Your cookie preferences

Play.net wants to deliver the best experience to you. This website uses cookies. By clicking 'I agree' you agree to the terms of service and settings below. We process your personal data in accordance with the Privacy policy.


Your privacy and cookie settingsEdit





play.net >> GemStone IV
play.net SIGN UP FOR FREE! | MEMBER LOGIN · LOGIN HELP 
HOME MY ACCOUNT GAMES STORE WIKI HELP

, News
, Forums
, Platinum
, Premium
, Shattered
, Box Office
, Downloads
Policies

Half-Elves: From Outsiders to Heroes
Half-Elven Communities

<< PREVIOUS History of Half-ElvesNEXT >>

At various points throughout history, half-elves have attempted to band together in order to form their own communities. However, these attempts have always failed for various reasons and no recognizable half-elven culture has ever been established. Individual half-elves rarely have anything in common with each other, and are just as likely to find grounds for conflict as they are for cooperation. Because of this, groups attempting to create a township with an independent culture have been rare exceptions to the norm in the history of half-elves.

In addition to their lack of status and legal protections, residents of these colonies usually had other factors stacked against them. Sometimes marauding humanoids or racist neighbors annihilated the communities. Often the towns simply died out for lack of numbers as half-elves have always been an extremely small percentage of the population. Most frequently, the communities simply began to blend in with the predominant culture of the area and within a generation their distinction as a half-elven society was lost. Feagh and Oblone are two prime examples of historically half-elven townships.

Feagh

Sometime around the year 2930 a half-elf by the name of Ysandra Endrenor grew tired of being completely dependent on the good will of the elves for whom she worked as a washerwoman. Ysandra was the disavowed daughter of an affluent Nalfein merchant, her mother having been one of his many servants. With a sense of purpose, Ysandra began making regular trips through the city of Ta'Nalfein looking for other half-breeds in similar circumstances who desired to make a new life for themselves. Eventually she gathered a small group of approximately twenty half-elves and their families from the city and surrounding villages. Together they set off northwest, intent on finding a place for their own settlement.

They eventually found what they considered a suitable spot and began constructing the town they called Feagh. While all of them had been familiar with hard work, none of them were truly prepared for the hardships facing them in building a homeland from scratch. Most of them were accustomed to the amenities of the city and the life of a pioneer came as a rude awakening. In addition to the rough living conditions, they had to face dangers from predatory animals and the occasional stray orc or troll. The first few years were harsh and several members of the group died or left to return to their old lives.

With a great deal of inspirational effort, Feagh was finally completed. As the lives of the residents settled into normal routines, new problems arose. Ysandra felt that as initiator of the project, she should be considered their leader and be given deference in decisions facing their town. Others felt they were better suited to leadership and Feagh was plagued with frequent squabbles. (Most of them were half-Nalfein after all.) Clashing human and elven cultures also caused problems as arguments emerged over appropriate designs, the political and social order, child rearing, cuisine, and even the proper way to set the table when having guests over to dinner.

Word of Feagh spread and other half-elves seeking a life of freedom from second-class status came to join them, but the population never grew substantially. Feagh did prosper for a few decades, and had various successes. However, the town's isolation took its eventual toll. Approximately two score years after the settlement's founding, a band of orcs moved into the area and began regular assaults. Circumstances became dire and most of the citizens of Feagh were either killed or moved away.

The final blow came when only Ysandra and a few others lingered, still attempting to live out their dream. An unusually harsh winter befell the entire eastern portion of the continent and it became the death knell for Feagh. The bulk of the food stores ran out halfway through the snows and all but Ysandra and two others died of starvation. As soon as the first thaw arrived, they returned to Ta'Nalfein to live out the rest of their days. Until her death, Ysandra could be found at the local pub, seated next to a warm fire, regaling the locals with tales of Feagh.

Oblone

Like many half-elves who had gone before him, Miguel Tyssaryn envisioned a better life for himself and others like him. Miguel was born and raised in Ubl, the son of a human fisherman and an elven weaver. He spent a couple decades of his early adulthood relentlessly searching for others who wished to help him create a safe haven. He eventually gathered approximately 30 half-elves, along with their families, and together they moved west along the coast. In 4749, Miguel and his following founded the village of Oblone.

While Chaston's Edict prohibited half-elves from owning land or businesses, nothing prevented their human spouses from doing so and thus they were able to work around the restrictions. Unlike Feagh, Oblone did not suffer from the problems associated with extreme isolation. The group constructing the town had a wide variety of skills among them, allowing the work to progress relatively smoothly. Within a score of years, Oblone was a thriving community with a balance of fishing, farming, and handcrafting providing for the livelihood of the residents.

As the years passed, more people from the surrounding areas moved to Oblone and the population grew to an easily sustainable one. Miguel proved to be a skilled leader and was adept at managing the various factions within the town. The villagers began to call him the Patriarch, and the title stuck. As Oblone prospered, regular trade routes were established with other communities, ultimately reaching to Ubl itself.

Oblone did not have a completely trouble-free existence. The wars against the Horned Cabal sometimes came too close for comfort, interrupting trade and creating periods of population upheaval as people left to go fight or refugees flooded in. Pirate raids were not unknown and occasional droughts decimated the local economy. But through it all, the town persisted and survived.

Oblone is typical of successful communities begun as sanctuaries for half-elves. While more than half of the original population was half-elven, within a century the demographics had changed dramatically. Most immigrants were human and as the population shifted, elven influence became less and less noticeable. Children of the original founders mostly married humans, thus elven genetic features and cultural traditions faded through the generations. In such communities the disparate life spans of humans and half-elves becomes a harsh and burdensome reality. After outliving one, two, or even three spouses and even great grandchildren, it is not unusual for a half-elf to become withdrawn and either leave or turn into a recluse. The Patriarch himself left quietly one night after burying his second wife and was never heard from again.

Today, Oblone outwardly appears like any other town of its size and geography within the Turamzzyrian Empire. The vast majority of its inhabitants are human, exhibiting all the trappings of human culture. Upon closer inspection, some of the residents betray hints of elven blood, some of the designs of the craftspeople are of elven influence, and the town tends to be a bit more welcoming to non-humans in general. But aside from stories of the old days, and the statue of Miguel Tyssaryn in town square, there is little that is remarkably half-elven about Oblone.

 

 

 



Simutronics Corporation

Go Play!