The halflings of Qairn are masters of trade, barter and sailing, endlessly plying the three seas in search of wealth, adventure and new opportunities to capitalize on. Founders of the world-famous Three Seas Shipping, halflings only true alliance is to commerce, travel and the open ocean.
Halflings stand about 4 feet tall and weigh about 80 pounds. They resemble small humans and are proportioned like human adults. Halflings have the sam range of complexions as humans, but most halflings have dark hair and eyes. Halfling males don’t have beards, but many have long, full sideburns. Halflings of both genders often wear complicated hairstyles, featuring complex braiding and weaving.
Halflings typically dress in clothes that match their surroundings and prefer earth tones and various shades of green, the biggest exception, of course, being halfling merchants, of whom the brightest and most garish colors are in fashion, those most likely to catch a customer’s attention on a busy dockside. Their clothing and gear feature woven textures and stitching. Birds, river patterns, boats and fish are common images in halfling art and decoration.
Halflings have life spans comparable to humans.
Halflings are an affable, warm and cheerful people. They survive in a world full of larger creatures by avoiding notice or, barring that, avoiding offense. They appear harmless and so managed to survive for centuries in the shadow of empires and on the edges of war and political strife.
Halflings are practical and down-to-earth. They’re an extremely opportunistic people, prone to setting achievable, yet flexible, goals and, through canniness and deft-handling, achieving those goals. A halfling is a master at discovering his or her own niche – as natural-born opportunists, halflings excel at finding and filling any empty roles in their towns, companies or adventuring parties and providing meaningful, if profitable, service. This has garnered them something of a mercenary or exploitative reputation, something don’t work overly hard to actively discourage.
Halflings belong on open water. Since their patron deity Oslé first approached them centuries ago, the halflings have been Qairn’s swiftest, most reliable and most numerous sailors. Natives of Obalta, the river-crossed continent, the small folk quickly took to their homelands many waterways, but their hearts truly lie at sea, upon the endless watery expanse. Their distinctive caravel ships can be found in nearly every free port in the world and they’re the lifeblood of trade and commerce in Qairn. In particular, the entirely halfling-run worldwide corporation Three Seas Shipping has maintained successful relations with practically every civilized society on the earth and a handful of less then civilized ones.
Halflings are fond of all forms of talk – stories, chat, dialogue, debate, gossip and most importantly, haggling. Their culture is rich in oral tradition and they are enthusiastic, bombastic speakers, more likely to ramble and berate and accost an opponent with words than with weapons though, when push comes to shove, halflings that feel threatened can be vicious, violent opponents.
Halflings speak Common, though an old joke persists the halfling cant has enough slang and indecipherable terms as to technically count as it’s own language, especially to an outsider.
Halflings love seafood – their maritime culture supports this diet heavily. Halflings will eat nearly anything that originated in the ocean, in practically any state of being, from simple cod to sea cucumber. A rising trend among halfling restaurants is the specific preparation of raw fish, something that baffles the rest of Qairn’s races, save perhaps the dwarves.