Born to Make History?
Desert Elf Tribes
Wood Elves, occasionally half-Elves
Egyptian (Ra, Hathor, Sekhmet)
Allied in spirit with the Swamp Elf Tribes, though they rarely interact
Healers, resilience, resourcefulness
The Cold Iron Desert is harsh and unforgiving but also ever-changing and mystical. The Tribes that call this area home have to be resourceful and cunning, so many become rangers or druids. There is also an abundance of Clerics and Healers, a specialized class of Cleric that excel in healing but cannot engage in combat.
Only the best survive their adolescence, as the Tribes believe if the desert claims your life you were not strong enough to make it anyway. They champion being organized and prepared – venturing more than a few miles from an oasis can spell death in just a few days. The Tribes, though, regularly are able to live in the harshest parts of the desert for months at a time. Few are privy to how this is possible, but many believe it must have to do with the desert’s close connection to Limbo, which the Tribes may have learned how to use to survive long treks.
The Tribes have many conflicts with the Cold Iron Empire, whose soldiers pride themselves in wiping out entire clans. The Elves are also favored for slavery due to their longevity – one Desert Tribal Elf can serve a single half-Orc family for generations – leading to countless raids by Empire soldiers looking to make some gold.
Elves of the desert dress in light colors and clothing to best combat the heat. Druids and Rangers in the Tribes often adorn themselves with the claws, teeth, bones, or pelts of the animals they have the closest affinity with. Elves that become Healers, a specialized Cleric class whose secrets are known only to Desert Elves, wear a white armband with a red cross to indicate to others that they are medics and cannot attack. For most factions, they respect the armband and do not attack Healers on the battlefield (knowing that the Healers will impartially heal warriors on both sides), but many of the Empire’s soldiers treat them as “easy targets”.
When a young Elf comes of age and chooses their role within the Tribe, they commune with the spirits of nature in a sacred location to receive a vision. This vision grants them inspiration for a tattoo design, which is then inked onto their face by someone close to them. This tattoo represents the Elf’s profound connection to nature, and folklore tells that Elves that turn away from their duty to protect nature and instead choose to live in bustling cities or poison the natural world in some way find that their tattoos fade away in time.
Elves that fall victim to the Empire‘s slave trade have their ears notched, the number and placement of which indicate where they’ll be shipped to and what role they’ll be serving (labor, serving in homes, entertainment). Some Elves seek intensive healing spells to rectify this or resort to cutting off their entire ear, but most wear the notches as a mark of pride that they survived such horrors.