Wednesday, February 6, 2013

[Olden Lands Preview] The Thornshire

THORNSHIRE, HALFLING DOMINION OF
His Right Honorable Self, Ranugadh Whitfoot, President of the Clan Moot, Grand Sheriff Emeritus, Sheriff Emeritus of Whitshire, Clan Speaker of the Bánuaimh, Goblin-Shanker, “Old Shiny Top” (Good 8th level Rustic Fighter/Thief)

Capital: Thornburgh (pop. 36,500)
Humans: 60,000
Demi-humans: Halflings (500,000), Gnomes (20,000), Half-Elves (10,000), Dwarves (5,000), Elves (5,000)
Humanoids: None
Monsters: None, though legends hold that a tribe of bugbears resides in cunning tunnels that connect all the rooms of all the children in the shire. These bugbears cannot go into the rooms of the children, however, provided the children obey their parents…
Languages: Halfling, Guidhel, Common, Élyséenais, Gnomish, Dwarvish, Elvish
Resources: Food (ale, cheese, wheat), pigs, spices, wool


This region of rolling hills, dappling brooks, and merry meadows is the home of the fhraloidheen, a people known to other races as the halflings. Among the oldest states continually in existence in the Olden Lands, the halflings lead a relatively idyllic and peaceful life, for much like their realm’s symbol, the rose, they are very pretty, but have stinging thorns. Protected along most of their border by the waters of the Great Heart and its tributaries, the halflings have the mightiest river fleet, and their rustic farms and fields are protected by an unmatched people’s militia, as well as the regular army of bounders.

The Thornshire was founded 3000 years ago, in the face of growing threats to halfling existence by humans and goblinoids. The halflings from throughout the Middle Lands united and chose a place to make their stand, and have held their borders ever since. While halflings are found elsewhere, even in such numbers as to hold small, independent shires, nowhere else in the world are halflings found in such numbers and with such power. Should they choose, the halflings of the Thornshire could be the “great power” of the Middle Lands; fortunately, they are not an acquisitive people, and prefer their simple, rustic life in their bucolic homeland.

The halflings of the Thornshire keep cattle, sheep, goats, prize-winning pigs, and all manners of fowl. They breed fine ponies and war ponies, and also have the finest breed of draft horses in the Middle Lands. Rather than cats or dogs they have domesticated mustelids – Hairfeet keep stoats and giant stoats (“dandy hounds”), Stouts keep badgers and giant badgers (“bounder wolves”), and Tallfellows keep domesticated martens and giant martens (“tree cats”).

The humans of the Thornshire are generally of Guidhel stock, descended from ancient allies of the halflings and related to the peasantry of Aurlandia and Gregorius. They are well-mixed with the elves of the Thornwood, the Predhulaínn, and most villages of that region are of mixed Guidhel, elf, half-elf, and “wood elf” or Tallfellow sort.

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