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Half-Elves: From Outsiders to Heroes
The Typical Half-Elf

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There really is no such thing as a typical half-elf and this is both their strength and weakness. It is a strength in that half-elves are usually adept at expressing themselves as individuals. It is a weakness because half-elves often feel terribly alone and set apart in ways that others are unable to comprehend.

Some half-elves are heavily influenced by the culture in which they are raised, be it human or elven. Although the culture may view them as a pariah, they are still a part of and embrace that culture. This is reflected in their language, tastes, attitudes, style of dress, etc. Such individuals will often refer to themselves as an elf or human, and dismiss or attempt to ignore the other half of their heritage.

Sometimes this close tie with a specific culture becomes something against which the half-elf rebels. If the individual has experienced a particularly harsh life, he or she will often come to hate and despise the culture that birthed and then renounced them. Such people usually become embittered and have a difficult time finding their place in the world.

Some half-elves are equally influenced by the cultures of both their parents and again this is usually reflected in their tastes and attitudes. This is more commonly found in those who are raised away from the political and cultural centers of the human and elven worlds, such as isolated communities and on the frontiers. Such people often feel no strong specific cultural ties at all.

Though just as a half-elf may rebel against his or her culture, some half-elves raised without strong ties may often feel their lack of culture sets them apart even more. They may resent their lack of a defined place in the world and always be in search of a way to belong or fit in.

Half-elven life spans can vary dramatically. Some half-elves are heavily influenced by their elven blood and live for more than a millennium. Like elves, the aging process is arrested at maturity for an extended time. Other half-elves are more heavily influenced by their human blood and have a relatively short life span of only a few centuries.

It is often assumed that a half-elf will speak both common and at least one variation of an elven language. However, since there is nothing typical about half-elves, such assumptions are baseless. A half-elf will typically speak whichever language(s) they were raised with.

There are almost as many attitudes and beliefs about their heritage as there are half-elves. Some half-elves are forever bitter and resent everyone and everything. Some attempt to pass as full elven or full human, never admitting to their lack of pure blood. Some overcompensate for their obviously mixed blood by trying to become the "perfect" elf or human. A few pride themselves on having the best qualities of both races and embrace their heritage as something that makes them unique and an individual who stands out.

If there is one thing typical of half-elves, it is that they are likely to leave the community in which they were raised. No matter where a half-elf is raised and no matter how supportive their individual environment might have been, they grow up with a sense of themselves as "other": different and separate from the larger community. This often leads to an eventual sense of restlessness and a desire to venture forth to find their own place in the world.

Many half-elves tend to end up in frontier towns such as Wehnimer's Landing where there is no single predominant culture and where the races freely mix with each other socially. Half-elves are frequently vagabonds, explorers, wandering scholars, beggars, outlaws, traveling merchants, and mercenaries. Those commonly referred to as adventurers have an unusually high percentage of half-elves among their ranks. Half-elves seem to be drawn to the excitement and the possibility of fame and fortune. Many see it as their way to finally make their mark on a world that has never truly accepted their kind.

 

 

 



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