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Originally dwellers of the African savannah, epesi are the humanoid species most closely related to humans, both in terms of evolutionary history and early behaviors. Despite their small size, they are excellent runners, and early development of tools and weapons allowed them to hunt surprisingly large prey.
Many of humanity's earliest settlements were in fact mixed epesi/human villages, and halflings were a part of Mesopotamia and similar cultures. To this day, epesi are identified primarily as members of their nation or culture rather than their race: Irish epesi have more in common with Irish humans than German epesi.
In the modern era, epesi continue to live alongside (and underneath) humans, often valued in factory and mining work for their small size and deft fingers. They crossed the Bering Strait along with elves and humans, and primarily prospered in North America, though they can be found in small populations throughout the Americas.