Over at LinkedIn, another author mentioned writing about elves and humans in the same story. Well, like many avid fiction fans and also myth lover and also gamer I have some fantasy experience with elves. Let’s face it, some fantasies are never close to reality and others are the models for future science.
I love elves, there is no doubt about it. I also love humans but as I get to be one in real life it doesn’t shine the same way in the light of consciousness that the elves do. I have read myths about entities which cannot be explained here on Earth called elves. I have heard of elves as astral spirits or as the anthropomorphism of real living spirits in trees. I have also read about them as immortal but Earthly, as other dimensional beings but sometimes able to cross over and appear on Earth. I have read about elves in the woods who carry swords and help humans save the day, and of elven females who give even human males ‘wet dreams’ without trying to. I have read about urban elves as well in a fictional place called Border Town in short story anthology that included Bellamy Bach and great cover art of lithe red headed elves on motorcycles in the city.
On top of all that I have also played massive amounts of Dungeons and Dragons, mostly 1st edition but also a good 4 more years with 3.5 edition: I’m a D&D Mom more than a “soccer Mom” but we did get the junior gamer pee wee soccer lessons for a few years. We both like soccer. Anyways, enough of that tangent. The bottom line is that the gaming and the druidry have kept my connection with the ephemeral elvenkind near and dear to my heart. If there is any creature on Earth I can say it is very sad does not seem to exist it is the elf.
Half elves are confronted by most of the same kinds of issues that any binational or polyracial entity faces. There are places where there are so many, that it has become normal. In other places the half elf is definitely an individual who has the social position of being an odd ball, not necessarily an outcast but it could go that way. In general, they only live half as long as normal elves or even less but still take over 50 years just to reach adulthood, which means they are overwhelming to a human culture that expects them to have matured long before they do. Humans are forced into the position of the human family’s pet dog: when the pet is very old, the elven kid has finally grown up. Most half elves also have the pointy ears and good dexterity. They have a greater chance of being subtle and magical than humans but it does not happen all the time.
Those half elves who find themselves living amongst humans more than elves find life gets much easier once they grow up. Those amongst elves, do not suffer much from growing up so quickly except when it comes to dating and then at the back end of going through what most half elves will have seen happen to their human friends many times – getting old and withering away long before their elven friends and relatives. There are some societies where the two mix enough that the cross breed is not unheard of, and they have an easier time adjusting because the ways of both are common knowledge amongst the people.
Personally, I have played many half elves and they are quite effective. In some cases they do feel shortchanged somehow by the blend of breed but in general they tend to be happy as something like a misfit, or simply a rarity.