The Last Days of Ilam
The Halfling Protectorate
By 928 the borders of The Tyvor Empire began to expand into halfling lands. For most of their history the halflings chose to not form a centralized state, instead towns and provinces are governed by elected mayors and elder councils. In times of need or danger a Grand Council is called and all towns send their representatives. The Grand Councils organized the armies that participated in The Tower Wars.
A Grand Council is called in 928 to decide what will be done about the encroaching empire. The result shocks all of Ilam. The halflings propose to join the empire. The Stoneybrook Accord proposes that the halflings keep their local rule but submit to imperial taxation and leadership. Halflings towns would be able to send representatives the the Senate just like current Imperial provinces. In exchange the empire must use its armies to protect the halfling lands. The empire accepts the deal.
There are still some disparities between the halfling towns and the rest of the empire. Halfling lords are not readily accepted in the knightly orders and limits are placed on the number of halfling senators. Despite this the new Protectorate thrives under Imperial rule and becomes a major producer of food and trade goods. Most halflings live pastoral lifestyles, raids from goblins, drow and orcs are almost completely halted by the Guard. Some halflings grumble that they have traded their freedom for safety.
After The Cataclysm the Protectorate becomes the only food source for the empire. The empire begins to demand that halfling farmers give up their produce for drastically low prices. Many farmers refuse and many mayors begin to speak out against what they see as oppression. Rumors begin of calling a Grand Council. Before this can happen the empire garrisons troops in every major town and declares martial law.
The current situation in the Protectorate is grim. As Tyvor continues to weaken, mercenaries are brought in to maintain control. There are rummors of forced labor camps and the execution of dissidents.