How could this actually happen?
‘No surprise here,’ a short fellow with pale but self-confident face (from now on Jack) answered’ from all the races they had the lowest upkeep.
‘Someone please summarize the event!’ a new man with striped t-shirt (Hans) asked.
‘Ok’ Bob said. ‘One of our programmers realized that some codes that refer to halflings were missing. They made a quick check and it turned out that there was no halfling in the code at all.’
‘So they deserted the code somehow?’ Hans wondered.
‘Worse. They took everything with them. Their models, textures, dialogs, everything. Now it’s like they have never existed.’ Bob said.
‘What have you already done to correct the mistake?’ Hans answered.
Tom who was listening in quite till now cleared his throat. ‘We spread a rumour that there will be no halflings at all. Just in case we won’t be able to get them back.
‘Such optimism’ Hans said ironically. ‘I guess the Boss believes they will be the surprise race.
‘They still can be’ Bob replied. ‘One of our agents spotted them more than a year ago…’
‘More than a year?!’ Hans shouted. ‘Why the hell didn’t you inform us?’
‘Sorry guys, it was a top secret information. However, time is changing and we will need all of our creativity to get the halflings back.
‘But where are they?’
The guys at Halfling capital were desperate.
‘Release date is just too far away.’ Pony Rider said. ‘ They postponed it again. We won’t be able to be played this year.
‘For you it’s not so bad.’ Slinger said. ‘You got nine gold coins every day. I guess you still have reserves.’
‘Reserves with nine gold upkeep?’ Rider replied angrily. ‘Do you know how much a halfling pony eats?’
‘Easy guys’ Sheriff said. ‘Rouge has some good news. What if we listen to him before we get across ourself?’
‘Well, it’s about a job, where halflings like us are paid well. However to apply it we have to leave the gameword ‘couse it’s a…’
‘Movie?! Hans shouted. ‘How could they leave Age of Wonders for a movie like The Hobbit?’
‘Actors get much money. And I guess they were promised to keep some coins from Smaug’s treasure as well.’ Bob answered.
‘Wait a minute!’ Jack said. ‘I watched the first Hobbit movie and I didn’t see them.’
‘We sent some ork and wolf rider after them. That’s why they appeared only in the movie and not in the book. They failed to get the halflings back but they managed to strike them back from screen. Thanks to their work noone actually noticed our hobbits in the movie.’
‘And what about Bilbo Baggins? I can swear I have seen him somewhere before and it was not in Lord of the Rings.’ Bob said.
‘It’s very likely that the guy who played as Bilbo Baggins is one of our AoW halfling. But that doesn’t matter now. What counts is that we have to get them back.’
‘What if we sent some archons after them?’ Hans asked.
‘I tried but they failed and returned as undead.’
‘They would be a bit suspicious in a Hobbit movie…’
‘That’s not a problem Hollywood can explain everything. We sent some Shadow Demon. They missed Hobbit 2 and are still lost at Starship troopers 3.
‘Orcs or Goblins then!’
‘They have failed once. They will fail again. We have some human and elf spy there but I don’t think it’s enough.’
Tom cleared his throat again. ‘Guys I believe we have only one chance.’
‘No Tom that would be too dangerous! And remember no devs ara allowed to any virtual realm.’
‘There is no other way.’ Tom said thoughtfully. ‘Whoever wanna quit now can still do so. But I will go.’
‘I’ll go with you. Hans?’
‘You can count on me.’
There was quite. Noone left the room.
‘So can I post that Victory Studios go to watch this Hobbit 2?’December 12, 2013 at 22:08 #14236
Well, when Age of Wizards ended, most nations have suffered. Perhaps they were too accustomed to the yoke of godlike entities who were responsible for their life and death.
Half-sized people weren’t such concerned about magic. Sure, they miss their old friend Marinus, but his disappearance hadn’t changed they way halflings live. Famines, plagues and wars which treated other races spared cheerful little ones. So they lived in blessed golden age, while the world around them wad recovering from shadow invasion and slowly plunging itself into the depths of the another war…
…Marduk Barrelbelly, an eccentric chef, has been famous for his obscure recipes and exceptional size of his family. In his spare time, which occupied most of his life, he liked to tinker with curiosities his nephew, an adventurer, brought to home. Once the famous chef didn’t come to breakfast. After a long wait, his wife and children searched for him and found his breathless body in the basement. Hazardous-looking mechanism stood in the table, small lightnings cracked in the air. Along the body of the Marduk, scrap note was left lying on the floor, which took a hard time to decypher.
