The Runberi are an ethnolinguistic grouping of mostly halflings that dominates the southern shores of the Great Bay. They speak the Runberi language, and are organized into city-states across the southern coast. Known far and wide for their mastery of shipbuilding, sailing, trading, glasswork, and financial instruments, the Runberi are perhaps the single most influential culture to come out of the Great Bay. While a maritime culture, the Runberi are also a farming people, While the Beirhamin inlands quickly give way to savannah and even desert, the coasts are fertile, enabling dense settlement. Most Runberi live within the orbit of one of these great coastal cities, and they have longstanding traditions of merchant aristocracy. Runberi commonly divide themselves into family units, or "houses", and decisions are made by council of those houses which have a certain amount of wealth in the community, and thus perceived investment in its success. Known for their mercantile prowess and the astonishing complexity of their politics, it is often said that however you negotiate with a Runberi, the Runberi shall always win. Though the Runberi themselves regard themselves as very honest traders, to others it is not so. Despite this reputation, the Runberi effectively control most of the shipping routes in the Great Bay, and have a way of convincing even the initially reticent to buy into their program. The Runberi have an almost frightful reputation not for what they do, but what they can convince you to do.
Shared customary codes and values
The Runberi value cleverness, fealty to one's house, and mercantile ability. Like most halfling cultures, Runberi social relationships can grow extremely complex, with reciprocal business relationships within and between the Runberi houses. The Runberi value the ability to navigate complex politics, and are unique in having formed what might be termed an empire with no emperor. The United Runberi Princedoms are ruled by consensus between 23 elected emirs, yet has lasted for over a hundred years. The Runberi do not place a high premium on warriors, seeing violence as a regrettably base way of resolving issues and often outsourcing their own need for fighters to subject peoples, frequently Beirhamin. A Runberi will prefer to avenge wrongs committed by social or legal means. Neverthless, the navies are held in high prestige, for the Runberi also highly value the profits they can gain from their expansive trade networks. The Runberi believe it is good to convince others of their ways, and eagerly spread their inventions and innovations, as well as their own adopted Nuwan faith.