“The littlefolk are happy, for they can pursue beasts into their burrows. Giants are happy, because they can stand up and pick apples from the branch. The littlefolk are angry, for they cannot stand up and pick apples from the branch. Giants are angry, because they cannot pursue beasts into their burrows.”
-from The Wisdom of Two Lands by Charmaine
The Littlefolk are split into two primary groups—the native Pygmies of Pachiomadio, and the Halflings of Ackenzal and the colonies. The Pygmies are a reclusive culture, split into small tribes across an almost unnavigable jungle that has somehow maintained a consistent set of taboos, customs, and language through an intricately connected river system that only a native Pygmy could possibly navigate. They practice a religion that pays homage to their ancestors and to the jungle that protects them, worshipping a unified spirit of the Littlefolk people that they refuse to discuss except in song. Luckily for theologians they are almost always singing. For Pygmies, song, even casual song, is a religious expression and a metaphor for journeys, while journeys are considered metaphors for songs and both are a critical part of spiritual fulfillment. This is reflected even in their language, where the words for song and way are interchangeable, as well as wind and voice, stroke and note, and so forth. The Halflings are descended from Pygmies that were taken from their jungle home as slaves and servants, though have since been freed. The Halflings have quickly incorporated themselves into the Ackenzal culture, becoming river merchants and traders or positioning themselves within the ranks of the Unkneeling.
Play a Littlefolk if you want…
- To be friendly, quick-witted, fearless, and adaptable.
- To be a member of an independent and clannish culture.
- To be able to excel as a rogue, bard, or wizard.
- Use the Halfling statistics from the Player’s Handbook for Littlefolk of Ackenzal and the Colonies. Use Gnome statistics from the Players Handbook 2 for Little Folk from the jungles of Pachiomadio. The invisibility power of the Gnomes is reinterpreted as a penchant for hiding and making oneself inconspicuous, rather than literal invisibility. Languages are Vulgate and choice of one other for Halflings, and Vulgate and Marujo for Pygmies.
Physical Description: Halflings and Pygmies usually stand from four to four and a half feet, and weigh from seventy-five to ninety-five pounds. They resemble small humans and are proportioned similarly, only with larger, long fingered hands than what usually befits their size. Most Littlefolk have swarthy complexions and straight black hair, though some of the Halflings have pale skin and hair, most likely due to interbreeding with humans. Pygmies wear minimal clothing and decorate themselves with body paint in the patterns of fish, crocodiles, and other creatures of the rivers. Halflings usually adopt the clothing and adornment of their host culture, though the fish motif is sometimes used as a signal between Halflings of fraternal bond. Halflings live longer than humans, usually reaching a century, though they mature at a similar rate.
Playing a Littlefolk in this campaign: Your size marks you as an other in most cultures, and you are met with immediate skepticism and perhaps mockery because of it. Most Littlefolk respond to this scenario with joviality, and adapt well by taking part in local custom, disarming offenders with jokes and song, and generally acting gregarious. You are forced to conform because you are not seen as a physical threat. You might be a Halfling who regrets losing your culture, or you might be a Pygmy who is in an alien world trying your hardest to fit in in a way that does not offend but does not compromise your own beliefs.