Half-Elfs (or Half-Elves)
Since they decided to have a hybrid lifestyle, silvan elfs and humans started calling them "half elfs". This elfs dislike this definition since they consider themselves fully elves and they call themselves "Ash Elves"
Half Elves, Ash Elves (Elfi della Cenere), The City Dwellers (I Cittadini)
Half elves speak elven just as their sylvan kin. Compared to their cousins they have an interesting lingustic difference: the presence of two types of speech.
In everyday life the Ash Elves use a broken dialect of Sylvan which includes many human and dragonsoul words. This is called "laethúil", literaly "the daily (speech)".
In very formal occasion and for religious and magical purposes, the City Dwellers will use the "Naofa", literally "the Holy (Speech)". This is a pure version of Sylvan which is very literarly and uses words which even the forest elves have dropped.
Apparently friendly and open, they are actually much more secretive and isolated than what they seem. Very adaptable and highly magical.
Sources of Inspiration:
Half Elves (dnd) The moon elves (Forgotten Realms), The Italian Renaissance, The Jewish communities in the middle ages.
The Elven Times
In ancient times, the ancestors of the half elves were normal members of some sylvan elves tribes. It is said, from the few songs and scrolls that remain on this ancient period, that the names of some of this tribes were "Lámhfada" (Longarm) ,the "Dairsean" (Oldoak) and the "Deargfiach" (Redhunt). The were noble and strong clans, truly devoted to their villages and in particoular to the protection of holy places.
As humans and their Dragonsoul lords conquered more and more elven land, these tribes decided not to fight till exaustion and then retreat as they were doing but rather to strike a deal with the Dragonsouls and to remain in their ancient lands to protect the holy sites they had been guarding for ages.
This is called by the Sylvans "The Betrayal" and by the half elves as "The Sad Choice" (La Triste Scelta).
The Sylvan elves swore never to forgive the Ash Tribes and to hunt them down for this behaviour which, they believe, disgraced the elves in front of the Spirits.
On the other hand the half elves see this as a truly noble deed, they had the courage to sacrifice their life style and their freedom to protect holy sites whereas the Sylvan were not brave enough and just retreated.
Life in human cities
Most of ash elves communities became quickly overwhelmed by scores of humans and dragonsouls, even Caramagh, which hosted the highest number of these elves in the Known Islands, became a mainly human town.
A minority in their hometowns and forced to abide to an ancient peace treaty which limited them in many ways, these elves had to found their own role in a society were dragonsouls ruled and humans did not consider them equals.
As a reaction to this, half elves, as they had started to be called, created very strong communities and protected each other from the outside world. They manage to keep their language, religion and traditions but at the same time the followed the "Marthanais".
This sylvan word literally means "survival", it was a strategy the half elves developed to adapt and survive in their new urban, isolated lives. It consists in copying and absorbing from the surrounding people everything which could be useful, trying to combine it with previous knowledge and traditions.
In this way the Ash Elves developed greatly, becoming a very civilzed race. The copied and improved human clothing into their distinguished, elegant attires; they started building elegant houses of stone and wood as other city dwellers, they wrote down the stories and knowledge of their race into scrolls as the wisemen of other races and they learned the use of Mathema from the Dragonsouls...
The half elves have two big cultural groups in their society: the "Young Branches" and the "Roots" ( the "brainsí óga" and the "Fréamh")
The Bransi Oga
Oten called "The Youngs", these half elves believe that the Marthanais, the tendency to adapt, should be followed very strongly. The are innovators and try to bring always new ideas to the half elven society. The easily mix with humans jinns and other races because they believe that there is a lot to learn from them.
Some people think that the Brainsi Oga rejected their elven traditions. This is false, since these elves still follow ash elvene traditions although very lightly and often more for a sense of duty rather than because they truly believe in their importance.
The Bransi Oga are often just loose groups of likely minded half elves, but in some cases they can officially become a group in half elven community and organize themselves through a "Brainse Council" (Branch Council). These council oversees the activities of the Youngs in the community and tries to push their innovative ideas into the Council of Elders.
Half elves from all walks of life, such as warriors, wizards and merchants, are accepted in the Brainsi Oga.
The young ones wear circlet made of all sorts of metals apart from the ones used by the clans of the Freamh.
The Roots are considered to be the most traditional part of the half elven society. These elves believe that the Ash Elves are the only true elves and they believe that sylvans are blinded by their lack of civilization.
The Freamh see their race as a beacon of light for elven civilization whereas the other elven races are lost in their "savage ways". The Roots feel very sensitive about their role and they believe that protecting their traditions is part of their initial mission as ash elves when they broke away from the Sylvan tribes to stay on the coasts and protect those holy sites.
The Roots tend to divide themselves in different clans which were the original clans from which the half elves descend.
The Clans of the Freamh
"Fadasuil" (Fareye) Occhio Lontano
Member of this clan are often recognizable for wearing silver circlets on their heads. These half elves are usually famous for their skills as members of cirus and and as acrobats. They are usually very good artisans as well and their elven artifacs are remarkable pieces of art.
Lamhfada elves learn through their body, using it to move elegantly and to craft beautifully: they believe that their hands are a holy gift from the Ancient Spirits and they try to do the best they can from it.
Humans ofter see them as thiefs and liers, and this might not be entirely wrong...
The "Dairsean" (Oldoak) Antica Quercia
The Dairsean usually wear a copper circlet on their heads. Their are the keepers of the most ancient ash elven secrets of the flux.
To became an Oldoak a half elf has to learn many ancient rituals and needs to attune to the most holy site of that elven community. After this he fully becomes a "Sagairt", a druid.
These Druids are sometimes called "Urban Druids" because their natural environment is the city and they recognize and understand nature even where humans dwell. Pidgeons, dogs and even rats are friends of the Dairsean.
The Sagairts of the Dairsean are often considered the priests of the half elves.
The "Deargfiach" (Redhunt) la Caccia Rossa
Long ago, this clan was a clan of warriors and hunters, nowdays the Deargfiach are mostly known for the merchant skills. The richest half elves tend to be Redhunters and the half elf reputation of rich merchants (and cruel usurers) tends to be due to this clan.
The Redhunters wear golden circlets around their hesads.
The Deargfiach believe that weath and power can protect ash elves against their enimies and that's why the slowly switched from warriors to merchants. Anyway most of them still have some fighting skills not to be underestimated and some of them are even very skilled warriors as in olden times.
the "Anamfuil" (Soulblood ) Il Sangue d'Anima.
This clan is famous for having the most powerful wizards. Most wizards of the ash elves are Tinefuil or Bransi Oga, and they strongly contribuite to the aura of arcane mystery which sometimes sorrounds this race.
They usually wear a circlet made of "Daigh" a magical alloy.
They believe to have a special role in the half elven society and they tend to be lorekeepers and libriarians.
The political Structure
Council na Seanoir
Half Elves and Magic