Growing up as the son of bakers in the small village of Red Larch, Belamy Lightfingers never had the temperament for the family business. When he came of age, Belamy chose to turn his back on his humble beginnings and find fortune elsewhere, and he convinced his sister Bryn to do likewise.
Not long into his less-than-spectacular adventuring career, Belamy realized that his particularly strong combat skills weren’t enough. He needed support. He was in Mirabar when he learned of the Order of the Burning Dawn, and he found himself very interested in the idea of wielding a blade to do good… and make a little gold in the process. He tracked down his sister Bryn in the Ardeep Forest, and together they joined the Burning Dawn, hoping to find both an outlet for Belamy’s aggression and a replacement for the family they left behind.
Deep Roots, Strong Bonds: When strongheart halflings settle into a place, they intend to stay. It’s not unusual for a dynasty of Stronghearts to live in the same place for over a century. In places where they have the room, strongheart homes become sprawling multigenerational manses. In more cramped conditions, strongheart family members try not to live beyond an easy walk of one another, and thus cities often have de facto halfing districts. Strongheart halflings don’t develop these homes in seclusion. On the contrary they do their best to fit into the local community and become an essential part of it. Oftentimes the members of other races with whom strongheart halflings reside find themselves reliant upon the goods or services the stronghearts provide, but stronghearts rarely press this advantage. Their viewpoint stresses cooperation above all other traits, and the ability to work well with others is the most valued behavior in their lands. Cooperation transcends many boundaries, and even strangers of whom stronghearts are suspicious can earn themselves considerable credit and tolerance by demonstrating a willingness to cooperate.
Creatures of Comfort: Exceptions aside, strongheart halflings are satisfied by a life filled with commonplace pursuits, never gaining more prestige than the respect of their local community. The majority are concerned only with the practical necessities of life and determined that those be something of quality. Accustomed to living in the same place for generations, strongheart halflings emphasize getting the best that life there can offer— good food and drink, fine clothes, and cozy houses. Pushed from their nests, strongheart haflings typically try to have as many comforts of home with them as possible. And if that’s not feasible, they set about creating as much comfort about themselves as they can. Those with a more practical bent can find strongheart travel habits maddening, but their lightfoot cousins typically enjoy the novelty of it, appreciating the many spices put in a meal or luxuriating in the warmth of a large campfire.
Industrious Homebodies: While often stereotyped as fat and lazy due to their homebound mindset and obsession with fine food, strongheart halfings are typically quite industrious. Nimble hands, their patient mindset, and their emphasis on quality makes them excellent weavers, potters, wood carvers, basket makers, and painters. Whereas lightfoot halflings might disdain any chore that can’t be accomplished with a few minutes’ effort, strongheart halfings think little of wiling away hours on some painstaking task. Strongheart halflings are also renowned for their farming and animal husbandry. Most strongheart homes have some sort of garden and animals. In a cramped city that might mean an herb garden in window boxes and keeping pigeons. In communities with more space, be it a village of their own or that of another race, Strongheart families often try to use their skills to specialize in some aspect of the production of necessities. Having generations living in the same place and doing the same work often gives strongheart families their surnames: Honeyknuckle, Goodweaver, Ganderhook, Copperpot.
Physical Appearance : Strongheart halflings are stouter than their lightfoot kin, and tend to have rounder faces. Their skin & hair color runs the full range of tones, much like humans. While males do not grow beards or mustaches, sideburns commonly grow to the length of the chin. Females also have sideburns, but typically not much longer than their lightfoot cousins.
Cultural Style: Since they have more stable lives than lightfoots (and most humans), stronghearts crave and create things of enduring beauty and usefulness. Rather than pursuing any notion of fine art, their crafts rely upon intricate patterns and use clever details to amuse the eye. Complex weaving such as plaids and other patterns are common, and stronghearts pay keen attention even to tiny details such as buttons and buckles. Animal shapes and abstract faces frequently appear in their crafts, but they rarely associate any meaning with them. As with lightfoot halflings, stronghearts often adopt the fashions of the societies in which they live, but unlike their shirttail cousins, stronghearts take to such styles with gusto. They adapt their patterns and motifs to the local culture, and their emphasis on quality often makes them the best-dressed examples of it in the region.