Heartlanders show noticeably warmer skin colours. Heartlanders are slightly taller than their Farlander and Summerfolk brethren, and their facial features are typically larger, such as larger noses, eyes and mouths. Heartlanders tend to style their hair in short to shoulder-length hair, where males fashion either groomed beards or clean shaves. Females enjoy intricate braids in their hair. Unlike Farlanders, Heartlanders are more likely to decorate themselves in strong, colourful clothing and wear extravagant jewelry.
A majority of Heartlanders sport brown, blonde or ginger hair, and their eyes are commonly blue, green or sometimes red. Their furry eye-brows are neatly kept, sometimes trimmed to the point where they aren't as easily noticeable. Some Heartlanders are heavily freckled, more so than Farlanders and Summerfolk.
Summerfolk typically exhibit tan skin, sometimes to the point of being described as golden. They stylize themselves with long, well-groomed hair, braided and knotted fancifully. Males generally don't have long or large beards, preferring to remain clean-shaven, or at least closely cut. Females often decorate their hair with jewelry and other hair-ornaments, such as flowers and such.
Those of the Summerfolk are slightly smaller in stature than both Farlanders and Heartlanders. Their eyes are in the colours of sky-blue and golden, and their hair is almost exclusively blonde.
Farlander skin is typically paler than their Heartlander and Summerfolk relatives, although they are also far more likely to exhibit a wider range of different skin colours. Farlanders are slightly shorter than Heartlanders, but they are also more physically fit and generally more muscular. Their hairstyles are extremely varied, much based on which part of the world they reside in, and will often adapt to fit the societal standards that they are surrounded by.
Farlanders are commonly brown or dark in hair, and feature hazel, gray and silver eyes. Unlike Heartlanders and Summerfolk, Farlanders don't generally pay too much attention to maintaining fashionable clothing or well-kept facial hair. Farlanders also seem to have longer ears than Heartlanders, although it is not all too noticeable most of the time.
Deep Gnomes are Gnomes of pale to grey skin, much credited to the fact that they mostly remain underground or generally just in an inside environment. They prefer short hairstyles, sometimes to the point of baldness (mostly in males), although they don't seemingly spend a lot of time grooming or stylizing themselves fashionably or cosmetically.
Their eyes are rounder than that of High Gnomes, commonly in the colours of grey, black or dark brown, whilst the colour of their hair is either black or brown. Most males are clean-shaven or prefer short beards, whilst females tie their hair in knots or braid them lengthily down along their backs.
High Gnomes have warmer skin than that of their Deep Gnome brethren. They enjoy a larger variety of different hairstyles and like to decorate themselves with jewelry and strong-coloured clothing. Male High Gnomes have neatly groomed beards and prefer to maintain them at medium length, often braided or by having twirled mustaches. Females braid their long hair in various, non-typical styles.
High Gnome hair colours range between light brown, golden and red. Their eyes are in the shades of blue, green and orange. High Gnomes are slightly taller and slimmer than Deep Gnomes, and their facial features aren't as large.
There are no historical documents of any kind that tell the tale of how the Littlefolk came to be. Since the majority of Littlefolk do not pay much faith to dedicated deities or, indeed, a greater pantheon of gods, there are no creation stories either. Gnomes and Halfling researchers spend entire life-times trying to find the truth to their origins.
The earliest history of the Littlefolk dates to a few centuries before the Durgheil found them. Like the Durgheil’s ancestors, the Halflings were nomads who walked the barren lands of Avanor, until they found the lush region of which they would name Luthrern Vosh (meaning “Lantern’s Home”, a mix between Gnomish and Half-folken). It is there that they met the Gnomes, who had arrived from below the earth, presumably fleeing from a greater foe which chased them away from their original home in the Underneaths. Details on these stories are still being excavated from ancient ruins found underground, though progress is slow due to the inherent danger of mapping out such a hostile world.
When the Durgheil found the Littlefolk, a bond between the three races was forged, and has not been broken since. Durgheil society integrated Littlefolk into their empires and Durgheil kings employed Gnomish and Halfling advisors. Trade was also established, which lasted until the last Durgheil Empire fell and the Littlefolk isolated themselves within Luthrern Vosh. The connection between the Durgheil and the Littlefolk was re-established some time during the Durgheil’s later expansion of the Underhalls.
In recent history, the Littlefolk began to interact with other races, most frequently the humans, whom had established new kingdoms not far from Luthrern Vosh. As centuries passed, Halfling expeditions spread throughout Avanor and Norrhan, eventually establishing settlements affiliated with Luthrern Vosh, including the island of Summerstone. Some Gnomes and Halflings also migrated to human cities. The most notable efforts of colonization saw the inclusion of the island of Summerstone into Luthrern Vosh's official territories.
