This mildly rare hybrid species of Humans
. While most human elf pairings are fertile, their offspring is more often than not sterile. 1/10 half elves born of an elf and a human can however have children, and most of their offspring will be fertile as well. As such, there are humans with elf heritage and elves with human heritage, and communities of half elves with children and half elven ancestries, but there is also a population of fresh half elves that can likely not reproduce.
Fresh half elves are those with a mostly fully elven parent and a mostly fully human parent. Some blooded half elves consider those with just one of these parents fresh, but this is controversial. Blooded half elves are those with at least one half elven parent, or both half elven depending on the speaker.
Blooded Half elves live mostly in slightly insular communities within their parent civilizations. Some smaller independant communities do exist, as do lone half elves, but these tend to be for political reasons and extremes of race balance respectivly. Blooded half elves are as diverse or more than their parent races, typically having very disprate expressions of their heritage.
Fresh Half elves tend to live in the community they were born into, but they more than most tend to become adventurures, as they have little other choice for a legacy. These half elves also tend to become great artisans when in human communities, or great artists in elven ones. Within fresh half elves there are minor differences between those sired by a human or an elf, but these are typically not visible to any but the most shrewd observer, and are more visible in statistics than the individual. Fresh half elves as a group however are incredibly similar, far more so than their parent populations.
The very definition of a half elf is fluid. Many elves consider anyone with more than 1/16 non-elf a non-elf (Though will typically allow those with at least 1/2 elf live in all but their most insular communities), while many humans will accept a 1/4 elf as a human. Even more confusingly, this is only for human-elf hybrids, due to the created nature of many humanoid races many combinations are possible. However, half human half elves are the most common by far. Half-Orcs
are rare and rarely have lineages. Other half races can be seen Half Races
Many noble families have some elven heritage, typically measured less than 1/16, but it does bless them with slightly longer lives and more likely Sparks
. In facts some, believe that all human sparks come from those with elven heritage. After millenia of interbreeding, it would be difficult to find those without any elven heritage, and even many elves have a little human.
The half elves described here are blooded or fresh half elves that have at least 1/4 ancestry of both races. Blooded tend to deviate further from the norms, fresh tend to be closer to them.
Roughly humanoid, and looking like a combination of their parents. With less extreme ears than an elf, but nonethless visibly pointed, by their face it is often easy to tell they are not elves, with wider and less angled features. Half elves can grow facial hair, but most have access to the same range of eye colours as their parents. They have a similar variablity as their human ancestors, being more likely to express some above average physical or mental ability.
Roughly 9/10 fresh half elves are sterile, however only roughly 2/10 blooded half elves are. They have roughly year long pregnancies. Culturally they act similar to their ancestors. Blooded half elves will typically produce fertile offspring with a human or an elf, but only around 60% of the time.
Half elves mature and grow at roughly half the speed of a human.
As parent culture. Half elf communities tend to be dominated by one style of naming or the other, but some establish their own traditions.
Due to the limited number of half elves there are few organizations, but many adventurer clubs have sizeable half elf memberships, and many guilds have them well represented. In addition, due to the blooded half elves insular nature, a half elf can always find a table place for them set in any half elf community.
Many make a point of learning elven, even if in a non-elven community.
There have been half elves since the human species was created. However, before the interconnectedness of the world, they tended to either die without children or simply be absorbed into their parent species. In the past few millenia however self-sustaining half elf communities have been established, comprised of blooded half elves with regular injection of elves or humans and the occasional fresh half elf. Elves and humans are much more likely to be attracted to a half elf than each other.
Tend to get along well with humans and elves, though will often be kept at some distance by elves. Dwarves really dislike them, and most other races just dont care, but their social intellgence and charm tends to keep them at least tolerated by most.