by T.A. Saunders ©2010 v1.0
Average Height: Around 5 feet, 7 inches tall for males and five feet for females.
Average Weight: One hundred and sixty pounds for males and eighty pounds for females.
Description: Half-Elves vary widely in appearance, depending largely on both their parents.
Languages Spoken: Shei and Common
Racial Age Limit: Roughly 600 to 625 years.
Racial Nicknames: Half-Breed, Kjah-Shei (pronounced Jah-Shay), Sin-Child.
The Half-Elf has the blessing of inheriting natural beauty from their Elvish bloodline, while inheriting the strength and durability of their human parents. As mentioned above, the look of a half-elf will depend largely on what sort of human and what sort of elf they came from; pale skin, black hair and red eyes are as possible as tawny skin, blonde hair and blue eyes. Though, because of the rarity of certain types of half-elves, most will either half Moon Elf or possibly Wild Elf kin. A Half Shadow Elf is extremely rare but are possible. Most Half Elves will also most likely have a Hill Folk human side, though Tashrani is also uncommon and Northlander is the rarest of human-side parenting.
Racial Abilities and Limitations
Dark-Sight: The ability to see in extremely low light and no light conditions for 160 feet.
Indomitable Will: The ability to resist all fear, domination and charm spells (65%).
Silent Movement: The ability to move silently at a penalty of half movement speed (75%).
Ambidexterity: Half-Elves are ambidextrous and can use two small/medium sized weapons at +5% to hit.
Quickness: Physically, Half-Elves are more sturdy and physically stronger than their Shei parent, while being just outright faster than their Human parent. This allows for a sort of acrobatic attenuation that normally doesn’t exist in either species. This allows for a natural -20% armor rating and either a flat 65% chance to evade a single attack per round or a +10% chance to a class-based evasion score. This trait skill also allows for a +5% to both Acrobatics and Tracing non-weapon proficiencies. (-20% armor rating, 65% to evade or +10% to an Evasion class skill. +5% to Acrobatics and Tracing non-weapon proficiencies).
Strength of Bloodlines: Half-Elves may take one trait from the Human Trait skills, reflecting the strength gained from the mingling of bloodlines. (Allows for one trait to be taken from Human Trait skills).
Path of Zorah (Moon Elf Lineage Only): Half-Moon Elves can also use moonlight to travel long distances. If there is strong moonlight available to them (three-quarter moon, or better) they may use it to travel anywhere else on Imarel that it is night time. This feat can only be called on once per night. (100% success if destination is familiar. 50% chance for failure if the destination is unknown. Failure can mean being teleported somewhere else, or simply not going anywhere).
Gift of the Wild (Wild Elf Lineage Only): Half-Wild Elves can hide in shadows if they remain still, because of their smaller profile and their naturally stealthy nature. Furthermore, Half-Wild Elves can move over land without leaving a discernible trail to track them by. This understanding of covering one’s tracks also grants all Half-Wild Elves with basic tracking skills. (85% to Hide in Shadows, 3% chance to be tracked. 55% to track).
Gift of Shadows (Shadow Elf Lineage Only): When in the dark, Half-Shadow Elves can hide with uncanny ease, making them nearly undetectable under most circumstances. They are even able to move while maintaining this cover, providing they have made their Silent Movement check. When under the effect of the Gift of Shadows, a Half-Shadow Elf can surprise attack as well, giving them an advantage in combat. (75% Hide in Shadows, Surprise Attack 55%, if successful the surprise attacker gains an extra attack that round).
Children of a Dying Light: The History of the Half-Elf
Forbidden. This was the law set down by the Prince of the Sivanoshei when Humans were first discovered wandering Ishaela as tribal nomads. The lines of racial purity were drawn then, as the Prince felt that the Sivanoshei could not educate, guide and enlighten the Humans, if lust or love mingled in their interactions. Elfkind was to remain aloof to such temptations, so that Humans would look upon them as teachers, rather than something to satiate lust upon.
This unfortunately, like the secret of Magic, was not kept to and before too long Half-Sivanoshei children began popping up here and there. Often, the parents were both exiled from the kingdom and left to live in the wild, where they could raise the fruit of their transgression away from the light that was Am-Shei. There are almost no records of Half-Sivanoshei children, simply because such births were never recorded. Any Half-Elvish children that grew up were likewise shunned from society and forced to live off the land or turn to the Kaal`Kor for shelter.
The Dwarves thought this policy of the Elves was foolish and more often than not, were willing to take in the Half-Sivanoshei outcasts. Many were taught the secrets of engineering, mining and rune-forging as well as knowledge of their patron god, Kaal. Most of the Half-Sivanoshei outcasts grew to despise their Elvish roots and found themselves more inclined to follow the path of those Humans under the guidance of the Dwarves.
When Khavos began attracting followers, there were many Half-Sivanoshei amongst them; being brushed aside by their Elvish bloodline, they felt a deep-seeded resentment towards the Prince and his ‘oppression’ of the Human people under his regime. By the time of the Great Sundering, almost all Half-Sivanoshei were populated in Sengaard and did not cross to Imarel when the Portal was opened. It is believed since there are no Half-Sivanoshei vampires in modern Sengaard, that all were slain at Khavos’ command, to ensure that there were no spies amongst their ranks, or perhaps slain by their own Human brethren in fear of any ‘Elf-like’ mannerisms they possessed.
