Age of Ascension
Favored Regions: The majority of half elves hail from the neighboring country of Emerwald originally, but a rare few are drifters of any origin, wandering in search of a place to fit in.
Favored Deity: Any. Half-elves do not establish their own faiths. Emerwald’s half elves are usually raised with both elven and human beliefs, and they may use elven names and imagery to describe Old Faith deities.
Favored Languages: Elven, Avencian, Lucerian.
The Age of Ruin was not only unkind to the dwarves; a great twisting of the magic that sustained their civilization and a number of unexplained disappearances was only the beginning of the end, for the elves of Malledesselar. The high elves were forced to flee their ancestral forest, and took refuge in the secluded old-growth forests of what is now Emerwald. Their pride held out, and they clung to it or the survival of their race for decades, until it became apparent that they could not sustain their population. Those who were willing and able dispersed into the scattered human settlements and trading posts, spreading and preserving their culture by passing it on.
In the centuries that followed, elven blood became mixed with that of men, and now it’s unusual for any Emerwald native not to show some mark of elven heritage, however diluted. In the empire, half-elves are regarded with a measure of fascination; the absence of the Elven culture has developed into a quiet awe, and people who would’ve once been regarded as mixed-breeds are now the last vestiges of a rich culture; not to mention prized for their beauty. Most half-elves, however, retain a sense of disparity with human culture outside of Emerwald, and shrink at this attention.
It is uncertain whether any of the true high elves still live, and if they do, they are in their final years. Of course, it bears mention that half-elves outside Emerwald are rare, on the basis that there have been startlingly few elves to parent them in the last few centuries. The only remaining elven civilization in the world is on the distant island of Escabael. These distant cousins of the high elves, sometimes called Spire or Grey Elves, are completely unknown, and do not mingle with the rest of the world. Attempts to communicate with them have been met with silence or worse.
As Elven tradition dictates, all life is sacred, all of nature is a gift from the gods, and it is the responsibility of mortals to ward and protect both. It may well be that without the unexpected influence of the elves, Emerwald would have been burned to fuel the fires of industry in Avencia and the river kingdoms long ago.
So the half-elves are perhaps the most naturally connected race of the modern day, as well as the most disturbed and affronted by the lack of reverence shown by other races for their own world. How they manifest their displeasure varies with the individual; some half-elves carry on the dying druidic tradition, while others, especially in Emerwald, advocate a withdrawal into their forests as the Elves once did, to preserve their own purity and that of their home.