City of Splendors & Horrors
Travelers, adventurers, traders, and diplomats, half-elves are born leaders whose glib tongues invite friendly smiles and inspire welcoming arms.
Half-elves appear throughout Faerûn wherever elves and humans dwell together. Half-elf settlements exist, but they are unusual. Half-elves learn to bridge the divide of their racial heritage, becoming adaptable individuals who feel at ease among different cultures and societies. As a result, many half-elves travel widely and adopt professions that are not attractive to many humans and elves.
Description and Homelands: Half-elves are said to have the best traits of elves and humans. Physically, they often share the metallic skin tones and rich hair colors of their elven kin. However, unlike the more slender elves, half-elves have sturdy bodies and bulky muscles. The combination of their force of personality and their physical presence makes them stand out in almost any crowd.
A half-elf’s complexion, accent, and mannerisms vary according to his or her culture, though these are by no means an indication of an individual’s home. Half-elves are found from Chult to Thay, and many affect different accents and characteristics depending on the places through which they travel. Someone gifted in glib and adaptable speech is often said to have “the tongue of a half-elf.”
The largest populations of half-elves are found in Aglarond, Gulthandor, the Dales, and Luruar. Many of the half-elves formerly occupying Cormyr and the area that is now Evereska moved northward over the past few decades, finding the human-dominated lands to the north welcoming.
The only truly “half-elf nation” is Aglarond. Despite the disappearance of the Simbul, Aglarond remains steadfast in its opposition to Thay. Half-elves from around Faerûn venture to this land, often just to experience this anomalous country, other times to explore the fey portals of the Yuirwood or offer aid in the nation’s defense.
Half-elves’ natural leadership qualities enable them to rise to prominent positions in both elven and human communities. Elves respect the avant garde attitude of their cousins and appreciate that they are less reckless than most humans, while humans are drawn to the light-hearted and plucky demeanor that is absent in elves.
Playing a Half-Elf: Many half-elves are content to lead the simple lives of their parent races, earning livings as traders, merchants, farmers, or craftsmen. Others gradually acquire a curiosity about the world at large, a condition the elves refer to as “the human habit.” This wanderlust afflicts many half-elves in early adulthood, causing them to set out with little more than the clothes on their backs.
The motivations of such wandering half-elves vary considerably. Some members of the race seek simply to slake a thirst to see the world and experience new cultures. Others take a more aggressive attitude, joining adventuring companies or taking to the high seas in search of treasure and action. Half-elves maintain an optimistic outlook despite the troubles their travels might bring.
Half-elves are naturally charismatic, though this quality manifests itself differently from one individual to another. Many half-elves earn respect through confidence and bravery, while others make friends through their cordial and polite manner. Despite gaining friends and a place of honor among any number of societies, many individuals still feel the isolation and division inherent in their heritage. Many half-elves struggle with this fundamental schism, and the conflict can ultimately manifest in negative and villainous qualities.
Not every half-elf is born of a loving relationship between an elf and human. Half-elves who are troubled by their past, whether because of unsavory parents or an unhappy family, feel burdened by other people’s expectations of them. Most humanoids know that half-elves are friendly, fun-loving companions, and they expect each half-elf to behave that way. The pressure of this stereotypical thinking leads some half-elves to become bitter.
A half-elf ’s combination of physical and mental attributes makes almost any pursuit a viable option. While half-elves are not often found tucked away in a library studying dusty arcane tomes, they might be found following virtually any other endeavor in Faerûn, regardless of geography or adversity.
Half-Elf Characteristics: Accommodating, adaptable, charming, confident, gregarious, open-minded