Halfling, Shadow World

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Domain LordSlaveFreedom Fighter
Climate/Terrain: Woodlands, hillsSlave communitiesSlave communities, forests
Frequency: RareCommonUncommon
Organization: SolitaryCommunityBand
Activity Cycle: DayDayNocturnal
Diet: OmnivoreOmnivoreOmnivore
Intelligence: Very (11-12)Average (8-10)High (13-14)
Treasure: W (G)J (Ox3, Q)K, M (Px3, W)
Alignment: Lawful evilLawful neutralChaotic good
No. Appearing: 11-10 (20-200)1-12
Armor Class: 7 (10)107 (10)
Movement: 666
Hit Dice: 6 (d6)1 (d6)4 (d6)
THAC0: 182017
No. of Attacks: 111
Damage/Attack: By weapon or spell1d4By weapon
Special Attacks: SeemingNoneBackstab, Seeming
Special Defenses: SeemingNoneSeeming
Magic Resistance: NoneNoneNone
Size: S (4' tall)S (3' tall)S (3'6" tall)
Morale: Elite (13-14)Unsteady (5-7)Champion (15-16)
Bloodline: Azrai, taintedNoneNone
Blood Abilities: (1) Long life, Persuasion, or ResistanceNoneNone
Perception/Seeming: Lesser/GreaterSlight/SlightGreater/Lesser
XP Value: 2,00065650

Similar in many respects to the Cerilian halflings who escaped the escalating darkness, those halflings who stayed behind have been forever changed by their everworsening environment.

The appearance of a halfling varies with his or her social status (see “Habitat/Society,” below). Domain lords have access to the best food and live easier lives than other halflings; they therefore stand taller (about 4 feet) and weigh more (typically exhibiting a paunch) than the others. They dress themselves in fine, brightly colored robes and show off their wealth in the form of rings, jewels, crowns, and other adornments.

Slaves barely sustain themselves on what they are given to eat. Further, their state of constant fear takes its toll on their health. Halfling slaves rarely grow taller than 3 feet. They have emaciated builds and haunted looks in their eyes. They wear very plain, purely functional clothes of rough homespun and drab colors.

Freedom fighters (see below), though challenged by the difficulties of life on the run, manage to keep themselves in better physical condition than either of the other two classes. They hunt for their food and train for battle, nourishing their bodies and toning their muscles. Most importantly, their eyes still sparkle with life, fight, and hope.

Halflings account for the largest number of living, mortal Shadow World residents. Some, corrupted by evil, rule domains of their own. The vast majority have become a downtrodden, enslaved population forced into servitude for the Shadow World's many powerful denizens. But a few small bands exist who have not had their will beaten out of them. These individuals have become freedom fighters, and work for a day when good shall again triumph over evil and chase the shadows from their beloved homeland.

Combat: Combat training and abilities vary with each halfling's station in life.

Their dexterity and short statures grant all halflings an advantage when trying to gain surprise, provided they are not in metal armor. Nonhalfling foes suffer a -4 penalty to surprise rolls (-2 if a door or other screen must be opened).

Shadow World halflings have sturdy Constitutions that grant them a +3 bonus to saving throws vs. poison, wands, staves, rods, and spells. (The downtrodden slaves receive a bonus of only +2.)

Domain Lords seldom do their own fighting, relying instead on 2d6 trained guards (AC 6, HD 2, THAC0 18) armed with crossbows and short swords. Should direct combat become inevitable, domain lords defend themselves with short swords (1d6 points damage), held or thrown daggers (1d4+1 points damage), spells, and the Seeming.

As worshippers of the Cold Rider, domain lords are granted priest spells. They can cast eight spells per day (3/3/2), choosing from the following: curse (bless), command, cause (cure) light wounds, protection from good (evil), cause (remove) fear; charm person or mammal, enthrall, obscurement; animate dead, cause (cure) blindness or deafness, cause (cure) disease, speak with dead.

Slaves fight for their masters if forced, but suffer a -1 penalty to attack and damage rolls because their hearts aren't really in the effort. If defending themselves or their families, they fight without penalty.

Masters generally do not allow slaves to own arms; they fight, therefore, with whatever makeshift weapons are at hand. These often include slings (1d4+1 points damage), knives (1d3, +1 if thrown), hand axes (1d6, +1 if thrown), and sickles (1d4+1).

Freedom fighters wear leather armor to provide relative ease and silence of movement. Their preferred weapons are the short bow (1d6 points of damage), sling (1d4+1) and thrown daggers (1d4+1) at missile range, and the short sword in melee (1d6). They are, however, very resourceful, and in a tight spot can make use of just about any weapon or object at hand—from clubs and slings to stools and frying pans.

