The term fenodyree originated from an ancient language long lost to Thepa’s current inhabitants. Its origin actually comes from a corrupted version of a word meaning “children of Fenodryn”. Fittingly, this race of living relics is a sign of how things have changed since the Cataclysm. Their native city once was one of the Eluen-cuthpar’s finest metropolises, a grand trade port and Aedrathic.
In its heyday, Fenodryn was a contender for capital of the world, more specifically, of the Eluen-cuthpar’s world covering empire. Its innovative magic and regular stream of trade tariffs ensured that the city was both beautiful and prosperous. Resources for city improvements were overly abundant. Even the poorest man in Fenodryn was housed and fed like a modern king.
Naturally, the power and wealth went to Fenodryn’s collective heads. The arcane researchers of this great city began to believe they were untouchable, gradually forgetting their precautions and ethics. Dozens of monstrous plant species were churned out of its labs in its latter days. This enterprise was carried out to bend the will of the planet to Fenodryn’s rulers by creating a loyal defensive army without suffering the ethical questions involved with actual soldiers.
Eventually, the wizards reached too far. They attempted to harness the very heart of the Feywyld and mold it into an infinite font of magic and energy, effectively transforming Fenodryn into a golden city inhabited by demigods. The Feywyld would have nothing of the sort, so it defended itself. Though, no contemporary sage is certain if the accident was due to the Feywyld collectively lashing out at what had injured it or the change in culture that caused such a spectacular example of the dangers with hubris.
Surprisingly, there were few casualties from the Mishap of Fenodryn despite the fact that the city is now known better as the Emerald Lake. The wizards’ intentions were ultimately altruistic, if haphazard and short-sighted. The wishes for their citizens to thrive and to survive with inherent mystical power were felt by the Feywyld, and it is believed that this benevolent intent is what protected the common people and teleported them safely away from the devastation, yet they were not untouched by such raw power.
The spared humans found themselves blessed with an inherent sense of magical currents that exists between the mortal world and the Feywyld. Even so, this good fortune did not come without a cost and not just the loss of their beloved city. Every Fenodyrn human diminished in size to become far shorter and wider on average than they were before. These humanoids were the first fenodyree.
Naturally, the first goal of this newborn race was to find their way back to their city; however they were scattered throughout the world. Upon gaining their bearings, many of the journeymen quickly realized how costly their voyage back to their homeland would be and how even the richest man was now effectively penniless due to being separated from his land and estate. Thus began the caravan of the modern fenodyree.
Rumors of the accident spread and it wasn’t long before the fenodyree began to fear the worst. But instead of falling into dismay, the forming people simply learned to adapt. There was no shortage of goods to ferry in their journey. And with the exchange for room and coin becoming a fundamental necessity, the halflings began to improvise. Some of the former entertainers of Fenodyrn converted their caravans into traveling circuses, using their newfound inherent abilities with illusions to open new vistas of stage magic and spectacle.
Eventually, one-by-one the primitive caravans found their way back to their homeland and one-by-one they were bitterly disappointed by the sight of the young lake. Not even a spire jutting above the water level was left to commemorate the prior existence of Fenodryn. Slowly, tearfully, the fenodyree came to realize that they (and the goblins) were the only survivors of the mishap, the only proof that the city had ever existed.
Thus began the fenodyree’s existence as a truly nomadic people. The race reasoned that since their intended destination no longer existed, the journey was now endless. Indeed, “going to Fenodryn” has long since become common slang for “going nowhere in particular”. What had been a temporary stopgap to pay for their pilgrimage quickly became their reason for being. They took up traveling as wandering merchants and entertainers to preserve the remaining relics of their fallen city; its stories.
Fenodyree are short and slight as befitting their former name. The race was previously known as “halfling” (and informally, still is) both for their diminutive stature and for being “half-in” the Feywyld. The race maximizes its height around 4 feet, while averaging 3.5 feet. Their physical attributes are also underdeveloped, reaching a mere 45 pounds in weight. To be blunt, they appear to be miniaturized humans. Adult fenodyree are distinctly proportionate to their human forefathers yet their size is that of only a child.
