- Note: Halfling Heaven is the focal point of an ongoing campaign, and thus has special rules for its history and PC association with it. See below.
Halfling Heaven is a lazy, carefree, happy village of halflings. It is situated on an island in the middle of treacherous rocky waters and has been "lost" for several generations (much to the contentment of its inhabitants). The locals distrust outsiders, especially humans. They prefer to stay in their small village with their self-sufficient economy. The village provides everything that they need, and what they don't have, they don't want.
However, after a recent incident involving a ship full of convicted criminals, several of the Halfling Heaven youth set out from their homes and embarked upon what was supposed to be an easy task. The ship never arrived at its destination.
Missing and presumed dead were...
- Peony Miller - cleric of Marcus, daughter of the baker and miller,
- Nimblefingers Briarfoot - the village trouble-maker,
- Meadowlark Barleywine - the farmer's daughter and a respected hunter,
- Violet Fletcher - a young druid girl,
- Tom Brewer - the innkeeper's son and a novice sorcerer,
- Sandy Fleetfoot - the village brawler, and
- Brego Taleweaver - the gaffer's only son and a talented bard.
Services were held in the Temple of Saint Marcus, and a beacon had been lit in Halfling Heaven in an attempt to show the children where their home is. Since that time, those missing were discovered very much alive and have actually gotten home, left home, gotten home, left home, and are almost home again.
Religion in Halfling Heaven Edit
There is only one temple in Halfling Heaven. The villagers all worship the same deity, namely Saint Marcus, the halfling god of food and indulgence, whose holy symbol is a reclining pig set against a large yellow sun.
Clerics that follow Marcus tend to love the frequent food festivals held by the temple. Food festivals are held weekly and at every given opportunity, such as birthdays, full moons, sunny days and weddings. The temple believes that good food, fun, and community spirit are the most important things in life.
Saint Marcus was originally unknown on the mainland, but due to the influence of a halfling cleric named Peony Miller, that has changed.
The Festival of Life Edit
There are many reasons for festivals and feasts in the village. The Festival of Life is one of the main events and tends to have some unique traditions incorporated into it.
- The Tree of Life
- All villagers (and visitors) are expected to tie a gift or offering to the Tree of Life. This is said to symbolize that they are prepared to give, not just receive, throughout the coming year. These gifts or offerings can be anything, but tend to be made by the person making the offering, perhaps a cake or cookie, or maybe a small figurine made from clay.
- Egg wishing
- This tradition involves painting a wish upon an egg and burying it somewhere secret. It is said the painted wish will come true over the next year, but if the egg is found or seen whilst being buried (by anyone other than the wisher), then the wish is lost.
- Beating the bounds
- This tradition involves a long and tedious, albeit necessary, perimeter check of property boundaries. Halflings from the village walk the perimeter of the land and fix any broken boundary markers that are discovered. It is said to strengthen the village physically and also seal the community spirit within.
- The crop run
- Another tedious but necessary task has been made into a competition. Each entrant is given a field to plow and some seeds to sow in it. The winner is the person to create a neatly plowed and sown field within the allotted time. Usually, only males tend to enter this contest.
- The queen of the festival
- All the females that wish to be the festival queen put on their finest dresses. They hope that they will be singled out from the crowds and chosen to lead the feast and open the festival. The queen is usually chosen the day before the festival and she remains the queen from dawn to dawn the following day. During that time, no one is allowed to refuse her a dance if she requests it. The queen of the festival is usually offered flowers by all visitors and villagers. Previous queens have included Berri Pye, Ma Gardener, and last year's winner, Missus Brewer, who has now won the title twice. (Incidentally, both her children were born less than a after each of her titles.)
Since halflings jump at the opportunity for a celebration, the Yule-Fest is as popular as the others festivals. Though regional traditions vary, Halfling Heaven tends to stick to some rigid guidelines for this festival.
