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Half-elf is a term used to describe the offspring of an elven or half-elven parent and a parent of any other species (such as a human). There are other races that are half-elven, but they usually referred to by other terms.
Most half-elves are the hybrid offspring of both a human and a high elf, a human and a half-elf, or of two half-elf parents (a half-elf of high elf and half-elf descent is unlikely due to high elven prejudice). They usually have a combination of physical characteristics from both sides, and can be recognized as half-elves on sight. ( )
Humans and high elves can produce offspring, and the product of such a union is a half-elf. High elves are not prolific, especially after Quel'Thalas' destruction, and they do not look favorably upon those who couple with other races. As such, half-elves are rare. History reveals certain prejudices against half-elves. Humans are jealous of half-elves' extended life spans. Night elves are suspicious of their high elven heritage. High elves see them as proof of their race's weakening blood. In recent years this bias has waned - wars and strife show how petty such prejudices are. In large cities, which consider themselves enlightened, half-elves find little of the historic discrimination. Still, many individuals, particularly high elves, remain scornful of half-elves and may or may not attempt to hide their feelings. Tensions with the Horde and other forces strain relationships among all races, and some allow this stress to manifest itself in anger against anything different from themselves. ( )
They push themselves to excel in whatever their chosen field, whether to hope that success will help them fit in or to spite those who consider them inferior. You will not find a more dedicated priest, a more loyal fighter, or a more studious mage than a half-elf. That a half-elf will ever serve in high position in the Alliance is virtually impossible, but their desire for acceptance nonetheless drives many to volunteer whenever the Alliance has a need. They always face the chance that great heroism may give them the acceptance they have wanted all their lives. ( )
Half-elves are members of the Alliance. Half-elves’ heritage places them in the Alliance at both ends, and many served in the First, Second and Third Wars. Half-elves socialize with humans more than with high elves, as the former are generally more accepting — and easier to find. In their wanderings and search for self, some half-elves join the Horde or become independent. ( They sometimes find a home within the towns of the Horde, although the culture is so different from elf or human culture that it seldom offers a comfortable fit for long. ) ( Their high elf heritage grants half-elves a natural talent with magic-related skills. ) ( However, a half-elf does not enjoy a full high elven legacy that would otherwise bestow strong arcane abilities (and the corresponding addiction); however, a half-elves blood does carry enough mystical heritage to offer some resistance to magic. ) ( They have limited arcane ability, drawing upon their high elf heritage, they can cast a few spells. ) ( )
Half-elves have much the same build as slight humans, or heavy high elves. They are more heavily built than purebred high elves. Like their high elf parents, they tend to have fair skin and hair and brilliantly colored eyes, usually blue or green. Though lacking their elven parents' longevity, half-elves still enjoy a long life span, reaching maturity at 20 years of age and living for two or three centuries on average. ( ) ( )
In World of Warcraft the only known half-elf, "Arator" is a reuse of the blood elf model, and then updated to using a high elf texture in patch 3.3.3. Kalec's half-elf form is a unique blue-haired human model.
At one time half-elves were barely accepted by the Alliance but are still dedicated to the Alliance cause. They were not fully accepted as they did not fit in with either their human or high elf societies, or even night elves (who were suspicious of their high elven ancestry), and were viewed with prejudice by both of their parent races. While they were dedicated to helping the Alliance they also held the dream of settling their own nation and asked for help from the Alliance. Others felt like taking things into their own hands and left the alliance lands setting up settlements with or without support from their allies.
However, views have been changing in recent years and they are slowly being accepted by both of their parent races according to the Alliance Player's Guide, as wars and strife have proven how petty such prejudice is. They are also said to be proud of their heritage, and name, though they tend to be fairly humble in nature. In many enlightened cities, half-elves find little of the historic discrimination.
Most humans have finally accepted them into society. Because humans are more easily accepting of them, they tend to socialize more with them. However, some prejudice still exists, especially from many high elves who are scornful of them and may or may not attempt to hide such feelings. ( )
Half Elves generally tend to avoid prejudice by rather blending in to large cities or wandering.
