Half-Elves: From Outsiders to Heroes
Half-Elves: From Outsiders to Heroes is an Official GemStone IV Document, and it is protected from editing.
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Chapter One - The History of Half-Elves
- 3 Chapter Two - Half-Elves in Relation to the Other Races
- 4 Chapter Three - Half-Elven Communities
- 5 Chapter Four - Half-Elves and Their Families
- 6 Chapter Five - The Typical Half-Elf
Half-elves are the progeny of human and elven parents, two races that have maintained a mutual animosity spanning thousands of years. Half-elven history is not one of a single people with a distinct culture; it is one of individuals, each unique in his or her own way. It is a history full of conflict, rejection, and fear, but also one of individuals overcoming great odds.
Chapter One - The History of Half-Elves
No one can say when the first half-elves appeared. It can safely be assumed that they have existed as long as humans and elves have lived in propinquity to each other, but only as an extremely rare occurrence. It would be pure speculation to state how they were treated, but their ancient past was most likely a grim one. Back in the times before true civilizations began, they would likely have been viewed as a freak of nature or a curse being visited on the mother. The real explanation for the birth would have likely been denied or kept as a dark secret.
As the elves grew to power and the Elven Empire developed into the sole great civilization in the world, humans were mostly nomads, slaves, beggars and outlaws. Their position in the world was mostly tenuous and that of the lowest classes. The incidence of half-elven births was so low during these times (and so unimportant to the elves) that no one ever took the trouble to write about them, thus little is known. What is known is that the status of humans reflected directly on any half-elven offspring that appeared, even if the mother was an elf.
During the height of the Elven Empire there were always the occasional half-breeds born out of rape, master/servant relationships, and even the extremely rare romantic liaison. The half-elven offspring were often put to death at birth to hide the disgraceful evidence of such couplings. Others survived to adulthood, usually nurtured out of sight and not mentioned in polite society. Farther away from the elven centers of power, the conditions were sometimes less harsh and half-elves were occasionally grudgingly accepted as part of the lower classes.
One interesting and stark exception was Rhythar Coriaeno of Ta'Loenthra, born in -20062. He was the son of Rhyston Coriaeno, head of a minor Loenthran noble house, and Tharenna, a human servant of the household. Rhyston broke all tradition when he declared Tharenna as his concubine and treated her accordingly. Loenthran society was outraged that he would be so blatant in his regard for a human, and yet Tharenna's grace and talent as a bard was widely known and appreciated among other nobles of the time. Their son Rhythar, while never inheriting the Coriaeno title, eventually established the Vireo Conservatory in Ta'Loenthra, which was well regarded for several centuries.
The Undead Wars brought about an upswing in the half-elven population. Humans fought on both sides during the wars, the only race to do so. This created greater conflict and led to more violence and children born of violence. But it also created opportunities for cooperation between elves and humans that had not until that point commonly existed. This increased positive contact allowed for greater understanding between individuals of the two races and more children were born from trysts or out of love. While half-elves during these times were not readily accepted, their existence could no longer be as easily ignored. Fewer of the progeny of these unions were put to death and thus elves and humans had to adapt.
During the Age of Chaos, the elves struggled in the aftermath of the Undead Wars. Humans came out from under the elven thumb as the Empire unraveled and lost its dominion over the "lesser" races. An extremely small, but persistent, half-elven population continued to survive. The ancient enmity between the races remained, and in the elven cultural and political centers, half-elves were considered pariahs. They were a part of, yet not a part of, the cultures into which they were born. Half-elves served as constant reminders of the shame of racial mingling. In most cases they were relegated to the lower classes, even despite some having noble blood. Conditions were harsh in the Age of Chaos and competition for survival was often fierce. Half-elves, more than any others, took to the road for the life of a vagrant, wandering merchant, or a mercenary.
During this unsettled time, another half-elf of note came to prominence. The elves labored to recover in the years after the wars; even the great libraries in Ta'Illistim had fallen into a state of disrepair and neglect. Tirnelle Maefyrne, the daughter of a respected Illistim archivist and a human mage, was dismayed that so many of the ancient texts were being lost to time and decay. She began the study of preservation and transcription techniques, hoping to find a solution. After over a century of intensive research and experimentation, Tirnelle finally revealed the fruits of her labors. She introduced a new ink that, when combined with a special coating over the page, survived four to five times as long as previous methods. Tirnelle's technique for preservation of the written word is still in common use today.
