Hin, or Halflings in human slang, are short, small-framed human-like beings who have a long history of mixing with humans, dating as far back as when both existed as cave-dwellers in the eastern Dragonspine Mountains.
There are two broad sub-races of hin: Lightfoots and Stouts.
These hin couldn’t be any further apart in outlook and how they live.
Lightfoots are nomadic, travelling about Aythia in caravans, large and small, entertaining and experiencing the Known World.
Due to this, they tend to be quite knowledgeable about cultures and geography and a very affable race.
Stout Hin, on the other hand, are sedentary and it is not unknown for a Stout Hin to be born and die of old age, never having left their homeland.
Stouts live primarily in cave networks dotted around the valleys of the eastern Dragonspine Mountains, where the race originally evolved.
They are a hardy and fearless breed, having to survive not only orcs and goblins who also call the mountains home, but giants of all varieties who see hin as little more than food.
They have adapted well to their treacherous life in the mountains however, and defend their territory well against all foes.
Hin don’t like to be called halflings and find it insulting. They don’t see themselves as ‘half’ anything.
They also don’t necessarily like their reputation of being merely thieves and pickpockets, but while the stouts would sink a spear into the heart of anyone who said that to their face, the lightfoots tend to use it to their advantage when possible.
Travelling around in well-defended caravans (also known as Kavals), lightfoots live in clans made up of many families in a sort of travelling village.
It is not unusual to find a long train of wagons and carts along the roads of the Freelands and beyond, or the same wagons pulled into a circle on the outskirts of a settlement.
Each hin has a particular job (or sometimes multiple jobs, especially in smaller caravans) and carries it out without fuss as each hin knows that others are relying on them.
You find many of the same occupations in a hin kaval as you would in a regular human town, but several take on more importance in a caravan.
The cartwright takes on an important role, and usually has several apprentices he relies on to keep the wagons moving.
Scouts and outriders are also important as this informs the caravans of any dangers up ahead.
Warriors accompany many of the wagons or ride mounts (or varying kinds; from large dogs, to ponies, to more exotic mounts) that travel alongside the caravan itself.
The navigator works with the clan head to find the best way to the next settlement, something the hin plan out ahead of time. They usually have meticulous maps and charts of places they have visited, which for an old kaval could be numerous.
Stout Hin live primarily in the eastern Dragonspine Mountains and maintain numerous cave systems in the valleys there.
Like their name suggests, they are much hardier than their Lightfoot cousins, but not as outwardly amiable. However, once you are accepted by a Stout Hin, you will find a more friendly and generous side to them.
They are hardy warriors, needing to be due to the deadly conditions they live with.
Giants who dwell in the mountains tend to see stout hin as little more than a snack and will, if hungry, go in search of them.
The stout hin also have to contend with orc and goblin forays into their territory and are well defended against them.
Their warriors know how to attack and defend against all these enemies and have developed special troops to help them.