Half-elves possess the traits that all humans wish they had. Longevity in life and otherworldly beauty make the half elves objects of desire but their appeal comes at a price. Life for a half elf in Saratta can be difficult, filled with challenges that many have a hard time overcoming. They are shunned by full blooded elves as impure and pushed away by their human counterparts because they stand out in a crowd. For those half-bloods who can overcome the label of their blood lies a world ripe for the taking.
Half elves are creative and independent. Many of them have had to fend for themselves at early ages, but despite their difficult roads that have a surprising ability to look at the world around them as a place of beauty. Those who get to know a half elf will find loyal companions who are slow to trust and often in question of motives. Half elves tend to keep their own dreams and aspirations to all but their own kind and the few they can identify with; those who walk the hard roads in life.
Due to their human heritage, half elves maintain an heir of vanity and always desire to better themselves through their lives. Their elven blood fills them with the song of the world; music and art flows from the fingertips of a half elf with little effort. Many of the things that a half elf tries in life will come naturally to them which many count as a small blessing for the burdens they must bear.
Most half elves retain a portion of the personality type of their elven half as well (See Elves for details on personality types).
Half elves stand about as tall as humans, ranging between just under 5 feet and just under 6 feet, often weighing around 100 to 180 pounds. Their frames are typically slim like their elven ancestors but they can bulk up as well. Their facial features are extremely symmetrical adding to their allure and their ears can vary on whether or not they are tipped like a full elf. Their skin usually lacks blemishes, though freckles appear of more fair haired half elves, and maintains a soft, childlike look throughout their lives.
A Half Elf's hair and eyes are usually one of the most telling features of their mixed blood. Their eyes are usually more round like their human parents and take on a shade of blue or green. Their hair is often more smooth and soft than a humans, but often has curls that are not present in full blooded elves. Many half elves grow their hair long to conceal their human blood, but others have been known to embrace it.
Second generation (and further down the line) half elves begin to look more human but their fair skin and slightly tipped ears remain tell-tale signs of their lineage.
Half elves enjoy an extended lifespan thanks to their elvish blood. An average lifetime is approximately 500 years.
The half elves of Saratta have a difficult time fitting in with many of the cultures that exist beyond their own. Most often half bloods band together and look out for one another if they were fortunate enough to find others like themselves at an early age. Others become loners, fitting in with very few people, their own kin included. Those who are accepted in the societies that they grow up in are generally well loved and received.
Human reactions to half elves can take extreme spectrums. For the most part, they tend to get along with half elves without incident. Humans often stereotype them as being a weaker race and often delegate less desirable chores to them, but for those who persevere and work hard will find themselves nearly equal in the realm of man (many half elves try to conceal their mixed blood to avoid such issues).
Larger human settlements are the most ideal for a half elf so long as they are raised their from an early age. Being of mixed decent in those communities is usually far less difficult due to the wide variety of individuals who populate them. Small villages are can be a mixed bag. In some cases the half elf will be the most beautiful and exotic person in the town, leading to jealousy and contempt. At the same time they could grow to be well loved as a symbol to another such town.
Despite the mixed lives that they lead, Half elves are prone to adopting their own families, often bonding with those they travel with. Such relationships can become lifetime bonds that are often just as thick as blood.
Half Elves living among elves are usually in for the most difficulties. Treatment of their kind the harshest within the borders of Tashmine where they are viewed as the most lowly of creature, impure and unwanted. In those lands they are called Gjokul which is akin to filth.
Interaction with Issalonian elves can be just as difficult as they are viewed as young and immature with little knowledge or respect for elven culture. Some Issalonians will take half elves under their wing of tutelage and train them in what it means to be an elf, but even they feel that half elves are too impulsive for their own good. This leaves the half elves feeling like strangers among those they should be able to identify with. Despite this, there are still many stories that half elves tell one another of the great lands of Issalon and the promise of acceptance.
Most surprisingly the greatest acceptance they can get comes from the least likely of places. The elves of Tyr allow half elves to grow and learn in their culture. Half elves are not allowed to take up positions within the religious hierarchy but are quickly brought into trade houses to serve as intermediaries to merchant vessels that come for trade. As most Tyran elves are reluctant to bend even slightly to what they consider lesser races, they have found half elves to be the perfect vessels to perform such a task.
Tyran elves do not make half elves labor as slaves but welcome them as full bloods and seem to overlook the taint of other blood. Some Tyran families even consider the act of mating with a half elf to be a means of redeeming the elven bloodline. Half elven parents often give birth to full blooded elves through what the Tyran elves call the Aere-pheonix; rebirth or reforging from flame.
Many half elves do not hear stories of the Tyran elves as such saviors because of the Tyran reputation and because once integrated into Tryan society a half elf has little reason to ever leave.
Orcs and Half Orcs get along quite well with Half elves, despite the usual orcish hatred of elven blood. Some scholars speculate that the human blood changes their elven scent to be more akin to humans, while others simply believe that the outcast status of both races makes them more likely to bond. Whatever the case it is not an uncommon sight to spot a half elf living among the clans in Omgarr.
Half elves do not have a specific homeland. They are found nearly everywhere in Saratta and usually among settlements of other half bloods. A majority of half elves never settle and opt for a nomadic lifestyle, returning to previous homes to visit loved ones before departing on whatever path life may take them on. They are just as likely to be found living among humans as they are orcs and in some cases even other elves. Those with stronger elvish ties tend to migrate to forested regions with small settlements while others choose cities and surrounding communities.
Half elves do not follow any one religion but tend to show their favor toward the nature gods before any others (Moratem and Ivandris, a few even choose to follow Zamikeye despite the goddess no longer being a mainstream god). Half elves generally follow the traditional elven worship of the gods if it was part of their upbringing. If not they take up the traditions of many cultures creating a wide array of beliefs and ideals about the gods and origins of the pantheon.
Common, Elven (Issalonian, Tashminaen, or Tyran)
Notable Half Elves
+2 to One Ability Score: Half Elf characters gain a +2 bonus to one ability score of their choice at creation to represent their varied nature.
- Medium: Half Elves are Medium creatures and receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Normal Speed: Half Elves have a base speed of 30 feet.
- Low-Light Vision: Half Elves can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
- Adaptability: Half Elves receive Skill Focus as a bonus feat at 1st level.
- Elf Blood: Half Elves count as both elves and humans for any effect related to race.
- Elven Immunities: Half Elves are immune to magic sleep effects and gain a +2 racial saving throw bonus against enchantment spells and effects.
- Keen Senses: Half Elves receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception checks.
- Multitalented: Half Elves choose two favored classes at first level and gain +1 hit point or +1 skill point whenever they take a level in either one of those classes.
Languages: Helf Elves begin play speaking Common and Elven. Half Elves with high Intelligence scores can choose and language they want (except secret languages, such as Druidic).