With the emergence of the Tallis-Shei and the Humans that came with them, on Imarel, many of the old ways were cast aside. With Humans living amongst them in copious amounts, it did not take long for Half-Moon Elf babies to start showing up all across Shalzaar. Unlike before, the Half-Elf children were embraced and raised with the moral values of a Sivanoshei society, while tempering it with the open-mindedness of their Human allies. This racial blending continues to this day, in the Republic of Windsong, mostly where the remains of the original Moon Elf population and the Shalzaari Humans that came with them now hold residence.
The War of Eternals did considerably thin out the Moon Elves, however; a race who numbered in the several million before the war, now lingers at a few thousand, to this day. It is expected that in a few dozen generations, there will be no true Moon Elves left and the abundance of Half-Elves will be all that remains of their legacy. Many of the free-thinking and warm-hearted Moon Elves are fine with this eventuality, should it come to pass; it is enough that children were born and loved to them, than what their cultural identity might be.
The Tradition of the Past: Wild Elves and Shadow Elves
The Tallis-Kah and the Tallis-Vyss have a different take on Human interactions. Like their Sivanoshei ancestors, neither the Wild Elves or the Shadow Elves advocate inter-breeding with Humans. This is done largely because they wish to maintain a cultural identity and with the slow-growing population of Elfkind to consider, it would be ultimately destructive to partake in such trysts as, they feel, the Moon Elves have proven.
The difference between the Wild Elf outlook and the Shadow Elf outlook differs vastly beyond this one point; Wild Elves will accept and teach a half-breed child their ways, if given the opportunity to do so. The Shadow Elves adhere to the old way of exile with no known exceptions ever made. In cases of nobility participating in such births, all social rank, land holding and standing are stripped, the Shadow Elf noble is banished from the Twilight Court and the parents can be sentenced to death, at the pleasure of the King or Queen.
Needless to say, this has made the Half-Shadow Elf variety of Half-Elf exceedingly rare. The most notable of them is Mira Y’Saen-Stormdancer, who is the shrewd mind behind the Mira’s Hope outpost, on the southern tip of Shalzaar. Protected by nearly every government on Imarel, who has a vested interest in the use of the outpost, the Kingdom of Vyss must grudgingly accept her existence and leave her in peace. The bulk of the outpost’s population in fact consists of Humans, exiled Shadow Elves and their half-breed children, who are cutting out a better life for themselves, outside the intemperate views of the Shadow Elves.
On the other hand, there are more than a few Half-Wild Elves running about, who fully embrace the Wild Elf culture, beliefs and views on protecting nature. They are also treated equally, given every liberty and respect a full Elf of their culture would receive. It is also made clear, that while they are considered equals in society that it would be looked upon favorably if they took an Elvish mate, as opposed to a Human one. This one matter aside, Half-Wild Elves are embraced as kin and have in the past, sat in important positions with the Tallis-Kah Territories, including high ranking druids and rangers.
Half-Elves as a Culture
The Half-Elves onto themselves do not have a cultural identity, but tend to relate to either their human or Elvish background. As has been noted elsewhere, depending largely on the Elvish side of the heritage will in turn depend what sort of cultural identity they may or may not have. Some Half-Elves, for whatever reason may find more value in their Human cultural roots and will tend to mirror those values and beliefs.
In addressing the Elvish viewpoint, Moon Elves having lost most of their original cultural identify, have developed over the centuries since the War of Eternals a more progressive and free-thinking culture, where inter-breeding with Humans is considered an evolution in their people’s development, rather than a mark of shame. Moon Elves are more concerned with the study of magic, the maintaining of religious and culturally significant knowledge and values, than racial purity.
Wild Elves consider their Half-Elvish population a happy accident and tend to look at the rearing of such children as making lemonade from lemons. They are educated and inducted into society as Elves, though there are various degrees of prejudice when Half Wild-Elves are dealing with their full-blooded kin. Most are accepting of their half-blood kin, some are grudgingly so but there is almost no outright hatred.
Shadow Elves at the very best of circumstances will shun their half-blood kin. They will not look at them, they will not speak to them and if addressed, they will simply walk away, ignoring the existence of a Half-Shadow Elf (or any Half-Elf for that matter). In the very worst, a Half-Elf of any breed caught in a major Shadow Elf city like Am-Raynia is likely to be banished on pain of death, beaten or possibly killed on sight, for being an aberration. The generally dark turn Shadow Elf society has taken post War of Eternals has bred copious amounts of intolerance that draws its power from the fact that straying from any of the traditions can lead to destruction and anarchy.
Of the Human viewpoint, most human parents of Half-Elvish children love them no differently than if they were children of full human decent. The prejudice does not show itself until racial differences are exploited somehow. Half-Elvish children for instance, almost never get adopted into Human families, for fear the child will outlive even their grand-children and horde any claim of title, land or money that may exist. In schools, Half-Elvish children are often picked upon, for developing more slowly physically than their human counterparts, but still maintaining a higher mental acumen than most humans. While this can lead to challenges growing up, most Half-Elves are accepted in Human societies, regardless of their cultural roots.