Saturday, September 22, 2018

Half-Elves of Monvesia

Okay, I get it.  Half elves are popular.  I fight against them, but players come back with good arguments.  Yes, elves in this setting are known, at times, for "getting around."  Yes, Hunan's have proven to be genetically diverse, capable of great variation.  Fine. If this is going to be a thing, I need them to be Monvesia appropriate.

I will reiterate:  It is my opinion that the genetic difference between the humans and elves of this world make them incompatible for the sake of producing offspring.  Sure the necessary anatomy is there to try, but breeding will never be successful. In fact, I am not in favor of any half-breed races; even half-orcs are a reinterpretation.


Language Analog:  By human region (see "Humans of Raviq and Prace")
Inspiration:  "But I wanna play a haaalf-eeelf!", Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide

Tainted Counterparts:  None. Like elves, half-elves are immune to the Taint
Temperamental Association:  By human region (see "Humans of Monvesia, Part One"); half-elves are most common in eastern Cuorria--which was once part of the elfish homeland.
For starting Alignment Points, follow the standard rules for humans; and add 1 AP in the Vitalist temperament to represent their additional elfish nature.
Names:  By human region (see "Humans of Raviq and Prace"

To become a half-elf, a human adolescent must undergo the Crossing ceremony.  Because humans do not share the elves' fluid anatomy, only adolescents can benefit from the ceremony.  As with elves, the human will be visited by the archfey (or representatives thereof); and also like elves, they will be in a position to make a choice.  These choices are limited for humans, however--and physical changes are cosmetic only, and do not alter the human's sex.  

Humans are not visited by all the archfey, however--typically only those five who regularly interact with non-elves (ie. warlocks). Should the ceremony be performed at a major junction of the Monvesien, however, Syvyys will also be present.  The human is asked to serve one of the Faerie Courts; a court does not need to be chosen, however--the human will be changed by the Crossing regardless.  Service to a faerie court does not require much effort; most often, a half-elf is merely expected to defend the elves of ones court among humans.

When a choice is made, the ceremony is complete.  The former human is returned to the Mortal Realm as a half-elf.  Half-elf traits are as presented in the Player's Handbook, with one exception:  Not all half-elves have the Skill Versatility trait.  Instead, this trait is likely replaced with a new ability based on the archfey the half-elf chose to serve:
  • Errant (no court)
    • An errant half-elf who returns to human civilization gains the Skill Versatility trait
    • An errant half-elf who remains in elfish society gains the Elf Weapon Training trait of the high or wood elf
  • Rainy Court
    • Äiti grants the high elf's Cantrip trait
    • Syvyys grants a swimming speed of 30 feet
  • Summer Court
    • Neito grants the Keen Senses elf trait
    • Vihreät grants the wood elf's Mask of the Wind trait
  • Dark Court
    • Noitia grants the drow's Drow Magic trait
    • Sarvipäinen grants the wood elf's Fleet of Foot trait
The choices above incorporate all of the options made available to half-elves in the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide.

Another positive side effect of the Crossing is that the half-elf becomes immune to the Taint.  Since half-orcs are already tainted, they cannot undergo the Crossing, regardless of age (even though they are otherwise human).  As no other race seems to be affected by the Crossing (even goliaths), medicine workers among the Purifiers are interested in exploring a half-elf's connection to Faerie; if the common ground between human and elf can be isolated, a vaccination against Taint may be developed.

Unfortunately, like elves, half-elves are unable to ascend to sainthood.  They might be able to transcend to an immortal fey state, but this possibility has not yet been confirmed.

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