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.
Special Abilities. The Sandroller has three distinct abilities, all related to movement:
Its primary way of movement is through rolling down the slopes of sand dunes, and thus moving in a fast and camouflaged way, because the fur and the sand look so much alike that it seems as if a gust of wind is blowing up some stray sand. The Sandroller can use its body water to act as a counterweight and so it can remain still when needed and start the rolling whenever it wants by throwing its body water as a counterbalance for the rolling motion. This ability has use only when they start by rolling down a slope, once they start rolling, they can surmount any sand dune but when still, the Sandroller has to bounce its way to the top of the dune. Once a sandroller is in motion, it can keep up its high pace for very long lenghts of time, because it doesn't have to use much of its energy to maintain the rolling motion.
The Sandroller still has the bouncing ability which was given to its ancestors and which ability its cousin, the bouncer, uses as a primary way of moving. Here is a quote from the bouncer entry on how they, and also the Sandroller, bounce: "After dissection of the beast, researchers discovered that the bones of the bouncer are very springy. This would seem to be the source for its bouncing ability. Also discovered were the muscles which entwine the bones of the ribcage, probably so that the bouncer can start its bounce with a muscle generated "jump".
The Sandroller has a bladderlike organ, which contains water that the Sandroller has drunk. The Roller can adjust the place of this bladder, in order to shift its weight to the base or side of its body. It uses this ability when moving on the rocky surfaces that frequent the desert. On the loose sand this ability does not confer much speed as the sand absorbs most of it.
The third ability has proved to be necessary to the survival of the Sandroller, the ability to burrow itself in the ground. The sandroller uses its body to start vibrating, causing the loose desert sand to disperse under itself in a fast rate. In a matter of seconds the Sandroller has burrowed itself deep enough to outlive any sandstorm or attack from predators.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
Thus ended the story scribed down by the scholars.