Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Halflings of Blonks

Blonks is one of the many Dukedoms formed in the Sutland after the fall of the Tikreti Empire. On its collapse, over 300 years ago, Blonks was formed from one of the Duchies of the Empire.


300 years ago, the relatively unmolested halflings of Blonks were conquered by the Tikreti Empire. Empyric practices at the time were to appoint a local related to the previous system to govern and so a halfling was appointed the first Duke of Blonks. Under the duke, three barons were each appointed a portion of the dukedom. A century later the empire falls but the Duchies under it remain. The former empire splits into thousands of independent realms, some fell to conquerors, others saw sense to ally with their neighbors to form new kingdoms. The disparate groups of the Barden plains and Stallem hill valleys that form the Sutland mostly remained small and independent.


Life ruled by nobles never really suited the halfling way of life, theirs being a much more equitable and equal society than existed in most other places in the empire. For this reason, the dukes and barons that rule are mostly ignored by the majority of halflings. Their tithes are small and the barons know not to push too hard, else they find themselves completely ostracised from Blonkian society. This society is almost entirely made up of small hamlets and villages, consisting of very few large (albeit low ceilinged) communal living huts surrounding a Home Hearth of Anwyn. All food preparation and consumption is done within the Home Hearth, as well as being the common gathering place and workspace for the village. The huts surrounding the home hearths are also communal space, up to twenty people will live in a hut that has no internal walls or separations of any kind.


Halflings are not private people at all, their communal living prevents it, to extremes that other cultures may be shocked by. A Blonkian will happily defecate in front of people, as well as fornicate. Although halflings are mainly monogamous, the participants, nor or any onlookers would feel slightly uncomfortable engaging in sex in a communal sleeping area. Pre-marital sex is not uncommon, the older folk just smile at the youths and their emotions, knowing that soon they will be adults and ready for marriage. Children are brought up communally and although a child will know who their parents are, no particular affection or attachment is normal in Blonkian society.


A typical village will be surrounded by many wind chimes and other noise making paraphernalia. Loud instruments and many bodies close together keep away Malkalin, the dark stalker. A god of darkness that takes lone halflings at night, Malkalin also has influence in The city in Darkness. Halflings in the city do not live communally and there is some debate as to whether this has drawn Malkalin to the city.


The head of the village is a member of a mystery cult of Yashan. Although they still live communally, only the heads of villages and their eventual replacement are indoctrinated into the Yashani (as they are known). The followers of Yashan meet secretly every full moon to discuss leadership, perform protective rituals over the villages of Blonks and make the sacrifices Yashan demands for his protection. At every meeting, an animal born since the last full moon is sacrificed.

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