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The History of the Truefolk
Age of Chaos and Beyond: The Journey of the Paradis

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As the Paradis halflings left the blasted battlefields of Maelshyve and their mourning brethren, they proceeded west, beyond the great forests of the Elves, through a countryside that was bleak and burning hot. They endured great hardships, not the least of which was despair at the loss of their families and homeland.

Notes on the Halfling "Ger"

The halflings built their gers from saplings laced together with leather thongs. The rafters were usually painted or in some instances, were plain. Felt was used for the walls and roof.

The Parts of the Ger

The key parts of the ger are as follows:

The khana, or walls. The walls are criss-crossed lattices that open out or fold flat. Most of the halflings build two sections of khana and lace them together as part of setting the ger up.

The door frame. The ends of the khana are attached to the door frame in some fashion, usually tied.

The rafters. Rafters notch into the top of the khana at one end and into the roof ring at the other. (Two rafters are designed to sit on top of the door frame.) Any given rafter bears only a small part of the weight.

The roof ring or "Eye of the Father". This goes in the center and has slots for rafters to fit into. The fit is tight to prevent the ring from twisting. Once the ring is in place, no center supports are needed.

The belly bands. Two bands are wrapped around the outside of the khana to prevent the rafters, which are pushing down, from pressing the khana farther open. One band goes around at the top and one midway up the wall.
There are additional pieces, notably the felt and the rope or leather thongs that hold the felt walls up, but they are not structural.

Centuries became millennia as the Paradis halflings slowly meandered westward, around the southern tip of the DragonSpine, continuing northward in their seemingly endless search for a home, while every season some would settle as they grew weary of their constant trekking. As the rovers continued, the land grew more temperate. Meadows were rich with crops and orchards gave the halflings their bounty. However, as the travelers ventured northward, the land became arid, and soon the halflings found themselves at the edge of a dune-swept desert.

The Paradis passed through a great desert. Therein, they met a tall people who lived in graceful tents and rode strange hump-backed beasts. These nomads reminded the halflings of their Mhoragian kin. The halflings felt at home with the generous nomads and stayed with the desert people in their expansive, gaily-striped tents for six years. They were taught to find water hidden by sand and the art of navigating the ever-shifting dunes of the desert. And in return, they shared their spicy tribal food dishes with the nomads, as well as their rich traditional songs.

Finally, the halflings bade their hosts farewell, and the nomads were sorry to lose the company of the kindly, short people from the lands of the rising sun. They accompanied the halflings to the far edge of the intractable wasteland, seeing to it that their little friends did not lose their way and perish.

As the Truefolk moved ever north, they began to see trees and in time, were journeying through a vast, old growth forest. Reminded of their Brughan kin and the beautiful forest surrounding Khesta 'Dahl, the halflings found themselves too sorrowful to go further. They made a camp and there, spent a number of months composing new songs and singing old ones in tribute to the Brughan families they missed so desperately. The forest yielded game and succulent berries and roots, and a cold stream was found not too distant. The gers were pitched between tree-trunks so immense that the round tents resembled mushrooms crouching at the foot of the leviathans.

As the days and weeks passed, halfling children among the Paradis spoke of seeing shadowy folk watching them from the dense foliage. The older Paradis regarded this as a pleasant game and encouraged the children in the imaginative fantasy. Finally, a delegation of tall, beautiful folk materialized out of the underbrush, and approached the Paradis, who were surprised and quite amused by such a turn of events. The strangers attempted to communicate using graceful hand-signals. Although making little headway with the hand-signals, the halflings finally managed to understand a few rudimentary gestures. Using those and a few more they invented on the spot, they invited the visitors to eat and drink and make music.

The celebration lasted for several days, and the situation became much more convenient when it was discovered that the Paradis children were able to pick up the speech of the forest dwellers with surprising alacrity. The svelte people called themselves Sylvans and they told the halflings many wonderful stories about the great forest in which they dwelled. In turn, the halflings told them of the Brughan forests and sang songs about the crystal waters of Khesta 'Dahl. The Sylvans were delighted with the travelers, and quietly decided among themselves to forego killing the halflings for the grievous sin of trespassing within the Silver Veil, their name for the forest surrounding and guarding the boundary of Yuriqen.

The beautiful people...the beautiful people....The Sylvans became regular guests among the settlement of gers, and much lore was traded as well as wares exchanged. The Paradis made the Sylvans honorary members of the Order of the Mare, a great honor indeed, although the Sylvans had little knowledge of horses. And in return, they were made honorary members of some sort of Sylvan order they could not pronounce, but one they dubbed the Order of the Wolf since that seemed to be its symbol.

Finally, the Paradis decided they were cured of their malaise of sadness and declared they would journey on to the north, since north to the halflings, was synonymous with home. They celebrated a last feast with their friends, and struck the gers the following morning.

Traveling with the halflings to the edge of the Silver Veil, the Sylvans served a double objective of spending a last few days with their enjoyable little acquaintances as well as insuring that they would not have to kill them after all for venturing too close to Yuriqen. One of the Sylvans, a woman called Kaithaire Si'Lariel surprised everyone by her declaration that the halflings were too interesting to leave, and determined to journey on with them to learn more of their history and culture. Among the Paradis, it was an amusing belief that the lovely Kaithaire was interested in learning culture most specifically pertaining to a certain handsome young halfling by the name of Rasance Delibbe.

The trail north was an easy journey, passing through pleasant rolling hills and gentle valleys. Here and there, the Paradis saw beasts in the distance that would have been hostile had the halflings been closer. However, the children were already fairly skillful at some interesting little magic spells the Sylvans had taught them, and any beasts that came closer than the Truefolk wished were frightened away by their conjurations. The adults were, at first, unsure about this magic, but once they perceived how useful it was, they encouraged the children to practice what they had been taught. Kaithaire volunteered to continue their instruction, since she happened to be a very gifted wizard and this suggestion was received with a great deal of encouragement.

Finally, after spending the winter camped near a misty lake, the Paradis halflings again returned to the northern road and at last, reached a lush pine forest. The air was cold and crisp and promised brilliant summer days and winters blessed with deep drifts of snow. Game was so bountiful, the halflings boasted they had merely to tip over the cook pots and allow dinner to hop in. They decided they had at last arrived at a proper place to make a home. The occasion was celebrated by a feast, which did double duty for a hand-fasting party to celebrate the union of Rasance and Kaithaire.

The halflings dwelt for a time in their gers, but as the years wore away the felt, they erected wooden cabins. Their numbers increased and the only sorrow they knew was that of missing the families they left behind on the other side of the great mountains. In time, the settlement was moved some leagues to the Southwest, and a town gradually rose out of the rag-tag collection of cabins and lean-tos. That village now lies, buried beneath the glacier, outside the North Gate of Icemule Trace.




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