Elven House - The Dunewaves
House Dunewave is a sand elf house located in the Varanfa Desert West of House Blackhelm. These elves are an off-shoot of the wood elves.
Often enduring the heat of the desert sun, the Dunewaves are the darkest skinned surface dwelling elves ranging in hue from warm mahogany to deep umber brown. Their wavy or coiled hair is ashen brown or sometimes amber.
A stylized wave made of golden sand.
The Sand Walkers
The druids and the rangers of this House regularly help travelers transverse their vast desert. Helping outsiders through their desert is so common that their druids are known as the Sand Walkers. No outsider knows why the sand elves are so eager to help travelers, but House Dunewave does this for a specific reason. To keep outsiders from finding out a long guarded secret.
For generations the sand elves have had a strange symbiotic relationship with a mysterious entity that permeates the entire desert. How this connection got started has long been lost to history, but every single sand elf can feel and sense this entity. They call the entity Varanfa, for to them the desert and the entity are one in the same. Varanfa can even show them images, which is how they know when outsiders have entered their territory. Varanfa doesn’t generally like outsiders, so it has tasked the sand elves with getting travelers across and to make sure they don’t do anything fishy while they’re there.
The citizens of House Dunewave aren’t exactly sure what Varanfa is. Some believe it could be some sort of extremely massive earth elemental that in an age lost past had been decimated somehow and cannot be put back together. Others say its simply the spirit of the desert. Whatever it may be, they don’t want outsiders to find out they are connected to it. Varanfa makes them feel safe and they have no desire to share Varanfa with anyone else. Their connection to the desert is so strong that it is common for the sand elves take some of the sands with them when they leave their homeland. This way they can still sense Varanfa and be comforted by its presence.
All sand elves have the ability to turn themselves into sand. They travel through the desert in this manner, much the same way a druid in a forest transports themselves through plants. They can manipulate and control the sands in various other ways such as creating monuments or buildings from sand alone. All this comes from their telepathic communication with Varanfa. In a way they’re manipulating Varanfa itself when they move the sands.
The actual city of Dunewave was built atop the largest plateau in the desert, with buildings carved into the cliff sides. They created their buildings by converting the sandstone and rock to sand then clearing out all the sand in the newly formed houses. The buildings in the cliff sides are connected through a series of sandstone platforms and staircases. While a beautiful city to behold, very few outsiders have ever seen it. The elves avoid taking them there for fear they will find what they believe to be the Heart of Varanfa.
Buried at the very center of the plateau is a giant floating amber stone that pulses with light. Their connection to Varanfa is strongest here. For years the elves wanted to prove that this truly is Varanfa’s Heart, but their scholars can’t find out for sure. Since no outsider even knows of its existence the Heart and Varanfa itself remains a mystery.
Many members of Dunewave ride giant rattlesnakes that are known to leave behind wave-like prints in the sands. The snakes have a mesmerizing rattle that can actually cast a hypnotism-like spell on people if they rattle it a certain way. In the wild they use this ability to hunt prey, but they have been known to use it in non-threatening ways as well, such as to soothe an upset child. While more well known for the huge sized ones they ride, the Dunewaves have pet rattlesnakes of many colors and sizes. All these reptiles are considered their beloved pets. The sand elves don’t ever seem to worry about the rattlesnakes biting them. They tell outsiders the snakes have, for some reason, always been docile towards them. What they don’t say is they think the snakes might also share a connection to Varanfa.