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Half-Elves: From Outsiders to Heroes
Half-Elves and Their Families

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The familial situations facing half-elves tend to be unique. Due to the low fertility rate of elves and their vastly expanded life compared to humans, it is unusual for half-elves to have siblings of their same generation and rare to have any full siblings. Though many may end up with half-brothers or sisters, they are often born decades or even centuries apart.

There appears to be no overall pattern to the race of the parents. The mother is just as likely to be human as she is to be elven. Some of this has varied based on geography and historical period, but through time, it has never been demonstrated that humans or elves are more likely to rape nor that attraction between the races has a gender bias.

Half-elves almost never inherit family-held titles or fortunes, as they generally are not officially recognized by the societies in which they are raised. In this respect, they are more akin to the bastard children of the nobility and the wealthy. They are sometimes provided for and other times disowned. This is true within both the human and elven cultures, though it can vary somewhat by locale.

There is no model family that contains half-elven offspring. Many half-elves are the products of brutality in the form of rape or coercion. In such cases, if the child is not put to death at birth, it might be raised by the birth mother, but more often, the child is abandoned or given to others to raise. Some half-elves are not only born to parents of different races, but also parents of different social stations, such as a landowner and a servant. Children born of such circumstances are usually not desirable in any case, and being a half-blood makes it worse. Even those children born to a loving mixed-race couple are often unwanted as they can make a difficult situation even more precarious.

A few half-elves are lucky enough to be born to a bonded couple that actually desires children. In some ways, such a family is little different from any other. But they face peculiar problems not seen in a single-race family. The child of the couple will be barely reaching emotional maturity at the time the human parent is in their dotage or already passed on. The elven parent is usually still in his or her youth or prime of life when having to deal with an elderly human spouse, creating uncommon pressures on the family. The child usually has problems feeling understood by his or her parents because the parents are unable to comprehend what it is like being born into two worlds. Most of all, even a child born to a loving couple in a more tolerant town will still be inescapably aware that his or her very existence is a taboo.

The children of half-elves usually strongly resemble their full-blooded parent in regards to racial features and physiology. Genetically speaking, the existence of hybrids seems to be extremely fleeting, with the dominant race quickly overpowering the other. For instance, the child of a half-elf and an elf will usually retain few notable human characteristics and in most cases can pass for full elven.

This means that half-elves are often in awkward situations when trying to create families with a human mate. The half-elf choosing a human as a mate or spouse will almost always outlive the human. They will also most likely outlive their children, grandchildren, and so on, if human continues to be the dominant race in those generations.

Because half-elves are uncommon, it is rare for a half-elf to find another half-elf as his or her bondmate. In those instances, their children typically continue to exhibit the features of both races and are usually labeled as half-elven also. It is possible that a child of two half-elves will appear to be mostly human or mostly elven, just as a first-generation half-elf may more strongly favor one race over the other. "Throw backs" are also seen on rare occasions, where a child who may only be 1/16 elven actually appears to be half-elven or even, to some less discerning eyes, full elven.




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