World of Farland

A world conquered by evil and ruled by the Lords of Sin; A unique campaign setting designed to be used with all editions of D&D.


Halflings of Farland

   
PART SEVEN OF AN IN-PROGRESS SERIES
PART ONE HERE ///// PART TWO HERE ///// PART THREE HERE ///// PART FOUR HERE ///// PART FIVE HERE ///// PART SIX HERE

KNOWN SHIRES AND HAMES

Ballundell - Hidden in the valleys south of Selble and Fort Sont, on the border of Kale proper and Belendale from which it took its name, this shire only fell when Dweller called upon the foul beasts that lurk beneath the earth to seek them out. Unhindered by the surface world, kobold and troglodyte and worse hunted hositan in all directions, even into Eruna and the Wild Lands.

**Elksmoot** - Encompassing the Elk Forest and stretching up to the source of the Elksroar, this hame of Kelerak is by far the largest and most important to the Proudfellows. Legend says that it was here their people were born and that the last of them will fall in service to Bunga at the end of all things. It was held so sacred that it was believed genuine trespass would receive immediate divine punishment, so its border totems bore unique messages of welcome instead of warning. Technically the Elksmoot still exists and is merely unoccupied, but few Proudfellows today believe reclaiming it is possible.

Flowers-of-Bone - A hame shared principally by the Zelmyra, Arzrun and Jarmayet tribes, grown on the shores of Zeland's Ghost Lake. Popular target for aspiring necromancers with little imagination or understanding of their craft, most of whom ended up incorporated into the warning totems, ironically drawing yet more of their ilk. Betula of the Asphodels, a corrupted treant with toxic sap and poison blooms, makes her home within, tending to dread fields of pain and sorrow.

**Merrowsfloe** - Neither shire nor hame, the floating village of the Stalwarts drifts the Lonely Sea according to no law or reason. Its inhabitants have their own language, a curious blending of hositan and aquan dialects, though they do still recall the speech of the land. Unsubstantiated rumours of free trade with sahuagin, merrows, ixitxachitl and other such unpleasant creatures have long been propagated, but these seafarers seem not to care about the implicit insult.

Murhaigen's Peace - Whoever Murhaigen was, he or she left a lasting impression as a brute of unceasing violence and savagery. Their supposed resting place was marked by a temple of Bunga ostensibly dedicated to keeping them dead, around which a small but fervorous shire grew in later years. It was located a few miles north of Lanburg in Daven, atop the Maerrajin Plateau. Archaeolinguists point to the names of both shire and plateau being derivations of an earlier one.

Rowanspeak Hillock - Located south of Kel Forest, near Ekruup in Zeland. Besieged by the Lord of Sloth in the autumn of 7797, it held out long enough to see the rest of Zeland fall before being overrun seven months later. Once the largest and most prosperous shire of the region, word of its destruction crippled morale, such that even the Stalwarts did not mount a resistance. The copse of rowans that gave the shire its name was occupied by a cabal of dryads and nymphs in days long gone, but unnumbered years of fey sorcery have left a potent tool there for those who dare evoke it.

Thunderhead Glen - A hame grown within Farland's Old Wood, so named for the monstrous bulette that once terrorized the region. It was principally occupied by the Fansima, Elniben and Kabani tribes prior to the Five Clans Period, after which the Kabani absorbed the lesser Proudfellows. Even today, the city of Ladona remembers the Passing of the Rafts, when the Kabani sailed down the Old Wash and straight through the city on their way to Eruna.

**Westdelving** - Oft called the Trueshire, last of the unblemished shires and indeed the oldest of them all, hidden in the Forest of Blorn northeast of Or City. Home and resting place of Carl 'Paladin' Merribuck, sheriff and hero, wielder of Stealthheart. The buried dwarfhold of Kazan Ab-Elrek lies beneath the mountains to the east, silent grave to butchered dwarf and murderous dark folk alike. How exactly Westdelving survived the attentions of the Dweller, when shires farther west and more heavily defended fell, is unknown.

Yrjune - Located in the Vanian Hills of southeastern Kale. A Stalwart shire self-quarantined to treat the gnome refugees suffering from the Whitespot. Cultural intermingling between the races led to its becoming a hositan byword for decadence and depravity, a direct consequence, so the priests warned, of the evils of miscegenation. Brutal deeds were enacted against it for centuries, such that the Dweller's armies may well have done them a mercy at their end.


~~The settlements marked with asterisks are believed to be the only ones that still exist in any actual capacity.

>>>>>

GLOSSARY

Dastar - Hairfoots and Stalwarts traditionally never cut their hair, making its combing and washing a familial or even communal affair, then binding the great locks into tight bands of cloth. The dastar is usually formed of two pieces, one at least seven feet in length and the other upwards of twenty, wrapped around the head several times, but there are plenty of variations across shires. A dastar is usually shades of yellow for young boys, or green for young girls, which then is replaced by white and blue cloth during adulthood for men and women.

Dulband-cloth - A regional variation of the dastar that originated in Kale. A true dulband-cloth should be black, unpatterned and skintight, such that no head hair can be seen. After the Comte du Nyon wore one to a state function, in a gesture of self-deprecation (he had gone bald as a child), its popularity exploded among the Kalish nobility. Today, the Kalish dull-band is named ironically, since they tend to be brightly dyed, decorated with beads or jewels, with intent to expose the well-coiffured forelocks of the wearer.

Emishika - Generally referred to as a dire elk, the emishika today are practically a separate species, having been domesticated and bred by the Proudfellows for enough generations for significant changes to take place. Relative to true dire elks, emishika are broader of shoulder and far less aggressive, identifiable to the knowledgeable by their more palmate antler structure and curious branched tines, particularly the trey and often even the brow. They grow upwards of seven feet at the shoulder with an antler-span that often approaches twelve feet.

