Rise and Fall of Arela
The village of Fragnick, which is an ancient Elven word for “Forgotten Realm”, is situated in a hilly and humid area to the south-west of Freeport. The village is well secluded. To its own side is a sheer cliff drop-off that descends into one of the mysterious ‘wax forests’ of Arela, a place where people do not venture. To its south is a thick marsh swampland, and on all other sides are thick and untamed tropical forest.
The village was founded by the Elf Alduin Halfar soon after the failed Elven invasion of Arela. Alduin and a small number of Elves sought a secluded area in Arela to build a life for themselves rather than return to Adweld in defeat. Feeling themselves outcasts of Elven society, they gladly welcomed other undesirables to their settlement. The village is now largely composed of half-orcs, kobolds, and even a few hobgoblins. All agree to live together in a cooperative society and those who cannot are outcast.
Customs and Society
Populated as it is by many different monstrous humanoids, Fragnick has some unusual customs. Foremost is that many of its residents are not given names at birth or when they first arrive, but must instead earn a name by completing some task beneficial to the settlement. Residents will often go by some other nickname in the meantime, but all understand that the moniker is temporary and will eventually be replaced.
Another major difference is the way families are structured. Because some half-breed children are the result of traumatic circumstances, and to protect these unfortunates from further trauma and ostracism due to knowledge of their origins, all mixed-breed children born in the town are given to other families raise soon after birth. This ensures that any child raised in the town will not know their true parentage or the circumstances of their parentage, but also allows each child to be given to willing parents. Devastating as separation soon after birth can be to new mothers who are not ashamed of their children, those who choose to reside there recognize this as an attempt to protect the children as a whole and give them opportunities they might not otherwise have.
These exchanges are orchestrated by Alduin Halfar and are carefully protected, so even the adoptive parents do not know the origins of their new child. This does have the added consequence and complication of turning dating and courtship into a fraught issue, so any interested in pursuing a romantic relationship are asked to have it approved by Alduin or a knowledgeable member of his council. Refusal does not necessarily mean a familial relationship, as judgements will occasionally be refused at first only to be accepted after a second or third attempt.
That some chafe under the strict life under this system is no secret, but those that live there are willing to make some sacrifices in order to live open and peaceful lives unashamed of their appearance and away from fearful, hostile neighbors.