Although Darokin is primarily made up of humans, they have ample room for most types of non-humans to make significant contributions to nearly all aspects of society. This is done for the same reason Darokinians do anything they see the potential for profit in it.
Most merchant houses welcome non-human traders as partners. While most deal only with the countries that are of their race (Rockhome, Alfheim, the Five Shires) to begin with, those that show talent are soon given greater responsibilities just like any other employee. Currently, non-humans fill many key positions in the Darokin economy, including the leadership of several medium-sized merchant houses.
Perhaps most importantly to the economic establishment of the Republic, non-humans are a significant market for imported goods, especially those from the nations founded by their race. And since non-humans make up just under 15 percent of Darokin's population, their needs cannot be ignored by a responsibe economy.
Halflings, or Hin as they call themselves, are not very common in Darokin because they seem to prefer to live in their own homeland, the neighboring Five Shires. Those Hin who do live in the Republic are concentrated in the towns bordering on the Five Shires, like Athenos, Hinmeet, and Mar. Hinmeet, in fact, was founded by Hin as a trading post so that Darokin caravans would not have to enter the Five Shires as often.
There are no halflings in positions of power in any of the major merchant houses or in th DDC. Many towns, especially in the northern half of Darokin, don't have a single halfling resident.
The Character of the Halfling
When thinking of halflings, most people immediately stereotype them as mischievous and childlike. Another common belief is that we are lazy and fear to leave the safety of our homes. While it is true that Hin are creatures of comfort and many never leave the town of their birth, it does not mean that all Hin are the same.
Unlike true children, Hin have far more respect for the property and dignity of others. Vandalism is unheard of in the Shires. Also, halflings have none of that wide-eye innocence that can be plainly seen in all human children.
Upon the arrival at adolescence, many Hin experience the Yallara. This is an urge for excitement and adventure. Some grow out of becoming yallaren after only a year, while others - like me, from the look of things - never do. It is during this time that Hin travel the world and can often be found in just about any civilised land. It is from the returning yallaren that the people of the Five Shires manage to learn about the going-ons in the rest of the Old World. Hin are often a lot more knowledgeable than humans about the world around them.
Most Hin are simple farmers, brewers and shopkeepers. They are always merry and happy. Nothing is more enjoyable to them that a warm fire, a good ale and a moving story. Still, a few a bold, daring, and even dangerous. Ask any Thyatian unfortunate enough to encounter a ship full of Hin pirates. These halflings have a well-earned reputation of being a danger of the Sea of Dread.
Finally, Hin do not worship any of the traditional Immortals like the members of other races do. Instead they revere Hin Heroes; Hin who have accomplished great deeds during the lives, often saving the Shires against incredible odds, and now watch over the Hin forever [essentially, they are Immortals; the Hin just call them Heroes instead. Ed.]. Despite this, Hin priests are still rare. Those that do exist are called Masters, and their goal is to protect the Five Shires from all dangers. Very rarely do they ever step foot off of the sacred grounds of the Hin nation.
Naming your character
Halfling names are composed of a first 'true name' and a secondary name that is most often an epithet or possibly the name of their clan. The following well known halflings serve as a good example of this naming convention; Tarisco Highnose, Maeragh Littlelaughs, Dulene Darkeyes, Sildil Seaeyes.