Hononbon - A curious art form that is one of the few things hositan are willing to overlook was copied from gnomes, requiring as it does an exacting understanding of pruning techniques that will not kill the subject. Sometimes known as tree potting, it is the careful trimming and pruning of sapling trees such that their growth is stunted, ideally to such an extreme that they can be kept in a household pot on a windowsill. Especially visually attractive specimens of hononbon are often entered into competitions, encouraging youngsters to take up the art themselves, usually with the implicit statement that it will impress someone they are interested in.

Kebito's Elk - See Emishika. Kebito was a mytho-historic huntress supposedly accompanied by the ghost of her first kill, a primordial stag-god she named Durath. Variations of this myth appear even among the elves, who usually dismiss it as a delusion of memory of the time before speech, but even today, when a hunter is killed, it is said their prey was filled by the Might of Durath.

Maneivocan - A religious position in hositan society, roughly meaning "Caller of the Dawn". It is the function of the maneivocan to perform the rituals and prayers to Bunga to keep away ill fortune and evil spirits during the hours of greatest vulnerability, when all others are asleep. Once all is done and the shire has been safeguarded, they must awaken their fellows and call the faithful to prayer, traditionally from the rooftop of Bunga's temple. For this reason, most maneivocans are male, as their deeper voices carry further than those of women. It is regarded as an especially good omen if the rituals are completed exactly as the sun rises, regardless of the season.

Preranya - Inspiration from a divine source, if not specifically Bunga Proudfoot himself. Notable recipients of preranya include Carl Merribuck and Aeren Kabani, both of whom led the hositan into a new age of peace and prosperity. The word was once used in negative and oblique forms, indicating corruption from dark powers, or worse still, willing subjugation to their influence, but as superstition grew and the hositan feared naming such events would cause them, the words disappeared from the language and were replaced by euphemism and metaphor. Some elements in the priesthood actively seek out instances of the word in literature in order to expunge it.

Rizaphxan - A fey art that blends horticulture with sorcery, crudely practiced by the Proudfellows until they were taught the mysteries by Lord Sarshayin, a verdant prince. Whilst a master of the art can exert their will and transform plant life about them, molding it into new shapes and forcing unnatural changes, this is widely considered a perversion to be stamped out. The true use of rizaphxan is to create beauty over years, decades or longer, using what practitioners call 'persuasion' and not in any euphemistic sense. Singing and conversing to the plants encourages them to grow in ways that are beneficial to the practitioner without harming the plant, resulting in living and ever-changing villages of tree and bush.

Vespernunti - The analogue of the maneivocans, meaning "Herald of the Dusk". A vespernunti's duty is to fortify the wards of faith about a shire whilst the power of life and light is at its strongest, traditionally using a libation made by the most senior midwife. Indeed, the vast majority of vespernuntis have been midwives themselves, taught how to brew this secret potion in order to reduce the number of weak points in the rituals that could be exploited by dark forces. It is their duty to ensure the shire is adequately protected by the time the sun sets and to complete a full patrol of it during the course of their day in order to be certain that it is shielded on all sides.

Yeah, I think that about does it.

Short of maybe expanding the timeline a bit more, possibly, but in many ways having a few extra holes in there leaves room for players to come up with their own stories of what happened.

So yeah. I think that really is it.

One more thing however, my own 'preranya', so to speak :

Dastar/Dulband - The Sikh turban.

Emishika - Combination of the indigenous Emishi people of Japan and the sika deer. Why those two? Watch Princess Mononoke.

Hononbon - The Vietnamese word (roughly) for bonsai.

Hositan advice from the Proudfellow entry - I think we all know of the "knowing sh!t from Shinola" speech and saying...

Kebito - Same as Emishi, but as a different, earlier reading of the kanji.

Maneivocan/Vespernunti - Butchered Latin for 'Dawn Caller' and 'Dusk Herald' respectively. The former also inspired by the Muslim call to prayer.

Preranya - A variation upon the notion of prana, or life, from Hindu faiths, in the sense of a new life, a new understanding, being imparted to the mortal by a higher being. Inspired by the boddhisattvas of Buddhism, who reject Nirvana in order to remain in this world to help others achieve enlightenment.

Rizaphxan - Butchered Greek for 'Root Augmentation'.

"Spring Petals Fall" - To the tune of Sabaton`s Price of a Mile. Note the last verse is not a match for the preceding ones. Deliberate. Rowanspeak Hillock after the siege was not the same, nor were the survivors. They were as broken as the last verse.

Verse from "Truth Be Told" - Written to the tune of "While Shepherds Watched", should be sung in the vein of The Landlord's Daughter.

It turned out to be incredible! I love it. I am looking to publish this in the October 15 update. Thanks so much!

You're welcome. However, given all the praise you've heaped upon it so far, I kinda wanna hear criticism. What doesn't match up with the rest, what could have been done better etc. Put your teacher hat on, Farland, I've got my student cap equipped and ready.

Well as of right now, the only thing I can potentially see is my needing to cross check for consistency with dwarven history, etc. I may need to end up having to change names here and there, etc. But you did such a good job of being creative while retaining the World of Farland flavor that I don't see much to criticize. I may have more comments when I get into seriously editing it for publication.

I finished editing this today. I retained my first impression: high quality stuff. I sent it on to DRK for a final edit, and he and I will talk about any possible reordering of the sections. It's slated to be published on October 15. Thanks again, Chaos!

Yithril, no reason that you couldn't insert halflings into occupied lands. Unlike elves they wouldn't present as great of a problem.




 

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Last Database Backup 2017-09-25 09:00:06am local time
Myth-Weavers Status