Kender build no temples of worship. Wanderlust keeps them from staying in one place long enough to do so. True kender tend to believe that the world is the temple of the gods, not some silly building where everyone has to be quiet and cannot even shout out their praises. After all, they say, shouldn't you be able to tell your gods how you feel about them?
- Holy Order of the Stars, page 25.
To the other races, kender are the child-race of Krynn. The diminutive kender have short attention spans, intense curiosity, and a fearlessness that serves them well in battle, but often lands them (and those traveling with them) in danger.
Kender live a carefree existence where every new day is a day of wonderful secrets just waiting to be discovered. Their most defining character traits are their insatiable curiosity and utter fearlessness, which makes for a frightening combination. All dark caves need exploring, all locked doors need opening, and all chests hide something interesting.
Young kender around the age of 20 or so are afflicted with "wanderlust", an intense desire to depart their homeland and set out on a journey of discovery. All kender encountered outside the kender homelands are on wanderlust.
Kender are tantalized by the prospect of the new and exciting, and only the most extreme circumstances force them to place their own self-preservation above this pursuit. Even the threat of imminent demise does not deter the kender, for death is the start of the next truly big adventure.
While kender have a modicum of instinct for self-preservation and will not readily give up their lives in seeking adventure, their propensity to act on impulse at the expense of common sense makes them reckless in dangerous situation - a volatile addition to any adventuring party. Boredom is the kender's arch-nemesis, to be conquered at any cost. It is said that nothing on Krynn is as dangerous as a bored kender or as terrifying as hearing a kender say, "Oops!"
Kender are creatures of extremes. Nothing can be as infectious as the laughter of a giggling kender or as heartrending a sight as a grief-stricken kender. With their short attention spans, kender rarely focus on any one thing for too long. It's when a kender is bored that a kender is most feared. A kender who can't find anything interesting to do determines to do something interesting, often with dire consequences.
The unquenchable curiosity of kender drives them to investigate everything - including other people's personal possessions. Kender appropriate absolutely anything that catches their eye. Physical boundaries or notions of privacy are both alien concepts to kender and, at the same time, so is the monetary value of an object. They are as likely to be more captivated by the feather of a goat-sucker bird as by a sapphire. Kender are never happier than when their hands are in the pockets, pouches, or backpacks of those around them.
Kender do not consider such appropriation to be thievery as others understand it (kender are as contemptuous of thieves as the next person). Kender term this "handling" or "borrowing" because they firmly intend to return what they pilfer to the proper owner. It's just that with so many exciting and wonderful things going on in their lives, they forget to give things back. Kender are at best bemused and at worst outraged by being accused of thief or pick-pocketing. Kender always give perfectly reasonable explanations for just about every accusation leveled at them.
"It must have fallen into my pocket."
"You dropped it. I picked it up so I could give it back."
"I was just keeping it safe. You never know when someone might try to steal it."
"I forgot I had it. Is it yours?"
"What a coincidence! I have one just like that!"
"Didn't you mean to give this to me as a gift?"
Handling is a natural extension of every kender's day-to-day life. The distinction between the handling of a kender and the skullduggery of the thief or rogue is a subtle and important one. Unfortunately, only the kender themselves truly comprehend it.
Once kender form friendships, their capacity for loyalty is unrivaled. Given the opportunity (which admittedly requires a great deal of patience on the part of the non-kender), kender form lasting bonds with their companions. Kender do not feel fear for themselves, but they can feel fear for their friends, and this has often led to the tempering of kender impulses. Kender grieve deeply at the loss of friends and the sight of a grieving kender can be enough to reduce even the most cold-hearted person to sympathetic tears.
An essential component to their curious natures, the kender have developed a powerful immunity to the effects of fear. This fearlessness imbues kender with a keen sense of self-confidence, and makes them highly effective in pressure situations - if their companions can keep them calm long enough to devise a plan of action. Kender react pragmatically to almost all situations, exhibiting a bravery that quickly earns the respect of those who witness it. On the rare occasions that kender do feel fear, they attribute it to a strong sensation in their stomachs, and may blame the uncomfortable feeling on something they ate.
Perhaps to compensate for their slight stature, kender possess an unerring knack for probing a person's insecurities, paranoia, and prejudices. Kender are masters of the insult, developing it into an art form. Kender taunts can drive victims to forget years of training and experience, sending them into a rage with only one thought: murdering the taunting kender. Whether inciting a mob to violence or luring a dangerous enemy out of hiding, the taunt can be a powerful weapon in the kender's arsenal.
Despite their small frames, kender are surprisingly strong and agile. Males and females both stand between 3 1/2 feet and 4 feet in height, though some have been known to reach almost 5 feet. They weigh between 80 and 100 pounds. Eye color ranges from pale blue through hazel and their hair is sandy blonde, light or dark brown, or a striking shade of red or copper. Short-cropped haircuts are popular in the west, while eastern kender prefer wearing their hair long. Regardless, a kender's hair is often fancifully-braided and decorated.
