Sandlings are corrupted humans, tainted and changed by the Burning's curse and their own prayers and sacrifices to the gods of chaos. They are gaunt and gray-skinned humanoids with sharp teeth and dark eyes. They inhabit the caves and caverns that honeycomb the ground beneath the desert sands, tending fungal fields in the deep caves during the day, and emerging at night to hunt and gather the scant plant life that grows on the surface. They arm themselves with crude but effective weapons chipped from flint or obsidian, and taint their blades with paralytic or soporific poisons.
Sandlings are tribal wanderers, though various groups resolve border disputes through relatively peaceful means. External threats are met with violence and cunning. Sandlings view creatures of other races as so much meat for the larder, and will use their poisoned weapons to capture and enslave outsiders.
As a race Sandlings are nearly sterile. When Sandlings breed they must consume the fresh sex organs of a fertile male or female human. The fresher the organs the more fertile the couple will be. Sandlings give birth to 2-7 immature young after 6 months gestation. Sandlings sometimes employ outsiders, gnolls, ogres, or other such creatures, as agents to obtain live humans for these fertility rituals.
- Frequency: Uncommon
- Number Appearing: 2-8 or 30-50
- AC: 9 (varies with equipment and skill)
- Hit Dice: 4
- Move: 12”
- % In Lair: 20%
- Number of Attacks: By weapon or 3
- Damage: By weapon or 1-2/1-2/1-4
- Special Attacks: Stealth, magic use
- Special Defenses: +1 ST vs. heat attacks. Immune to poison
- Magic Resistance: 0%
- Intelligence: Average-High
- Alignment: Neutral Evil
- Size: M (6’ tall)
All Sandlings can move silently and hide in shadows as a thief of the same level, and gain a +10% bonus to these checks in natural caves or desert environments. There is a 50% chance that any Sandling weapon is poisoned (50% paralytic, 50% causing sleep for 1d6 turns, save applies). Sandlings can see in the dark (90' infravison). Most wear some form of leather or hide armor.
Sandling tribes have 30-50 members, plus the following additional members:
- A higher level leader (8HD).
- Three to five lieutenants (6HD).
- One to three Sneaks (4-5HD) with access to the full range of thief abilities.
- 60% of all tribes will also have a shaman, capable of using spells as a 3rd-5th level clerics.
- 25% will have a wizard capable of using spells as a 3rd-6th level magic-user.
- Young, non-combatants, equal to 10% of the tribe.
Sandling lairs are usually temporary affairs located in caves or narrow ravines. These will be protected by many traps designed to disable or snare foes.
Outside their lair, encounters will be with a hunting or raiding party led by a powerful fighter (6HD). Sandlings are clever combatants, and will attempt to lure foes into ambushes or traps if possible.