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Half elves

by Alex Benson

Well here it is. Note that this is presented entirely in an in-character manner.

"Long has the nature and even existence of a Half Elf. In my queries I have decided that there is no such thing as a half elf. Instead there are persons with a combination of the inherited traits of a human and eleven parent. No offspring falls directly halfway in between the two parents."

"Elves are not known for their tendencies to produce offspring. At the least, elven children are brought into the world at a rate to replace the set of parents. Elves are known to take lovers. And in some areas are considered to be quite promiscuous. Yet, few pregnancies occur in elven females."

"It is my opinion that female elves can activate an internal mechanism to allow the reproductive cycle. This mechanism only being enacted if the elf feels her partner is suitable to sire a child. I also assume that there must be a mutual feeling of true affection. Therefore, the chance of offspring coming relies upon the elven female. Therefore, accidental births are rare. A pregnancy must be wanted."

"On the other hand, humans are more ready to produce children. The female human is in a continual state to be able to bear children. This cycle is more uncontrolled and less influenced by the woman. Nature itself seems to have control over the matter. Be it a human female can go about the motions any time she wishes."

"A human male can reproduce just about anytime. He is not dependant upon any cycle. The chance of an offspring being produced still lays in the cycle of the human female. The tendency of a male to be constantly fertile is most probably the same in a human male as an elven male."

"With these notions in mind, it is easy to see that a pregnancy between an elf and human is difficult to say the least. Subsequently, a child of mixed blood would be most rare. Contact between the two races is limited for the most part. And even in those where contact is more commonplace, there is still a tendency of the elves to look down upon the human populace."

"The majority of "half elves" tend to have human mothers. I deduced that a human female is more likely to fall for a handsome elven male. And if elven males are like most human males, they would hardly turn away the welcoming arms of a human wench. That is if the woman is attractive."

"Elven mothers are not unheard of. It is possible for a human male of outstanding qualities to catch the fancy of an elf maiden. Usually, these affairs occur in areas such as the Principality of Belcadiz in Glantri where the two peoples interact on a daily basis. However, these incidents can occur anywhere. It is often said that love is blind, so who can really tell."

"Another source of elven mothers is a sensitive area. In portions of our world, an elven maiden concubine is a symbol of prestige and power. Most human that have had the pleasure of being around the elves will easily admit that they are a fair and attractive people. "

"Therefore, elven lovers are quite in demand. For the most part, these concubines are slaves, either paid for at market or taken by force. For example, in Thyatis City a female elf recently sold for 70,000 Lucin. "

"The controlled reproductive mechanism is contradicted by this. But I have heard tales of slaves actually becoming fond of their masters. This is especially so if the slave is well treated and even pampered as a concubine could be. Then there is the age in which an elf is taken as a slave. With little contact with other elves, the racial undertones tend to be diminished. With these aspects in mind, the reproductive cycle could be activated by the elven female."

"The offspring of a mixed coupling would naturally display inherited traits from both its human and elven parent. As with humans, the proportions of each parent is subject to a random state. This would vary with each subsequent offspring. Basically, each child would differ from its sibling. This is evident in full blooded humans as well as full blooded elves. Therefore it should not be any different with children produced by mixing these two races."

"I have noticed that offspring with elven mother tend to be more elven. This does not centre on physical traits but more so on the inherited elven traits such as build, infravision, and spellcasting ability. I assume that this is due to the connection between mother and child. A elven mother carries the child for almost two years, whether it be of an elven or human father. Some say that a child and mother share the same blood during gestation. Perhaps, this is cause for the child's tendency to be more like its mother."

"A human mother therefore bears a more human child. She carries the unborn infant for a standard nine months, just as she would a normal child. This briefer gestation period could do much to explain the lessening of certain traits. "

"Once the child is born, many actions take place to influence his or her life. The deciding factor is once again the mother. "

"An elven mother will raise its child as an elf. As such, she will pass along elven knowledge. It should be noted that the human father is more likely to remain in the child's life. A disappointing not is that elven mothers of mixed children are usually viewed with disgust by other elves. "

"A human mother would essentially raise the child like a human. Little of the child's elven heritage would be passed down. In many cases, the elven father does not stay around to see his child mature. Most persons of such parentage that I have spoken to point out that their elven father was not present. Most do not even know the identity of their father. This is surely a tragedy."

"As stated, I have spoken at length with several persons produced from parents of the human and elven race. Most exhibit traits of each parent race. The disposition and intensity vary from one to another. I once spoke to a person who looked very much like an elf but lacked the ability to see in the dark. While another looked very much like her Alphatian parent with her copper toned skin but could see in the dark up to sixty feet. Another appeared to be in her twenties but was actually some ninety years old. It should be noted that one thing each did have in common was a tendency to have a slim build, ears pointed, and being quite attractive."

"Growing up is most difficult for the child. Among elves, they are seen as outcasts that have purloined the elven lineage. Among humans they are often viewed with suspicion. But I suspect this uneasiness would be displayed upon a full blooded elf as well. Of note is the draw of attention a person of elven heritage exacts from the opposite sex. Obviously, the fair looks of the elven parent have passed down as well as the dashing figure of the human portion which drew the attention of the elf."

"As mentioned, lifespans of mixed children varies from their apparent age. Elves live for centuries. Humans for decades. The mixing of traits affords the child some of the benefits of its elven parent. Lifespans usually exceed that of a human. Most of the time, lifespans reach one hundred to one hundred fifty years. Some sources report of "half elves" living lives as long as three hundred years."

"A mixed child, whether born of elven or human mother matures at a similar rate as a human until it reaches puberty. Then the ageing process slows in pace."

"The chance of magical ability is equally present in these people no matter if the mother was elven or human. However, the presence of an elven mother does much to insure some training into the use of magic. Those of human mothers must seek magical training from other sources."

"Of note, is the harsh and often tragic life a "half elf" lives. To elves, one is a human and often termed an abomination. To humans, one is an elf. He or she is essentially a social outcast. Friends are difficult to find. Humans are the main source of friends. And those that can be considered friends often grow old and die well ahead of the "half elf". As such, it must be a difficult thing to watch your friends age while one remains young."

"Also of note is the deviation of a mixed persons ability. Whereas a full blooded elf tends to stop at a certain point in regards to weapons skill and spell advancement, this doe not seem to affect the mixed breed. Those with the ability to cast wizard spells find no hindrances to their spell inventory. "

"Also, the person is more open to the various styles of hero types. One I spoke to was a cleric. Another a spellcasting warrior. One even focused all of her attentions towards wizardly spells. And though I cannot divulge his identity, there is a mixed person acting as an assassin for a certain Thieves Guild in Thyatis City."

"There is talk from the elves of a true Half Elf. However, few are willing to speak of such a creature. What has been determined is that such a person is a perfect combination of the best traits of both the elven and human races. Most elves dismiss the person as mere myth. Several have hinted at some deep and possibly dark lore about the birth of such a person. Unfortunately, elves are reluctant to discuss the mixed children and the legendary Half Elf. If pressed they will often display hostility. As such, I suspect the Half Elf Legend holds some bearing to them that they wish not to divulge. Perhaps such a being is an omen or harbinger of things to come."

"Now you may ask about the children of these persons of mixed heritage. Well, I know of only one that has a child. Unfortunately, the father will not allow me to examine the boy to assess the possible traits he may have. And given the persons, status and reputation and would be ill advised for myself to pursue the matter without the father's blessing."

As submitted to the Karameikan School of Magic researched and written by Sergei Terov