The People - Social
The attitude of the people is generally hard for an outsider to fully comprehend. There is no convept of ownership beyond personal items. Indeed the very idea of theft is unknown to them. Any item from any house may be taken without reason or indeed any expectation of being returned. Outsiders are generally confined to their own domicile for this reason. This prevents them from removing items that cannot be easily replaced from the community as a whole. As this behaviour does not benefit the community as a whole, but only the outsider it is frowned upon and the closest thing that they know to theft. Generally status is found within the community, in achievements, attitude and the simple joy of living that most of the people share with each other. Artists and craftsmen gain status through the enrichment of the community, rather than the inherent skill or artistry in their works. Leaders and warriors are respected for their skill in battle and the protection that they grant to their people. The downside to this social model is that unconventional or individualistic members of the community can be ostracised or shunned even if they bring significant benefits, as it rare for such individuals to have many friends who can support them in times of need. If however a new idea can be successfully introduced, either through careful planning or a spectacular demonstration then its originator gains a great deal of prestige and is generally accepted back into the community. One of the most noticeable things about their society is that there is very little internal malice. One of the many theories for this is that the knowledge that they live in an incredibly hostile and dangerous location causes The People to group together, struggle for the common goal. So while each person if free to do their own thing, and while arguments do occur nobody wants the situation to degrade to the point where the safety or security of the local community is endangered.
Gifts form a large part of the interactions between communities. All such gifts are freely given, without any obligation on the part of the receiver. However there is always the hope; or in one or two rare instances the expectation, that such gifts will be reciprocated. It is a more formal agreement of this type that forms the basis for trade agreements between communities. Such agreements usually consist of an obligation to carry as much of a certain commodity as the community is willing to trade to a designated point, normally a relatively secure location roughly halfway between the two parties. Once there an agreement is worked out over how much each commodity is worth. The worth of a particular commodity is in its simplest form, how much effort it takes to obtain the item. In practice this turns into a complicated haggling activity, with weather patterns, the time of year, and even illness of individual people are all accounted for within the bargaining process. What is remarkable is not that any trade occurs at all, but rather the degree to which all parties think that they have managed to secure a good and fair bargain for their people. A fair and just process that rewards hard work and dedication with the respect and admiration that acts as something better to The People than any gold token or promise of service. Indeed it is not unknown for the name of a particular miner, who is known for his skill in finding good ores to greatly skew the course of negotiations. Or indeed for the name of any widely known and respected craftsman to have such influence.