The Elfling Theory
On the Origin of Krynn Kender with Inclusions from the History of other Realms
and Additions Especially Concerning the World of Kear
It is a rather common misconception to suppose that Kender, a living race of
intellegent beings were created by some cabal of traders and writers called
TSR, INC (whatever that may mean). There is enough historical evidence of Kender
long before both the creation and demise of that short-lived organisation. Having
marked off that concept, now we embark on a complex task of finding the true
roots of the Kender race - a task unsolved yet finally, bringing more questions
than it does answers for so long.
Kender are considered to be inhabitants of Krynn - finding any of them in other
worlds is innatural, although reported. No doubt planar travel and spelljamming
attract enough adventurous Kender to account for those instances.
But are there any other creatures like Kender in the Multiverse? Are they unique
to Krynn, or not? Here are some of my speculations on the subject.
It is known among genealogists that one of the most famous clans of Hobbits,
as Halflings in the realm of Middle Earth call themselves, inherited their un-Hobbitish
adventurous spirit which took many of them to the roads of true Wanderlust from
the descendants of an alleged marriage between a Halfling and an Elf-maid.
Unlikely as this may seem, this hypothesis found further proof in the
world of Athas. The blazing desert planet, scorched by the rays of a dark sun,
is home to several half-breed races not found anywhere else, such as muls (human/dwarf)
and half-giants. Also, hidden in the dense jungle of the Verdant Belts there
are scattered villages of half-savage creatures whose look was instantly familiar
to me - Elflings!
Eager to pursue the trail, I continued searches through lore and divination,
until my research brought me to the world of Kear.
The Elves and Halflings of the World of Kear have been living and adventuring
side by side with other races for centuries, and some of the results of this,
besides cultural influences ( there are both Elven Shamans and Halfling Druids
nowadays) were children of mixed blood. Maybe it were mostly the proud Elven
warriors who felt ever so protective about Halfling maids, or Elven women who
couldn`t help appreciating the spirit and persistance of Halflings - no one
feels like explaining, but the results - the Elflings - are a race surely worth
their place in the world. Over time the Elflings of Kear drifted to make permanent
settlements and even to form Elfling freeholds in several places of Hilear.
Justly respected by neighbours, as every denizen of such an enclave returns
from the Wanderlust a proficient, seasoned adventurer, those places usually
are a welcome sight for travellers and all kinds of refugees.
Surely, the idea of a race, and a non-major one, found in many worlds, like
Humans or Dwarves will find opposition, but a fine example of such possibility
is another adventurous race, the felinoids or "cat-men". Known as
Rakasta in the Forgotten Realms, Felpurr in the world of Wizardry and Shierdi
in Kear, they are all the same and did find a way to Krynn - at least one has
been sighted and potrayed by Janet E.Chui.
And if this be not satisfactory, there is a thing that cannot be beaten - the
Elflings of Kear, although not inclined to "handle" anything within
reach, do wear Topknots (Driffludi) and wield Hoopaks (Alcanth), as the everlasting
symbols of Kender are called in Kear Common Speech.
This leaves us with a conclusion that Krynn Kender are also descendants of
Elves and Halflings. The reluctance of Elves to admit this relation is but further
proof, but there arises another question - where, in this case, are the Halflings?
Have they become extinct before anyone noticed them? Did they move to another
continent, neither Ansalon nor Taladas? Have they ever been to Krynn?
I cannot yet ansver this. Although many speculations may be made, none can be
satisfactory enough. Anyone posessing information about this subject is welcome
to Aecto`s Arcane Emporium in the working hours.
ADDITION - KEAR ELFLINGS
The Elflings of the wold of Kear are a race reminiscent of both parents - they
posess the slight but muscular build of Elves, the short (3`6`` - 4`6``) build
of Halflings and the dexterity of both combined. Elflings commonly have limited
nightvision, pointed ears (Kear Halflings` ears are as rounded as of Humans)
and sometimes hairy feet. They have many variants of eye and hair colouration,
and those do not seem to correlate as closely as in Humans - a combination of
sky-blue eyes and jet-black hair would not seem strange.
Elflings seem tireless to an observer, needing only a little rest between work
or march. They have the high metabolism natural to Halflings, needing normally
as much food as a middle-sized Human per day, but have shown true feats of Elven
endurance in times of need. Being probably the most dexterous race, they are
often skilfull and forest-wise hunters, highly praised craftsmen and also sailors
and marine farmers, working seacow herds, oyster ponds and kelp beds along the
shores of the Inner Sea. Many Elflings can be seen as bards, jugglers, musicians
and other performers all over the continent of Hylear.
Those who take to living off other`s gains - the rogues - are probably the
most respected among the thieves, with a stunning for any Human imitators code
of honour. For instance, no Elfling thief will use violence to extract money
and no one will brag about arrests, escapes or prison terms - being ever caught
is a deep disgrace for an Elfling professional.
Elflings are fascinated with magic in the Elven way - every family has at least
one to tell fireside stories about, as apprehentice, hedge wizard, freelance
traveller mage or even member of Roaddust Order. Needless to say, many of those
rely on sharp Elfling senses and even sharper little hands to fill their spellbooks
and ingredient pouches. Of all the Kear pantheon, Elflings are found as clerics
of Elanseli (Ranger/Clerics), Shassa (Cleric/Rogues) and Unicorn. Due to their
heritage, Elflings can become both Shamans and Druids.
Thanks and acknowledgements to :
Professor J.R.R. Tolkien, Chronicler of Middle Earth
Flufftwig Brinklebrook, a handler from Kendermore
Anarell Tyndaril, Archive of the Foggy Rhythm Order