Half Elves

Half-Elf

Half-Elves

Languages

Common, Elven

Favored Regions

Any

Favored Religions

Calistria, Cayden Cailean, Desna, Irori, Lamashtu, Nethys, Sarenrae, Shelyn, Zon-Kuthon

Female Names

Caithrin, Eandi, Elneth, Iandoli, Ilyin, Kieyanna, Liada, Lorceli, Maddeva, Mihalyi, Nahmias, Reda, Saroun, Tamarie, Urriona

Male Names

Carangal, Cavathes, Dorsavnil, Encinal, Gouard, Iradli, Kyras, Narinso, Nassaler, Otoniel, Quiray, Seltyiel, Troxell, Turenne, Zirul

Appearance

Half-elves generally look like attractive humans with pointed ears. They stand about half a head taller than humans and rarely put on weight no matter what they eat. Those with stronger elven traits are more likely to be viewed as outsiders by humans, who nonetheless remain strangely fascinated by them. Half-elves whose looks favor their human side tend to have a difficult time in elven society, with conservative elves subtly pushing them to discover their human heritage by exploring the world at large (and thus abandoning the pure elf community). Half-elven skin tones usually take on the hue of the human parent’s skin.

The term “half-elf” is not exactly accurate. It is not a genuine measure of the heritage of these beings, but rather a statement that somewhere in their parentage exists the union of human and elf. As long as both elven and human traits show themselves in these children, they are called half-elves and don’t truly belong in either of their ancestors’ cultures. They have a shorter lifespan than elves, yet are longer-lived than humans. As such, they must make an effort to adjust their lives to the communities they adopt. They must choose to accentuate their similarities or their differences—there is no middle ground for them—for wherever they go, they face prejudices as half-breeds, bastards, cultural betrayers, or outright abominations.

The half-elven mentality is often a fragile and occasionally an erratic thing. Though half-elves are not immune to the ravages of time, they suffer them much more slowly than humans. When they live among humans, they watch their friends grow old and wither, and must accustom themselves to the rapid change of the world around them even as they remain largely the same. Because of this, they either grow nostalgic as they age, or they learn to become ever more adaptable to and flexible about the communities in which they live, sometimes losing their sense of identity. It is a rare half-elf who learns to integrate the disparate elements of the human community with the elven half of her mind.

In general, half-elves adopt the mannerisms, speech, and dress of their chosen people. Some take this practice to impossible extremes, attempting to become a perfect embodiment of their chosen society. But a few eventually dismiss it and attempt to walk their own path. Either way they choose, their long lives provide them a valuable window on the culture of their people; they recognize the trends and fads of human art and politics, and frequently turn this to their advantage, becoming popular entertainers, bards, or artists. Sometimes, half-elves become trendsetters in their fields, combining their wide knowledge of history with modern innovations, helping to drive forward the cultural discussion and sparking waves of creativity.

Half-elves are naturally most common near large elven communities. In Avistan, this means that most half-elves hail from places near Kyonin, and are of Taldan or Varisian descent. Less commonly, one might see Chelish, Kellid, or Ulfen half-elves. Garundi and Mwangi half-elves are rare, except near the lands of the Ekujae elves. Vudrani and Tian half-elves are almost nonexistent in the Inner Sea region.

When half-elves choose an adventuring lifestyle, they tend to be better adjusted and more certain of themselves, having more time away from their culture to gain perspective on where they fit in. They meet a wider range of people, and develop far-reaching networks of contacts, informants, and allies. Although they rarely fit in with any particular town, they make a few close friends wherever they go. They are excellent companions on the road and are among the first to stand in the face of danger. Because many experiment with a variety of roles over the course of their lives, they can draw upon wide-ranging experiences that allow them to shine in nearly any situation. Their fierce devotion to allies who see past their parentage to their individual skills and talents makes them among the most reliable companions in adventurers’ dangerous lives.

Half-elves do not usually create communities of their own, preferring instead to live among their parents’ people. Because of this, they can choose either human or elven traits or feats appropriate to the culture they have chosen; a Taldan half-elf can take Taldan feats and traits, while a Varisian half-elf can choose Varisian feats and traits.

 

Half Elves

Lands of the Linnorm Kings HillaryRenaeMize