Halfling
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A halfling in battle.

Halflings are one of the major races of Nora. They are a small sea fairing race centered in the Nicoboan Islands. They sail through the seas and up the rivers playing their ocarinas to seek plunder. They are rebellious, clever teams who operate outside the restricting bureaucracy of modern life.

Many halfling individuals hire themselves as mercenaries. Halfling ships are usually willing to take passengers for a hefty price. They are regarded as the fastest sailing vessels in the land, and some of the most reliable.

History


During the Age of War, bands of halflings fought a fairly successful guerrilla war against the rise of undead known as the Onslaught, and they formed small units and rowed swift boats. The halflings began a strong bardic tradition as they had no means for libraries aboard their sea vessels.

At the Battle of Crying Waves in 3 PI an Aran mercenary fleet assisted the League of Free Peoples to defeat Elknor's navy.

Culture


Halflings are proud and fierce warriors, typically fighting with small sabers. Halflings tend to be very argumentative. They maintained a neutral outlook, truly caring only about themselves and their own.

Making a contract, or bargain, with a member of the ara is a very serious affair that is steeped with formality. They are also renowned to be fierce negotiators and the chances of coming out with an advantage after making a business agreement, or any agreement, with a member of the ara are slim.

Halflings often play dominos.

Hodun Necromancers

see hodun

The traditional companies condemn the unholy practice of hodun necromancy. The typical ara sees it as the perversion of the very thing they fought to hard against during the Onslaught.

Organization


The halflings (also known as ara) live in separated family companies called guani. In most places, a halfling guan is led by a Cacike, a title which may or may not be followed by the halfling's first name. Cacikes are wielders of wild magic and, though they tend to be calmer than an average ara, when in battle they are uncontrolled fury. Halfling companies are usually communist in behavior and individual ara have little that they would not share with each other.

Appearance


Halflings usually style their hair in their notable dreadlocks or tight braids to keep out moisture from the sea air. They also wear bright multi-colored bandannas and, when raiding, paint their bodies with a red dye called bija. Halflings do not wear shoes on ship, but many halflings raised in Nora do wear shoes while on land, preferring tall boots. Islander halflings wear no shoes either on ship or on land.

The rank of a halfling can be determined, among other things, by the number of earrings (typically ear and nose, with a chain in between for higher ranks) a man or woman has and the number of medals the have on their honor chain.

Another little known facet of aran culture is that both genders go topless while at sea, and out of sight of the mainland. Presumably all of their passengers know this eventually, and keep silent either out of respect/moral outrage, or for more prurient interests. This fact alone may account for why passage on a halfling ship is frequently so costly.

Names


Women do not take any form of the husband's name upon marriage. Boys take their father's surname and girls take their mother's surname. Later a "salt name" is given, such as "Running Wave" or "Wild Winds" which typifies the ara in some way.

Halfling names are like human names with a gender specific given name and a surname. It is common for both males and females to have a name derived from Common that is a title or, for females, describes something pretty, often a flower.

The surname is usually taken from either the city the halfling was born in, a company name (if in existence) or a name in Common that denotes or alludes to a profession.

  • Male Names: Adric, Alwan, Amadom, Amani, Aray, Arcus, Busta, Canard, Casim, Chante, Clester, Daevon, Duron, Ennis, Erskine, Ferric, Ghana, Jolice, Judge, Keenan, Kendrick, Keyair, Kian, Kojo, Lasil, Major, Radd, Reggis, Reshay, Rhashan, Serek, Shan, Sidell, Terell, Umar.
  • Female Names: Adelaide, Aiesha, Althea, Amarika, Aurelia, Ayana, Butterfly, Chemier, Cozzie, Cyiarra, Daisy, Dashay, Duchess, Ezola, Fawn, Grace, Jade, Kalise, Kea, Kiyana, Kolonda, Koyana, Laketta, Mia, Mylandra, Odessa, Ordena, Raca, Raven, Sakina, Shantair, Tasiya, Tauni, Tawanda, Vondra, Zara, Zekia, Zola.
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