Empire of Ald
Making up the vast majority of the empire’s population, these small people are renowned for their warm and welcoming nature, their courage in the face of adversity, and their unyielding sense of community and industriousness. Arising from humble beginnings in the fertile plains in the heartland of what would become the empire of Ald, the kithkin may not have led the empire to greatness, but it was built on their blood, sweat, and tears nonetheless. Were the kithkin and their farmers, businessfolk, and soldiers to cease providing aid to the empire, all of Ald would come crashing to a halt.
The kithkin have lived on the central plains for as long as any of their kind to remember. When the elves and dwarves made war on each other before the empire’s founding, some kithkin fought on both sides, and many more kithkin were caught in between. When the giants descended from their lofty mountains to bring peace to the feuding races, the kithkin were the first to stand by their side. When the goblinoids invaded, it was the kithkin who headed off their advance and brought down their greatest warchief, and as the serpentkin appear in ever greater numbers it is the kithkin who will surely bear the brunt of their attacks. The kithkin are the heart and soul of the empire, and only a fool or a dwarf would deny it. They feed and clothe the empire, keep its finances secure, and serve as an ever-ready militia against whatever threat it may face.
Kithkin live in tightly knit communities, ranging from tiny hamlets to large trading towns, though they never gather in sprawling cities like the dwarves or vedalken. The domain of the kithkin, the Free Shires of Aldleigh, is a loose union of shires with disparate governments, some governed by an elected mayor and/or shire council; others by a hereditary leader variously known as a baron/ess, thain, or cenn; and many by a combination of the two. Aldleigh is unified by an elected Parliament that works much the same as the Imperial Senate on a smaller scale. Family and community are central in the lives of most kithkin, and while individual kithkin may go out into the world for whatever reason, they know they always have a warm reception awaiting them back home.
Though their inner strength belies it, kithkin are the smallest of the Noble Races, rarely standing more than 3’6” in height. They have friendly, open facial features, with big round eyes, wide noses, and slightly large ears. Kithkin skin tone varies from deep tan to very fair; their complexion always has a healthy, rosy glow; and their hair may be black, brown, blond, or red, but is always curly. Brown or hazel eyes are seen most frequently, though blue or green are not unknown; freckles are common. Their most distintive features are their large feet, topped with a mat of curly hair and with leathery soles that spare them a need for shoes except in poor weather. Kithkin prefer simple country clothes such as tunics, trousers, or loose dresses, except in battle, when they wear utilitarian leather or chain armor.Kithkin Racial Traits
- Usually lawful.
- -2 Strength, +2 Dexterity.
- Small: +1 size bonus to Armor Class, +2 size bonus on attack rolls, +4 size bonus on Hide checks, uses smaller weapons than Medium characters, lifting and carrying limits three-quarters of a Medium character.
- Kithkin base land speed is 20 feet.
- +2 racial bonus on Diplomacy, Hide, Listen, and Move Silently checks.
- Kithkin gain Dodge as a bonus feat.
- Great Ally (Ex): Because of their natural affinity for cooperation, kithkin make excellent cohorts. When a kithkin uses the aid another action to assist an ally, he or she grants a +3 bonus instead of +2. This bonus increases to +4 when assisting another kithkin.
- Automatic Languages: Common, Kithkin. Bonus Languages: Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, Goblin.
- Preferred Classes: Fighter, bard, knight, rogue.