While the elves were in a state of decline, humans began establishing their own cities and cultures on the western half of the continent where elven control had been at its weakest in the preceding centuries. This eventually gave rise to the Turamzzyrian Empire, where the occasional mingling of the races continued. It has been rumored that even Selantha Anodheles was of mixed blood, though nothing was ever proven one way or the other.
The history of the western continent is one of constant battles with lesser humanoids, territorial disputes, political intrigues, and migrations of refugees from one region to another. The humans of the Empire mostly despised elves for their millennia of mistreatment, but in some places refugees of many races banded together and lived in relative harmony. The Wildwood family settlement on an island in the Cairnfang River near modern Solhaven was one such place. In some of the more independent territories such as the Kingdom of Hendor, elves were a bit better regarded. In these types of locations, half-elves sometimes found a better life for themselves.
Continued plotting, meddling, and raiding by various elven factions (or rumors of such) eventually led to the Chaston Edict in the year 4310. The Edict prohibited all people of elven descent from owning land or businesses. In the eyes of the Empire, half-elves were seen as elves. The Edict initiated a massive migration of elves and half-elves to the east into the Wyrdeep Forest and north to places like Hendor. The elven archmage Inar'ru led over two thousand elves and half-elves on a score of ships sailing west, never to be heard from again. The half-elven population in the heart of the Turamzzyrian Empire dwindled to almost nothing during this time.
In the years following the implementation of the Chaston Edict, Shaundara Mestheles -- a half-elf from Nydds -- became infamous as the instigator of a rebellion. Shaundara resented the automatic classification of all half-elves as elves and believed that half-elves had a right to take their place within human society based on their human lineage. She gathered an alliance of like-minded individuals, comprised primarily of half-elves and their human supporters, and began a campaign of political actions designed to draw attention to their issues.
The group, known as the Silver Eagles, often made speeches and plastered posters in city centers in an attempt to garner support from the populace and those in power. The organization maintained a camp east of Waterford, but they also had chapters in many of the larger cities, including Tamzyrr itself. The Eagles did not limit themselves to political slogans, however. They also involved themselves in assaults on merchant caravans and some rumors have it they conspired with several of the pirate ships plying the trade routes. Shaundara was witnessed leading many of the raids herself and her ferocity in battle caused many to question if politics were indeed her true aim.
Purportedly, the raids were intended to put pressure on the Empire, forcing capitulation to the legal inclusion of half-elves in all facets of human culture. The plan backfired and the Silver Eagle rebels were declared outlaws and hunted down. In 4326, the Imperial military finally managed to trap the main Eagle contingent in their encampment. Those not killed in the fighting were captured and publicly executed, including Shaundara Mestheles. The short-lived rebellion was effectively stamped out.
In 4694 Emperor Perrinor completed the Rysus Codex, a complete body of laws under which the Empire was to be governed. The Codex did not mention slaves as people being governed, since slaves are property. The Codex also did not mention elves, Hathlyn (half-elves) or Ordlyn (all other non-human races). This gave rise to disputes over whether this meant they should be deemed the equivalent of slaves or whether they should be considered people like humans under Imperial law. Perrinor did not clarify this before his death and, since the Codex did not countermand Chaston's Edict, it was mostly left up to local interpretation. This meant non-humans, including half-elves, tended to migrate to the less restrictive territories within the Empire.
In the 4900's economic growth and development began to break down some of the racial barriers and age-old animosities. By the end of the century, there had been a marked reduction in tensions between humans and non-humans, particularly in the cities most distant from Tamzyrr. Eased racial tensions led to another upswing in the half-elven population as individual humans and elves found themselves less embattled and more likely to find common ground.