Aside from their dimensions, the only other physical difference from their cousin race is the ability to enlarge their pupils. They are able to cover their entire sclera on command. This peculiar trait actually assists the fenodyree with their natural grasp of illusion magic by helping them see the magical currents they manipulate, and of course they are to be used in pleas of sympathy.
Like most races, the fenodyree enjoy the finer things in life, clothing definitely being one of them. Luxurious goods are common to the fenodyree, so they find no difficulty pampering themselves with their wares. They don mildly expensive, softer fabrics like linen and silk, which they flamboyantly show off to their customers for the purpose of selling the textiles or to entertain in a show.
These small humanoids also dye their hair for professional business due to a tradition that some colors carry good luck. The colors vary from caravan to caravan with green and stone grey being the most frequent. There is also a belief that multiple colors are more effective if done tastefully. Most fenodyree prescribe to this ideal.
Personality (neutral good)
Fenodyree are a race of traveling merchants known for their honest trade and kindhearted personalities. They engage others through a peculiar form of fostered interaction that cultivates a great deal of empathy and compassion for their race. Fenodyree regard themselves as friends to all and enemies of none. This strategy has proven to be extremely profitable as it encourages their hosts to be hospitable by matching the fenodyree’s example. A challenge most people accept willfully.
Fenodyree are welcome everywhere. Wanderlust, having played its part in their roving lifestyle, explains much of their introduction to Thepa, but in truth it is their natural curiosity that has taken them to the ends of the world. No sage is really quite sure if the fenodyree’s eagerness for information is due to a natural inclination or a side effect of their illusionary magic. In any case, they are quick to realize when things are not always as they appear from a very young age.
This useful trait leads to a rather mischievous sense of humor. Fenodyree enjoy pranks and being the subject of pranks, so long as no one gets hurt. And they do understand that there is a time and place for playfulness as well as business. Unfortunately, fenodyrean antics tend to anger other races; particularly since fenodyree do not have a concept of personal property in relation to the community. Their “thefts” are frowned upon by most other cultures.
No matter. Fenodyree do not have a concept of home any more, so if trouble arises, they simply pick up and move right along until the issue dies down. The only problem this departure creates is on the halfling’s side. They tend toward sentimentalism, which causes them to become somewhat clingy, growing quite upset if something, or more accurately, someone they’ve come to care about is no longer around. As a result of these small tragedies, the fenodyree have gained a reputation as being pub crawlers when depressed, just as much to connect with replacements for their newfound emotional void as to drown their sorrows.
Fenodyree culture is the caravan. A halfling losing his nomadic way of life is very rare. Some might say aberrant, even in the case of a separation from his caravan. Each train of short folk consists of twenty to sixty fenodyree as well as the animals necessary for movement and entertainment. Typically, they bring the slight-but-strong hills walker lizards to pull their wagons or serve as mounts. This breed of reptile is unlike their wild counterparts the hills runners, and are naturally more friendly and docile, possessing intelligence on par with that of a domestic cat.
Most caravans specialize in a particular type of goods or services. These traveling businesses might include a circus, for one, while another might sell high-quality tools. Fenodyree try very hard not to step on one another’s toes knowing that competition between themselves would weaken their usefulness to the rest of the world. So when it is time for a group to split, they divide themselves up evenly yet completely different in both members and supplies. Specifically, the wares are purposely chosen for distinctly opposite avenues of business so that they are not offering the same merchandise to their customers. After all, the new caravans tend to travel the same routes.
Along these communal paths, fenodyree ignite campfires designed to ward off nocturnal predators and to provide a location for their nightly traditions of storytelling. They enjoy the fiery embers glowing brightly from a well stoked fire. The darkness recedes and a sense of serenity invigorates their minds. Fenodyree believe that a culture’s existence is predicated on its myths and legends. And to preserve such existence, the fenodyree devote a significant amount of time each evening to recite narratives both favored and essential. So long as something is not forgotten, it is not dead.
