One of the four so-called “civilized races”, halflings are actually quite different than humans, dwarves, and goliaths. While extremely sociable, halfling society has always been somewhat closed off to others. Young halflings are famous for their wanderlust, curiosity, and sense of adventure, which usually fades as they grow older. One aspect of the traditional halfling personality that never seems to fade is their ingenuity… they tend to be expert mechanics, and thrive on improvisation. They are hard working and, while not normally artistic, their goods and products are among the longest lasting and of the highest quality.
The halfling clans struck out for the east almost as soon as the great steamships arrived on Sil’ela, setting out for the unknown on large wagons. They built roads along the way, and small settlements that grew into towns. After a few years, the younger halflings would strike off again to find new land, leaving behind their elders to run the settlement. It’s not unusual to follow a road for months and stop in settlements founded by extensions of the same family. These roads often even bear the family name.
Due to their closed-off nature, halflings have developed a few peculiarities.
-First and foremost, they almost never use given names when referring to non-halflings. When an outsider first meets a halfling, that halfling decides what the outsider “is” and that is what they are referred to. A black dragonborn may be called “Dark Scales”, a gloryborn called “Godling”, and a female razorclaw shifter called “Madam Cat”. If towns with a thriving halfling population, these “halfling names” spread impossibly fast and even tend to bleed into the general public after a while.
-The greatest compliment a halfling can pay to someone or something is “interesting”. To a halfling, being interesting is high praise… better than being beautiful, brilliant, or most any other descriptor.
-Halflings prize hard work done well and thoroughly enjoy being complimented on their abilities. The phrase “good work” is far more often heard than “thank you”, and can apply to anything from repairing a wagon to singing an aria.
-When a halfling settlement is being built, every worker helps to construct a single building at a time. Because of this, settlements tend to be built in a very specific order (the most important buildings first) and the buildings are referred to by number. These essential buildings retain that number as their name until they are properly named (usually after the proprietor) with one exception: the first halfling saloon and lodge hall almost always keeps its number. Halflings find it unflattering to name such buildings of leisure after themselves, and they aren’t traditionally good at coming up with creative names. As a result, a Number Six can be found in almost every halfling settlement.