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 Post subject: Half-Elves are mules
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:36 am 
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What exactly is the point of a half-Elf? In some RPGs, they combine advantages of elves and humans without the downsides, so they are, mechanically speaking, superior. Aragorn and his heritage is largely responsible for this, I suspect, who wasn't technically even a half-elf.

But they remain, in D&D, other fantasy books I've read recently, video games. Why? And why are they all the same?

I have never seen anything truly unique about a half-elf in anything I have read, including my much beloved Paksworld books. (Actual paladins who behave as proper paladins! :dieshappy:) They're longer lived than humans but not as much as elves, more magical than humans but not as much as elves, stronger and more agile than humans but not as much as elves, and so on. We see the pattern here?
Things may get awkward here
Why is that so? Genetically speaking, elves and humans would have be to the same species, as half elves can have kids. This was pointed out in a recent YouTube video I watched by LindyBeige, which I'll link if anyone is interested.

Why are they the same species then but so incredibly different? What type of genetics can make elves so superior than humans but still match humans? There are some disturbing implications there, but those are not my point. I'm not sure such a thing would be feasible. Not on a biological level anyways. Spiritual and magically, yes, probably so. That is another factor to bring into account, probably in a different thread.

It would make sense if elves (or others) would be biologically distinct species with non-matching DNA and chromosomes.

What would a half elf (or other) be like in that case? Well, not like the parents. Again going back to the video, mules are a stellar example of this, hence the title, and they are neither like horses nor donkeys. Visibly different. Act differently. Very different temperament.

Now, going back to our writings, what if half-elves were like neither of their parents? How would the character respond if they were a visible outcast, unlike the majority of the rest of the world's population and unwelcome in both their parent's cultures? Interesting possibility for parallels there, but I'll leave those for another time. Do these half-Elves form their own communities and civilizations away from parent societies? Do they live as hated outlaws, cast out from everything they know, reviled and forced into crimes of desperation? Maybe they have bounties placed on them for all sorts of trumped up reasons. It happened to the Roma and Jewish peoples multiple times. Typically, however, they don't.

What about their personalities? Maybe they have the apath, ahem, patience of the elves but the lifespan of a human (or less)? How would they view life? Or the opposite? The drive and impatience of a human with the immortality of the elves? Other than characters not unlike Feanor, what would they be like? What would they do? Or maybe there's something else.

Like here's a random idea that can happen. Say there's a society that derives their value and status from the legacy they leave to their children and everything they do is aimed towards that and those without children are viewed as eccentric at best and evil at worst. Now, if there are half-elves, what if they can't have children and are so written off as failures and disgraces, cast out and driven away from civilization. Say a threat arises but everyone is so concerned over their own problems or are too paralyzed to react. Civilization is in crisis, end of the world, return of the dark lord. You know, everything a quality story requires. They need a hero and somehow one of the half-elf outcasts ends up in that position and has to enforce authority and power over the full-blooded members of the society who already hate said character. Then the hero uses outcast techniques and strategies rather than the the traditional ones. It works for a while and the enemy gets smart and adjusts. Hero gets blamed for the defeat and accused of ineptitude. With no way of doing anything of importance, from society's perspective, why does the character keep going? Or do they just give up?

See all that tension and conflict that grows from making the half-elves different? Same works for other cultures and races. Differences are good. Differences are great. They build tension and conflict, which drives the story. I guess this whole thing is just a reminder to go beyond the old tropes and, if you use them, make them fresh and more complex than usual.

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 Post subject: Re: Half-Elves are mules
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:51 pm 
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Some very good points. Fantasy allows bending the physical laws we live by, but even fantasy needs to have rules or the stories become quite ridiculous ... actually, IMO many of them are.

I don't like giving all my secrets away, but in my flagship storyline the two different sentient species (humans and Graseq) only think they are completely different species. It's a racial bias due to some very nasty history between them. What the main characters discover (a male human and a female Graseq) is that they are actually compatible ... which I suppose makes my story like Romeo and Juliet on steroids.

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 Post subject: Re: Half-Elves are mules
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:09 pm 
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I'm glad you made this post, Strider. I've thought about that very thing many times.

It does bother me when the two species create a new species: it's like mating cats and dogs just because they look similar.

In Egnitheos, there is only one half-elf. She is an illegitimate child and has several chromosome-related mutations/diseases. She cannot have children. And so on.

So. *applause for Strider for making thread in which I no longer feel weird for having a bizarre half elf* :3

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Surely God is my salvation, I will trust, and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song, He has become my salvation. ~Isaiah 12:2

Whatever. CARPE NOCTEM!

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 Post subject: Re: Half-Elves are mules
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:25 am 
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In Quicksilver, elves are half human, half water or tree nymph. In a way, that sort of makes them more after the genetic model of a demi-god of classic mythology than it makes them a half breed. Each different type of race---with the possible exception of dragons and gryphons---is that way and it does cause them to have different cultures and things. I'm not particularly sure how it plays in to having actual half-elves though. There are humans in that world still, but I'm sure there are any number of mixes between the different races, I just haven't played them out in my world-building yet. They are more like different ethnic groups and cultures than different species.

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All resemblance to persons, people, friends, relatives, quotes, cultures, artificial intelligences, inside jokes, pets, unclaimed personalities, sentient objects, extra-terrestrials, inter-terrestrials, and draperies living, dead, undead, or comatose in any of my work are purely coincidental, incidental, circumstantial, inadvertent, unplanned, unforeseen, and unintentional. There's seriously no way I was referring to you. Honest.

