Organization: The Endless Journey

The Endless Journey
Though they have no nation to call their own, all halflings have a homeland of a sort among the some thirty caravans of brightly colored wagons that make their way across the continent. These Caravans are collectively known as the Endless Journey and despite appearances of openness on the part of the halflings, little is known about it.

The Journey began as Ghazhuulphear’s great dragon armies began their campaign to bring the mortal world to heel before the dragons. The halfling and human homeland of Daius-Sur in present day Callen was quickly taken as those sworn to protect them became tyrants overnight.

A few humans fled, going to ground or becoming servants of the abstaining Dragon Nations in present day Rizen. But the halfling High Priest of Pandemos, Seti Dayrunner knew that his people would lose all that they were as a people if they took either option. Legend holds that Dayrunner called up all of his followers together in the hall of the Temple of Pandemos in Spinar as the draconic assault began for one last feast to please their god and pray for salvation.

Pandemos supposedly appeared before the assembled halflings as a brown skinned halfling in a traveling cloak. Thus manifested, he told them to flee the temple and head to the large cartwright’s shop in the southern edge of town. He told them that as long as they remained family to one another and never settled in any land, that they were under his divine protection and they only had the malice of mortal men to fear.

The proclamation of Pandemos in the legend seems to still hold true today for the halflings who continue the Endless Journey. The caravans seem beneath the notice of normal spirit beasts that routinely attack other travelers. They even seem to travel in perfect conditions (from a halfling point of view).

However the halflings manage to escape the claws of the monsters of the world, the basic principles of these caravans have lasted for thousands of years. Each caravan is led by a single halfling who has shown great skill at tracking, finding paths and providing the caravan with what it needs, by hunting or by trade. Regardless of the halfling’s age, they are called the Greatfather or Greatmother (the halfling way of referring to grandparents) of the Caravan. The Greatfather (or mother) is the final authority in all matters concerning the caravan, acting as judge, clergy and ambassador all in one, though in typical halfling fashion, the entire caravan gets to speak their piece.

The primary duty of the Greatparent of a caravan is to decide the route the caravan takes. Unlike caravans operated out of towns and cities, the Endless Journey has no set route and no schedule. They go where they will, though they rarely venture farther north then Te’ran or further East then Novrom. Along the way, they trade their wares as well as goods collected in cities and towns they’ve passed through.

This erratic movement means that caravans cross one another’s path fairly frequently, but never know when or under what circumstances. When they meet in the wilderness, the Greatparents of the two usually decide to have their caravans travel together for a time. When the caravans part ways, they have usually exchanged a few members.

When two or more caravans meet at a town or city, it is cause for celebration to the halflings. They may stop for as long as two weeks to hold these celebrations. During this time, other caravans in the area are alerted to the festivities and sometimes as many as ten caravans may descend on a town at a time, infusing a great deal of exotic goods into the local economy.

Plot Hooks
The halflings on the Endless Journey are generally the most well traveled commoners on Ere. They come into contact with and adopt customs and even children from all walks of life. It comes as no surprise that the Journey caravans also come into the possession of information or items that may be of some interests of certain groups.

Thus, the Journey can be an excellent starting point for an adventure, or the tracking down of a given caravan can be the focus of an entire campaign.

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©Landon Porter