When Luthrern Vosh began the colonization of Summerstone in the Age of Seas, the warm, sunny island's popularity grew rapidly throughout the nation. Many members of wealthy clans saw an opportunity to start up new businesses or simply just build new homes away from the otherwise busy city-life in the homeland. Additionally, many Halflings were needed to expand and build Summerstone's infrastructure, and maintain the orchards that were to be built there.
Summerstone eventually became the home of the Summerfolk. The island remained loyal to Luthrern Vosh and has been a part of the nation for centuries, but recent years have seen the populace speak of independence, credited to their ability to sustain their own populace without too many complications and without general aid from the homeland. Any coming revolutions or official efforts to become independent are most likely not going to happen, since most of the wealthier Summerfolk clans still hold close and important ties to Luthrern Vosh.
Gnomes supposedly came from the underground, presumably from somewhere within the Underneaths. What little is known suggests that they were fleeing from something, which in turn led them to arrive on the surface. They came to the region which would later become Luthrern Vosh, where they met the nomadic Halfling clans and befriended them.
Deep Gnomes are those of the Gnomish people who remained underground or in the mountains. They did emerge to the surface in the beginning, but decided to build their settlements in locations where the sun wasn't so prevalent, most likely because they could never truly grow accustomed to the surface light. Throughout history, the Deep Gnomes have been the leading experts in technological advancements, much because of their need, or rather, fascination, of mineral mining. They created intricate, expansive cities within Luthrern Vosh's tall peaks and below the earth, where the majority of their people have remained to this day.
Littlefolk society (specifically in Luthrern Vosh) follows a republican rule where a national council of Gnomes and Halflings equally share seats and power. There are no monarchs or one ruler in Luthrern Vosh, as Littlefolk society focuses mainly on mercantilism, agriculture, magic and science. Each of these areas are governed by a smaller council, which themselves are part of a larger council known as the High Assembly, which itself is the governing body of the entire Luthrern Vosh nation. Smaller Halfling settlements are also ruled by a council, often dominated by Halflings, but can consist of Gnomish representatives as well. The size of these councils ranges from three to twelve seats, depending on the wealth, significance and size of the settlement in question.
Gnomes tend to belong to Houses, or, in simpler terms, large families. Halflings are more akin to calling their families clans, which can consist of several smaller families that typically swear allegiance to a leading family. Wealthy or renowned clans and houses hold the majority of power in Luthrern Vosh, as well as in the various Halfling and Gnomish settlements throughout the world.
Halfling society also builds on the prospects of trade and general mercantilism. Many Halflings enjoy life in bustling cities, often those of other races such as humans. It is an ideal environment for wealth and prosperity; in more ways than by trade. Gnomes do not frequent the world as commonly and prefer to stay in their homeland. Halflings, on the other hand, are adventurous, curious of the world and greedy for loot and rewards. A vast majority of Halflings can be found throughout the world when compared to their Gnomish allies.
society depends on the strength of knowledge, which is why a great number of their kind are often scientists or mages. The pursuit of how the
world works and how magic affects it intrigues them and is a solid
motivator for continued research. Some Gnomish settlements are
established near mage towers or mountain labs, where they conduct a
variety of studies, as well as crafts of scientific inventions.
Gunpowder was first developed and used by Gnomes and Halflings, as was steam-powered machinery.
society is mostly peaceful and has survived many centuries without the
threats of war or other outsider conquests. The common opinion of
Littlefolk is that war is a distant thing, and thus they need not worry
about it. War is something for the other races that does not concern the
Littlefolk. Even so, Luthrern Vosh hosts a guarded military force, meant to safeguard its territories from not initial war, but various hostile goblin and gremlin tribes that have persisted in the region.
Heartlander society is divided mainly in two; the countryside and the city-life. Heartlanders living along Luthrern Vosh's rolling, idyllic hills and tranquil woodlands are typically farmers of foresters, providing the communities they serve with bounties of harvest and herbal luxuries. Life outside of cities is for the most part peaceful and calm.
Those who live in the city are commonly much busier, set to work the various industries and factories that Luthrern Vosh cities are akin to possess. Cityfolk are more likely to enjoy various luxuries that come from trade with outside nations, and they are more likely to own various kinds of modern contraptions that are otherwise less affordable outside of Luthrern Vosh and Summerstone.
Every Heartlander belongs to a clan, which in itself is a gathering of smaller families, led by the most powerful family in that clan. These clans are typically quite large, and can host up to several dozens of families of various sizes. The most influential and wealthiest clans rule Luthrern Vosh and Summerstone, and Heartlanders are those who hold the most seats, comparatively to Gnomish Houses or outsider clans.
Heartlander architecture is quaint, and is often described as cheerful, which reflects the general identity outsiders give Heartlanders. Houses are generally built for comfort over practicality and are often spacious outside of cities.