Though, it must be noted that for fenodyree storytelling does have one caveat, one condition. Scribbling a story onto parchment robs the tale of its organic growth and coveted mutation. Fenodyree do not fear a story loses any significance as long as the moral remains the same. So while a storyteller may keep an outline, it is forbidden to refer to them while recanting the tale. Furthermore, a person’s notes may only be looked at by the public if the owner has since passed and those papers have no heir to cede unto. Journals are about the only private property the fenodyree possess.
Other than the occasional funeral, caravans are resting for only one of two reasons. Either the community is simply asleep or they are hawking their wares, the latter lasts for but a few days, a week at most. Individual fenodyree also seem to be on the move, aside from one exception, childbirth. Halfings are not stupid enough to believe that a woman in the late stages of pregnancy (or for that matter, a newborn) can handle the rigors of nomadic life. Female fenodyree, along with their mates and other children, settle down. The period of time devoted to new family members varies, though most nested fenodyree stay for no more than six months at which time they catch up with their extended kin.
Finally, one would be amiss if the seaborne pygmies were not mentioned in a text about the fenodyree. Thepa harbors a significant minority of marine halflings. They crew their own ships, plying the trade routes over the waterways. Usually these convoys consist of one large ship and two or three smaller, fast vessels. For the most part, seaborne fenodyree are not unlike their landlubber cousins. Unfortunately, they are not often as welcome since a few slim-but-very-infamous gangs are known for being ruthless, cunning pirates.
How these groups come into existence is unique from pirate caravan to pirate caravan, but generally it involves a combination of desperation and envy for their similarly sea-going relatives, the nalu and humans. To put it bluntly, nalu are simply better at open water trade by virtue of their natural physiques, and the human nations typically possess massive fleets of ships. Indeed, the truer purpose of fenodyree pirates is less for the plundering of goods and more so for the sabotaging of their rivals. Their land dwelling cousins do not appreciate this “help” at all, especially given the almost complete ideological inversion to their normally open and friendly natures.
Fenodyree, being quite dependent upon other races, deliberately strive to make themselves as open and friendly as reasonable, challenging others to live up to halfling standards. Surprisingly, this life-affirming design actually works, to an extent. The world always holds those who regard the trusting as potential victims, but the fenodyree are no fools. They know danger will rear its ugly head eventually, so they plan for it.
A large part of fenodyrean foreign relations is based around ensuring that they have powerful allies when the attempts to backstab them appear. Fenodyree keep a network of friends; friends who guarantee that the rotten apples picked up by their charitable attitudes are quickly cut out (often literally). These friendships, more than anything else, are born by hiring from an extremely wide selection of mercenaries. To the minds of fenodyree, variety lessens the chances of a potential betrayal. So far, this idea has been successful, both in overall relations and with caravan guards.
Of course, one should not be able to make friends in this fashion without a certain loss of prosperity, yet they do. What is even more surprising is the fact that fenodyree are able to embrace an overwhelmingly scrupulous honesty in business. So honest, in fact, that they have been known to dissuade themselves from purchasing merchandise through sellers that are unaware of what the values of their commodities actually are.
Quite simply, the short folk are too honest for their own good, and in many cases short themselves on supplies. As a result, the fenodyree are also known for occasionally having some rather large gaps in their inventories. Nevertheless, fenodyree abide by their self-taught morals. Obtaining their wares through honesty allows them to sleep at night.
Amoraq: Fenodyree love to hire amoraq mercenaries, and they do so for two very good reasons. Obviously, amoraq excel at soldiering, yet it is the second reason that might be hidden from the fenodyree. Amoraq are quite plainly fun to be around. They are always interested and attentive to evening stories, and they are definitely open to a good joke. Of course, such hires are on a temporary basis. Amoraq tempers seem to flare despite a lack of antagonists. This suits the fenodyree just fine, as some amoraq tend to be rather expensive.
