This is my attempt to bring Homo Floresiensis, better known as 'Hobbits' into the Post-Fall wonder and terror of Eclipse Phase. I welcome additions, revisions & outright replacements of my thoughts...
Sprites, Leprechauns, Dwarves, Menehune, and so many more; Almost every culture has mythologies and most mythologies have myths of little people, beings almost like us but not quite us.
The native peoples of what is now Borneo have similar legends of little people, called Ebu Gogo or Orang Pendek. But these legends were just that—legends. That is, until about a decade ago...
In the year 2003, on the Indonesian island of Flores, scientists discovered the remains of a dwarfish homonin, other sets of remains were to follow. There were only two real explanations for such remains:
1. What was discovered was the remains of an insular community of some known homonin (likely Homo Erectus) with a condition that caused a form of dwarfism.
2. Or more controversially, what was discovered was a new species of Genus Homo! This new species was about a meter tall with a brain the size of a grapefruit, far smaller than any other human or even ape brain.
The provisional species has been called Homo Floresiensis (after the island of Flores where they were discovered) but most people call them Hobbits, much to the consternation of the Tolkien estate.
The debate has raged for about a decade as to whether the Hobbits are a new species or a an inbred offshoot of a known homonin species. No salvageable DNA has been recovered so far (very diffficult, given the climate at the site). But tiny stone tools have been discovered, possibly indicating a level of intelligence tiny Hobbit skulls would seem to forbid.
Currently, the balance of the science seems to indicate that the Hobbits are a unique species. The anatomy of the remains and the myths of the Ebu Gogo mesh nicely and it is possible that the Hobbits lived alongside their big cousins (us) until very recently. There is a outside possibility that they may be alive today, hiding from the 'big folk' in one of the few places on this Earth that is still barely explored.
And that is roughly where the state of knowledge is in 2014. Next post, I hope to detail my view of the fictional pre-Fall history of the Hobbit and list stats for some of the variety (yep, there are several types) of Hobbit morphs.
Discuss. And thanks in advance for your feedback... :-)