Halfling Shires and Gnomish Hill Lands
There are no large settlements or lands of note occupied by either halflings or gnomes.
Gnomish clans occupy hill or forest ‘burrows’ or hill-complexes in groups numbering no more than 500 or so. In settled and peaceful lands they will possess a large open clearing near the community, known as green-gatherings or greenmoots, where merchants and peddlers may sell wares and goods. Occasionally a brew hall, tavern, inn, or similar permanent structure mark this area for passing travelers. Even more so than halflings, most gnomish communities reside entirely in vaults, rooms, and halls under hills or within caverns large enough to sustain their number – many false entrances and illusions serve to steer non-gnomes away from these places. Gnome clans are found in borderlands and wilderness areas near dwarven holds or elvish forests. Much like dwarves, gnomes prefer to settle near secluded vales and pastures where livestock may be raised and some farming practiced. They resist and resent any intimation of vassalage or ‘rule’ by human authorities who would claim gnomish lands for their own.
Halfling shires are typically composed of a few dozen families and are more spread out than gnomish communities. They are centered around a meeting hall which invariably serves as a tavern or inn, providing food (and more importantly beer and ale) to halfling communities and peaceful travelers that pass through their lands. Halfling structures are individual, belonging to one family, and linked to each other by roads, cart paths, lazy rivers, and farmland traveling above ground. While they sleep under the earth as gnomes, halflings tend to love the sun and sky more than gnomes and linger there more frequently. Halfling shires will be found in wilderness or borderland areas serving as a buffer between human and elfish lands.
Unlike halflings, there are substantial gnomish ‘ghettos’ to be found in a few of the major cities of the Three Lands. Semimia, Lords, Regia, Medaal, and the City of Grace in the Holy Kingdom all boast substantial gnomish communities within their walls: hidden within the labyrinthian side-streets, alleys, and byways of these ancient metropolises.