Birth and Childhood
Messy Bessie’s home is a wreck
Rotting bad food, by bushel and peck.
Poor Messy Bessie, it’s such a shame,
There’s no one but herself to blame.
No proper lady should live like that
She hoards things away as if she’s a rat
Messy Bessie, such a sloppy girl,
If only she’d give cleaning a whirl…
Being a very social race, family and friends are of utmost importance in Halfling culture. Marriages often occur from pairs that have known each other almost since birth. A full term Halfling pregnancy will last six months. The birth of a healthy child is heralded by the onslaught of gifts, which are presented to the parents and infant at a party held jointly by the new grandparents. As there is no gender bias, Halflings tend to share child-rearing duties quite equally between partners, and the old adage of “it takes a community to raise a child” was probably borne from the Halfling culture’s sense of community. Children are generally blessed by nearly always having someone’s undivided attention, and thus the children tend towards sociability, shyness being almost unheard of. Although older children are normally expected to continue in their family’s business, if a child shows an interest or aptitude in another skill set, they are encouraged to train/apprentice accordingly.
Love and Marriage
Halfiling wedding center around the creation of a new household. The wedding ceremony blesses a new spoon for the family soup pot. Gifts suitable to a new household are given to the couple.
Often considered more important than the wedding ceremony itself. Guests all help prepare the banquet, each guest bringing his or her own special dish.
It is common practice among Halflings to take a common last name after marriage. It does not matter which family name they adopt. Most Halfling couples will settle on the most prestigious or most established family name.
Death and Burial
How Halflings Age
The average Halfling can easily live to hundred or even a hundred and twenty. Given their stay-at-home nature, more Halflings live out their natural lifespan then any other race. Most Halflings can expect to stay happy and healthy until they are in their nineties at least.
After a Death
Because Halflings are very community oriented, the death of one person affects the whole community. Traditionally, when a death occurs, the family will first light a white candle in their kitchen window (symbolizing their hope for the return of their loved one) and then calls in a psychic willing to travel to the Land of the Dead on behalf of the family in order to locate the departed soul. As the psychic travels, the family prepares a feast (setting a place for the departed) and waits for word. If the psychic returns leading the family member back to this realm, a joyful feast is begun, with many toasts being raised to welcome the family member home again and thank the psychic for their assistance in locating the departed’s soul. However, if the psychic returns to advise that the family member has chosen to travel further on, into the Land Beyond and will not be returning, the empty place setting is turned over to symbolize their departure, and the meal is eaten in silence. For a period of one moon cycle following the death, the various tradespeople of the area will supply their services without charge to the bereaved family as a sign of their empathy towards the loss of a loved one. During that period, the bereaved family will, in turn, keep a basket just inside their entry door which they keep stocked with small tokens such as cookies, knitted mittens or scarves, handkerchiefs, herb jars or the like which they pass out to callers to thank the community for their support.
A Halfling community left to its own devices will likely have little or no obvious politics, instead relying on a system of elders passing along wisdom to the younger generations. In communities where Halflings are the minority, one of the other races will likely take over any overt political system. Being adaptable, Halflings tend to shrug and accept whatever system might become prominent. They know that, within their own kind, the tradition of younger generations seeking out knowledge from their elders will continue on despite those other races imposing their sense of order on the area.
Crime and Punishment
Halflings have a very strict code of honour and, as such, consider most crimes to be a breach or misuse of trust. Usually, any “testing the limits” by young Halflings with minor forays into crime is quickly curbed by the disapproval of family and community. There are, as to be expected, exceptions who continue down the criminal path. Even they, however, abide by a very strict code of conduct, striving to maintain the politeness and comforts of traditional Halfling culture, and achieving an odd combination of courtesy, chivalry and lawlessness. Halflings who stray from this strict, inherently understood code will quickly find themselves disowned and ostracized.
Work and Play
Since Halfilings have no sense of gender bias, work is not divided down gender lines. Within a household, a job should be done by whoever has time or the necessary talent to complete the task.
Looking Like a Halfling
Halflings are recognized in game by the hair on the back of their hands. This can usually be accomplished by sewing some fun fur to the back of some fingerless gloves or by attaching fun fur to your hands with elastics.
Halflings tend to dress in comfortable practical clothes. Halflings are known to be great cooks and an apron is not out of character as a costume piece.
Thinking Like a Halfling
Halflings tend to be a gregarious, cheerful, curious people who are never happier than when they are sitting down to a good meal in comfortable surroundings. The Halfling creed can easily be summed up as “good food, good drink, good friends, good song, and some more good food. They are a peaceful people who seem curiously ill equipped to deal with the trouble that their curiosity can provoke. Appearances do tend to be deceiving in this instance. Halflings’ cheerful natures often allow them to charm their way out of most situations and, in any case, they usually have many friends willing to come to their aid.