Halflings

Society

Halflings organize their society by committees, which in turn elects officials, such as mayors, governors, judge and security officers, for a one-year term.

Committees

Citizens will group into a committee of interest, if more than 10 persons are interested to be part of the same committee, then an election is held and all citizens are invited to vote.

Of course, there is a committee of committees that review the validity of new committees to avoid overlapping purviews.

Committee members cannot be elected to an office during their term or for 10 years afterward. Neither can they have been elected to an office 10 years prior.

Officials

For a given office a citizen can only be elected for a maximum of 10 years in a row, no more than a total of 30 years in a lifetime, not more than 15 years in any given period of 30 years and once the office is left a citizen cannot be reelected to it for 5 years and to no other office for 2 years.

Values

Halflings see life in a very easy-going manner. They can be industrious, but they enjoy the simple things in life too much to not to give a high value to leisure.

They love a good conversation, good food, good company and a good game, but most importantly, halflings are a proper people.

Being Proper

This is such an important value to them that there are very few crimes in their society, it's just not proper.

An extension of being proper is: doing the right thing. It is something highly valued, but it's an ideal rather than a reality. The pleasure that lies in being lazy is a big hurdle to this.

Being Polite

Somebody who is not proper is an eccentric, but still included in society, somebody who is not polite will be isolated from it, often even by his closest relatives.

Orderliness

Order is considered proper, because it helps do the proper thing in the proper way. They are not fussy about it, it is something they do naturally.

Contrary to being improper or impolite, doing things without a modicum of order is something almost never seen from halflings. They see the lack of order, especially in other races, as illogical. Often, hired by other species, expert halfling clerks will devise ordering systems and supervise them until they are trained a proper substitute.

Equality

Equality amongst people is an important value to halflings. To them it's the only logical conclusion to being proper.

Halflings will help each other in times of need. If somebody is in charge, they don't see that person as superior in any way, just the person to get things done.

Crime

When a crime is committed, it is usually done in a very proper manner: no murder, relatively small amount of property stollen, very little harm with a solid dose of politeness.

Not being proper in itself is a serious crime. Most committee are formed to oversee that everything is done properly.

On the other hand, being impolite is not a crime.

Prisons

Prisons are few and far between. They only serve to hold accused individuals until and during their trial. There is no sentencing that results in prison time. Time in prison is considered improper because it represents resources that can be better allocated and a punished criminal is considered to serve society better by playing his role in it.

Trials

Trials are performed by a newly formed trial committee, who first elects a judge. It is done very properly, following the law with everyone having a chance to say something. Everyone. Trials can be very long, but the judge can decide to exclude testimonies if the committee agrees unanimously.

Punishment

Punishments in halfling society aren't very bad. At worst, you can get branded. First time on the left hand, second time on the right hand and the third time, you get banned for life from the land.

Most of the time, punishment is a caning, the severity (how hard the cane is, how hard the criminal is hit and how many hits is given) depending on the crime and how proper or not the accused behaved.

Outsiders

If an outsider commits a crime, he is harshly canned, branded and banned from the land for a lifetime.

Physiology

Halflings look a lot like very short human, with an average height of 90cm. Even though they are often mistaken for human children, their body's proportions are that of an adult human and their sexual characteristics can be a dead giveaway, like a female halfling with large breasts.

Also, they possess small slightly pointed ears, do not have any facial hair and tend to have soft voices.

Lifespan

Halflings average 150 years of age with the oldest of them reaching 200.

Inventions

Printing Press

This invention came about because it came a point where the need to distribute the List of Committees and Purviews Reference Book to most localities was very dire, mostly due to its size.

Calendar

The calendar, or its official version, was created, because most halflings felt the need to organize their yearly life in a more proper way.

The Official Calendar Committee was created and mostly formed by philosophers to work on it. After 10 years, they finally produced what, to their calculations and theory, was considered the most accurate calendar to date.

Currency, Banks & Notes

They were the first to create a standard coin currency because of their urge to do transactions the proper way and in the most organized fashion.

In the same way, they created banks with notes that are usable only by the named person.

Then, they created a central bank with generic notes usable by anyone bearing it.

Cloth Manufacturing

Believing in being proper an equal, it was important to halflings for everyone to have good clothes, so as time went by the invented more and more machines, powered by man or water, to help in the different processes, such as combing, spinning and weaving.

Once larger nations got a hold of those inventions, the cost of clothing dropped substantially and its accessibility increased radically.