Kudukun

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(singular – kuduk)

Halflings

Smaller and much slighter than dwarves; slightly taller and more sturdy than gnomes; mostly beardless, and always shoeless. Halflings generally get along with almost all other humanoids, mixing well, which is important since they have no states, cities, towns or even villages of their own. They are generally divided into two categories: the Wainers and Stayers.

Wainers travel, never staying anywhere more than perhaps the time it takes to plant, hoe, and pick a few row of beans. All a family’s belongings are packed onto large (for a halfling) colorful wagons. Sometimes drawn by a pony, or an oxlet, or sometimes just kuduk powered. They support themselves with odd jobs, tinkering, and helping with harvest and plough. Their presence is usually appreciated as halflings aren’t afraid of hard work, especially if there is the chance of a good party at the end. They usually travel in groups of a few wains, sometimes attached to a dwarven caravan or some other traveling group.

Stayers… well… stay, becoming a fixture in their community. Again their general sense of industriousness coupled with good cheer make their presence an asset. They often work in small shops, craftwork, animal handling and such. No matter how high their integration with the larger community, there is a certain stamp of “foreign-ness” in dress, cooking, and social norms that will keep the kudukun apart. In a village or town, most will live in a particular cluster of dwellings or district, often referred to as Little Suzzy.

Though generally amicable, there is a slight tension between the two groups, where each considers the others as “not quite proper halflings”. The Stayers regard the Wainers as flighty, with no sense of responsibility, while Wainers think that Stayers are stodgy and bound to their homesteads. Membership in either group is not eternal, with individual or families transitioning back and forth between the two: a Wain might decide to put down roots for a while, and even Stayers probably have a wain under a tarp in a back shed somewhere. In any case, if for some reason halflings should start to dominate a community, then there seems to be an unspoken process whereby a large number of wains will depart until the place of the kudukun is a more comfortable level of non-importance.

There is supposedly a third category of the kudukun: the Feral… who ride the high plains of the north west, and have habits that make them not good neighbor material to any of the People. But they are more a matter of folklore than the direct experience of anyone in Eldarhaven.


Next come the humans,
Or back to the dwarves,
Or up to the list of the Kindred.

Kudukun

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