Alsara: Requiem and Revolution
Halflings are a reclusive and mysterious people, steeped in tradition and ritual. They live as nomads in the Endless Desert, and they rarely leave. They remain tied to the landscape by an edict from their God, who has commanded them to defend the city at the heart of the Endless Desert from any and all who would attempt to reach it. They do not live in the city, but they take their charge very, very seriously, and have committed nearly their entire race to this task for thousands of years. It has made the Endless Desert a very dangerous place for non-Halflings.
Physical Description: Halflings have earned their name through their stature. About three to four feet tall, Halflings are fundamentally similar to short Humans, though they tend to have slightly larger eyes, and their ears are slightly pointed. Their skin runs from dark brown to a medium tan, and their hair tends to be black or dark brown.
Society: Halflings have a very strict code of laws that they must abide by. Their every action is infused with their faith, and their faith is synonymous with war and duty. There is a strong sense of self sacrifice ingrained in Halflings, so they tend to think of the group or the community before they address personal needs. Halflings have a hierarchical structure built into their society, with an individual’s place determined by how they stand in the eyes of Tyr Aenor, and they will defer decisions on major crises to their superiors. This is true even when dealing with non-Halflings, if a Halfling should ever deign to accept an outsider as a ‘superior.’
Relations: An average Halfling is distrustful of strangers, terribly private, and insultingly terse when spoken to. They harbor a strong suspicion and vague dislike of anyone they do not know, since, as a result of their duties, at some point they may have to kill any non-Halfling they ever encounter. When operating in the course of their duties, they will, more often than not, simply kill anyone they run into who isn’t Halfling. Some Halflings do leave the Endless Desert, however, and they become much more personable when separated from clan and cleric.
Alignment and Religion: Halflings of the Endless Desert are uncompromising, rigid, ruthless when they have to be, withdrawn when they don’t. They are Lawful Neutral most times, with their empathy towards the plight of outsiders shifting them toward Good if they’ve the temperament for it. For all their murderous instinct, Halflings are rarely Evil; there is no room in the tenants of Tyr Aenor for cruelty or hate. There is only the duty.
As for their faith, well, it’s not hard to guess. They comprise nearly all the membership of The Adherent.
Adventurers: Halfling adventurers are only slightly rarer than Halflings outside the Endless Desert. Once they leave their homeland, however, they have all manner of cause to become an adventurer. They receive substantial military training while growing up, and they are very uncomfortable with sitting idle. They are not of a selfish temperament most times, and so will often become adventurers in service of some higher purpose, like community or lord.
Trait Bonus: The character gains +2 to Charisma and +2 to Sense Motive tests, but suffers a -5 penalty to all Bluff and Diplomacy tests when interacting with all non-Exiled Halflings.
For one reason or another, you left the Endless Desert, and abandoned the tenants of Tyr Aenor. You now wander the North, trying to find purpose to a life that has none any longer. It has taught you much about the world, and you have put your skills to good use, but your people will never forgive you for your abdication.
Languages: The Halfling begins play speaking Trade and Tyric. If they have a high Intelligence score they can choose from the following bonus languages: Imperial, Steppelander, Eastlandic, Firetongue, and High Vokayan.
Attributes: +2 to Dexterity, -2 to Charisma. The halflings are quick and lithe creatures, but their nature makes them rather unpleasant company.
Size: Halflings are Small creatures and gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty to their CMB and CMD, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
Base Speed (Slow Speed): Halflings have a base speed of 20 feet.
Fearless: Halflings receive a +2 racial bonus on all saving throws against fear.
Swift as Shadows: Halflings possess incredible stealth even while moving through obstructed areas. Halflings with this racial trait reduce the penalty for using Stealth while moving by 5, and reduce the Stealth check penalty for sniping by 10.
Weapon Familiarity: Halflings are proficient with longbows (including composite longbows), falchions, scimitars, and shortbows (including composite shortbows), and treat any weapon with the word “halfling” in its name as a martial weapon.
Keen Senses: Halflings receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception checks.