Elves and humans travel many of the same roads on Athas – elven tribes have at times encountered human mercenaries, just as elven warriors have found gainful employment in the armies of the city states. The merchant class, too, is overrun with traders of both races, so it is not at all unusual for children of mixed parentage to be born into the world–the half–elves. A half–elf is generally tall, between 6 and 6½ feet tall, but more meaty than his elven counterparts. His facial features are clearly more deeply defined than those of a human, but based solely on his countenance a half–elf can usually pass for either an elf or a human.
A half–elf’s life is typically hardened by the intolerance of others. Neither fully human nor fully elven, half–elves rarely find acceptance with either race. Elves are especially intolerant, at times driving mothers of half–elven infants from their camps into the desert. Humans are more apt to accept half–elves as allies or partners, but seldom accept them into their homes, clans, or families. Rarely do half–elves congregate in great enough numbers to form communities of their own, so they remain outsiders, forever wandering from situation to situation without a people, land, or village to call home.
Intolerance, however, has given the half–elf his greatest attribute: self-reliance. Usually a loner without permanent residence, a half–elf survives the rigors of life in the wilderness completely on his own. Survival skills, such as locating food, water, and shelter, are only half of the challenge they face – half–elves must also learn to deal with the absence of companionship, conversation and friendship. Faced with intolerance from the races of their parentage, many turn to completely alien races for acceptance. Dwarves and even thri–kreen have no basic dislike of half–elves – nor do they grant them any favour. At the very least a half–elf dealing with these races can expect no automatic prejudices. Also, some half–elves turn for companionship to the animal world, training beasts of the air and sands as servants and friends.
Despite their self–reliance, when faced with elves or humans, half–elves often find themselves looking for acceptance. For instance, when among elves, a half–elf will go out of his way to prove just how elven he is, by running great distances with them and observing other social and cultural rituals with the elves. These efforts, however, are mostly lost on the elves and therefore serve no purpose. The half–elf’s behaviour is seen by some as slightly irrational, but only by those who are comfortably wrapped in the blankets of racial acceptance; having none leaves half–elves out in the bitterest cold.
See the game statistics for playing a half-elf.