Arden: Fenodyree regard the rat folk as a bunch of starving rodents; pitiable and understandably so, but still a nuisance. While fenodyree do understand the basics of arden psychology (their communal instincts) and can sympathize, the simple fact is that arden are food thieves. While fenodyree find procurement of supplies easy enough, they often have to give up their ability for trade goods around these sneaky humanoids. This fact undoubtedly leaves the halflings short at their next stop. Furthermore, the cold lack of sentiment that arden possess comes off as eerie to the notoriously romantic and affectionate fenodyree.
Drow: Fenodyree may despise kobolds, but they actively fear the drow. The same cloying, obviously manipulative affability that they have come to associate with their rivals is just as present with the entreaties of dark elves. But while kobolds come off as being sly and shifty, the drow come off as threatening. “Trade with us or else we will fit you with a pair of shackles.” Thus, if given a choice, fenodyree actively avoid any place where drow are known to dwell.
Duergar: Fenodyrean smiles tend to shrink a few inches when they realize that they are going by the lands of duergar. Sadly, the duergar come off as grouchy, somewhat snobby old men to the fenodyree, viewing these deep dwarves as wise and knowledgeable, yet too stoic and serious for the halflings’ taste. This impression would not be so bad, if they did not also feel patronized by the duergar when interacting with them as they seem to treat fenodyree like loud pets. While fenodyree do not specifically try to avoid the duergar, they typically do choose other destinations if the end is equally close and as profitable.
Dwarves: Fenodyree are excited when their caravans stop by dwarven holds. The fenodyree find it easy enough to acquire what they usually want for competitive prices, thus they do not show up with significantly light inventories and apologies on their lips when times are lean. The dwarves also seem to uniquely appreciate fenodyrean tricks. The strong sense of community that dwarves possess helps them recognize and appreciate the fenodyrean notion of communal property; stealing and hiding a thing of value for another to locate. Dwarves are rarely offended by such pranks, though they still are not humored if the lost item is not found. Therefore, fenodyree have learned to hide dwarven things in the most ironic of locations. Under the proper owner’s bed mattress is an oldie but a goody. Nothing beats the amusement of finding the object by sitting on it, especially after one has given up.
Elves: Fenodyree have found elves to have the superior source of fine lumber in the market, though this is not the only reason they relish transactions with the forest dwellers. Elves are very good business partners. They are honest and forthright about what they seek and what they offer. Fenodyree, being innately welcoming, have been allowed full access to elven homes, thus revealing purchasing opportunities otherwise undiscovered. Additionally and apart from some human civilizations, the elves are the only friendly race that buys the arcane lore fenodyree happen upon in their travels.
Goblins: Fenodyree and goblins are sister races, transformed descendants of the very city that sired the halflings’ formal name. The two acknowledge and embrace this kinship, choosing to never grow distant from one another. One of the critical reasons why fenodyree caravans are able to commit to relatively quick schedules is the fact that they have no fear of goblin forests. The inhabitants of Risen woodlands have a longstanding tradition of protecting fenodyree from the worst aspects of The Rise. In some instances, fenodyree have been known to buy tamed dire beasts to either sell as exotic hunting animals or use as caravan guards.
Humans: Many fenodyrean stories reminisce of the time when humans bore an empire upon which the sun never set. Today, their empire is split into many independent kingdoms. To not trade with these peoples, given their numbers and vast variety of merchandises, would be the very definition of stupidity. Luckily, human society has welcomed the fenodyree with open arms. In fact, some of their communities love fenodyrean stories and entertainment so much that caravan arrivals often become the highlights for their particular villages’ seasons.
