Friday, November 7, 2014

The Halflings of Bogaert

The Enclave of Bogaert

To feed off of Timrod's and Zenopus' halfling posts - a little community out in the boonies where few travel...

Most halfling communities are somewhat reclusive and insular, and the Enclave of Bogaert is certainly no exception. They are willfully independent and generally suspicious of outsiders.  The halflings settled in contested territory within the foothills of the Rhodamine Peaks 10 generations ago, and have been generally keeping to themselves since then.
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The Enclave is generally forested, with cleared, terraced fields growing rye, barley, and wheat.  Livestock includes sheep and semi-feral hogs that roam among the forest brush.

The residents live in hamlet to village-sized settlements, with the 'Capital' of Myrkan having a population of 3,800, quite populous for any halfling settlement. However, visitors speculate that it is not so much a town as a haphazard group of villages that have grown together, disheveled and unorganized. Although outsiders are soon disoriented and confused by the torturous streets and pathways, a native finds her way effortlessly, reading subtle signs and ciphers known only to the residents.

Individual residences are the typical hobbit burrow-holds, although many well-to-do and/or eccentric residents will build one-to two-story buildings over the burrows.  Close inspection will find them to be empty shells.



Much social interaction and status is centered around the baking of bread.  Guests are expected to provide the bread for a dinner, and social invitations and favors are accompanied by any number of rolls and buns.  Fruits, meats, vegetables are all found baked into the hobbit-bread, a single loaf capable of providing several complete meals. Bogaert breadmaking has achieved an art-form and state of general one-upmanship, with competitions of elaborate dough knotwork and sculpture, and ever-more complex and exotic fillings.  Several years ago, the Mayor of Myrkan reportedly commissioned an entire steer to be baked into a humongous bun.  Or this could just be a story told to gullible passersby.

In spite of outward cheerfulness, the Enclave is insular and protective.  Visitors are few, and closely monitored.  In a cheerful and annoying way.

Security for the state is provided by teams of 1d4+2 Scouts (AC7/12) carrying short bow/short sword who patrol the borders, and keep watch along the thoroughfares - if a traveler or party is met, one will greet them to determine their disposition, while the remainder remain hidden, or at a wary distance, their bows nocked for action.
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More belligerent invaders will find the roads blocked by abattis and downed trees, with their forces coming under fusillades of missile fire as they attempt to clear the barricades.  Any pursuit of the defenders will be hapless, as they fade into the undergrowth and pick off stragglers.

The Bogaertians have mastered guerrilla warfare, including traps, reserve tunnel complexes, and will leave scorched earth behind, if necessary.

Aggressors who penetrate into the farmlands will be greeted by squares of the Bogaert Militia, the "Horsegutters" - a combined force of slingers and halberdiers.  (Slingers AC 6/13, Staff-slings/short sword: Halberdiers AC 5/14, shortened halberd (1d8, plus trip, may be set against charge)/short sword)

Several empires have had little success in bringing the "Belligerent rustics" under their sway and find them more trouble than they're worth.

While generally reclusive, they do maintain a light trade with frontier settlements in the region.  Their primary trade partners are the Rhodamine Peaks dwarves, with whom they trade grain, as well resources from their lucrative asbestos mines, in exchange for tools and ale. The two populations hold similar views of the 'Tallfolks' - the dwarves in their dour way, the halflings in their rebellious spirit.




2 comments:

  1. Always nice to see halfling getting some words, they tend to be ignored in favor other species.

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    1. Thanks - I had this in mind when I suddenly saw a rash of halfling-related posts recently. I think they were a bit shunned from OD&D since they were so level-limited, and their innate abilities get overlooked.

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