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 Gun'iib Sakneed [Dune Worms]

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PostSubject: Gun'iib Sakneed [Dune Worms]   Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:40 am



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Originally for Aeria by Kain.
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Gun'iib Sakneed
or
The Sand Devil



The Gun'iib Sakneed, or "Sand Devil", as it is best known from the name granted by the Sidans, is a giant dune worm that lurks in regions of earth dense enough to support it, but loose enough to contain a degree of breathable air and use to propel itselfw ith. Because of this, the majority of dune worm reside in Sida, but spread over the entirety of the landmass, because their food would be sparse in such regions. A Sakneed spawn is born at a size of 12 ft long, 4 ft in diameter. By the time they are 15 years old, they are 24 ft long and 8 ft in diameter. When they reach adulthood at the age of 30, they become 48 ft long, and are a massive 16 ft in diameter. Elder dune worms, the mightiest of them all, reach an average size of 96 feet in length, 32 in diameter if they manage to reach their 50's. At this point, a dune worm is in its prime, and its lifespan shortens heavily. The longest a Sakneed can live past this point is another 30 years. After 80, they die, for their hearts are unable to support their massive bodies, and once it weakens to a certain point, the creature dies. The creatures produce asexually, and though the exact method is unknown, it's been discovered that one can do this on its own. Due to this, they can reproduce anywhere, at any time, so their spawning cycle is rather long, coupled with their long lifespan and low risk of death.

Sakneed have some peculiar traits. They possess a keen sense of tremors that grows as they age. Spawn can feel vibrations in a mere 20 ft radius, while Whelplings feel up to 100 ft. Adults feel up to 500 ft, and elders can pick up vibrations accurately at an astounding range of 2,500 ft. There are some downsides to this: As they grow in senses, they can perceive more and more vibrations. Highly active areas tend to confuse and frighten a dune worm, because it believes an extremely large and powerful animal is nearby, so they stay away, typically remaining in wide open fields. Dune worms are never found in large groups, either, sticking to, at most, groups of 5. Small dune worms are lead by larger ones, and communicate through high frequency sounds to be able to distinguish between each other and other large creatures or sources of vibration. Elder dune worms are the most likely to be found entirely on their own. Spawn are almost never left alone, and whelps sometimes wander off. Adults can oft be found alone, though not always.

Sakneed are cold-blooded, and have a slow metabolism, so they will rarely move unless they're going up to the sun, hiding from the night, or going after prey. Migration occurs, but only if an area has not provided food in a week, and they can go up to 7 weeks without starvation or dehydration. Dune worms eat anything that moves, sometimes even rocks if they're soft enough, though this obviously does not provide nourishment. They receive hydration from plants and rainwater, underground reservoirs, and sometimes even rivers and streams.

When moving, a dune worm will send tremors in all directions, but the ones going in their direction will be far more rapid. Tremors going parallel to a dune worm are moderate in frequency, and those from one which is moving away are very low in frequency, and would be more like gentle rumbles. Beyond this, there are only two other methods of spotting a dune worm: by its communication, and its dorsal fin. The high-frequency exchanges between dune worms are only audible to any creature with hearing like or equivalent to an animal, so elves, dragonborn, kazuth and canis might hear it, but humans, gnomes, orcs, and the like, would not. The dorsal fin is a member that the dune worm uses to check for obstacles that prevent surfacing, surface temperature, humidity and moistness, and even wind conditions. It must rise to the surface to use it, and when it does, the fin leaves a trail of waves in the sand, and kicks up a large cloud of dust, as does the rest of its body. Contrary to popular belief, the fin is actually not the weakest point, but one of the strongest. It can and has been used as a weapon before.

When a Sakneed is about to feed, it shifts slightly, angling its body upward, as it will prepare to surface. Alert and sensitive people may feel this initial rumble. After the vibrations of its prey have stopped getting stronger and begin to weaken, it immediately springs into action. The dune worm prefers to strike in a single upward leap, rising out of the sand, catching something in the air, with its claws, and dragging it back under to chew, devour and digest. If the initial strike fails, it will resort to rising half way out of the surface and chasing after sources of vibrations with an open mouth, until it has caught the creature, or creatures, in its mouth, much like a blue whale catching shrimp. Afterward, it, submerges again. Their main weapons are the single dorsal fine, and four talon-shaped teeth, both of which are exceptionally hard, rivaling solid iron, but weighing half as much.

A Sakneed's intelligence is questionable. Most aren't too bright, but they are believed to be sentient, and grow much smarter with age. A spawn may be akin to a 1 or 2 year old human. A whelp, a 4 year old. An adult would be an 8 or 9 year old, and elders can be as intelligent as an average human. In fact, some Sidans claim to have been able to tame and communicate with them, these claims are are, and few, if any, are true. Due to their intelligence, the elders are, in fact, the most docile and least likely to strike on a whim or eat hungrily. It is speculated that they may even possess a sense of morals, though this trait seems to vary highly between dune worms.

Spoiler:
 

Credit goes to Akusun for the original idea and Creature Suggestion.

Gun'iib Ala
or
The Sand God



Truly the most fearsome beast to grace the Sidan deserts. The sand god is feared and revered as the manifestation of the harsh desert's rage and judgment. It is unknown if this reverence is what gives it its powers, or if the creature obtained them all on its own. The Sand God is timeless. It has existed for centuries before the age of the gun, and still bares the same heavy scar that was inflicted upon its carapace many years ago by an unknown hero, whose name is sung in bardic tales across Sida. All that is known is that he burned the beast so fiercely, it was frightened back, and this spared the town of Nasii from utter destruction. Because of the move that fought back the beast, he has been nicknamed the 'Hand of Aten,' and that is all that is known of him. But the legend of the Sand God lives on, and the beast still prays upon those foolish enough to move near its lair several dozens of miles from Nasii. Nothing is truly certain about the beast, save one thing: No one has been able to best it, much less scratch it. Not even the most powerful of warriors, mages, or even the mightiest demons. The beast is an anomaly that seems content to wander the small space of its homeland, perhaps awaiting the return of the Hand of Aten for a climactic end.


Spoiler:
 

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