Halflings – Even in the darkest night, one can find a glimmer of light that simply cannot be extinguished, no matter how hard one tries. The Halflings are that light in the world. Congenial and friendly to a fault, most of the civilized races look upon the Gentle Folk as “little brothers/sisters”. This is a good thing, because the Gentle Folk simply do not have the capability of understanding evil or wickedness. In their eyes, everyone is a friend, and no one means any true harm. This makes them prime targets for beings with darker intent.
The Gentle Folk are hard workers, happily working long hours in the fields or indoors. In the downtime, they are content to share in good food, warm lodgings, and pipes of sweet tobacco. They welcome guests with open hearts and arms, with a “what’s mine is yours” mentality. Of course, this mentality runs the opposite direction, as well. By their nature, the Gentle Folk are a communal people, and the concept of ownership is a foreign one. Not to say they are thieves (or like kender, for that matter). A good instance is thus: If in a battle, the Halfling needs a weapon and you have a sheathed dagger you aren’t using, the Halfling will take the dagger and use it. After the need for using it is passed, you will find the ‘borrower’ replacing the dagger in it’s sheath, for the next time someone needs to use it.
Gentle Folk find it hard to see the bad in anyone, but they recognize there are dangerous beasts and unnatural things in the world. Even in this, the Gentle Folk avoid doing serious harm if they can. It is because of this that a typical Halfling carries both a bludgeoning weapon for subdual attacks, and a sharp blade to end the suffering of a creature swiftly if there is no other way.
Half-breeds – Humans have been found to be quite… prolific and fertile. So, it is no surprise that every so often, a child borne of a human and another race comes along. (The Shambai are the exception to this, as they stay isolated from most other races.) Most of the ‘half’ races are wretched ones. The haughty Shal’akai will not accept someone whose bloodline is muddled. The child of a Kaeldon and a human will find that, while better than a pureblood human, their immune systems and bodies simply cannot withstand the abuse that the Kaeldon put upon themselves (namely, the excessive drinking). While it is possible for a human and a Halfling to breed and bear children, the size difference generally results in death for the mother and the child during birth. (Of course, this is with a Gentle Folk mother. In the rare case that the father is of the Gentle Folk, there are generally no problems). The orcs are so fond of brutal rites of passage and ‘games’, that a halfblooded orc has a very short life expectancy amongst their savage parent’s people. As far as living with humans, it is possible, though most humans tend to look down upon halfbreeds with at least a bit of contempt.
The best living arrangements can be found amongst the Gentle Folk. In fact, some of the larger Halfling communities boast a decent number of halfbreeds from various parentages.