Kel: For kel, fenodyree are part of a very exclusive club. They are nearly the only race liked by kel, even if the fondness is twinged with a strong dose of pity and sense of wasted potential. The idea of completely suborning the individual in service to a well-oiled military machine is admirable. Fenodyree see in kel an extension of their communalist nature, as well as a shared mindset of determination. Truly, if it wasn’t for their sheer inability to live in peace with others, kel would be as likable as amoraq. Many of the fenodyrean caravans actually try to change the kel on a whole by showing them alternative ways of settling disagreements. The fact that kel are able to reign in their tempers when dealing with fenodyree is proof enough of this militant race’s potential.
Kobolds: The kobolds hold the dubious distinction as one of the species that fenodyree despise, on both a professional and personal level. Where blood in the water go sharks, so goes a kobold to desperation. A strange proverb but fitting once considered. The very instant that a whisper of a halfling’s incomplete inventory reaches scaly ears, this race of con men pour out into the marketplace in full-force. They sell everything the fenodyree are lacking and a significant portion of what the halflings actually do carry, at marked-up prices. This competition wouldn’t be so offensive, were it not for the fact that kobolds offer to the fenodyree first in an attempt to “round out their wares”, thus making this thieving race appear incredibly two-faced. Kobolds have been known to create shortages for business purposes. Frankly, their business ethics are cheerfully obscene, much to the fury of the honest halflings.
Nalu: It is well known that many years ago the fenodyree sheltered the nalu. And through this initial benevolent assistance, these two races have maintaining a stable, friendly relationship. Fenodyree find nalu are great drinking friends as they are sentimental and enjoy listening to the halflings’ elaborate stories. Beyond the obvious harmonious banter, sheer pragmatism anchors their mutual rapport. Nalu serve as the first link in a traditional (and quite reliable) line of trade between the fenodyree and humans. Their relationship remains strong, especially when it comes to sea-born caravans. Nalu make superb escorts on the seas.
Sobekites: Interacting with the lizard folk is, in the fenodyree viewpoint, a rare treat. Sobekites, while relatively stoic, are welcoming and friendly hosts. They seem to have a sense of community, which helps them while interacting with the fenodyree. Trade is abundant when the two races gather. Sobekites generally want basic tools, preserved food, and the like. Fenodyrean supplies of these goods are always adequate, making their meetings profitable for both sides. The only reason these goodly races do not keep in touch is the fact that a caravan does not cross an inhabited sobekite settlement very often.
A fenodyree that does not adventure has returned to the mud. At least that is how the joke goes. While this sentiment relies on the stereotype of an adventurer being a vagabond, it does actually touch upon a truth. Apart from humans, fenodyree have the highest percentage of adventurers from the sapient races. Their already nomadic and mercantile lifestyle easily transcribes to the lengthy, lonely cycle of feast and famine of the adventurer. The only true obstacle inhibiting more halflings from taking up this profession is the simple fact that once they split from a caravan, they are less likely to encounter their people ever again – a prospect most community-oriented fenodyree fear. Therefore, a powerful motive must be in play for a fenodyree to take up such a daunting journey.
Trade would seem to be a possibility, if fenodyree were motivated by traditional economic goals; they do not harvest resources themselves or settle new lands, after all. Though, rumors of valuable commodities may motivate the fenodyree. Conversations of intact Eluen-cuthpar libraries and rare magical items definitely peak a halfling’s curiosity. Artifacts and relics, well, they are greatly sought after, especially if the fenodyree believe those items could be reverse engineered and reproduced with the help of the elves. But above all else, the potential for relics or even ruins from their ancestral home, Fenodryn, appeals to their wandering interests. Fenodyree sentimentality can be overwhelming for these small humanoids.
Not all fenodyrean adventurers quest for the sake of their caravans. Some simply do not have a home to return to. Exile might be a reason for exclusion, but it typically takes evidence of an outright sociopath to be repulsed by a caravan. Fenodyrean pirates tolerate some of their fellows more vicious excesses so being accepted does not seem to be the mitigating factor.