- The Tree of Life
- A week before Yule-Fest, the Tree of Life is decorated with brightly colored spherical pieces of pottery called "ball-balls", and the base of the tree is surrounded by wrapped gifts for the entire village, ready for the first day of the festival.
- The Yule-Fool
- The day before Yule-Fest, the Yule-Fool is selected by the entire village via a secret ballot system. (No one can be selected twice in succession.) The fool's role in the festival is to entertain others with song, dance, juggling, and jokes. While the festival actually lasts for fourteen days and nights, the fool is only required to perform during meals.
The original Yule-Fool was the fellow who defied tradition and suggested that the name "ball-balls" should be simplified to something like "baubles" or "twinklies".
- Blind-Hobbits Bluff
- Blind-Hobbits Bluff is a traditional children's game associated with this seasonal festival. One child is blindfolded and spun until dizzy. The other children run while the "blind hobbit" counts to ten. Upon the blind hobbit reaching ten, the fleeing children must stand still and are not allowed to move until they are touched by the blind hobbit, who now searches for them (still blindfolded). This game usually ends in arguments, but arguments and Yule-Fest are famously paired anyway.
- On the first day of the festival, the gifts under the Tree of Life are distributed to all villagers. This is treated as a community event where the entire village turns up at dawn and opens their gifts to the first rays of the sun, shortly before announcing the first festival breakfast.
- Traditional food
- The food traditionally consumed during Yule-Fest includes (but is not limited to) turkey with wild chestnut and sage stuffing, cranberry and barleywine sauce, nut roasts, figbread pudding, glacier cake (a dessert made from meringue, various fruits and frosting), jellied shark, brandy butter, and chocolate coins.
- Boys' night out
- It is uncertain how this tradition came about, but it is expected that all males go to the local tavern — which is designated a male-only area for the night — and drink more than is probably wise. What goes on at this event remains a mystery, as no one in attendance has ever uttered word of its fascinations to a female. It has become so secretive throughout the years that the date of the event constantly changes and is only discussed in privacy.
- Girls' night in
- In the males' absence (for the boys' night out), the females gather together and allegedly do female things, such as knitting, washing up, and swapping fashion tips.
- Ice skating
- If the local fishing pond freezes, the halflings go ice-skating on it. It is traditionally thought of as a romantic event between lovers and married couples. If the pond does not freeze, it has been known for couples to be escorted to the mountains so they can skate there instead.
Other places of interest Edit
Halfling Heaven is situated on a small desert island. The majority of the island is dominated by the sands, but small pockets of forested areas can be seen along the coasts. There are 4 different civilizations on the island.
- Halfling Heaven: A tiny village of reclusive halflings. It's exact location is lost and known to only a few.
- Farwest City: A very lawful city, also known as the Holy City. It has various religions within its limited area, and trades via its heavily used port. Farwest City has attempted to become well-known for its market of specialized goods, but so far the traders are still few.
- Alisha: A small village that has almost been totally destroyed by the harsh, cruel territory in which it is situated. The Alishanite citizens are few and their numbers are dwindling due to the frequent raids by hostile creatures and bandits. There is no surviving mayor or leader of the vilage, though there is a resident witch who all the village turn to for advice and support.
- The Thistlefoot Village: The Thistlefoot clan is a small tribe of barbarians who live in the Southwest Sands and are famous for their trading lifestyle. Quite often, the tribe will venture out into civilized areas to do business, and have been known to be shrewd businessmen and women. The tribe consists of various races and has only recently moved to the area.
In addition, there is the Chasm of the Eclipse, a huge chasm situated near a large crater. Legend says that a dark god was cast down from the heavens and turned to stone there. To this very day there appears to be a giant statue of a god, half merged with the rock. It is a very dangerous area and few survive to tell tales of what they saw there.
The island is a very dangerous place and is home to some vicious creatures. The known threats are
- desert orcs,
- cave goblins,
- giant scorpions and beetles,
- stingers, and
- various serpents.
Also, there have been tales of a shadow dragon living in the Alishanite Cliffs.
