Sand Hunter Species in Erisdaire | World Anvil

Sand Hunter

Remember, if you see one there's almost certainly a couple dozen more somewhere else. If you've got an infestation on your hands, moving away is the best solution. Can't? Well that's a problem...
— Dylan Ferthal, Imperial Naturalist
  The sand hunter is a predatory insectoid creature which dwells in arid climates, particularly deserts. Most encounters with them are in the Kiroan Desert, where they have a significant presence. While normally a rare nuisance, when sand hunters are actively seeking food can be a deadly event for travelers. They are yet one of the reasons travelers through the Kiroan Desert are advised to be escorted by competent and well-armed guards.

Yet the sand hunters are not limited to the desert, and occasionally are found in regions with a similar climate. Settlements which might be at risk have always been advised to be on the lookouts for potential infestations underneath the houses, and many cities go through a great deal of effort to render it difficult for sand hunters to build hives. Nevertheless, they remain a significant threat when a colony is searching for food or building a new hive. After such times, their numbers can increase quite alarmingly, rendering formerly safe areas uninhabitable.

Basic Information

Ecology and Habitats

While there are always legends of sand hunters having made hives under cities, those of us who are more learned know otherwise. It's simply not true. Now the stories of giant rats? That's real.
— Sage Thelun Arkady
  Sand hunters primarily live in arid environments where the soil is soft enough for them to burrow quickly. Most of the time this means deserts with sand, and this was what inspired the name. But some colonies of sand hunters have been located in areas with soft soil or underground voids which suit their existence. There also must be water nearby, though it need not be significant enough to support humanoid life. Having safety underground and a source of water means a colony of sand hunters can sustain themselves indefinitely, with the limiting factor being how much other food they can get.

A colony of sand hunters live underground, using their limbs to dig through the earth to help form their hive. During the digging, a sand hunter uses a secretion to harden the earth and give the hive a structure. These tunnels are relatively extensive, and tend to curve upwards or downwards as much as they would in other directions. This makes it rather difficult to exterminate within their hives, requiring either alternative means or a significant amount of effort.

Dietary Needs and Habits

What do they eat? Well, anything organic, and they only need a small amount. They prefer fresh kills, but... they aren't picky.
— Dylan Ferthal, Imperial Naturalist
  Sand hunters require regular meals, yet can survive on remarkably small amounts of food. Generally-speaking, they favor flesh but can eat any tyoe of organic compound when in desperation. Such meals are not as sustaining, but can keep a colony alive until hunters can find something more suitable. A typical sand hunter group will hunt in numbers from three to two-dozen, depending on how dire the need for food is. They stalk prey underground by sensing the vibrations and bursting forth an an opportune moment. Their mandibles are very sharp and strong enough to handle most hides, yet this is not always necessary. In addition to secretions used to form tunnels, sand hunters also can produce an acidic gel which breaks organic material down. When threatened, this acid is a defensive mechanism, but when hunting it becomes an effective means of rendering prey more vulnerable to being hurt by the mandibles. Prey is usually not taken back to the hive whole, rather it is broken down into sections - any person reported being taken away by sand hunters and taken down is not likely to be rescued from a hive. However, attacks on humanoid creatures are rare outside of a colony desperate for food.


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