Halfling Culture

Halfling society is based on the single village. The eldest member of each family within forms the circle of elders, and they choose the mayor from among those halflings most likely to have the vigor and respect to do the job well. The mayor resolves disputes and makes decisions for the village, but the circle can veto the mayor's decisions on a majority vote, or remove him entirely if three-quarters can agree on a replacement.

Custom forms the bulk of law, dictating the punishments for assorted violations of tradition or right. Violent crime is punished by exile in the severest case, with lesser offenders being fined, beaten, or shunned for a time. Property crime is less severely punished, with a certain degree of theft tacitly accepted in the case of misfortunate poverty. Halflings who prove lazy and unwilling to work, however, are often 'encouraged' to find work elsewhere. Many of these halflings tend to disagree as to what constitutes laziness, and ply their light-fingered trade among humans without the slightest pang of guilt.

This tends to produce a division between "village halflings" and "roaming halflings". The former are considered model citizens and dutiful farmers by others, while roaming halflings are often presumed to be unhanged thieves at best. Halfling families that settle in a city tend to be viewed somewhere between the two, with other races extending a wary sort of trust.

Halflings tend to keep to themselves with their villages. While other races are not forbidden to settle among them, and indeed can be welcome for their brawn, they are not slow to 'disinvite' those strangers who disrupt their society. Being practical creatures, this disinvitation occasionally comes in the form of a knife to a sleeping throat. Halflings are upright folk for the most part, but if they intend to accomplish something, they will invariably do it the most effective and efficient way possible.

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