Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Races of Kickassistan: The Halflings


The Halflings

Perhaps no other race is as easy to underestimate as the halflings. It would seem as though every other race sees only one facet of the species, rather than a cohesive whole. Humans tend to view halflings as eternal children at worst or tiny cousins at best; either way, humans’ view is often patronizing and protective. The gruff and taciturn race of dwarves see the halflings as con men and thieves, hiding behind the pleasantries of society; consequently, dwarves always expect the worst when trading with halfling merchants. Elves who know of the misdeeds of their imperial cousins ages ago regard halflings quizzically, believing them to the result of magical experiments carried out by the now-dark elves; this view often leads to a sense of pity or remorse not unlike the protective attitudes of the humans. All of these are right, of course, and all of them are wrong. Halflings, it seems, simply love life and everything in it. They express their joy in celebrating every aspect of life, even toil, notably food and especially drink, as fully as they can. Thus, halfling society often revolves around the little rituals of life: the tilling of fields, the milking of cattle, the reaving of wheat, the brewing of ales, the singing of songs and so on.
Like this, just shorter.

Halfling Adventurers

Not all halflings are happy to live a simple life of daily rituals devoid of any larger meaning. For these halflings, celebrations of the mundane are merely a yoke to constrain and oppress the halflings, a yoke first imposed when halflings were shaped from men by the Elder Races; it is this yoke that marks the halfling as distinct from Men, that sedates most of them in the face of their own slavery to their own culture, that traps them in a vicious cycle of powerless serfdom. Halfling malcontents may spend a significant portion of their time undermining halfling society, they may associate with members of other races, or they may just focus on what few thrills they can find; in any case, a halfling malcontent is just one step away from a halfling adventurer and that step is usually found with the right push out his front door.
To other halflings, malcontents and adventurers are much the same and often described with the simple epithet, “rude.”


By now, you may be thinking, "Adam, everything you've written about Kickassistan so far has been pretty damn metal. What's this pansy ska stuff?" To that, I respond, "Have you ever met a rude boy?" Probably not, they're not around too many places anymore. Here in Ypsilanti, they're still thriving, mixing ska with oi punk. You can't have one without the other. Well, you can, but it's not as cool that way.