THE SANDROLLER

APPEARANCE - SPECIAL ABILITIES - TERRITORY
HABITAT/BEHAVIOUR - DIET - MATING - MYTH/LORE

The Sandroller is a relative of the bouncer. In many aspects it is quite similar, but a change of environment has done a lot to the lifestyle of these little creatures. The Sandroller would best be described as a small round furry creature, just about one palmspan big. This tiny creature inhabits the desert of Ráhaz-Dáth and is not easily found because of its sand coloured fur and small size. Although its bigger cousin, the Bouncer, has bouncing as its primary way of movement, the Sandroller has adapted itself to another way of movement, namely, rolling. It has a pair of almost unnoticeable eyes, red dots in a light brown fur.

Appearance. The sandroller looks like a small ball of desert sand, ranging from a half to around one palmspan, and has a very dense short fur in the extreme light brown colour of desert sand. As does its cousin, the bouncer, it has a circular backbone with wide ribs attached to the sides of it, seeming like an impenetrable cuirass. These bones are soft and semi-flexible, and they lend the Sandroller its special way of moving. The eyes of the Sandroller are deep red and appear to be little hellish holes in the fur of the animal. The red colour is rumored to be the effect of the harsh sand which blows up from the desert. How and why the eyes turned red, no-one really knows for sure though. As with its relatives, it is very hard to discern male from female, as all Sandrollers look reasonably alike. It weighs about one od, very light indeed for such a creature, but this is all accountable for when one looks at the amount of movement and feeding a Sandroller performs in one day. The bones also contribute to the light weight, being hollow. Sandroller juveniles are almost an exact image of their parents, but they are much smaller. In about one year the Sandroller grows from two nailsbreadth to one palmspan. It is therefore not uncommon to see very tiny Sandrollers rolling around. Return to the top

Special Abilities. The Sandroller has three distinct abilities, all related to movement:

Territory. The Sandroller is mostly found in the Ráhaz-Dáth Desert. This desert lies in the south of the Sarvonia and is one the greatest desert in all of the continent. Although many kinds of desert occur in that area, the Sandroller usually only inhabits the sandy dunes and sometimes also the more rock-bedded areas which lie near to the Seven Juwels. They have been spotted though throughout the whole desert, even past the Salt Plains. The Sandroller has adapted itself to the harsh climate of the great dunes and the hard searing sun. Return to the top

Habitat/Behaviour. Sandrollers live in packs, mostly consisting of around ten Rollers. There is no obvious hierarchy in these packs, although the bigger and older Sandrollers usually partake in most of the hunting and guarding. These packs hunt in very straightforward fashion, their speed is so great, that they do not need to prey on the small animals they eat, they just pursue it until they have gained in on it. Sandrollers are highly social creatures, in such that they will defend other pack-members with almost suicidal zeal.
Return to the top

Diet. Sandrollers eat almost anything they find in the desert, usually the small rodents, lizards and sometimes even birds. If they find a plant, they will eat it, but in the desert, there are not too many plants about. When they need water, they are likely to be found around certain plants like the már'kál (roughly translated as "waterfruit"), which are rich with water, or at an other source of water. They even venture near open water sources, certainly the Rollers who habitate the area around the Jewels. It is however quite an adventure for a Sandroller to manage drinking something from such a source, as they have to be careful not to move too far into the water, lest they be carried away by the stream. Sandrollers tend to float but do not have any other means of movement when in water. So if a Roller gets taken away by water, it is unable to do anything except wait to be pushed ashore again. This sometimes results in entire groups of Sandrollers floating on the beautiful Jewels. As you might be able to imagine, such a sight is a very comical one, and has aspired more than one poet to compose poems about them. Sandrollers are capable of carrying water with them for a long time, so they do not have to drink often. When they do, they are sluggish for one day, because their bodies are full of the absorbed water. Some packs can live for weeks on only one drinking-day. A Sandroller does not urinate in normal fashion but disperse their excess body fluids like sweat. All over their body, tiny droplets appear which fall from the Sandroller once it starts to move.
Return to the top

Mating. As with their cousins, the bouncers, little is known about the Rollers' mating habits. Once a year, many packs gather near a place of water, where they perform a sort of mating dance. For a bystander it would look as if a sandstorm were rising, the bouncing Sandrollers throwing up a lot of sand. Once the dance is finished, the packs scatter again, and as far as is known no living soul has ever seen a Sandroller being birthed.
Return to the top

Myth/Lore. As mentioned before, it is uncertain where the Sandroller derives its peculiar eyes, the little red dots, hellish marks of a fierce fire. Some say that it is just because of the harsh sand-winds which frequent the desert, but others have a more mythic tale about them. The eyes are perhaps not caused by the harsh winds, but could have a far more dramatic and human tale to it: A parchment was found which depicted a pair of humanoid creatures and between them a herd of Sandrollers. This parchment was heavily damaged by time and hardship, and only parts of the text which was written beside the depiction were translated. Several scholars have tried to weave the words back into a literate form, composing thereby the tale of Mi'khran and Dilluar. It is a tale full of treachery and the worst and the best mankind has to offer. I shall give you a short summary of the fable, as the text would be far too long to depict here:

The Tale of Mi'khran and Dilluar. It happened that there were two lovers, Mi’khran, son of Al'ghana, and Dilluar, daughter of Me'shena. These two were in love so much, that they were almost inseparable. One day Mi'khran set out to hunt, but fate decided that he would never return. He died whilst saving his friend from a ráház'estár.

Dilluar, when she heard of this, ran away to the desert, frightened and broken, she sat down on the desert sand and she wept. She wept and wept until according to legend she created a pool of tears around her. At one moment she noticed a few tiny animals rolling towards her. They appeared to be Sandrollers, tiny round creatures which gathered around her tears and started consuming the water. The sight of these creatures calmed Dilluar's heart, and she managed to stop her tears from flowing even more. Dilluar, who saw that the Sandrollers had taken all the water and were leaving, suddenly felt so alone that she followed the tiny beasts and arrived at the Jewels. Arriving there, she saw that a small flood had taken a portion of the Sandroller group and without thinking one moment, she jumped after them, trying to reach them, not wanting to lose the few companions in her lonely state. - She drowned trying to save them, trying to be with those she loved.

Thus ended the lives of Mi’khran and Dilluar, but not this story. It is said that after that, the Goddess Baveras appeared to the Sandrollers and spoke to them in the tongue of the Gods, understood by all living creatures on this world of ours. She accused them of wasting the love of two young people by tempting the girl to rescue them, and the Goddess punished them accordingly: henceforth the Sandrollers were born with blood red eyes, to remind everybody of the death they had caused, the life they had taken. This punishment was not just and decided upon in the divine anger of Baveras, and when she had time to rethink her punishment, she decided that the eyes would stay blood red, but in compensation, she gave the Sandrollers the ability to float on her water.

Thus ended the story scribed down by the scholars. Return to the top

 Date of last edit 6th Sleeping Dreameress 1666 a.S.

Information provided by Ishmaelion View Profile