The society of Summerfolk is very similar to that of Heartlanders, although it is often described as being more "laidback", as it were. Summerfolk are mainly fishermen or orchard-keepers, but the majority of their foreign interests are governed by their mercantilism. Much like with Heartlanders, Summerfolk interests are high when concerning the prospects of trading, and so many of their people are merchants, sometimes more so than Heartlanders.
The focus on high-industrial ventures is less common among Summerfolk. Instead they have a sort of love for the ocean, most likely because they live on Summerstone and its surrounding isles. As such they are fairly adept shipbuilders and sailors, something they show a lot of pride in being.
Summerfolk culture is similar to that of Heartlanders, though they noticeably have a sort of fascination with the sun and warm imagery. Most houses are decorated in bright, sun-inspired symbolism, and they often wear apparel with the same motifs. Summerfolk clans hold a majority of power in Summerstone, whilst a few are known to possess some noteworthy influence on the mainland.
Like Heartlanders, Summerfolk are members of clans, although theirs are a fair bit smaller. Most Summerfolk clans are dedicated to a certain craft or trade, and variety is not so frequent in this regard. Summerfolk clans are easily recognized due to their heraldic nature surrounding the imagery of a sun.
Summerfolk settlements are commonly small. However, structures are usually built tall, and so they take up less space in a town. Even so, most houses are, like with Heartlanders, focused mainly on comfort and aesthetic value.
Farlanders have no solely defined culture or societal standard, since they generally just adapt to the local community they live in. Although, it is noteworthy that many Farlanders have a sort of insatiable wanderlust; travelling the lands and moving from town to town before they finally settle down. Farlanders are adventurous and enjoy the open road, vying to live a sort of nomadic life over establishing roots.
However, some Farlanders do eventually settle, and while most typically live in human towns, some do establish settlements consistent of Halfling and sometimes Gnomish inhabitants. These settlements are usually smaller colonies founded by Luthrern Vosh, and as such are more or less affiliated with Littlefolk culture in general.
While Farlanders do possess the concept of clans, most are not members, preferring to keep to smaller, independent families, and in some cases they just decide to go on with their lives alone; separating their familiar ties completely.
Most Farlanders can be found in Arganorh, although there is a large population of Halfling Farlanders in Korasha, within the Steel Republics. Farlanders who settled there are a more prominent part of the various Republics' culture and society, and possess more influence there than they do in Luthrern Vosh or on Summerstone.
The majority of High Gnomes can be found in Arganorh, with a few smaller communities in Korasha's Steel Republics. Unlike Deep Gnomes, High Gnomes are more frequently seen outside of Luthrern Vosh and often visit other nations. Luthrern Vosh has a large population of High Gnomes, who live alongside their Halfling allies in cities and in the countryside, The majority will be found living in cities, as High Gnomes prefer the bustling city-life. They manage much of the industrial aspects of Luthrern Vosh, and they are typically quite adept at working machinery.
However, most High Gnomes find more interest in magical studies. They hold a fascination for anything arcane and strange, vying to study the various magical phenomenons of the world around them. There is a healthy population of High Gnome mages in Luthrern Vosh, as they have, since before the founding of the Convocation of Mages, held and controlled their own mage colleges. As such much of High Gnome society is centered around magic, even though many of their kind can't ideally control or use magic.
High Gnomes often hold higher seats of power in all things political, although the majority of their kind are typically just craftsmen. They share a similar fascination of gems just as Deep Gnomes do, and so High Gnome crafts are often centered around jewelcrafting or glassmaking.
Their architecture is similar to that of Halflings, much in due to the fact that they have lived alongside them for so long. In many ways High Gnomes act and appear similar to Halflings in culture. Their houses are generally bright and decorated.
Both races of the Littlefolk consider each other equals and allies, and thus their relations are solid and haven’t changed much for thousands of years. A Gnome might feel he is more intelligent than a Halfling, and a Halfling might feel he is more free-spirited than a Gnome. However, this doesn’t stop them from working together in harmony.
Halflings enjoy the company of most races, as they are curious about them. The difference in physical size bothers them little, although the same can’t necessarily be said for the other races in return. Over the many centuries since the first Halflings began to explore the outside world from Luthrern Vosh, Halflings have become a common race in human and dwarven cities, thus they integrate well with these races.
Gnomes are less frequent in the outside world, and thus their interaction with other races is mostly limited. Gnomes might think of other races as inferior or unintelligent, and thus they do not blend well with them. Gnomes are more accepting towards Dwarves, and to a degree they also enjoy the company of humans.
Both Halflings and Gnomes have no inherent enemies. However, they do think less of goblinoids; mainly because wild goblins frequent their lands, and because most goblins are seen as inferior and extremely savage. Gnomes consider goblins to be dumb beasts unworthy of any form of intelligence or existence. Gremlins infest the underground, and are often engaged in hostile encounters with the Littlefolk.