They are fond of flamboyant clothing, preferring wild colors and clashing fashions over more tasteful gear. Aware of the value of first impressions, a kender's first instinct upon meeting someone new is to straighten his clothes, brush himself off, and introduce himself with an extended hand. Kender dress is as individualistic as the kender himself, with one exception: all kender clothing has many, many pockets for holding their favorite trinkets.
Kender have piping voices that become shrill and mocking if they are angry, as they proceed to verbally assault their victims. As kender age, their voices deepen slightly, but retain a surprising range. Kender can mimic bird and animal calls quite easily. When excited, a kender speaks very quickly and loudly. Kender conversations ramble, flitting rapidly from one topic to the next. Kender cannot keep secrets to save their lives and happily blurt out intensely personal information about themselves or anyone else.
Kender can live for more than 100 years and retain their youthful zeal for life even into old age. Adulthood begins around 20 years of age, when the first signs of wanderlust strike. Old age settles in around 70 years and it is then that the signs of wanderlust begin to fade and the kender decides to settle down (though some kender never do). Kender age extremely well, with only a slight deepening of crow's feet and laugh lines about their eyes, and a gentle graying of the hair about their temples. Kender have a deep respect for elderly kender, since it is rare for the curious and fearless kender to survive their period of wanderlust.
Kender get along with anyone and everyone they meet, though they won't hesitate to declare their dislike for someone who hurts their friends. When meeting new people, (no matter of what race), kender immediately offer their hands and introduce themselves. When kender meet each other, they enter a discourse that can last for hours while they try to determine how they're related (almost always going through Uncle Trapspringer) and compare the interesting items in their pockets and pouches.
Members of other races are not as fond of kender are of them, however. The Silvanesti consider kender annoying pests and do not like being reminded that Balif, friend and companion to the great elven founder Silvanos, was a kender. While some Qualinesti find kender amusing and admire their sense of loyalty to their friends, most are either baffled or irritated by kender behavior. Dwarves, both hill and mountain, consider kender to be "good for nothing, lazy doorknobs", thinking of them as a race of thieving. Close-minded humans, from Solamnic to Ergothian, dislike kender and also regard them as thieving nuisances.
Kender get along well with gnomes, who share a common curiosity. The Kagonesti, who believe that physical possessions are fleeting, and the Plainsfolk, who deem "crazy" people to be blessed by the gods, are always happy to join kender in their wanderings or welcome kender into their homes. Ogres, goblins, and draconians think that the only good kender is a dead kender.
The truly wise of all races know that kender are the innocents of the world and that the world would lose something precious if the kender were to ever leave it.
Kender tend toward neutrality in outlook. They don't consider themselves to be lawbreakers and actually hold a high disregard for "thieves". If they feel a law is unjust (such as when the Istarians tried to impose a high tax on kender trade), the kender simply ignore it (the Istarians eventually exempted the kender from taxes and tariffs).
It is extremely rare for a kender to be evil, since kender hold a high regard for life and liberty, and are almost completely incorruptible (as the gods of Darkness have discovered).
In the current age, the kender population is concentrated in Hylo; the region northwest of the Solamnic city of Palanthas and north of the lands of Ergoth. Kender society is unlike any other society found in Ansalon, being an omnigarchy, where everyone rules. Individuals do as they please, as long as they do not harm one another. Apart from Hylo, kender can be found everywhere in Ansalon (due to their wanderlust), though most of Ansalon would rather the incorrigible kender live elsewhere.
Though the kender recognize all the deities (to avoid hurting any god's feelings), they hold Branchala, Chislev, Mishakal and Gilean in highest regard. Reorx is viewed as a grumbling but benevolent grandfather, but kender do not specifically praise him.
Kender have their own language colloquially called "Kenderspeak", and they speak Common as well. Kender have a huge appetite for stories and tales, and rarely use Kenderspeak when in the company of other races, lest it hamper their ability to communicate.
Each kender has a given name, as well as a more descriptive chosen name (usually, but not always, chosen by themselves) that best describes their exploits, achievements, and outlook on life. They have a habit of appropriating particularly popular or heroic names to inherit the good reputation of the original owner. It is not uncommon to encounter an entire group of wandering kender all calling themselves by the same name. Younger kender are often influenced by their elders or relatives. The importance of familial ties often means that kender will maintain a family name out of loyalty to their bloodline.
Arlie, Buckeran, Jackin, Kronin, Malon, Pentrien, Tarli, Tasslehoff, Tekel, Tobin.
Amari, Amber, Athola, Catt, Emla, Ethani, Juniper, Mela, Paxina, Teeli.
Burrfoot, Deeppockets, Flamehair, Lighteyes, Nimblefingers, Quickstep, Riddler.
All kender adventurers are on wanderlust - that time of their lives in which the need for exploration and adventure overrides all other priorities. This "phase" lasts for most or all their remaining years. No other race is as content with the adventurer's lifestyle as the kender.