[Excerpt from Encyclopaedia Populus: A Compendium of the Peoples, Personalities, and Practices of Ylan (5th ed.), by Miriam Busslewickett]
The Halflings of Ylan call the Kingdom of Delos their homeland, and are still found in great concentrations along its bountiful coastlines. While Gnomes and even Dwarves are more often counted among the realm’s greatest modern shipbuilders, Ylan’s best and most common sailors, captains, fishermen, navigators and other seafarers have always been Halflings. Too, Halfling communities are found along the shores of most of Ylan’s lakes and rivers, and Halfling boatmen ply all her waters.
Captains can be heard to remark that a ship without a Halfling in the rigging is doomed, and sailors of all races appear to take this superstition quite seriously. Those seeking to commission any kind of ship will have a hard time finding either captain or crew unless they can promise at least one Halfling will be aboard.
Halflings are widely known for their optimism, courage, tenacity, humor, cheer, and love of good song, food, and drink. And though these wee folk have spread throughout nearly all regions of Ylan, their nautical heritage strongly informs their culture wherever they may be found. Many of their most common aphorisms bear this out:“The days pass happily with me wherever my ship sails.”
“The sea hates a coward.”
“Wind is to us what money is to life on shore.”
“The goal is not to sail the boat, but rather to help the boat sail herself.”
“A ship is safe in harbor but that’s not what ships are for.”
“Everyone must row with the oars he has.”
See also Tillith