The Age of Ash
This article needs to be cleaned up, too broadly stereotypical about Halfling culture as a whole (after the first two paragraphs, mainly). Make a new page for a particular Halfling community (or group of communities) that follows these specific traditions.
Halfling culture largely revolves around sun worship. Outsiders view worship of Pelor as bizarre, even revolting, in a sun drenched arid desert. Halflings, however, see their god as having been the victim of a great tragedy during a bygone era. Pelor is in many ways similar to the Halflings themselves. These little people struggle to survive in a dangerous world where other races look down on them. No one pities another in the Ashen Wastes, and often times the only why to gain respect is through ruthless intimidation. These traits are not common to innocent Halfling folk, and consequently they see themselves as misunderstood outsiders. Pelor, likewise, is a misunderstood deity. He does not pour forth his wrath onto the innocent peoples of Arkosia. Rather, it is the case that since the tragic fall he has lost his ability to regulate the seasons. He is struggling against a great calamity that unfairly harmed him, just as the Halflings are struggling against the unfair circumstances which fate has dealt them.
Some may wonder why anyone would want to worship such a deity. Keep in mind that Pelor is seen as a resilient god who has struggled on despite overwhelming odds, just like the Halfling race. Also remember that many gods, such as the ones that the elves used to worship, have been annihilated. By comparison the unyielding sun is a force to be reckoned with. Some legends say that other gods were also destroyed long ago, along with entire races. For example a supposed race of one eyed baby ogres died shortly after their deity passed away eons ago. Of course, this is more legend than history.
Regardless of any resulting peculiarities that may result, Halflings take their religion more seriously then most other societies. Their political and military system both directly correspond to their religious hierarchy. Halfling ritual needs to take place in a position as close as possible to the sun, which means they must travel to the tops of mountains. However, Halflings do not like to constantly live under the gaze of their god’s eye, for fear of disappointing him. Consequently, they live in the mountains’ valley, or what they call Palor’s palm. Before they helped the Dragonborn remove the threat from large birds of pray they used to hide in caves in order to escape both the sun and huge talons.
In order to rise in Halfling society one must first rise within their church, which in turn means one must consistently make pilgrimages up to the mountain summits. Unfortunately this is very dangerous. Luckily the Halflings have developed a fairly sophisticated system to protect themselves from any would be attackers such as the last remaining large game on the mountains and Sand Elves exploring beyond their territory. One particularly charismatic and well armored Halfling will travel with a group of pious pilgrims. When an attacker appears the pilgrims will scatter while the well armored remaining Halfling will call out a great challenge to the attacker. Usually the attacker will be either too focused on or at least infuriated by the defending Halfling to bother with his friends. The attacker and defending Paladin can then enter a dual which gives the other Halflings time to organize. The attacker will then find himself surrounded in a moment and be forced to either retreat or die trying.
These noble protecting knights are seen as brave warriors amongst the Halflings and universally respected. Any Halfling that can survive long enough to eventually retire from such a dangerous job will almost certainly go on to become a high priest or priestess, and thus a member of the Halfling leadership.
Years of cave dwelling thought the Halflings how to cultivate various useful herbs and fungi. They have now developed a way to collect water that collects on the cave floors in large “dew pots.” They also have found a way to purify the water found in several of the lower caves’ stagnant pools. Finally, the Halflings have learned to take full advantage of the occasional moisture that comes from the Sea of Glass. The Sea of Glass possesses temperamental weather. Normally this is very dangerous, but every so often heavy rain clouds that pound the Sea of Glass will leave the area and enter the ashen wastes. Of course these clouds dissipate almost immediately, but their moisture sometimes collects in Palor’s palm. This keeps the dirt somewhat moist, thus making Palor’s Palm one of the only places in Arkosia that is filled with dirt, not sand. The Halflings have found ways to grow limited numbers of crops in this rocky soil. This, in conjunction with the resources they collect from their caves, relieves Halflings of the need to hunt.
The soil also lets the Halflings build more substantial homes. The combination of moist dirt and sun allows them to bake bricks. Consequently, the Halflings have built a town filled with quaint, brick homes that stay cool during the day but hold in the heat during the night. The number of Halflings has been steadily increasing ever since their natural predators have been diminishing, although recently Sand Elves from the Roc tribe have made several raids into the Halfling village during the night and carried off slaves. This has once again put the Halflings in a state of fear, and threatens to create open warfare between these little people alongside their draconic allies and the Sand Elves.