Heartlanders rarely interact with outsiders except for when on trading or diplomatic expeditions or when outsiders come to Luthrern Vosh to conduct similar business. Heartlanders are of a majority loyal to their local communities and as such prefer to remain in Luthrern Vosh, which is why they are rarely seen outside of their nation, and thus also rarely interact with other races. They have some close relation to dwarves of the Stoneborn, due to their close proximity to Heartlander lands.
Heartlanders are generally neutral in their opinions of other races, although there is a exception when it comes to goblinoid races. With local wild goblin and gremlin tribes still infesting parts of their lands, Heartlanders willingly display an open hatred for these primitive communities. In fact, Heartlanders are generally quite civil, and thus might show some contempt towards races that are typically considered to be tribal or generally primitive in their societies.
Summerfolk show no real hostility towards other races, even goblinoid ones, since Summerstone has no local enemies that threaten the Summerfolk. Their only considerable enemies are those that act as pirates, of which there are generally a varied gathering of different races, and thus there is no reason for the Summerfolk to despise any one race because of this.
However, Summerstone is still a fairly isolated set of islands, and the Summerfolk rarely interact with anyone except for their own people. Every now and then they might interact with human traders who move between Arganorh and Korasha, but otherwise the Summerfolk mingle mostly with themselves and have shown little interest in involving themselves with the affairs of outside races. In fact, they can also be said to generally show no interest in interacting with their own people, namely the Heartlanders and Farlanders.
Deep Gnomes reside underground and prefer to limit their ventures up to the surface. As such, they have little to no interaction or interest with other races, sometimes even their own kind and friends, such as Halflings and their High Gnome relatives. They do, however, live closer to dwarves than any other Gnome or Halfing kind, and so they conduct some trade and general interaction with the Stoneborn dwarves. In many cases they also share territories, and often live alongside each other in each of their respective settlements.
The Deep Gnomes have one particular enemy, namely Gremlins. Gremlins infest the underground, and so they often engage in hostile encounters with Deep Gnomes, who compete with the Gremlins for territory. Gremlins often send raiding parties that lay waste to Deep Gnome settlements, which only aids to further cement the hatred Deep Gnomes feel for Gremlin-kind.
Gnomes are characteristically identified as intelligent and clever in their way of speech and being. They are also known to be rather arrogant and rude. This is not necessarily intentional. Gnomes are typically very curious and scientifically minded, yet socially awkward when interacting with races uncommon to them. This is a trait they may not notice most of the time, as their interest in science and magic rules out any enthusiasm to learn social codes or conducts. Feelings may not be a Gnome’s strongest ability. Because of this, Gnomes are referred to as cold creatures made of stone.
In another separation from Gnomes, Halflings find greater interest in the agriculture and the excitement of large cities. Many Halflings set out on a life of adventure and exploration to experience the wild world itself.
Both Gnomes and Halflings are not usually violent in nature. Any forms of conflict are preferably solved through peaceful means. However, there are several outfits of Halfling warriors and enforcers; often assisted by Gnomish mages or Gnomish inventions. Violence and anger often comes through extreme verbal means, but physical violence can almost be just as bad.
Gnomish names are short and blunt, but their titles are long and arduous. Titles often replace their surnames and hold some meaning to something they might have done in terms of research, invention or general contribution; of which are typically rather trivial most of the time. Gnomes are given a name at their birth, but will change it later when they come of age; often to something more suiting to them. After they have had their name changed, they begin working towards a title.
Halflings, on the other hand, keep their original names their entire life. But they do not inherit their parents’ surnames. Every Halfling surname is unique to them. They prefer long colourful names that are often enough difficult to pronounce or just bothersome. A Halfling name doesn’t have to make sense, as their process of naming their children depends wholly on how festive or fun the name is. However, Halflings do belong to Clans, and will often identify themselves by which Clan they belong to.
Gnomes speak Gnomish, whilst the Halflings speak Half-Folken. Gnomish is comprised of runic letters. To outsiders, Gnomish is very similar to Durghan (Stonetongue), which is the runic language which originates from the Durgheil. However, there are enough differences to separate the two. Gnomish runes build on cleaner curves and pronunciations, whilst Durgheil is inherently blockier. Gnomish both sounds and appears as very crude, but is richer in words than most languages in the world.
Half-Folken, when spoken, sounds very melodic, almost like it was made to befit songs rather than speech. The written form is similar to elvish, but less refined and much sharper.
Both Gnomes and Halflings also speak Durghan because of their close and long relations with the Durgheil. Another language the Littlefolk know is Common, although it is far more frequently spoken and written by Halflings rather than Gnomes. Because of a few encounters with orcs in the past, a fair few Littlefolk know a little Orcish as well. Gnomes of higher rank in their society have a tendency to learn several other languages; not necessarily in any particular order or relation to each other.