Kender Revisited

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In the planes and in the worlds that about, there are many stories to be told. Some that inspire fear, some admiration, others humor. This story has all these elements, for it is the tale of how the Kender came to be.

A wizard of great and terrible power sought the ultimate races of servants, one that would be loyal to him alone. With much sacrifice and experimentation, he made them. They were easily grown like corn in a field, stealthy, and ferocious, they rapidly eliminated his rivals. Loyal to him and each other, they marched off to conquest gleefully, becoming a terror across the land. Armies fell and thrones burned before the small shadow warriors.

It took a band of adventurers to elude the dark army and finally arrive the citadel. As their warriors held off the shadow warriors, a mage and priestess slew the evil wizard, and took up his mantle. They reverse the creation spell of the kender, and were about to destroy them utterly when the priestess saw the evil had vanished from their hearts. Offering her life to the Goddess, she begged that the Kender have chance to see the world through her eyes.

In that moment, most of the shadow warriors turned to dust, but some changed. Instead of inspiring terror, they inspired compassion. Instead of looking on the world as a place to conquer, they saw it as a place of fun and delight. And from that time on, all of the Kender look at the world through the priestess's blue-green eyes.

The Kender seem to be trapped in a perpetual state of childhood. They live fairly simple lives in villages, where they grow new kender in farms. New Kender start out lives as plants, and must be carefully nurtured until the new Kender is born. Kender curiosity is legendary, however, and most end up traveling and seeking adventure at least one point of their life. Those that survive end up coming home most of the time, where they grow more of their kin. Kender do not visibly age - they just fall asleep and fail to wake at some time. They are buried in the birthing fields, where the nurture another generation of Kender.

Kender attitudes on life are mostly naive. While clever, Kender generally only lie for fun or to protect their friends. While they are known for taking things that belong to others, they generally will give the item back if asked and apologize profusely. The point of thievery to a Kender thief is in the actual challenge of the job. A Kender will break into a house, rob everyone of the most carefully hidden valuables, then return them the next night. They carefully sneak up on beggars they give money or old friends that they are meeting, because it is fun. Life is a game for Kender, so they try to make it more fun. Kender genuinely do not like to hurt people, and generally they prefer to take a non-violent approach.

However, Kender are intensely loyal to their kin and the people they call friend. Kender are quite capable fighters, having a natural gift for the arts of war that shocks many people. Scholars know better, as we see above. Orc warbands who fall upon a Kender village are quite successful at first, but they find that they are relentlessly pursued by invisible killers who hunt them with all the relentlessness of the dark Kender of old. The remaining traumatized survivors spread the tales of enemies who cannot be found, shadow warriors with no fear of death. Adventurers willing to train a Kender and deal with eccentricities will find a loyal, brave companion, though one that still requires adult supervision. Nobles often often have them work as jesters, spies, and playmates for their children. Those seeking to raise an army of Kender are usually disappointed - they are loyal to people, not houses or thrones.