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