Pathfinder Society Casefiles
On the Curious Phenomena of Half-Elves and Mittagchilde
Amongst the many races which wander these lands, there are few which possess beauty and grace, or indeed curiosity, comparable to that of the Raechilde. It is natural, then, that many among the Humans find members of the Elven races both alluring and agreeable when it comes to the pursuit of intimacy.
Though exceedingly rare when held in comparison to the offspring of human couplings, a child results from time to time from these unions. While there are several races with which Humans have been found to be compatible, none prove to be quite so interesting in their offspring as the Elves. As has been documented in previous writings, the birth and maturation of Raechilde diverges significantly in both form and duration from that of a human, proceeding through stages which some have (perhaps in denigration) compared to the stages of insect development.
It is interesting, then that none of the children they produce with human partners share quite the same experience. In fact, it is worth noting that said children do not even universally share similar experiences with one another. Indeed, the offspring of Elven-Human pairings are best treated as two different races altogether, based on which parent is Elven and which is Human.
A half-elf born to a human mother, or Haylftechilde, goes through a relatively normal human childhood which is simply somewhat extended, particularly in the early stages of development. While a human child goes through a stage of rapid development between the ages of one and a half and three years, a half-elf does not. This same period of growth and development can take between four and six years for the Haylftechilde in question.
In this period, the half-elf children are not prone to the same periods of moodiness tantrums that their true-born human counterparts experience. They do, however, inherit some characteristics of the elven Sylvan stage – an insatiable curiosity and a distinct sense of wonder at the world being chief among them. Unlike Sylvan-stage elves, however, Haylftechilde develop at a reasonably predictable rate.
By the time a half-elf child is between five and six years of age, most have reached the physical and mental maturity of a human three year-old. Development from this point progresses at roughly 3/4 the rate of a human child until they reach adolescence. Therefore, a half-elf who reaches some semblance of physical and mental maturity (which would be seen around the age of sixteen in humans) would be roughly twenty years of age (although there is slightly higher variance than in human children even in those later stages of development.
By contrast, a half-elf child born to an Elvish mother is, by many circles, considered to be of an actually different race (called the Mittagchilde or Noon Elves) than their half-elf fellows. Many of academia’s elite consider these children to actually be a sub-race of elves just like Sun Elves or Wood Elves, rather than being a mixed-race at all – or even a race apart as is the case with Or’keth. Many non-Elf peoples can not tell the difference on visual inspection between a Noon Elf and a member of their mother’s race.
True members of the Elven races, however, have mixed feelings on their Noon Elf brethren, for one reason above all others: Noon Elves do not experience true Spritehood and Sylvanhood. A Noon Elf hatches from an egg as does any of its true-born cousins, but virtually never has clutchmates. They are born of a similar size and shape to a sprite, although they almost never have wings and in those rare cases that they do, said wings are entirely vestigial. Furthermore, Noon Elf sprites are entirely corporeal, a fact which some elves find disturbing and distinctly unnatural.
Their development into the pseudo-Sylvan stage is therefore less mystical and more difficult for a Noon Elf, for whom this transition involves rapid growth and change which can be somewhat traumatic. They spend Sylvanhood as a corporeal being as well, and although this stage of their development is much more variable in time-frame than its analogue among the half-elves, it is none the less vastly shorter than would be seen in a trueborn Elf, usually lasting somewhere between seven and fifteen years and rarely exceeding twenty-five.At the conclusion of this stage, the Noon Elf experiences another phase of rapid development, wherein they reach adolescence and develop in a somewhat more ‘human’ fashion. Like all elves, Noon Elves are exceptionally long-lived, although their human parentage does seem to cause more obvious effects of aging in many.