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Aiuvarin

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Aiuvarin
Half-elf
Jirelle, iconic aiuvarin swashbuckler.
(Creature)

Aiuvarins, also known as half-elves, are the children born of relationships between elves and other ancestries, as well as between two aiuvarins.1 Aiuvarins are most commonly born to pairings of humans and elves. They tend to be considered outsiders by both races, but the combination of ancestries tends to make them good artists and entertainers as well as well-traveled adventurers.2

The name aiuvarin is an Elven word referencing a poem about leaves that fall from trees too quickly.1

Appearance

Aiuvarin males on average stand a few inches taller than males of their non-elven ancestry, while aiuvarin women stand up to six inches taller than their average non-elven counterparts. All are shorter than elves.34 They distinctively and consistently lack the all-encompassing eyes of their elven parent.1

Aiuvarins have pointed ears, although not nearly as elongated as those of their elven ancestors. They retain the lean build1 and comely appearance of the elves, while their skin, while fair, takes its color from their non-elven lineage. Some aiuvarins look more like their non-elven ancestors, while others favor their elven progenitors in appearance. This variance can often lead to social stigmas, as the more human-looking aiuvarins are more-easily accepted in human society, and vice versa.34

Aiuvarins tend to be longer-lived than their non-elven progenitor, but less so than their elven side. For example, the average life expectancy of an aiuvarin with a human parent is approximately 150 years.1

Genealogy

Most aiuvarins do not have one elven and one non-elven parent, but come from such a pairing that is many generations in the past.4 Others are born from two aiuvarin parents, or even an aiuvarin with an elf or human. These different varieties are all still considered aiuvarins, although in appearance they may resemble one lineage more than the other.5

Aiuvarin heritages

Shensen, an aquatic half-elf.

Most aiuvarins' ancestry traces back to the elven ethnicity most common in places such as Kyonin or the Mierani Forest in Varisia. Aiuvarins from other elven cultures also exist and express their distinctive features and attributes. Some of these aiuvarin heritages include:6

Society

Seltyiel, an aiuvarin magus.

Because most aiuvarins do not fit completely into the cultures of unmixed ancestries, they tend to adapt to the society in which they feel most comfortable. This versatility makes them excellent and indispensible survivors as they work hard to seek acceptance from those around them.4

Among humans, for instance, aiuvarins are appreciated for their elven beauty, height, and grace, while the elves appreciate in them the same traits they value in humans: spontaneity, freedom, and excitement.4 However, elves often underestimate aiuvarins, while non-elves often disregard aiuvarins' non-elven ancestry.1

Their mixed ancestry can create a conflict within them4 that leads them to performative occupations such as art and entertainment, but also keeps them from feeling like they are part of their parents' communities or forming long-lasting bonds to them. For aiuvarins with a shorter-lived parent, their longer lifespan also introduces fear into their attempts to form relationships with individuals whom they know they will probably outlive.17

Childhood

Due to the diversity in combinations and upbringings, there is no such thing as a standard aiuvarin childhood. Many are born into loving families and nurturing communities that teach them the values of their ancestries, while others are born into environments that are less supportive and understanding of their mixed nature. In these, the aiuvarin child must constantly fight for acceptance and recognition. This need for self-reliance can often foster traits that serve them well in their search for their own meaning in life, apart from that of their birth community.5

Aiuvarins raised in human societies often have particularly difficult adolescences, as they mature slower than their siblings or friends. This can lead them to be scarred by experiences for which they are not emotionally mature enough. Similarly, those raised among the elves often become frustrated with their parents' slow, dispassionate responses geared towards raising a child over the course of a century rather than a few decades. Such children often leave their elven communities early to try to find a faster-paced existence elsewhere.5

In human society

Aiuvarins of human descent who live among humans often keep their emotional distance, as they fear becoming too attached to their shorter-lived neighbors. Capable of living over 150 years, these aiuvarins can watch three or more generations of humans come and go while they barely seem to age. Older aiuvarins become nostalgic and spend their time reminiscing of people they have lost.4

Part-human aiuvarins often adapt the customs, dress, and mannerisms of their adopted communities, while others prefer to stand out. Those who want to blend in often go to extremes to do so, and often develop mental issues in their effort to adapt.4

Language

Most aiuvarins of human descent have learned both Taldane and Elven, no matter whether they grew up in human or elven communities. Their names are often drawn from a wide range of human or elven cultures, or else are unique. Many are quite ordinary, designed to blend in, or else carry Elven inflections. Cathran, Eandi, and Reda being common among women, and Gouard, Satinder, and Zirul among men.4

Religion

Being versatile in culture, aiuvarins worship a large selection of deities. Those with altruistic tendencies venerate such deities as Cayden Cailean, Desna, Sarenrae, or Shelyn, while those who take a more impartial viewpoint on the world worship Calistria, Irori, or Nethys. Aiuvarins who embrace their darker emotions find themselves drawn to Lamashtu or Zon-Kuthon.4

On Golarion

Aiuvarins live wherever their parent races co-exist. Even so, aiuvarins collectively lack a country or region that they consider their homeland.1 Very few settlements have even a majority population of aiuvarins. Most live in human communities,4 often becoming artists or entertainers.41 One exception is the town of Erages in Kyonin, where they live separately from the elves of that nation.8

References

Paizo published Bastards of Golarion, a sourcebook featuring half-elves.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Logan Bonner, et al. Ancestries & Backgrounds” in Player Core, 82. Paizo Inc., 2023
  2. Jason Bulmahn & Erik Mona. Gazetteer, 7–8. Paizo Inc., 2008
  3. 3.0 3.1 Jason Bulmahn & Erik Mona. Gazetteer, 12–13. Paizo Inc., 2008
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 28. Paizo Inc., 2011
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Judy Bauer, et al. Half-Elves” in Bastards of Golarion, 4. Paizo Inc., 2014
  6. Judy Bauer, et al. “Half-Elf Heritages” in Bastards of Golarion, 5ff. Paizo Inc., 2014
  7. Inner Sea World Guide pg. 28 states that the mixed ancestries of half-elves led many to madness. Later works do not suggest that being of mixed ancestry causes mental illness.
  8. James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 96. Paizo Inc., 2011