Many half-elves currently live in Theramore, having moved there during the third war. Stormwind has the largest population of half-elves anywhere in the world. Few still live in Alliance settlements in Lordaeron. A few wander the Ghostlands of Quel'Thalas, learning what they can of their fallen legacy. Many become scouts just so they can spend long periods of time away from other people. Many choose to establish themselves in major cities, where prejudice is not as large a problem as it is in backwater villages. Some have become independent, and a few have joined the Horde. ( )
Like their parents on both sides, half-elves revere the Holy Light. Half-elves are particularly fond of the philosophy, as it links them inextricably with both their human and elf parents. They consider the Light as a way of having an identity that they may otherwise lack. ( Some half-elves choose to follow their elf parents in faith. Half-elves who choose )druidism often become savagekin.
Half-elves follow the naming practices of the culture into which they were born. Many take human first names and elven family names.
- Male Names: Gaimus, Zorias, Mendell, Barrim.
- Female Names: Adelle, Meerith, Illin, Shereen.
- Family Names: Goldleaf, Stormdancer, Swiftwright, Sunbow. ()
Other types of half-elves
While most half-elves are half-elves of high-elven descent, there are other types of half-elves.
- Half-night elves (a.k.a. half-kaldorei) - Half-elves born of human-night elf unions. ()
- Half-blood elves - Born of blood elf-human unions.
- In Manual of Monsters Appendix Three Forlarren was a creature of night elf decendance, however, the validity of the source is disputed.
Of these races, few, if any, exist. Due to the recent rediscovery of Kalimdor, most half-night elves would be either still in infancy or very young children. Though there is only one known adult "half-kaldorei", Feulia.
While there have been many half-elf names given, the only half-elves specifically mentioned in lore so far are:
- Finnall Goldensword - The presumed daughter of Daelin Proudmoore and Kilnar Goldensword.
- Arator the Redeemer - The half-elven son of Turalyon and Alleria Windrunner; has been added to the game with the Burning Crusade expansion. He is currently the only known half-elf in World of Warcraft.
- Borivar - A half-elf wraith.
- Ielephia - A half-elf banshee.
- Magistrate Randalvarr - Magistrate of Valgarde in Northrend.
- Apothecary Oni'jus - A Forsaken half-elf and second in command of the Royal Apothecary Society.
- Silverwolf elf - A half-elf in legend.
- Starfeller - A half-elf in legend.
- Giramar and Galadin - the twin sons of Rhonin and Vereesa Windrunner.
- Alodi - The first Guardian.
At the point in time that the Warcraft RPG books take place, the half-elves of human-high elven descent number in the thousands. There are none in Azeroth to be seen at all by the time of World of Warcraft. This is likely due to limitations in the game's sense of scale — the in-game world could not possibly represent an entire planet accurately. (See also the population section in the high elf article for more information.)
- Feulia - a half-elf of night-elf and, possibly, human descent.
- Lelior & his mother - Lelior may be a half-elf of troll and night elf descent. Lelior's mother is said to be a half-troll. While it may only be a "your mother joke", he doesn't deny it.
Noteworthy "half-elven" appearances:
- Kalec - The half-elven form of the blue dragon Kalecgos. This form has dark blue hair, making him appear distinct from normal half-elves.
- “Life is too long to hold a grudge and too short to forget an injustice.”
- “Never mistake foolishness for passion.”
- “It is not hard to find one’s purpose in the world. Liking it, however, is next to impossible.”
- “Elves grow arrogance like a forest, while humans dine on the dust and stench of their cities.”
Given that High Elves have always been prejudiced against half elves, it is likely when the High Elf kingdom of Quel'Thalas' left the Alliance after the Second War that most of the Half Elves resided in Alliance lands and have been heavily influenced by Alliance culture.
As most High Elves who resided outside of Quel'Thalas did so in the human city of Dalaran as part of the Kirin Tor, it is likely that many Half Elves came from there. An example of this is Vereesa Windrunner and Rhonin who have two children.
Although there are no recorded Half Elves of Blood Elf parentage it is possible that some High Elven parents of Half Elves later went on to become Blood Elves.
It would be difficult to say if there would be any difference between a half elf of Blood Elf parentage compared to one coming from High Elf parentage (with a possible exception if the Blood Elf was a Wretched).