Those seeking a way from the Sands to a Halfling Heaven home should search the Chasm of the Eclipse for a way lost in legend. Or (with DM help), a ship from Farwest City may attempt to pass the jagged rocks at Halfling Heaven.
PC backgrounds Edit
The village of Halfling Heaven is restricted for various reasons. Although non-resident halflings are allowed to visit, a background that implies origins from the village must be applied for before being used (i.e. before PC creation). The option of being from elsewhere and moving to the village is also by application only, as potential new residents must be interviewed by the Gaffer.
Unapproved characters may be deleted without notice.
One reason for these restrictions is that the village is a small community where every resident knows each other, sometimes all too well. It has enjoyed/suffered a rich history, which all villagers would know about. (Examples of well-known events include the invasion of undead that killed many of the population, the Gaffer pretending he was dying as a joke, weddings, funerals, villagers vanishing, explorers discovering 'once-lost' places, etc.) There are also certain beliefs instilled in the residents that must be roleplayed, such as the belief that elves do not exist so anyone claiming to be an elf is really a longshanks (human) telling lies.
Requirements for residency Edit
There are some important factors to account for when applying to play a native resident of Halfling Heaven.
- All villagers inherently distrust humans ("longshanks"). This distrust can manifest itself in various ways and is something instilled in them from birth. A Heavener will never trust humans in general, though they may discover exceptions to the rule. (e.g. "I don't trust longshanks, but this one gave me pie and it wasn't poisoned, so he can't be all bad.")
- From birth, Heaveners are taught that elves do not exist. Therefore, anyone claiming to be an elf will be viewed as a human. Furthermore, the villagers believe the dwarves were wiped out by humans, so dwarves will be viewed as either fat halflings or short humans.
- Each villager is as important as their neighbor, and as their neighbor's neighbor. The village is a self-sufficient community that needs every member of that community to thrive. If any of the villagers are lost, the whole community mourns and suffers. As such, each resident must have a trade or role that benefits the community. Example trades include farmer, tavernkeep, gardener, guard, baker, priest, gravedigger, druid, merchant, and fisherhin (in freshwater or on the shore only, as the sea is too dangerous for fishing boats).
- The Gaffer is the oldest and wisest villager, and he is also treated as the village ruler. He is respected by all, despite the fact he often tells boring stories that seldom sound believable. Disrespecting the Gaffer is not acceptable.
- The village location is a closely guarded secret. If any resident was to ever leave the village, they would not voluntarily disclose the location to anyone untrustworthy. This includes longshanks, necromancers, and anyone pretending to be an elf or dwarf.
- Occasionally, a villager may decide to become an adventurer. This is very rare, seeing as the village has everything any resident could need, and what it does not have, the villagers do not want. If this does happen, it should be noted that there is no postal service, so as far as the remaining family know their beloved son or daughter could be (and most probably is) dead.
- If a character, once accepted, becomes a long-running character established within the roleplay community, then one of the vacant houses may be allocated to the character's family. If this happens and family members are needed, it should be noted that these family members will be NPCs, who will be usable by DMs at all times. For example, Barry_1066 created a PC named Tom Brewer and said Tom had parents who ran a tavern. A module builder then created the tavern and added Tom's parents. Tom is Barry's character, but Tom's parents are NPCs. From the outset of Halfling Heaven, the personalities and actions of family members have been the domain of the DMs.
- Since the village was created to be the base of a campaign, the heroes/heroines of that campaign are also the heroes/heroines of the village. No resident may surpass the levels or abilities of those in the halfling campaign. Any character with a Halfling Heaven background will have to level extremely slowly (after a three year campaign, the current characters are only level 20).
This list is subject to change.
A character applying to move to Halfling Heaven from elsewhere does not have to conform to the village characteristics. However, the character will have to be interviewed by the Gaffer before residency is approved or denied, and the Gaffer may impose restrictions at that time. This is subject to DM availability.