I started work on a halfling pantheon to include in Polyhedral Pantheons, but it got sidelined while I worked on other things. Now that I’m up to ‘S’ in the April A-Z Blog Challenge I thought I’d look for a name for the halflings, or at least the subpantheons I expect to include, that starts with ‘S’.
Halflings are often perceived as Tolkienesque hobbits, ‘English farmers’ primarily interested in living calm, orderly lives, safe from danger and strife. They can learn to be brave and fierce when threatened, but they are often located far from places where this would be so.
Words to begin my search: comfortable, safe, cozy…
According to Google Translate, ‘cozy’ in English translates to (phonetically) ‘Shūshì’ in… Chinese. It doesn’t say whether it’s Cantonese or Mandarin, but I can live with it.
Chinese halflings? I mentally stumbled for a moment until realizing that this could actually work quite well. Still a fairly bucolic, culture, close to the land. Instead of wheat they grow rice, instead of livestock they might rely more on fish (which help in the rice paddies, also). They might still be located far from the borderlands; I can imagine them being primary occupants of one of the more effective food-producing provinces. Not terribly warlike, isolated from many of the dangers that would require it, but they can still be fierce defenders when needed.
Revised Domain Worksheet
The Shu-shi share many of the characteristics expected of halflings, include their aversion to the darker, stranger, and more violent side of things. Like the earlier halfling pantheon, the Shu-shi pantheon does not include the Death, Evil, Fire, or Magic domains. I’m combining some steps this time around, I’m confident I’ve shown enough examples of going through the first steps that I can simply wrap up with the results here.
|Face||New Deity Domains||Old Deity Domains|
|1||(LG) Nobility, Community, Law, Earth, Good||(CN) Liberation, Community, Trickery, Repose, Chaos|
|2||(CN) Chaos, Liberation, Trickery, Travel, Weather||(TN) Animal, Water, Earth, War, Weather|
|3||(N) Luck, Community, Water, Air, Animal||(LN) Law, Community, Nobility, Rune, Knowledge|
|4||(NG) Rune, Earth, Good, Plant, Weather||(CG) Travel, Repose, Chaos, Good, Weather|
|5||(N) Repose, Community, Liberation, Air, Travel||(TN) Protection, Community, Water, Rune, War|
|6||(LG) Protection, Law, Good, Trickery, Weather||(CN) Luck, Trickery, Chaos, Earth, Weather|
|7||(N) Healing, Community, Earth, Water, Plant||(NG) Healing, Community, Repose, Nobility, Good|
|8||(N) Sun, Air, Travel, Animal, Weather||(TN) Sun, Rune, War, Knowledge, Weather|
|9||(LN) Knowledge, Community, Law, Liberation, Trickery||(TN) Plant, Community, Trickery, Water, Earth|
|10||(N) Strength, Water, Plant, Animal, Weather||(NG) Air, Nobility, Good, Knowledge, Weather|
|Point||New Deity Domains||Old Deity Domains|
|A||(N) Community, Nobility, Luck, Repose, Healing, Knowledge||(LN) Community, Liberation, Law, Protection, Healing, Plant|
|B||(LN) Law, Nobility, Protection, Knowledge||(TN) Trickery, Liberation, Luck, Plant|
|C||(N) Earth, Nobility, Rune, Healing||(TN) Repose, Liberation, Travel, Healing|
|D||(CN) Liberation, Chaos, Repose, Knowledge||(TN) Water, Animal, Protection, Plant|
|E||(N) Water, Luck, Healing, Strength||(LN) Nobility, Law, Healing, Air|
|F||(N) Air, Luck, Repose, Sun||(LN) Rune, Law, Protection, Sun|
|G||(NG) Good, Nobility, Rune, Protection||(CN) Chaos, Liberation, Travel, Luck|
|H||(CN) Trickery, Chaos, Protection, Knowledge||(TN) Earth, Animal, Luck, Plant|
|I||(N) Plant, Rune, Healing, Strength||(NG) Good, Travel, Healing, Air|
|J||(CN) Travel, Chaos, Repose, Sun||(TN) War, Animal, Protection, Sun|
|K||(N) Animal, Luck, Sun, Strength||(LN) Knowledge, Law, Sun, Air|
|L||(CN) Weather, Chaos, Rune, Protection, Sun, Strength||(TN) Weather, Animal, Travel, Luck, Sun, Air|
I basically started over from first principles and made little effort to incorporate the earlier results. Given the restricted set of domains and a few specific combinations I wanted to keep resulted in some similarity between the two, obviously, but direct comparison isn’t possible on these tables.
I see two Lawful Good deities (Nobility and Protection, okay), two Lawful Neutral (Knowledge and Law), two Neutral Good (Rune and Good), eleven Neutral (Luck, Repose, Healing, Sun, Strength, Community, Earth, Water, Air, Plant, Animal — I can imagine a lot of druids in this culture), and four Chaotic Neutral.
This largely aligns with the original parameters, but changes the focus on some elements. I see some combinations I’ll really enjoy expanding on, too.
I have to say that the pantheon I originally had in mind was fairly pedestrian. I could make Yet Another Halfling Pantheon pretty easily, and I didn’t want to do that.
Stumbling on Chinese as the language I was going to use for names within the pantheon immediately fired parts of my brain I hadn’t engaged. I can see so many more ideas that will make this more interesting, while still allowing for the classic ‘halfling nature’.
I’m quite excited about this and looking forward to where it goes.