In the heart of the Empire, half-elves were still extremely rare and less likely to find acceptance of any sort. In the more moderate outlying areas, while still dealing with the status of social outcasts, half-elves often managed to find ways to make a good life for themselves. This was especially true in places like coastal fishing villages and small farming communities where hard work was often valued more than purity of bloodlines.
Recent Imperial history is still being played out and the future of those with mixed blood is as uncertain as ever. In the north, Baron Hochstib of Jantalar began a crackdown on non-humans and an extended campaign to extend his holdings into other territories. Ironically enough, the Baron himself is a half-elf who came to his title through inheritance, an extremely rare instance in both the human and elven cultures. Hochstib used the Chaston Edict to criminalize and thus enslave many of the Ordlyn workers in Jantalar. Half-elves are in a precarious position, most of them being treated poorly, yet some few are treated as humans because of the Baron's own heritage.
The Empress Mynal'lyanna has revived the Chaston Edict and aggressive human racial pride has become much more prevalent in the military, nobility, and cities closest to Tamzyrr, making things more difficult for those with elven blood. The previous two centuries of easing tensions seem to be unraveling as the Empress appears to be preparing for far-reaching territorial conquests. Many half-elves living within the Empire find that their situation has become increasingly unstable.
Meanwhile, on the eastern half of the continent, the Elven City-States have in recent times allowed their borders to be more open, permitting accelerated trade and political contact with the other races. This easing of separatist tendencies within the elven homelands has created a mixed atmosphere in regards to the other races and half-elves. In some areas, a guarded openness and grudging acceptance has been exhibited. Yet in other regions and social/political circles, intense reactionary tendencies have appeared, often directed at half-elves.
Chapter Two - Half-Elves in Relation to the Other Races
The Illistim and Ardenai tend to be the most accepting of half-elves. The Illistim have been less intolerant because of their scholarly traditions and in fact, the human Aramur Forean, eventual leader of the Black Wolves, was educated in Ta'Illistim. The Ardenai are the least haughty of the elven houses and traditionally serve as emissaries to the other races. The scheming Nalfein often find half-elves to be valuable tools in their endeavors. While the Nalfein hold little respect for those not of pure blood, half-elves often serve as important contacts within the less-desirable portions of society. Half-bloods can also often easily effect simple disguises to pass as either human or elven, which comes in handy for intrigue of various sorts. The elves of Ta'Loenthra are traditionally quite haughty and have little esteem for the "lesser" races, which includes elves "polluted" with inferior human blood. The Vaalor elves remain the most intolerant in regard to half-elves and are often almost violent in their distaste at the mixing of the races.
While the Ardenai and Illistim are mentioned as less intolerant, half-elves in those cities are still second-class citizens and usually shunned by upper society. The aversion shown for half-bloods by all elves is often exhibited on the premise that it is a disgrace to elvenkind that any elf would so lower themselves as to couple with a human. Half-elves are visible reminders that some have done so. Their existence also preys on a rarely admitted, lurking fear among many elves that humans are not as inferior as commonly believed and that they can be attractive and even worthy mates.
The sylvankind in general tend to be more accepting of half-elves than the Elven Houses, but much of this is due to the fact it is extremely rare to find half-elves within the core sylvan communities. Sylvans are extreme isolationists, rarely allowing human (or any other) visitors within their cultural centers. Sylvans who venture forth from their home communities are those most likely to have mixed-blood progeny. While these half-sylvan children are not shunned by their society, they are never admitted into the Guilds.
Both the Dhe'nar and the Faendryl are notoriously arrogant and usually exhibit extreme disdain for half-elves. A half-blood child in Faendryl society is very likely to meet with an "accidental death" soon after birth or even be reported as stillborn to protect the secret. Like the sylvans, the Faendryl are isolationists and half-blood children are usually only born to those Faendryl who travel away from their city and even then only in the rarest of circumstances.
The Dhe'nar have their own private breeding program to maintain the purity of their bloodlines and it is strictly enforced, on pain of death. The Dhe'nar tend to view half-elves in general as flawed and contradictory to their sense of perfection. There have always been exceptional individual half-elves who have managed to gain some modicum of acceptance with the Faendryl or Dhe'nar, but they are far from the norm.