Nevertheless, one must know that halflings are thousand times more stubborn than donkeys. His son, also named Marduk Barrelbelly, managed to decipher the note. It told him about wonderful yet mundane force which, when tamed, will bring ease and joy to their people. Unfortunately, other notes involved some formulas and drawings which he couldn’t understand. To solve this trouble, Marduk went to the realms of Dwarves, where he learned a great deal about machines. Upon his returning home, he ran the machine which killed his father… and survived.
While at the first time neighbours disliked the wierdo, when Marduk demonstrated all little wonders he mastered with his father’s work and his own newfound knowledge, curiosity replaced hostility. Willing to spread the word, Marduk taught all he knew to several pupils, who continued his work. Few years after his death, the first Halfling university of Marduk, Marduk and Marduk (one of his pupils also happened to bear such a name) was founded.
The quest for scientific pursuit was soon picked by the entire community. Ever eager to do-good to themselves and their family, halflings threw themselves into wild experimentation. Soon their comfortable underground homes flourished with the astonishing fruits of technology.
However, unlike other races, they didn’t really care about weaponization of their inventions. Commonwealth formed and started to absorb other nations. Their ambassadors came to the glorious dales of halflings, demanding they join the coalition. While those ambassadors spook honest words with their silver tongues, one could easily seen the greed in their eyes: to lay hands upon all this wonders and turn them into engines of destruction.
Elves didn’t leave them in peace too. They were quite aware that, given to the greedy hands of spoiled men, peaceful technology of halfling could be turned into deadliest weapons. So, war was about to begin, and neither Commonwealth nor Court even cared about fate of the half-sized folk.
But smart and sturdy people certainly didn’t want to be hostages in the intrigues of ruthless power-mongers. Distant relative of the first Marduk Barrelbelly, Guianna Kindleye, found the solution. Under the cover of the night, she and her trusted crew built a spacecraft which could contain ever halfling stil living. Court and Commonwealth were so busy spying on each other, that they totally missed her project. When the spacecraft was finished, she send a message to everyone, gathering entire population of halflings in the starting site. Guianna warned them to burn everything they couldn’t bring with themselves, and, crying about their lost home, Halflings went to their journey to the stars.
Court and Commonwealth forces arrived in the great haste, but they can’t cope with the halflings cars and railroads. Where life once flourished, they found only smoldering ruins, which were soon washed with the blood of elves and men.December 12, 2013 at 22:10 #14237
Most of the Halflings got terrified with the creation of Commonwealth,its weird obsession with technology, the fact that they wanted to assimilate them and harvest the forests to run machines of war.Their old allies,the Elves wanted to fight and protect the woods,however they become too determined to annihilate all races that joined the Commonwealth,obviously infected by madness of war and wish to destroy those who opposed them and their own view of the world.Non of those ideas was pleasant to cheerful Hobits.Some of the small folks refused to leave their homes and remained where they where,no matter if it was Commonwealth or Elven Court,but majority packed their belongings and decided to leave in the search of new home with unspoiled forests and green hills, where they could build their farms and live in peace again,at least for some time.Since their stealth is legendary,no faction noticed when they actually left,but at some point it was evident that the number of Halflings is significantly lower then it used to be in the previous ages…December 12, 2013 at 22:29 #14245
Asking where the Halflings has gone is a bit silly, as the Halflings haven’t gone anywhere. The real question to ask is why did the Halflings change so much? What happened to that peace loving race that would party late into the night over the most simple of occasions? Why has joy given way to paranoia?
One only needs to look back at history to see what caused such change to occur. Goblins, Orcs, Dark Elves, Shadow Demons. All races that have preyed upon innocent Halfling villages to fuel their evil ambitions. While other races may have suffered worse, those were hardy folk more suited to the hardships caused by war and famine. One can only take so much abuse before they adapt, and the Halflings were no exception.
Halflings have always found success in the Roguelike ways of the world, so it was that direction that the race as a whole have moved into. Halfling villages still exist, but good luck trying to find the secret paths dug into the ground. Only the most trusted of allies is allowed access into these secreted homes.
That isn’t to say that Halflings have completely abandoned the surface world, however. In any group of Human of Elvish children there may be a Rogue blending in, always keeping an ear open to any news that could spell ill for the enclave they work for. There are also the Halflings that you won’t ever see, as even though the race has distanced itself from open warfare, it isn’t above accomplishing its missions from the shadows. Spying, sabotage, and assassinations are all tools that a Halfling Rogue are ever willing to use.
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