The Jagged Cliffs during the Green Age

While rereading WRotJC found it odd that there was little mention of the rhul-thaun’s interaction with the Green Age.

Yes, they remained in isolation per Rhan Thes-onel, but what kept the rest of the Rebirth races from discovering the halflings (other than lazy writing)?


I have nothing to go on with this but let’s imagine that during the green age the halflings were discovered but like certain undisturbed tribes of our world. The advanced races of the rebirth agreed to leave them in isolation to preserve their way of life and then during the cleansing wars they were forgotten about entirely and record of their existence destroyed along with most other records.


I agree with your real-world comparison prior to the creation of magic and psionics they could easily remain hidden and undiscovered.

Flashforward 4000+ years to height of psionics, no one thought to explore the cliffs? Its not like the rhul-thaun actively hid themselves. They just didn’t leave the Jagged Cliffs region.

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For starters, the Wanderer’s Journal says that the Hinterlands (so presumably the entire western side of the Ringing Mountains) weren’t well settled in the Green Age - there are very few ruins there. So the lack of nearby settlements helps explain things.
Second, the Jagged Cliffs and the Kreen Empire beneath them would have discouraged Green Age explorers, further limiting outside contact.
It’s not beyond reason that the Pyreen helped shelter the Rhul-Thaun from the Rebirth Races, at least in the beginning. Once the Green Age was in full swing the prevalence of psionic snobbery towards the ‘unsophisticated’ halflings would have also limited contact.
Once the Preserver Jihad and Cleansing Wars roll around, everyone would be too concerned with survival to go exploring.
Add to that the halflings are an insular folk and its not that surprising there were few contacts between them and the outside world. A few daring explorers probably did make contact but there would be little incentive to trade with non-psionic, non-magical people in the Green Age.


I like the pyreen explanation. Could definitely see them trying to preserve the remnants of a dying civilization.

Can’t buy into the psionic elitist theory. Kreen migrated from the Crimson Savannah around that period and integrated themselves into the Tyr Region. If they can be accepted, can’t see the Rebirth races turning their noses up at the rhul-thaun. If anything, evilly aligned races or individuals would see an opportunity in subjugating a psionically defenseless people.

I image during the Cleansing Wars there would have been races fleeing towards the Cliffs region in desperation seeking solace.

While true the rhul-thaun a are non-psionic/non-magical society, they have something even more rare to trade in the form of life-shape items. If anything, word would get out triggering life-shape gold rush.

No basis for this, but like to think the disappearance High Lord Rhan Thes-onel somehow safeguarded the rhul-thaun from being discovered. Preserving that the rhulisti legacy would rise once again.


This literally just came up in my play-by-post (like in the last 48 hours). Have you been ghosting, Bri? We have a halfling druid from the Jagged Cliffs with an empowered/possessed necklace that allows him to converse with a hunter spirit from the past. The party is currently in Bodach and the player tapped into the relic to see what the old halfling knew of Bodach back in the day.

My view is that the halflings were very wary of the worship of Gods of Law and viewed them as a threat to the balance of nature.


Another thought is what if there were some type of life-shapes scattered around Cliffs which emits a pollen or pheromone that subliminally causes sentient creatures to avoid the region. Only beings not effected are halflings and kreen.


What about purposeful hiding? Maybe they masked their own existence somehow.

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There’s definitely a fae tie in here. Even though they’re gone, in the past the halflings had to be aware and have had contact with the pixies & faerie-kin.

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what makes us think the Rebirth races weren’t aware of the Rhul-thaun?
Maybe the Green Age races, with psionics and magic at their fingertips, merely saw the Rhul-Thaun as a quaint throwback to a simpler age – much as we might view the Amish today.

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Were they throwbacks at that point though? By early Green Age and present day Athasian standards they seem pretty sophisticated.

Don’t forget elemental/clerical magic was around during the Blue Age and life-shaping was still society’s prominent technology. Arcane was created to fill the void left from the disappearance of the life-shaping arts.

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Back during the early Green Age, I ran the Rhul-Thaun as as still having a lot of lifeshaping knowledge. They were not at the Rhulisti level, but they still had life shaping at a level that was far more advanced then anything the rebirth races could match. Think Atlantis before the fall in the ancient world or Wakanda in the Marvel Universe.

They were isolationist and in decline since their best and brightest sacrificed themselves in the rebirth, the rebirth races were rapidly catching up in abilities with psionics. By the time magic came along the other races were pretty much aware the halflings didn’t want and didn’t allow visitors and rarely left their homes. There was a large amount of historical evidence that they were far more powerful than the rebirth races but as long as you left them alone, they left you alone. The few times anyone tried to mess with them, folks simply disappeared. When the odd city tried to force contact (political, mercantile, or militarily) the city was targeted by “creatures” both humanoid (suited halflings) and not (guardian creatures) that severely punished the city. Those who ordered the contact were killed and anyone who tried to protect them were slaughtered. Once the mission was complete these creatures disappeared back into the cliffs.


We can look on Rhul-Thaun and isolationism like on population closed in Vaults in Fallout universum. In many vaults attempts to interact with the outside world ended badly. New mutated species, saved new civilizations and cultures etc. was destructive for “population from old-world”. Even in situation, that new populations were most primitive, in compare to Rhul-Thaun, they are better adapted to new rules of new world.

Ofc. In Fallout universum many new cultures had own origin from Vaults, and there was connected with experiments. But for topic problem very important element should be fact, that almost all trials opening to external world was failed. And even old, better technology, wasn’t sufficient advantage to psionic, arcane magic, number, knowledge of the environment etc. etc. Firsts confrontation wasn’t entirely destructive, but so severe that the terrified ancient halflings refuse to explore.

Other concept can be located in radical fear. We can look on few historical population from period “Collapse Bronze Age” or Mayans after first collapse their civilization. Saved people believed that the outside world had ended, that dragons, monsters, or darkness ruled there. Eg. in classical hellenic age still were small populations of survivors from minoan civilization, who have believe that external world was destroyed by earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes etc.