The story so far:
Birthright: Eleventh chapter pending. 28280 words.
Heritage: First chapter drafted.
Legacy: Character and plot development stage.
Get a feel for the land. Visit Lor-Amar today!

Other novels on the brain:
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The Queen's Knave
Polarians
Exile Realms
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 Post subject: Re: Half-Elves are mules
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 8:18 pm 
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My half-elves – Luvarians, as negatively named by elves – have become a race of their own. Half-elves give birth to half-elves, and they share traits from both humans and elves. They do live longer than humans (but shorter than elves), but they have the same "thicker" body build as humans do compared to lithe elves. Elvish traits include the pointed ears, and the slivers of a secondary color in the iris. They're pretty much despised and ignored by the elves, and humans tend to avoid having too much contact so as to not offend the elves. So they live away from both parent sides, but they will take in human or elf if they need help.

But it's their culture and mindset that I think makes them unique. They take in half-elf orphans, those abandoned at their gates by their human mothers (because elf father will have nothing to do with the child, and the mothers want to avoid the shame). Because knowing your parentage is an important aspect in Piensor life, the Luvarians receive more disapproval by taking in these orphans, with no identifiable mother or father. and adopting them into families.

And even with all of this disapproval and hostility, my half-elves don't let it get to them. They almost have a borderline "Yes, life seems to really stink right now. Cowboy up and keep going" kind of attitude. It does still hurt to be more or less disowned by humans and elves. Or even be persecuted, but they make the best of it and go on with life, making a place for themselves as a race alongside elves and humans, yet still apart.

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And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
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Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

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 Post subject: Re: Half-Elves are mules
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 9:04 pm 
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Aris has nice half-elveses. :3

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Surely God is my salvation, I will trust, and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song, He has become my salvation. ~Isaiah 12:2

Whatever. CARPE NOCTEM!

GUYS IMMA PUBLISHED AUTHOR *CLICK ME*
Lady Kitra Skene wrote:
Hitler and flamingos will always remind me of Abi.
Kya Lightwing wrote:
I think "IDK ask Gael she'd know" is the story of everyone's life... :D
The Dark Golden Dreamer wrote:
You kill people, Gael. D: How can I not die over that?
Sometimes I wonder about the reputation I have here....:rofl:


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 Post subject: Re: Half-Elves are mules
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 12:56 pm 
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Lady Abigail Mimetes wrote:
Aris has nice half-elveses. :3


Thank you. :3

_________________
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

-The Love of God (Frederick Lehman)


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 Post subject: Re: Half-Elves are mules
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:44 am 
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My half-Monan (Basically an elf, though more like a human sized fairy), is called Lyrious, the Mule actually. It was initially a insult given to him by his fathers political enemies but in true christian fashion, eventually he comes to own the title, seeing it as a symbol of his dogged endurance.

I do in fact use a few interesting traits common to many half breed species in nature for him as well. For instance, despite Monan being smaller than humans by at least half a head on average he is quite tall as many half-breeds in nature are in fact larger than there two parental species. Also he is not traditionally handsome but actually quite weird looking his physical proportions being a slightly wonky, so not exactly the traditional half-elf. At one time I even considered making him sterile, but my dad suggested that might come off as me saying that his birth was unnatural or unholy which did not work for me.

I would love to see more people do things like this with the idea. It could be a lot of fun.

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 Post subject: Re: Half-Elves are mules
PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:37 pm 
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Fertility is not necessarily indicative of being unnatural by birth. Are there enough other halves that they are at least heard of as a "race"? If not, it would not be a surprise if he can't have children (male ligers are sterile, but females can mix with lions and tigers, so it's either or). At the same time, perfectly normal people can be infertile, so you could play it from several different angles.

_________________
You can't spell grin without ̶gRIN
Words are my ̶bread and ̶butter.
http://unshakablegirl.com/
http://www.ravelry.com/designers/kitra-skene

Haud Retene Haud Reverte

All resemblance to persons, people, friends, relatives, quotes, cultures, artificial intelligences, inside jokes, pets, unclaimed personalities, sentient objects, extra-terrestrials, inter-terrestrials, and draperies living, dead, undead, or comatose in any of my work are purely coincidental, incidental, circumstantial, inadvertent, unplanned, unforeseen, and unintentional. There's seriously no way I was referring to you. Honest.

The story so far:
Birthright: Eleventh chapter pending. 28280 words.
Heritage: First chapter drafted.
Legacy: Character and plot development stage.
Get a feel for the land. Visit Lor-Amar today!

Other novels on the brain:
Quicksilver
Shen'oh Story
Crusoe's Star
War Blazer
Seven Arts Story
The Queen's Knave
Polarians
Exile Realms
All Librarians Are Secret Agents


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 Post subject: Re: Half-Elves are mules
PostPosted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 6:22 am 
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Aris, you're thinking along similar lines as I am, though at the time in the world that the book takes place the Half Elves have earned the grudging respect of their fellow races. As for biological differences, all four races are considered off-shoots from the same source with different gifts, such as living for a thousand years or better went to the Elves while strong passion and a zest for life went to Men. Half Elves are truly a mixed bag and although they live in their own communities what shines through from their human half and their Elven half makes them all very unique.


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