City, 5,500): Shoun on Luiren's east coast is such a pleasant place
to live that hin outside its walls frequently greet each other by saying
"How long since you've been to Shoun?" Still, the city stays
small because aside from enjoying the sea air and the pleasant breezes
off the hills, there's not much to do in Shoun except sit around and
get fat. In Luiren, getting fat is a social gaffe that's hard to live
Groups in Luiren
All of the following
major groups have revolving memberships and regularly field teams in
the Games. The groups all get along fairly well with each other, as
you might expect from groups whose members shift serially between allegiances.
Hin Fist: Hin
Fist is the most consistent and conservative of the groups, if only
because only actual practicing monks can be full members. Hin Fist is
also the only major group that occasionally accepts nonhalflings, because
humans and other nonhin usually don't understand the spirit in which
Luiren's social game is played. Hin Fist members sometimes participate
in the Games, but usually beg off citing more pressing concerns, such
as killing a marauding group of tall mouthers or performing dozens of
The Ruling Party hasn't ruled for two hundred years, but prior to the
rise of Yondalla's Children, they ran things. They've kept the name
because they do, in fact, throw excellent parties.
Tymora isn't in fashion in Luiren since Yondalla's Children advised
that human deities weren't as Luiren (their pet adjective) as halfling
gods of luck like Brandobaris. But Tymora's Followers like to say instead
that the humans worship a halfling deity. They're the most individualistic
of the halfling groups, but some of the most fervent competitors in
Yondalla's Children rule Luiren, which has a benevolent theocracy with
an extremely light touch. When big decisions have to be made, a priest
of Yondalla is likely to be the one to make them. Organization beyond
that one simple fact is difficult to discern.
have one serious concern about the very near future: Alaundo's Roll
of Years lists 1386 DR as the Year of the Halfling's Lament. Few halflings
take warnings from the Roll of Years at all seriously, but many members
of Yondalla's Children are convinced that something bad will take place
in 1386 DR. How bad? They don't know.
maintain rivalry with the monks of the Hin Fist school. It's not a serious
rivalry: no one beats each other up beyond what a couple cure light
wounds spells can patch up.
History for Luiren
Unlike human realms
that measure their success by how much territory they occupy, the wealth
that flows through their coffers, or how many people they govern, the
hin of Luiren judge themselves by how well they govern and police their
own chosen land. This is not to say that Luiren's policies don't contain
a smidgen of aggression. In Luiren's case, that aggression plays out
at the expense of the belligerent tendencies of its human and half-elven
neighbors. Every hundred or two hundred years, the hin of Luiren goad
one of their neighbors into invading. One of the hin's favorite jokes
plays into this pattern. Noting that the history of northern Faerûn
is to be conquered by successive waves of people from the south, the
hin say that it's the eventual destiny of their kind to rule all the
lands of the Inner Sea. The truth is that the hin don't much care for
the idea of such conquests, but they know that it drives the humans
who live around them crazy to hear it.
The Dambrathii (who
showed the bad sense to invade in 939 DR, the Year of the Vengeful Halfling)
and the kingdom of Estagund (which has invaded several times over the
centuries) should know better by now -- Luiren has proven a killing
ground for would-be invaders. At first invaders make good progress,
destroying one or the other town or area of the countryside. But deep
within Luiren, every-other house, wagon, or road turns out to be booby-trapped.
Rogues strike like assassins attack from all sides, in light or in darkness.
Strange magic items that never seem to be used in times of peace turn
up in halfling champions' hands, and the invasion turns into a forced
march of retreat . . . followed by outright slaughter if the invaders
made the mistake of slaying and pillaging during their invasion.
The histories written
by Luiren's neighbors and other human nations don't like to mention
these episodes, so common folk of other lands may think of Luiren as
a weak and vulnerable nation. Halflings, who usually know better, grin
when they hear such talk, knowing that some would-be human conqueror
will misread history and give conquest another chance.