The name hearthean is not actually the true name of this race, rather it is a politically correct term coined to describe these people, who have no otherwise generally accepted name for themselves. Internally, they simply refer to themselves as "people," or "The People." As one might expect, this nomenclature does not work well when trying to distinguish people of other races, such as "humans," thus after much debate, and years of name calling, the term hearthean was finally, grudgingly agreed to (mainly among humans and elves).
The race of heartheans are home-loving, family-oriented, nature-loving individuals with an amazing curiosity toward life's mysteries. Many of the world's greatest bards are heartheans. Which is logical since the the only thing members of The People love more than a good meal is a good story. They are also quite fond of riddles, rumors, jokes, gossip, lore, puzzles, songs, and history.
Most heartheans are content to stay in their villages, trade stories, and entertain strangers and guests alike (with a curiosity that borders on interrogation). Rare, indeed, is the adventuring hearthean, but someone's got to go out to get more stories. Thus are legends born of the the bolder breed of heartheans who go out into the world to discover lost rings, ask riddles, and steal (re-appropriate?) treasure from huge, red dragons.
The adventuring hearthean stands about 3 feet tall, plus or minus a few inches, and weighs from sixty to eighty pounds. He or she most likely has sandy-brown to black hair and dark brown eyes. The average hearthean can expect to live to be about 120 years old and has a few innate abilities to help him or her survive to this ripe old age. Firstly, heartheans tend to excel with all missile weapons (bows, crossbows, slings). Secondly, all heartheans are particularly adept at learning stealth skills. Thirdly, heartheans have an innate danger sense that gives them good chance of knowing when a calamity is about to come their way. Finally, heartheans have a reputation for being gentle and most civilized races bear them goodwill as heartheans rarely start trouble.
Truly, "bad" heartheans are much rarer than humans or other races. Once in about 1,000 hearthean births an individual comes into the world who just doesn't fit in with the rest of his or her society. This type of hearthean is shunned due to his or her lack of compassion and altruism and has to leave the village at an early age to be raised by races far more callous than the heartheans. The rare self-serving, unfeeling hearthean often becomes an assassin or necromancer and favors the company of races more vicious than his or her own.