The Age of Ash
Sand Elves tend to refer to the events of the world’s apocalypse as “Ragnarok,” a reference to a mythical battle in the heavens that exterminated all of their deities.
Now the only link to anything spiritual they possess is to nature spirits and their ancestral ghosts… doomed to wander the earth eternally, for they have no Divine domain to go to anymore. Most Sand Elves in the Age of Ash are nihilistic; they believe that their gods all died on the day of Ragnarok. This actually isn’t that unusual in the setting, a good deal of humans and dwarves would tend to agree on the point that the Gods are no longer alive (or no longer present to their followers) if pressed. The exact reaction to this belief is what sets the Sand Elf tribes apart from many others.
While there are many styles of Sand Elf tribes and not nearly all of them stick to the ‘standard model,’ the broad stereotypes of these nomadic wanderers tends towards the most cynical assessment from other races, due to the extreme notoriety of the worst of the Sand Elf tribes. Keep that in mind as you read the following:
“Sand Elves follow behavior patterns similar to wild animals. The chief, or alpha male, is allowed to mate with any member of his immediate tribe. Thus, tremendous emphasis is placed on becoming the Chieftain. Male Sand Elves push themselves to become the most effective hunters and warriors they can be with the hopes of one day enjoying the status and privilege that such a position offers. Of course, this pleasure is short lived. As soon as the chief is injured, slows with age, or a new male comes of age, his authority is challenged through ritualized combat which usually ends in someone’s death. But then again, Sand Elves tend not to live very long anyway, and by virtue of their own beliefs have nothing to look forward to but ancestor worship; hence why their culture values a short notorious life over a long, uneventful one.
Each Sand Elf tribe reveres a different animal. At some point each chief must lead his tribe on a ceremonial hunt in which their respective animal is found and killed. After killing this animal the beast’s heart is ripped out and all members of the tribe drink the creature’s blood. The meat is not eaten, but rather is left for the ancestors to consume. An alpha male will eventually lose his position if he never leads such a hunt, and his rule is guaranteed both during the hunt and for at least one year afterward. Ceremonial hunts therefore help stabilize an otherwise volatile hierarchy in Sand Elf culture.”
—attributed to the studies of Dragonborn cultural researcher Thul’hasst.
Documented elf tribes: The Roc Tribe
Some other known Sand Elf Tribes include -
Griffin (extremely dominant in the regions west of Rajah), Rage Drake, Thunder Scorpion,
Blood Hawk (presently leader-less), Wyvern (currently endangered, close to extinction)
Edited by Dark_Matter