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Article written by Matt & PsychaDurmont

Kender are unique to Krynn. They are the halflings which many other worlds sport, but they are much more interesting than that. Kender appear to be small Human children—slight of build, beardless, about three and half to four feet tall. Kender generally live for 100 years (or until their curiosity kills them).

A Kender image by PsychaDurmont.
A Kender image by PsychaDurmont.
Wanderlust is uniquely a kender trait, which is the fever which possesses young kender and causes them to travel the world over. Kender wander for years, settling down after they feel they have wandered down all the roads their heart desires. Wanderlust usually lasts for about 10 years.

In regard to personal belongings, kender have a relatively loose definition of what is "theirs." In a kender home, a relic is anything that hasn't disappeared after three weeks. Kender have the unique 'handling' ability which allows them to "find" objects unconsciously. If a kender were to walk through a crowd of people, it would be unlikely if the kender's pouches were not bulging with the belongings of at least half the people there. If anyone cornered him and asked him about it, the kender would truthfully reply that "it must have fallen into my pouch. It's a good thing that I found it or somebody else might have taken it."

Because of their naivete in regards to personal belongings (especially how they come to possess those items which belong to other people), the worst name you may call a kender is either a 'cutpurse' or a 'thief,' for they believe that they are neither—it was an accident, remember?

Kender also have a trait which enables them to be entirely fearless. While the rest of the party shies away from the edge of the bottomless gorge, the kender will skip merrily along the edge, cross the rotting foot bridge and stop to smell the roses on the other side while being charged by an enraged Minotaur. Everything is an adventure, including death, which is the last great adventure (many a kender have wondered what it is like to be breathed upon by a Red Dragon, but few who have experienced it live to tell the tale). This fearlessness might be interpreted as stupidity, but kender are fiendishly clever in a child-like sort of way.

There are certain situations where a kender has been observed to get a "strange" feeling. This generally happens in the presence of something so evil that most rational people would have run away screaming by this point (Tasslehoff Burrfoot made it all the way to the edge of the Shoikan Grove before turning back). The best example of the kender's caviler attitude is perhaps Tanis Half-Elven's warning to Tasslehoff: ask yourself if this action will be conducive to long life (it saved Tas several times).

Since kender are so small, some might think they are easily subdued by other races. However, coupled with their fearlessness, kender have the unique ability to "taunt" enemies. The taunt is usually highly personal, insulting the lineage, appearance or intelligence of the taunted. The purpose is to throw the creature into such a rage that it loses its head and attacks without thinking, allowing the kender a victory (this ability is especially useful in turning a crowd into an angry mob. Again, ask Tas.).

The kender's weapon of choice is the hoopak, a long stick with a fork at one end, which can be used as a quarterstaff or a slingshot. Additionally, the hoopak makes a unique wailing noise when twirled; this is the universal kender sign for danger.

Following the destruction of Kendermore, many kender have become infected with a disease that causes them to lose the confidence they once had, and allows them to feel fear. These kender are referred to as 'Afflicted Kender'.


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This article has been viewed 13,764 times. It was added on September 15, 2005, and was last modified on February 15, 2008.

Information presented in the Dragonlance Lexicon has been independently researched by a team of volunteers, and original sources have been cited for each article. This and any other Lexicon articles are intended for personal use only and may NOT be posted on any other web site or otherwise distributed.