Beautiful children of two powerful races, torn between lineages and nations.
Half-elves exist in the strange ether between very distinct races, having no sense of belonging in either of their parent cultures. Often called Enéra’dà’Fæven (lit. Enéra’s Children) in the native tongue of elves, half-elves are accepted in that culture in name only. Humans, in contrast, will often hold them up on a pedestal for their intriguing, unique beauty, thus alienating them with praise. Although half-elves are almost always the children of a human and an elf, they may also be the child of two half-elves, a rarer occurrence. Without a true sense of belonging, half-elves are difficult to predict, and therefore do not succumb to many generalizations made about them.
Having no one society, half-elves will often adopt the same societal views as whatever culture they assimilate into. In the eyes of other races, most will see them as either human or elf, disregarding one half of their heritage and calling them simply by one of the two names; the orcs and dwarves are especially privy to this mindset: the orcs see them as humans and the dwarves see them as elves, both assuming the worst from half-elves for this reason.
In most instances, half-elves’ bloodlines do not flow as fully as their parents’, and thus they lack many of their parents’ unique sub-race qualities, although not the heritage. Half-elves may often have one parent whose influence was stronger, resulting in a closer resemblance to a pure human or elf, and Pale Elves’ blood runs particularly strong in cross-race relationships, resulting in the infertile Pale Half-Elves.
Half-elves are always hard to predict, but many find their inability to fit into society to be a good enough reason to ignore society, leaning toward Chaos in their actions.
Religiously, some half-elves seek out different Gods for solace, or may be prone to cynicism, instead opting for an atheistic view on the world. Many half-elves will return to the Elven religion of Veliité, as it preaches that their difficult life caught between two cultures is a requirement for spiritual enlightenment—once a soul has experienced all things, it may ascend.
Curiosity or Escape
Half-elves may become adventurers as a personal rite-of-passage, or as a way to escape the confines of the social structures built around them. Like humans, many half-elves have a natural sense of curiosity not as common in elves, and this may also lead them to adventure.
Born of the Snake
In Elven mythology, Enéra is a snake who seduces Altéji the Protector so that she can slaughter him, to the benefit of Garvali the Gravekeeper. Enéra then mothers Altéji’s child, and Altéji’s lover Saven takes the child as his own. In this sense, elves see half-elves as the children of evil seduction, to be pitied and taken care of as if they were whole-blooded elves; in practice, however, most elves use the term derogatorily, and shun half-elves.
Children of two-half elves are often referred to as “Saven’s Grandchildren,” a title that can have two meanings—one positive and one negative. The positive meaning is that Saven, whose adopted child birthed all of Elvenkind, was a good parent, and that positive things can come of any origin; the negative meaning implies inbreeding, a faux-pas in Elven culture.
Ability Score Modifiers: +2 to any one Ability Score.
Size: Half-elves are medium creatures.
Speed: A half-elf’s base land speed is 30 feet.
Keen Senses: Half-elves gain a +2 bonus on Perception checks.
Elf Blood: Half-elves count as both elves and humans for any effect related to race.
Lineage: A half-elf must select a lineage.
True Half-Elves, or Enéra’dì’fæven (lit. Enéra’s Grandchildren) are half-elves who are either a true half-and-half mix of human and elven bloodlines or bear no discernible inclination toward one species or another. These half-elves face the most discrimination no matter where they go, finding that they fit in with neither of their heritages.
Adaptability: True Half-elves receive Skill Focus as a bonus feat at 1st level.
Multitalented: True 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.
Of Two Minds: Once per day, True Half-elves may gain advantage on any roll. They must declare that they are using this ability before rolling the first die.
Low-Light Vision: True Half-elves can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
Humankin Elves, or Tha’dì’æven (lit. False Elves), draw more strongly from their human parent, or may even be the child of a half-elf and a human. Although less overtly Fey in origin, any clear look at a Humankin half-elf will reveal their true heritage.
Nationality: Favoring the human parent, a half-elf may select any Human nationality and take one Racial Trait from it as her own.
Bonus Feat: These mostly-human elves gain a bonus feat at first level.
Low-Light Vision: Humankin Half-elves can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
Elfkin Half-Elves, or Haré’dì’æven (lit. Returning Elves), inherit the blood of their elven parent more fully, or may even be the child of a half-elf and an elf. Bearing few strikingly human characteristics, only an elf would be able to call the Elfkin on their human heritage.
Ability Score Modifiers: +1 Dexterity
Determined: Elfkin Half-Elves gain a +2 bonus on all Will saving throws.
Sub-race: Favoring the elven parent, a half-elf may select any Elf sub-race (except Dark Elf) and take one Racial Trait from it as her own.
Elven Weapon Familiarity: Elfkin Half-Elves are always proficient with all bows, longswords, rapiers, and treat any weapon with the word “Elven” in its name as a martial weapon.
Low-Light Vision: Elfkin Half-elves can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
Half-Pale-Elves, or Tha’gatt’dì’æven (lit. False Black Elves), are half-elves born of Pale Elves and humans. As Pale Elves have become drastically different from other elves from years of separation, the offspring they yield with humans are drastically different. The Tha’gatt’dì’æven are often lanky, adopting the thin, wiry bodies of their Pale Elf parents and the tough, surface-dweller resolve of their human parents.
Multitalented: Half-Pale-Elves choose two favored classes at 1st level and gain +1 hit points or +1 skill rank whenever they take a level in either of those classes.
Stalker: Perception and Stealth are always class skills for Dark Half-Elves.
Garvali’s Curse: Like their parents, Half-Pale-Elves are alive, but react to positive and negative energy as if they were undead—positive energy harms them, while negative energy heals them.
Light and Dark (Su): Once per day as an immediate action, Half-Pale-Elves may call upon their Human blood to treat positive and negative energy correctly, bypassing Garvali’s Curse and healing from positive energy and negating negative energy as a normal living creature for 1d4 rounds.