It is said there is no better guide through the sandy, unyielding seas of Aradia than a Dune Elf. Known amongst their kin as the Ake’tavari, it is unclear when they migrated to Aradia but they have been observed traversing the deserts in their festooned opulent caravans for millennia. A long tradition of recording history through song has yielded clues about their arrival but historians aren’t certain, and some say they originated from Mystara, while others disagree. What is known is that the Dune Elves have carved their existence from the wisping mountains of sand for eons, adapting remarkably well to their environment where other species struggle against it to merely eke out a survival.
Highly territorial, ecologically minded, extremely secretive and typically arrogant, the Ake’tavari culture revolves around their relationship with the natural world. This relationship dominates the actions, conversations, art and crafts of the desert nomadic people. To the Ake’tavari, the land is mother, father, friend and foe, providing for and taking from the clan in an unending cycle that holds its own beautiful patterns and logic. Their abilities in using stealth and cunning make them successful raiders and thieves, while their cleverness at using the wastes and canyons to their advantage make them able warriors and hunters. The tough wastelands have created a tough people. Yet, there is a delicate beauty about them, as can be seen when they gather around a fire in their fine silk garments, singing in dulcet tones and playing their instruments. Thei bardic spells tell vivid tales in streaky-watercolor scenes through their song-magic above the glow of the fire. Bardic magic is a core cultural practice for Dune Elves, and every elf is inclined to musicianship, singing, or storytelling of some fashion.
Dune elves are characterized by their long pointed ears, pearlescent white hair, pale golden-to-bronze skin and golden, green, or tawny eyes, all of which serve to both keep them cool in the sun and blend in with their sandy environment. Their stature and build is that of the high elves but with tawnier sand-colored skin. Some believe the Dune Elves evolved from the High Elves. While the similarities are strong there are other distinctions beyond the aesthetic. Dune elves possess an aptitude for long distance travel, and are capable of maintaining a respectable pace through the desert without fatigue nor need for stopping regularly to set up camp. Desert elves only tend to stop during sandstorms, when they erect their insect-like folding silk tents of ingenious craftsmanship. Like most elves, Dune Elves find animal mounts to be barbaric and unacceptable and are prideful in their self-sustenance. However, they move through the desert at such a pace that most humans need a mount just to keep up.
The greatest enemy of the Ake’tevari are the Scorrow, with whom an endless territory war has been ongoing for as long as the historic tales have been told. Scorrow move through the deserts at night, hunting the Dune Elves for prey and for bloodthirst. It is for this reason that Dune Elves travel day and night, only stopping when absolutely necessary, their skin coloration and light fabrics making them nearly invisible in the dunes. The Dune Elves, like all elves, are precise and skilled fighters. By combining their sickle blades and spears with their legendary stamina, they can quickly become the most deadliest of opponents.