Humans generally do not discriminate between the various categories of elves. To most humans, an elf is an elf and in their eyes, a half-elf is just another elf. Unlike in the Elven City-States, discrimination against half-elves is codified into law in the human empire. While the elves tend to be overall more snobbish in their attitudes towards those with mixed blood, half-elves living in the human territories often face much worse living conditions based on their legal status.
Half-elves in places like Tamzyrr are often no better off than slaves. Cities like Lolle and Solhaven have stopped enforcing Chaston's Edict when it is in their interest to do so and half-elves can find a bit more acceptance, though never full integration. Elstreth also tends to be more tolerant due to the valiant assistance given by Voln members of all races who have fought alongside humans against the Horned Cabal. In the early 5000's River's Rest became a haven for unsavory types and those who did not wish to be under the thumb of Imperial law and thus many half-elves have migrated there over time.
While some districts may be less restrictive towards elves in general, half-elves still find themselves in a unique and uncomfortable position most of the time. Half-elven longevity adds to their sense of otherness when raised among humans. This can be a cause of jealousy or even fear among the humans. Most humans also retain at least some of the deep-seated hatred of elvenkind because of the troubled past, and this is reflected in the treatment of half-elves within human society.
The dwarves tend to stick to their clans and are not very forthcoming with anyone not dwarven. They are a practical people in matters of trade and if there is a silver to be made, the race of the others involved in a transaction is rarely of particular concern. This generally disinterested outlook extends to the typical dwarven view of half-elves. The worst that can usually be heard is a muttered comment about "clanless mutts." The exception would be the Kanshael dwarves who have taken on many of the attitudes of their Dhe'nar masters and view half-elves with a noted distaste.
The giantkin for the most part take others as they come and judge each person on an individual basis, rather than by their race or social standing. The giantkin are no different in this regard when dealing with half-elves. The individual physical prowess, store of knowledge, or merchant skills of the half-elf is much more at issue than their mixed-race parentage. The one major exception is that many of the T'Kirem Bear Clan will not look with favor on anyone culturally or racially associated with Turamzzyrian humans, due to the long war with Imperial armies in the Shartenal mountains.
Halflings are not terribly biased against half-elves, though not particularly warm either. They tend to be more akin to the giantkin and dwarves in their regard for people of other races as individuals. Halflings of the three tribes often hold some residual animosity towards anyone with Ardenai blood, even if it is only half. The Paradis halflings are inclined to be more accepting of half-elves, especially of those with sylvan blood.
Chapter Three - Half-Elven Communities
At various points throughout history, half-elves have attempted to band together in order to form their own communities. However, these attempts have always failed for various reasons and no recognizable half-elven culture has ever been established. Individual half-elves rarely have anything in common with each other, and are just as likely to find grounds for conflict as they are for cooperation. Because of this, groups attempting to create a township with an independent culture have been rare exceptions to the norm in the history of half-elves.
In addition to their lack of status and legal protections, residents of these colonies usually had other factors stacked against them. Sometimes marauding humanoids or racist neighbors annihilated the communities. Often the towns simply died out for lack of numbers as half-elves have always been an extremely small percentage of the population. Most frequently, the communities simply began to blend in with the predominant culture of the area and within a generation their distinction as a half-elven society was lost. Feagh and Oblone are two prime examples of historically half-elven townships.
Sometime around the year 2930 a half-elf by the name of Ysandra Endrenor grew tired of being completely dependent on the good will of the elves for whom she worked as a washerwoman. Ysandra was the disavowed daughter of an affluent Nalfein merchant, her mother having been one of his many servants. With a sense of purpose, Ysandra began making regular trips through the city of Ta'Nalfein looking for other half-breeds in similar circumstances who desired to make a new life for themselves. Eventually she gathered a small group of approximately twenty half-elves and their families from the city and surrounding villages. Together they set off northwest, intent on finding a place for their own settlement.
They eventually found what they considered a suitable spot and began constructing the town they called Feagh. While all of them had been familiar with hard work, none of them were truly prepared for the hardships facing them in building a homeland from scratch. Most of them were accustomed to the amenities of the city and the life of a pioneer came as a rude awakening. In addition to the rough living conditions, they had to face dangers from predatory animals and the occasional stray orc or troll. The first few years were harsh and several members of the group died or left to return to their old lives.
