Halflings, Stoor (3.5e Race)
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Stoors are a race of halflings that live in isolation in the wilderness. They are hardy folk who dwell in wetlands and by riverbanks, farming and fishing while keeping watch for the dark things that lurk around them.
Stoors are closely related to deep halflings; in fact, the deep halflings' common name, "stout," appears to be a corruption of "stoor," which leads some to believe that the deep halflings are an offshoot of this less numerous subrace or vice versa.
Stoors are more guarded and standoffish than other halflings. They value their privacy and often turn away visitors to their villages. Stoors keep their thoughts to themselves and their noses out of other people's business, and they expect the same of others. Stoors are not as easy-going or naive as hairfoots due to the often-perilous nature of their surroundings.
Stoors love water. Children are taught to swim at an early age, and older stoors enjoy spending hours fishing. Stoors favor small boats for one or two people.
Like any halfling, stoors appreciate good food. While stoorish cooks are not as skilled as hairfoots, their food is nonetheless hearty and delicious. Stoors are noted for their particular love of certain marsh-dwelling edibile mushrooms, which they have learned to cultivate in farms and make into a thick, heavily-seasoned stew, usually with rabbit. They also eat a great deal of fish and other food harvested from rivers and lakes, such as clams and crayfish.
Stoors are broader and taller than hairfoots or lightfoots. Their hands and feet are proportionately larger than those of their kin. Stoorish males commonly grow rough stubble on their chins, and both sexes show their age sooner than other halflings do, although their life expectancy is about the same. Stoors look more like small humans than other halflings. Stoors grow curly hair of brown or black on both their heads and their feet, although they usually wear boots due to their muddy environs. Stoors prefer clothing that is practical: simple shirts, waistcoats, belts, trousers, and sturdy leather boots.
Stoors don't like to mix with other races, though they have little against them. They find humans decent people, if a bit big and stupid. Dwarves of all kinds are respected for their skill with crafts and their strong ale. Stoors have little to do with rock gnomes, but they occasionally deal with the elusive forest gnomes, whom they find pleasant (if a bit backward); and river gnomes (Dragon Magazine #291), who share many of their interests and are their closest allies. They don't have much to do with high elves or gray elves, but due to their aversion to fey and other creatures of the forest, they distrust wood elves and fear wild elves.
Hairfoot halflings are a bit too naive and complacent for stoors, while lightfoots are altogether too flighty, and untrustworthy to boot. Stoors find the company of tallfellows, who share the woodlands with them, more pleasant. They rarely deal with deep halflings and as a result have no opinion of them at all.
The stoors live in fear of the forest's lurking dangers and have a strong dislike for most fey, even those of the Seelie Court, and stoorish rangers often stock up on cold iron implements to keep them at bay. They also despise goblins, who also stalk the woodlands.
Believing that one should stick to her own business and leave others to their own ends, stoors are predominantly neutral, with tendencies toward good over evil.
Stoors live in villages in out-of-the-way parts of the land, in woods or marshlands (which has given them the less than flattering nickname of "marsh halflings"). They always build near water, usually a small stream or lake where they can fish for sustenance.
Because of their fear of the wild, stoors frequently protect their villages by growing a tall hedge or "high hay" around their settlements and placing wooden gates over streams to keep hostile creatures out. One family in each village is chosen to maintain the hedge, passing the duty on through the generations.
Every village has a "master," a hereditary leader who rules the village with the aid of a council of elders. The master's family is usually the one that first founded the village.
Not a very pious race, stoors nonetheless revere Yondalla's Children. Yondalla herself takes a secondary position compared to Arvoreen the Defender and Sheela Peryroyl, the god of defense and the goddess of nature. Arvoreen has a few stoorish clerics to his name, but most divine spellcasters among the race are druids of Sheela, who are the closest thing the race has to spiritual leaders. Many stoors pray to Cyrollalee and Urogalan, but they have few or no clerics. Brandobaris and Dallah Thaun have few or no stoorish worshipers. (All of these deities are described in Races of Faerun and/or Races of the Wild).
Like hairfoots and lightfoots, stoors believe in numerous lesser spirits, mostly archetypes of animals and plants. They've developed an intricate folk tradition about these spirits, such as the industrious Badger-brock, the mischievous fox-spirit Red Ruddy, and the wise Briar Hare. The most fearsome spirit is the malignant Willow-man, who's become a sort of bogey-man used to frighten stoorish children into behaving. The most powerful, however, is a mysterious figure only known as Old Tom, who protects travelers as they pass through his woodland domain. Tom may be a fairy lord, a demigod, or nothing more than a story -- none can agree on his true nature.
Stoors speak an odd dialect of Halfling. Their speech can be understood by other halflings, but due to their isolation, stoorish Halfling has developed many strange words and phrases. Stoors are also taught Common, but they rarely use it.
A stoor has a given name and a family name. Male given names tend to follow a pattern within families, having the same suffix (-dad, -doc, -duc, -gol, -las, -mac, etc.). Female given names sound more exotic than those of other halflings, and usually end in -a, although many are also named after trees. In addition, important stoors, such as family heads, typically adopt an honorary nickname.
- Male Names: Berilas, Calimac, Cormac, Deagol, Gorhendad, Lividoc, Marmaduc, Merimas, Orgulas, Teradoc.
- Female Names: Agatha, Cherryblossom, Esmerelda, Miranda, Mulberry, Myrtle, Primula, Willow, Yolanda, Zelda.
- Honorary Names: Broadbelt, Goldfather, Proudneck, Scattergold.
- Family Names: Brookbank, Burglecutt, Drinkwater, Hayward, Hogpen, Maggot, Mugwort, Oldbuck, Puddifoot, Ufgood.
While not many stoors willingly stray from their villages, a few have the same wanderlust seen in their lightfoot cousins and spend their days wandering through the woods. Such stoors, usually youngsters, retain the watchfulness of their peers and are always on their guard for the dark things that stalk the forest.
Stoorish adventurers are usually rangers who hunt the fey and goblin-kin that prowl the wild. Many are also rogues or fighters. Stoors are more likely to become spellcasters than other halflings; most are druids, but a few also become sorcerers. Stoorish sorcerers, known among their kind as "aldwins," live apart from the rest of their kind. (Classes from outside the Player's Handbook that may be appropriate for stoors include the scout, spirit shaman, and totemist.)
Type: Humanoid (Halfling). Alignment: Often neutral good.
Stoor Racial Traits
- -2 Strength, +2 Constitution. Stoors are small folk, and thus not very strong. They are not as nimble as other halflings, but they are more resilient.
- Small: As a Small creature, a stoor gains a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but she uses smaller weapons than humans use, and her lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of a Medium character.
- Stoor base land speed is 20 feet.
- Low-Light Vision: A stoor can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. She retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions. Stoors have better eyesight than humans and other halflings.
- +2 racial bonus on Climb, Listen, and Move Silently checks. Stoors are experts at moving through wild areas without garnering much attention.
- +2 racial bonus on Swim checks. Stoors enjoy swimming and boating.
- +2 morale bonus on saving throws against fear. The stoors' exposure to the dark things of the woods has steeled their nerves.
- Automatic Languages: Common, Halfling. Bonus Languages: Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, Goblin, Sylvan.
- Favored Class: Ranger. Stoors are at home in the wild and take well to a ranger's life. A stoor ranger usually takes Fey or Humanoid (goblinoid) as her first favored enemy. She usually chooses the archery fighting style over two-weapon fighting.