In ancient days and other lands the goddess Issolatha ran with her favored children, the Kanxi, the halflings, through the Golden Fields like a wind through the grain. The Golden Fields were alike a heaven realized on E’n, with glorious sunshine, perfect weather, and bountiful harvests, unmatched in utopian perfection. And for generations unknown they lived in peace and harmony, creating a grand society. They built cities and temples to honor Issolatha and the Stormlords, and held feast and games to show they were enjoying what they were provided.
But alas, this paradise was destined to end in black night and Issolatha knew the dark gods would delight in breaking her children. She approached her kin, Tanager of the Stormlords, gods who reveled in the waves and spray and especially the freedom of the seas and asked his help. Initially he refused saying he was as bound as she to uphold the Pact forged by Akutu but the goddess wheedled and begged and made promises until Tanager consented to aid them.
When the time came some of the halflings were prepared. When the storms rose up across the land they set out in their cobbled together boats for a distant land that Issolatha promised would be a new home to them. The Stormlords devastated the Golden Fields as they were bound to do but the seas remained calm with a shielding cloak of mist.
The Kanxi knew that they wouldn’t escape the gaze of the evil gods and so brave volunteers trailed behind the main mass of boats. When Issolatha’s plan was discovered she delayed the gods as well she could but they sent the Stormlords to crush the halflings. They and their kin shattered the trailing boats and washed the debris up onto the shore for the other gods to see. Those martyred Kanxi who gave their lives so that the others could escape are called the Lost Guard and the tale is that when the halflings need them they will rise from depths to defend them again in the time of their greatest need.
This is how the halflings came to the Old World, barefoot and wearing rags.
Being forced out of their homeland, adaptability has become a paramount feature of the halfling race. The natives of the existing empire, humans especially, took pity on them for they looked like lost children and helping them they established what came to be known as ‘The Halfling House’. Almost every city has one a place to help a poor halfling "get on his feet", though nowadays the halfling race is more prosperous than the day they arrived, so these establishments now are more like pint-sized taverns or social clubs.
Halfings have started many of their own communities as well, sprinkled throughout the Old World. These villages are usually comprised of farmsteads and fishing, something of the sort where the town can sustain itself by living off of the land. Many settlements are built off of river trade as well. Although rumors say otherwise, there is no central Halfling government, as all communities fall under the rule of the greater region they lie within or are too remote for anyone to care about.
Halfling communities are usually tight-knit and very family oriented. They keep detailed histories of their lineages; some of the more established families can trace their histories all the way back to the days of the Golden Fields. Many halflings, especially the older ones, take great delight in comparing family trees and contrasting character traits with other families in the communities. Family traditions are easily passed on because due to their extended life spans, as many generations in a family are alive and well at the same time and live together too. Little ones are affectionately called 'quarters' or 'quarterlings' and adolescents are called 'thirds' or thirdsies'.
Halflings get along famously with most races at their best, and are merely ignored at worst. The sole exception to that relation is that with the ratfolk. The ratfolk occupy much of same lot in life as the halflings. Their biggest rivalry includes mercantile supremacy of the river trade routes. Their mutual hatred is more like a feud rather than war, both sides resorting to tricks and sabotage rather than open violence. Other than that, most races view halflings with empathy and regard them as little brothers and little sisters.
Halflings tend to follow the religions of whatever regions they settle, although some families with older and more pure family trees still follow in the Kanxi tradition worship Issolatha and the Stormlords.
All mechanics are as written in the ARG