Dune crawlers

So you're telling me we've been settling there for 30 years and we never even detected something big enough to completely destroy a hyperway?
 

Usually when settling in a new dimension, the I.D.E.A. spend the first year dispatching survey and research teams to complete the charts and reports that the explorers left behind them. By the end of this year, a full detailed map of the dimension is available and every animal worth noticing has been studied and recorded. Oversights are very rare, they are paid enough to do their job consciously. On R'habali though, missing the Dune crawlers was the biggest mistake made that cost billions.

 

Secular life cycle

 

Dune crawlers are a kind of enormous worms living deep in the crust of the Shan continent. They are shielded by a hardened shell and eat their way into the ground, their frightening teeth are able to cut through the toughest rocks. Despite their size, they had been seen by neither the explorers nor the survey teams. This is because they live the best of their lives buried very deep, near the warmth of the outer mantle, feeding on the hydrated minerals found in abundance at these depths. They surface only once per century to mate.

 

They all follow roughly the same cycle, meaning that once every hundred years, the surface of the Shan desert becomes filled with crawling behemoths crushing everything in their way. These events of pure chaos and devastations last for half a month, a period the Shantiahe call the doom days. Then they return to their rocky bed kilometres deep, leaving behind thousands of offspring. The larvae hatch quickly, spreading on the surface like human-sized tubes. Their bodies are soft and they cannot dig the ground yet, so they feed on the rocks found on the surface and some unfortunate small animals.

 

They are rich in proteins and one of them can feed a ketsh for a whole day, so the indigenes consider them a boon left by the destruction spirits to the survivors of their onslaught. Mercilessly hunted, only a handful of the larvae manage to live long enough to bury themselves in the ground, where they will evolve for the next centuries until they are mature enough to enter the cycle.

 

First contact

 

Decades after the first settlement on R'habali, the construction of the hyperways connecting the major cities was already delayed by the repeated attacks and sabotages of the Ordeal. The fast lane between Starfall Oasis and Sunrise Oasis was just completed when the Dune crawlers surfaced and demolished years of work. The structure was made strong enough to sustain explosions and bull attacks, but these forces of nature did not even pay attention to them as they got through. This new delay cost billions and almost made the company Sericco give up on the project. A vast extermination campaign was launched, but the aircraft pilots learned a tough lesson, for the few that made it out of the desert alive. The two weeks of Dune crawler's passing were when the Shantiah uprising began.

Lifespan
Unknown, thousands of years?
Average Height
30 meters radius
Average Length
1 to 5 kilometres

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