One of the smallest known lizards, the Nybelmarian Sand Lizard is only about three nailsbreadths in length, and its sand-colored skin lets it fade easily into the desert sands - hence the name. The Sand Lizard occupies the deserts of Nybelmar, mostly in areas near the Kingdom of Orcal. Though it is tiny, it is known as one of the most dangerous lizards, as its poison can paralyze quickly, causing its victim to usually die in the desert. Luckily, there is only a very small number of these lizards in existence.
The Sand Lizard is
incredibly small, only about three nailsbreadths in length and about a single
nailsbreadth wide. Seeing as it is quite small, it weighs slightly less than an
od. The skin on the lizard's back is the exact color
and texture of the sand of the desert, so it is hard to spot. However, the skin
on the belly is much whiter, and smoother than the desert sands. The main way
that they can be noticed is their black claws, which stick out slightly in the
desert sand. One of these claws is hollow, and it is with that claw that the
lizard unleashes its deadly poison. The claw is quite
sharp, while the others are dull. This specific claw can also be any one of the
Sand Lizard's claws, and which one is completely random.
Another way to spot a Sand Lizard are its eyes, which have a deep blue color. However, they are quite small. Unlike at ther lizards, its eyes are in the front of its face, so it has less peripheral vision than the lizards with their eyes more to the sides.
The Sand Lizard has no ears, so of course it has no sense of hearing. Its hearing is replaced by increased sight, smell, and kinetic senses. On the flat deserts, it can feel the vibrations of other creatures from long distances. Its tail is quite short, and does not have much of a purpose. Its teeth are curved and short, and quite sharp. It does not use these very often in attacking or defending itself, seeing as it has the poisonous claw. To survive in the desert, the lizard cuts the skin of cacti with its sharp claw. The poison has no effect on cacti, and by cutting the skin of the cacti the Sand Lizard is able to get a suitable amount of moisture that cacti absorb from the ground. This keeps the Sand Lizard alive in the dry heat of the desert. Another way for keeping it alive is that it burrows underground with its claws. This way it keeps cool, and whenever something comes near it, it can feel the vibrations even better than if it were on the surface. The male of the species is slightly bigger than the female, the largest studied male being four nailsbreadths in length. Also, the male has larger eyes, and the eyes are a deeper blue.
The main ability of the Sand Lizard is its incredible poison. It is one of the
deadliest poisons known to man that does not
actually cause harm to the victim. It is still deadly because in its habitat in
the desert, you cannot stay alive for a long time while being paralyzed. The
Sand Lizard's poison can paralyze a human
quickly, usually in a minute or so. The paralyzation however is the only effect
of the poison. The main cure for the paralyzation is by
magical means, usually
clerical one is used. There are
rumored to be herbal potions that can cure the paralysis as well, but none of
them have been proven to work. The Sand Lizards are quite aggressive when they
are hungry, but other than that they are usually passive and not much of a
Territory. Hence the name, the Sand Lizard occupies the deserts of Nybelmar, mostly near the Kingdom of Orcal, though they have been spotted at other places around the continent. They usually do not disturb the orcs, and have a sort of mutual relationship with them, though it is obviously completely natural. The orcs donít hurt them at all, and the Sand Lizards donít hurt the orcs, and keep away some unwanted visitors. How this behavior developed, not even the researcher Tarkath Nestath figured out, but orcish children are raised to not harm these lizards.
Habitat/Behaviour. The Sand Lizards are mostly nomadic, wandering around the deserts and sleeping wherever they feel like. When they sleep, they burrow under the sand, which is quite easy with their claws. They wake quickly when they feel vibrations around them, and depending on how heavy the vibrations are, they will either burrow farther for protection, or go up to the surface. They rarely stay together, part of the reason that there arenít many of them, because they donít mate often. The most part their life would seem incredibly boring, because they commonly just wander the desert, occasionally conspicious by poisoning people. When they encounter another of their species, they will occasionally stick together, and if they are the opposite sex, might mate. As said above, they rarely stay together, because they are spread out so far and there are so few of them.
Diet. The Sand Lizards do not eat very much, and can go days without eating. When they do eat, they often eat small insects, or small rodents that they paralyze with their poison. Occasionally, when they are exceedingly hungry, they may even poison a human and eat a small part of corpse, leaving the rest to carrion eaters. When they do this, they eat enough to sustain them for a long time. When Sand Lizards are together, they will often go after larger prey, though still quite small by human standards. Occasionally, they will hunt larger animals and when they burrow under the sand, they will take extra food with them.
Usages. The main use of the Sand Lizards is their poison, which can be milked by placing their claws on the edge of a glass or platter. It is not poisonous unless it enters the bloodstream, so it can be handled normally as long as the handler does not have open cuts on their skin. Seeing as there are so few lizards and they are so difficult to catch, the poison is incredibly expensive. Some assassins will use the poison to achieve a quick and less conspicuous assassination. The most common use in this fashion is to tip a dagger with it, though there are other uses as well. Also, some clever murderers may put put Sand Lizard's poison into someone's food, making the death seem to be a heart failure.
Mating. Sand Lizards rarely mate, which is the main reason that their population is so sparse. They even rarely stick together, because mostly they have no need to. They mate just enough to keep the species from extinction, though it would be extinct fairly easily if someone decided to kill them all. Luckily for them, nobody is brave enough to do so because the people that know of the lizards fear them tremendously. In general Sand Lizards only mate when two lizards of opposite sex encounter each other by chance while wandering the deserts. Mating is very short, and the male usually leaves quite quickly. The young are born between a week or two weeks later, live, not in eggs. Usually, anywhere from one to seven young are born, over a period of a few days.
The baby lizards are quite different from the adults at birth, and are not near the sandy texture. They are smooth, and a lighter color than the adults. They change to be more like the adults within a few days. When they are born, they are very small and vulnerable, only about a nailsbreadth in length. It takes only a few days for them to grow to about two nailsbreadths and to be able to fend for themselves. After a few days, the female teaches her young by example how to hunt for smaller animals. After this, the female leaves the young to fend for themselves, which is not very difficult considering the fact that they have the poison in their system from birth.
Researchers. These animals are incredibly difficult to catch, and are very feisty after being caught. There have been only a couple researchers of them, one being an orc named Tarkath Nestath, who captured several and studied them for years. This orc was one of the most intelligent orcs in the Orcal society, and was very interested in the wildlife of the desert, which is the main reason he studied the lizard.
The only non-orc researcher known of was the human Martus Graye, who was the main reason that humans know of these creatures at all. Martus did a good deal of research on the nature of the desert, and practically lived in the desert much of his life. He learned a way to resist the Sand Lizard's poison, but the secret died with him. He did record much about these izards, and most of the information in this article was from his research.
Information provided by Sholtar