History of Luiren
In Luiren, the hin live in a sort of benevolent anarchy, since no actual law-establishing body other than the clergy exists.
The eldest and wisest of the citizens in any given community enforce a level of control over the rest, but the hin accept this rulership more out of respect for the wisdom of their elders than through any real fear that disobedience could bring civil collapse. Beyond the local mayor and the village council, the hin informally recognize two other political powers within Luiren: the temple clergy and the marchwardens.
Many priests of the various halfling deities find themselves functioning as the spiritual and secular leaders of communities. At the very least, other hin come to the clergy for advice, for aid in settling disagreements, and for divine healing in times of sickness or injury. Clerics of the faith not burdened with any sort of formal leadership roles usually travel the land.to teach, protect their flocks, and redress wrongdoings. Thus, though they are not formally recognized as a ruling body of Luiren, halfling clerics do hold appreciable influence in hin society.
The marchwardens also wield considerable power, functioning as the protectors, defenders, and perhaps even the vigilantes of Luiren and its people. They generally operate. outside of any other ruling structure but cooperate fully with mayors and village councils. The marchwardens meet from time to time - often by chance but occasionally intentionally - to discuss persistent problems, threats, and progress in dealing with such. They have no real hierarchy among themselves, but they generally acknowledge the more experienced of their number as leaders during gatherings. Though disputes between marchwardens are not unheard of, they are quite rare - there is no room for pride or disagreement when the well-being of the country is at stake.
History of Lurien
In the earliest centuries, three tribes of the Small Folk roamed the great Lluirwood as woodland nomads. After the Ghostwars, the Strongheart Tribe and a few members of the Lightfoot Tribe stayed in the area and settled down, clearing the land for farming and establishing contact with other nations. From that point on, the history of the halflings was a quiet one, interrupted from time to time by the invasions and depredations of humans and humanoids who wanted Luiren and its resources for themselves.
|c. -6000||Humans return from the Lluirwood Forest, which stretches from the River Ammath in the west to the River Gundar in the east, and from the Toadsquat Mountains all the way to the shore of the Luirenstrand. They report three distinct tribes of hin living in that region.|
|-102||Year of Spiked Gauntlet||Desva, a cleric of Malar, attains a position of power among the ghostwise halflings and begins leading them into darkness and evil.|
|-68||Year of Discordant Destinies||Hin Ghostwars begin in response to the evil acts of Desva and the ghostwise halflings. Chand, a strongheart hunter, becomes warchief of the Strongheart Tribe. The Strongheart and Lightfoot Tribes unite against the Ghostwise Tribe and begin exterminating its members.|
|-65||Year of Monstrous Appetites||Chand slays Desva in battle. Almost all the ghostwise hin are either slain or driven out of the Lluirwood, and the Hin Ghostwars at last draw to a close.|
|14||Year of Unknown Beloved||Beluir is founded.|
|47||Year of Crystal Orb||Chethel is founded.|
|116||Year of Mortal Promise||Shoun is founded.|
|148||Year of Blue Ice||Merrow from the Mortik Swamp attack Chethel. Half the town is destroyed before they are driven back.|
|218||Year of Dancing Lights||Krenadir is founded.|
|328||Year of Ermine Cloak||Lluirwood is separated into two parts - the Lluirwood and the Southern Lluirwood - by logging operations and a new trade road to the west.|
|383||Year of Quelzarn||Arhmathluir is founded.|
|447||Year of Awakening Treant||Ogres swarm down from the Toadsquats and rampage through the northern section of the Lluirwood for several years.|
|450||Year of Corrie Fist||ogres are defeated by an army of hin at the Battle of Three Stumps.|
|461||Year of Lissome Apprentice||Amniathtar is founded to facilitate trade between the hin and Arkaiun humans.|
|546||Year of Rusted Sabre||Luiren is invaded by Arkaiun barbarians from Dambrath. The majority of the halfling population is enslaved, but some individuals go into hiding.|
|554||Year of Waving Wheat||humans of Dambrath retreat from Luiren after their king is slain in Halruaa.|
|572||Year of Writhing Darkness||marchwardens are established to protect Luiren.|
|636||Year of Luminous Tabard||Ammathtar is destroyed by an evil force from deep inside the Southern Lluirwood. (A beholder is responsible for the destruction, but no one realizes it at the time.)|
|709||Year of Earnest Oaths||Halflings begin disappearing inside the Southern Lluirwood. Unbeknownst to them, the yuan-ti are using a portal to abduct halflings and take them to the Black Jungles for experimentation.|
|922||Year of Spouting Fish||Crinti raiders from Dambrath attack Ammathluir. The halflings, led by the marchwardens, turn back the invaders after three days of fighting.|
|1105||Year of Guardian||A great storm from the sea nearly destroys Beluir and causes widespread damage to Chethel and Krenadir.|
|1264||Year of Shattered Altar||druid Voolad Espiral, with the help of dark trees and other monsters, sacks Thruldar, an Estagundan community on the edge of the Lluirwood. Marchwardens and local ghostwise halflings slay Voolad and contain his spirit inside the ruins with magic.|
Luiren has no central government, since the halflings prefer cooperative self-regulation. The only communal governments are the village and town councils in the rural regions, and mayors who serve more as organizers than as true rulers in the urban centers. The priests of the hin temples hold a great deal of influence over many aspects of society, and the marchwardens identify and deal with threats against Luiren and its people. No government beyond those groups is recognized, and the halflings manage to remain happy and civilized without any additional oversight.
Though Luiren has little in the way of valuable resources other than the produce from its farms, it has been the focus of enmity from other races and countries surprisingly often. The halflings keep to themselves and don't trouble anyone who isn't interested in trading with them, yet invasions both explicit and subtle have plagued them throughout their history.
Though Dambrath and Luiren are currently at peace, they maintain that state only because at present, trade is more lucrative than war. Luiren's western neighbor hag such a long history of aggression against the halflings that the Small Folk never let down their guard anymore. From the raids by the human barbarians in early days to the more recent incursions by the Crinti, the Dambrathans have demonstrated time and time again that they are untrustworthy. The hin don't understand why they should merit such malevolence, but they've learned the hard way not to be fooled; they fully expect another attack from the west in the near future.
A long-standing enmity exists between the sour-tempered ogres living in the mountains to the north and the halflings in the woods and plains below. Since the founding of Luiren, the two races have squabbled over territory, and the disputes are not likely to be settled anytime soon. The ogres used to swarm down out of the foothills and into the halfling villages on a regular basis, but in recent centuries, they have found the Small Folk to be more formidable foes, thanks in large part to the tireless efforts of the marchwardens.
The fact that the halflings don't even know the yuan-ti are their enemies makes these creatures the most formidable of all Luiren's foes. The serpentfolk have opened a two-way portal that connects Ss'yin'tia'saminass, one of their cities in the depths of the Black Jungles, with the center of the Southern Lluirwood. They use this magical pathway to travel to the woods, snatch up lone halflings who stray too far into the forest, and transport them back to Ss'yin'tia'saminass for experimentation. The yuan-ti are attempting to create a new slave race, and they believe that the halflings might be a key component in their success. The marchwardens who patrol the target area have known for a very long time that dangerous creatures creep around in the Southern Lluirwood, but they do not know the specific nature of the threats. Thus far, they have simply been warning any and all hin to steer clear of these woods.