Freedom fighters live dangerous lives, and have developed several roguish skills in order to survive. These daring halflings can backstab (as 5th-level thieves) for three times normal damage and also possess the following abilities:

Open locks35%
Find/remove traps35%
Move silently70%
Hide in shadows90%
Detect noise50%
Climb walls50%

Once per day, domain lords and freedom fighters can dimension door or shadow walk (at the 10th level of ability), moving along the edges of the land's shadows to cover great distances quickly. Freedom fighters, who use this ability often, know the terrain of the Shadow World better than any other native creatures (except, perhaps, the seelie faeries)

Living in the eternal twilight of the Shadow World has caused all native varieties of halflings to develop infravision (out to 60 feet).

The most powerful halflings are those who have learned to use the Seeming to their benefit. Domain lords wield it to great effect and often use it to keep their subjects in line. They are not quite as good, however, at penetrating the illusions of others—their perceptions are skewed by years of seeing the world the way they want to see it and forcing it to conform to their wills.

Freedom fighters, by contrast, have had to learn to look past the Seeming in order to survive. They have not fully mastered manipulation of it (except those who once were slaves), but work to improve their understanding so they can use the Seeming toward more noble ends than do the domain lords.

Slaves, having grown up in a world permeated by the Seeming, possess a passing familiarity with it. They use their slight abilities as a means of escapism, a way to make their existences not quite so gloomy. Some domain lords turn a blind eye to the harmless illusions generated by slaves, such as the appearance of a feast to mask a meager meal. Others forbid use of any Seeming abilities, considering them a means of empowerment that must be denied on any level.

Habitat/Society: Once, halflings lived in pleasant, egalitarian, pastoral communities where they enjoyed the blessings of good food, warm hearths, and happy families. Now, however, the evil forces pervading the Shadow World have dramatically altered their existences. The life of a Shadow World halfling varies greatly according to what class he or she has fallen into (or chosen). And none know true peace.

Domain Lords

As happens with any population that experiences wrenching changes in its environment, some halflings took advantage of the rise of evil in the Shadow World to grab authority for themselves. Corrupted by Azrai and his minions, these halflings climbed to power on the bodies of their brethren—in many cases, literally.

Domain lords rule Shadow World realms of their own, in much the same way Cerilian regents do. Some have landed domains, while others command trade. But unlike most Cerilian regents (at least, those respected by their subjects), the halfling lords of the Shadow World rule their domains as harsh dictatorships, using terror, intimidation, and violence to control their underlings. These tactics, once used out of fear of being overrun by the Shadow World's more powerful denizens, are now ingrained into the very nature of the halfling domain lords


Sadly, the majority of halflings left in the Shadow World are slaves. Some of them live under the corrupt regimes of the halfling domain lords, while some have been captured by other evil rulers and forced into servitude.

Halfling slaves live a silent, dreary existence. Their love of life has been beaten out of them, and the greatest goal they can imagine for themselves is simply to make it through another day without getting into trouble. They live in perpetual fear that somehow, without even knowing the means, they will incur the wrath—and the vengeance—of their cruel masters.

Freedom Fighters

Freedom fighters live in small bands scattered throughout the Shadow World. They work to liberate their brethren from the bonds of servitude and overthrow the evil domain lords who betrayed their people.

Freedom fighters often infiltrate slave communities. There, over a period of months, they work to incite rebellion. Few uprisings are successful—most rebellious slaves end up dead—but those who do survive and escape typically join the ranks of the freedom fighters.

A few freedom fighters have become caretakers of havens. Newly freed slaves are brought to these places of safety. There, some train as warriors to join the resistance movement; others work to support the fighters in their own way (fashioning weapons, sewing clothes, cooking, and so on).

Though they know that evil pervades the world and extends far past the tyranny under which the slaves directly toil, freedom fighters realize that a handful of renegades acting alone can't effect much change in a world where the shadows grow longer every day. If an opportunity arises to join forces with other champions, they may agree to lend their strength to the cause of greater good. Their primary focus, however, is improving the lots of their own kind

Ecology: Domain lords gain their power by giving themselves over to the Cold Rider, worshipping him as a god. In exchange for their loyalty, he invests these followers with a seed of evil: a sliver of his own essence that takes the form of a tainted bloodline.

Domain lords believe the world belongs to them. They drain the land's already-challenged resources for their own ends, without a care for the future.

In the few areas of the Shadow World suitable for raising crops and livestock, slaves farm the land. Most of their harvest, however, goes to their masters. Slaves also perform for their lords other tasks that affect the environment, such as hunting, fishing, and clearing terrain.

Freedom fighters live off the land, using only what they need. The wasteful extravagance of the domain lords sickens them—part of the reason they believe the selfish dictators should be overthrown.

Shadow World halflings are, of course, related to Cerilian halflings. The two groups share little in common, however, except their ancestry. Those who left the Shadow World experience very different lives from those who stayed behind.