“One of my colonels is a half-elf, and I mean I like the guy, we see eye-to-eye, but then other times he wears earrings, recites poetry, cries deeply, and I just don’t understand how that is the same man that just impaled the Worg Rider charging straight towards me.” -General Donatorix on Half Elves
Half-Elves are the archetypal ‘Children of Two Worlds’. They are traditionally from Harnascum, and once upon a time, the half elves of Hycarnium fiercely contested Archaîon’s bid to control Avalore. Now in the Age of the Republic, the half-elves are just another race that has been incorporated into that namesake.
Half-Elves stand taller than humans but shorter than elves. They inherit the lean build and comely features of their elven lineage, but their skin color is dictated by their human side. While half-elves retain the pointed ears of elves, theirs are more rounded and less pronounced. A half-elf’s human-like eyes tend to range a spectrum of exotic colors running from amber or violet to emerald green and deep blue.
Half-Elf history inevitably draws its roots from human history, which of course begins in the Age of Man. While the humans from the Frontiers were essentially overrunning Campagnia, the Humans making incursions into Harnascum from the Paollan Steppes had a different set of circumstances to contend with. While the Empire of Eukrotades had been dissolved some 216 years prior, a very potent Elven Successor state still remained. Unlike Campagnia, these Elves went on a defensive war with the human tribes, delivering some fairly decisive defeats. But circumstances were also different for the Elves of Harnascum. As it so happened, their nation had just been in a war with the King of Archusid over Naba Carta Minor. While the elves were victorious, they lost manpower – something that is more difficult for elves to replace. And as it so happened, the humans were just looking to settle into better lands. In short time, for the elves anyhow, the integration of humans into Harnascum would beget the half-elves.
In a world without elves, half-elves become the effective elvenkind. Their qualities are just perhaps more muted than the fabled elven counterparts; though there is virtually no one alive today in Avalore to be really sure. Most will simply say that the half-elves are distinctly driven intellectuals when compared to other races; perhaps due result of combining elven thirst for knowledge and human ambition. And for their kind the saying goes that, everything is just some branch on the grandiose tree of knowledge that can be drawn back to the roots. Even someone as martial as the half elven fighter could be found painting in his off time; one is an art of beauty, the other an art of war. If he dabbled in philosophy, he might argue that these two arts are one and the same.
Half-Elves arguably get along better in a human dominated world than even the humans do. They have human-oriented mindset, but they also have a more sensitive side. This elven streak allows them to level better with more Eastern cultures, and thusly, this makes half-elves the favored diplomats.
Harnascum is a rocky, hinterland transfixed in an eternal state of autumn. Lost legacies hide between the juts and vales, making it an ideal location for treasure hunters. The deciduous trees are tinged in brilliant oranges and reds, other flora has hues of ivy and purple. As one nears the coast great cliffs and sandy beaches line the ocean. Harnascum is said to be the navel of the Material Plane.
In the Age of Man, The Hycarnian Kingdom, Eukrotades’ Harnascan successor state, would remain the premier regional superpower. Their dominance however would inevitably lead them into contact with a quickly rising land power, Archaîon. After a century of war, hundreds of thousands of deaths on both sides, and one razed city, Archaîon emerged as the victor. The war would in large part would cause the Exodus of the Elves and would indisputably make Archaîon the dominant superpower of Avalore. Many human and half-elf generations have passed since the conclusion of the war, 372 years to be exact, and so, the scars between those two races have healed. Though there are elves still alive that remember those days and whether they have forgotten is another question entirely…
The natural calling for half-elves. Half-Elf bards will have an even more refined temperance than their non half-elf counterparts, delivering shrilling vocals or playing the infamous Elven instrument: the violin. Arastil started out as a bard in a charter, and of course to this day, still gives some of the finest orations to grace linguistics.
Elves, finely tuned to nature, were always excellent horsemen. Half-Elves appeared to carry on this legacy, for their cavalry proved to be something of a nemesis for the Archaîans in the Hycarnian Wars. Three centuries later, and the Equites tradition is still very popular amongst the half-elves, though they now fight for the Archaîan war machine, utilized to deadly effect.
The census takes note of denizens that are birthmarked by the gods. About 1 in 120 are marked as priests/priestesses. Nearly half of those were born in Harnascum. Those that claim that Harnascum is the center of the world, somehow more divine, have an effective arguing point there.
The Druidic Way is not a likely path for civilized races; but if there was a single race that was most likely to take the road less traveled, it would be none other than the half-elves.
The Gunslinger is an increasingly popular choice amongst the half-elves. It is more of a new fashion for half-elves that either live or work around the international Glittergold Cartel.
Another one of those traditions that lives on well into the present day. The most prominent elven martial artists lived in Harnascum, and so, the most prominent monasteries are in Harnascum. Half-elves can borrow a little on human cockiness and come to believe that they are by default the premier martial artists of Avalore.
Half-Elven rogues generally focus on the more social side of subterfuge. It makes them shrewd diplomats and spies, if there is even a need for distinction between the two. When the rogue’s traditionally large repertoire of skills merges with a half-elves’ famous thirst for knowledge, then one truly has the makings of the fabled ‘Renaissance Man’.
The Hycarnians had a significant edge over Archaîon with their sorcerers and sorceresses. The interlocked Maniple Formation did not exactly fare well against barrages of fireballs cast by sorcerers with Red Dragon Blood. It was in such instances when one wonders in hindsight how the Archaîans were even victorious at all.
Once again, the best arcane practitioners were Elves of Harnascum. Though in fairness, the elitism primarily contains itself in the flying city of Alexandria. The human thirst for power alongside the elven mindset for new knowledge always makes for a potent wizard.
The Racial Traits
- Ability Scores: Half-Elves receive a +1 to any attribute to represent their varied nature.
- Esoteric: For every 3 ranks a half-elf spends, they receive 1 skill rank to invest in a knowledge, craft, or profession skill. For these respective skills, it is still necessary to have the skill in question as a class skill.
- All other traits can be found in the Core Rulebook on ‘Half Elves’