With a great deal of inspirational effort, Feagh was finally completed. As the lives of the residents settled into normal routines, new problems arose. Ysandra felt that as initiator of the project, she should be considered their leader and be given deference in decisions facing their town. Others felt they were better suited to leadership and Feagh was plagued with frequent squabbles. (Most of them were half-Nalfein after all.) Clashing human and elven cultures also caused problems as arguments emerged over appropriate designs, the political and social order, child rearing, cuisine, and even the proper way to set the table when having guests over to dinner.
Word of Feagh spread and other half-elves seeking a life of freedom from second-class status came to join them, but the population never grew substantially. Feagh did prosper for a few decades, and had various successes. However, the town's isolation took its eventual toll. Approximately two score years after the settlement's founding, a band of orcs moved into the area and began regular assaults. Circumstances became dire and most of the citizens of Feagh were either killed or moved away.
The final blow came when only Ysandra and a few others lingered, still attempting to live out their dream. An unusually harsh winter befell the entire eastern portion of the continent and it became the death knell for Feagh. The bulk of the food stores ran out halfway through the snows and all but Ysandra and two others died of starvation. As soon as the first thaw arrived, they returned to Ta'Nalfein to live out the rest of their days. Until her death, Ysandra could be found at the local pub, seated next to a warm fire, regaling the locals with tales of Feagh.
Like many half-elves who had gone before him, Miguel Tyssaryn envisioned a better life for himself and others like him. Miguel was born and raised in Ubl, the son of a human fisherman and an elven weaver. He spent a couple decades of his early adulthood relentlessly searching for others who wished to help him create a safe haven. He eventually gathered approximately 30 half-elves, along with their families, and together they moved west along the coast. In 4749, Miguel and his following founded the village of Oblone.
While Chaston's Edict prohibited half-elves from owning land or businesses, nothing prevented their human spouses from doing so and thus they were able to work around the restrictions. Unlike Feagh, Oblone did not suffer from the problems associated with extreme isolation. The group constructing the town had a wide variety of skills among them, allowing the work to progress relatively smoothly. Within a score of years, Oblone was a thriving community with a balance of fishing, farming, and handcrafting providing for the livelihood of the residents.
As the years passed, more people from the surrounding areas moved to Oblone and the population grew to an easily sustainable one. Miguel proved to be a skilled leader and was adept at managing the various factions within the town. The villagers began to call him the Patriarch, and the title stuck. As Oblone prospered, regular trade routes were established with other communities, ultimately reaching to Ubl itself.
Oblone did not have a completely trouble-free existence. The wars against the Horned Cabal sometimes came too close for comfort, interrupting trade and creating periods of population upheaval as people left to go fight or refugees flooded in. Pirate raids were not unknown and occasional droughts decimated the local economy. But through it all, the town persisted and survived.
Oblone is typical of successful communities begun as sanctuaries for half-elves. While more than half of the original population was half-elven, within a century the demographics had changed dramatically. Most immigrants were human and as the population shifted, elven influence became less and less noticeable. Children of the original founders mostly married humans, thus elven genetic features and cultural traditions faded through the generations. In such communities the disparate life spans of humans and half-elves becomes a harsh and burdensome reality. After outliving one, two, or even three spouses and even great grandchildren, it is not unusual for a half-elf to become withdrawn and either leave or turn into a recluse. The Patriarch himself left quietly one night after burying his second wife and was never heard from again.
Today, Oblone outwardly appears like any other town of its size and geography within the Turamzzyrian Empire. The vast majority of its inhabitants are human, exhibiting all the trappings of human culture. Upon closer inspection, some of the residents betray hints of elven blood, some of the designs of the craftspeople are of elven influence, and the town tends to be a bit more welcoming to non-humans in general. But aside from stories of the old days, and the statue of Miguel Tyssaryn in town square, there is little that is remarkably half-elven about Oblone.
Chapter Four - Half-Elves and Their Families
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.
Chapter Five - The Typical Half-Elf
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.