More likely, the adventurer in question (or a minority of his caravan) survived a catastrophic disaster. Through luck and skill, the halfling managed to find a group to quest with for money. In the rare circumstances of loss of merchandise without loss of life, the fenodyree will adventure until he has amassed enough resources to revitalize his destroyed community. Otherwise, they adopt their new questing party as their family.
Of course not all motives are constructive. One such reason stems from a darkness that most fenodyree do not particularly enjoy acknowledging; revenge. Sentimentality flows many ways. One of which is the fact that fenodyree can hold a grudge, and hold it for ages. Admittedly, it takes a great deal of grief before halflings actually vows revenge. But once they have grown to truly despise a certain person or beast, their bitterness will not leave them alone. They will chase the object of their rage around continents, across the oceans, and through the flames of Saligia itself before they give up.
Class Preferences: bard, fighter, rogue
Religious Preferences: Adaska, Baris, Ibidi, Rai, Vazuet, Xurialu
Racial Traits (PF)
When creating a fenodryee character, a player uses all the base traits presented below; these traits are inherent to the fenodryee and cannot be altered. A player then selects alternate traits to flesh out his fenodryee character. The total number of alternative traits may not exceed 4 racial points (RP). Each alternative trait has its RP cost listed after its name.
+2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, -2 Strength: A fenodryee is both agile and charming, but lacks brawn.
Small: A fenodryee is a Small creature and gains a +1 size bonus to his AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a -1 penalty to his Combat Maneuver Bonus and Combat Maneuver Defense, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
Slow Speed: A fenodryee has a base speed of 20 feet, but his speed is never modified by armor or encumbrance.
Fearless: A fenodryee gains a +2 racial bonus on all saving throws against fear effects. Special: This bonus stacks with the bonus granted by the lucky, lesser racial trait.
Fenodryee Magic: A fenodryee gains a +1 bonus to the DC of any saving throws against illusion spells that he casts. A fenodryee with a Charisma score of 13 or higher also gains the following spell-like abilities: 1/day — Dancing Lights, Ghost Sounds, Prestidigitation, and Speak with Animals. The caster level for these effects is equal to the user’s level. The DC for the spell-like abilities is equal to 10 + the spell’s level + the user’s Charisma modifier.
Lucky, Lesser: A fenodryee gains a +1 racial bonus on all saving throws.
Skill Bonus: A fenodryee gains a +2 racial bonus on Acrobatics skill checks.
Skill Training: Climb and Perception are always considered class skills for a fenodryee.
Weapon Familiarity: A fenodryee is proficient with staff slings and hooked hammers.
Languages: A fenodryee begins play speaking Common and Fenodryean. A fenodryean with a high Intelligence score can choose any languages he wants (except secret languages, such as Druidic).
Arcane Focus (1 RP): A fenodryee gains a +2 racial bonus on concentration checks made to cast arcane spells defensively.
Sociable (1 RP): When a fenodryee attempts to change a creature’s attitude with a Diplomacy check and fails by 5 or more, he can try to influence the creature a second time even if 24 hours have not passed.
Jumper (2 RP): A fenodryee is always considered to have a running start when making Acrobatics checks to jump.
Multitalented (2 RP): A fenodryee chooses two favored classes at 1st level and gains +1 hit points or +1 skill rank whenever he takes a level in either of those classes.
Nimble Faller (2 RP): A fenodryee lands on his feet even when he takes lethal damage from a fall. Furthermore, he gains a +1 bonus to his CMD against trip attempts.
Silver Tongued (3 RP): A fenodryee gains a +2 bonus on Diplomacy and Bluff checks. In addition, when he uses Diplomacy to shift a creature’s attitude, he can do so up to three steps up rather than just two.
Racial Traits (DD)
Ignore the racial traits above and use all the Halfling statistics in the Player’s Handbook.
First and Second Artwork provided by Sir Tiefling
Third Artwork provided by Joseph Garcia
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