Sand hunters are bizarre, intelligent predators that exist only in packs. Each member of the pack has a long, sinuous neck and flexible lips to help it manipulate objects, and the creatures are capable of tool use. They are scaly, doglike creatures native to the sands.
Sand hunters share a “pack mind,” allowing the pack to act as one coordinated being. The pack consciousness is established through high-pitched sonics (mostly at frequencies beyond human hearing) and a limited empathic contact. If a sand hunter is split off from the others in a pack, or the group is reduced to one or two individuals, the pack mentality breaks down. Isolated sand hunters become little more than animals, unintelligent and mad. They do not live long.
Sand hunters prefer to prey on large herbivores of the plains and deserts, using their superior group intelligence and coordination to overcome prey much larger than themselves. They are shy in the presence of intruders, often choosing to retreat and hide. However, they have a longstanding good relationship with the asherati, who call them the “spirit of the sands,” and the two often hunt and work together.
When hunting, sand hunters spread out to the limit of communication, scouting out prey and acting as beaters to drive creatures ahead of them. The hunters yip back and forth in a series of signals but keep “pack speak” to a minimum to prevent alerting their prey. Once within range of a suitable target, the pack uses its sonic howl attack in an attempt to stun the target. If successful, the pack attacks.
If attacked, a sand hunter uses its sonic howl to discourage the enemy, then flees to its pack’s hidden den. In combat, sand hunters leap in and out of melee range, setting up flanks and attempting to grapple and overcome their foes.