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.


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

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