“Hoy friend, the sun shines bright on your feet today. How does your face fair Trader Evan?
The sun shines on your feet as well my friend Ahmor, although my face may not survive another day in this sand blasted wind.
Your greetings are getting better, but still lacking Evan, but you are an outsider after all and it can not be helped. And remember when someone asks how your face is fairing, they do not mean your tan but your health. Regardless, what are you to do today?
My apologies Ahmor, your language is far different from my own. Thank you for your tutelage as I may never have been able to learn enough in time to be welcomed here. I had thought to travel out to the burning sea and find me a Sandstalker to view and write on, I hear they are a sight to see.
That they are my friend, but dangerous. I will gladly show you one so you can tell others of your people not to travel here in search of them. We will go on the viebati’ to make the trip much easier.
We will not be taking the camels Ahmor? But why?
The viebati’ are much more suited for this trek we take. We will be traveling further into the burning sea than you have traveled before; much farther than a mere camel can take us. We call them viebati’, but in your tongue is means sandgrazer.
Those? They look like a camel that had their humps knocked off. But as you say, you are my guide and have kept me alive this far. Why do you call them, ve… vea… sandgrazers? Do they eat sand? Far be it for me to seem ignorant but so many things have baffled me since I arrived here that it would not surprise me.
If I did not call you friend I would think you were trying to make jest of me but I know you mean well. No they do not but we call them that because it seems they life off of nothing out in the burning sea. They eat but can survive much longer than a common camel. We will be taking them however not just for that, but for the water they provide us. Come let us begin our journey.”
Sandgrazers are large camel like creatures that roam the desert in small herds. They stand roughly 7’ tall at the shoulders and have a broad square face with three eyes, two in the forward front of their skull and one higher up in the middle on the back of the skull. This eye is used to watch for predators. They have a very high endurance and don’t seem to need to eat. They do however need water.
They can smell water up to twenty miles of any size and find it unerringly. They have large glands that hang below their belly that can be removed that are filled with water. Removing these glands does not hurt the animal, as they drop off naturally after a certain amount of water has been retained in them. The water held in these glands are equivalent to a gallon of water and are fresh, if not a little warm. It is drinkable and will sustain anyone that has no food for an extended period of time as nutrients are passed into the water through the animal.
The nomadic Lemeain tribes of the desert hoard these animals for this benefit and usually track down anyone attempting to take one without permission, which they never give.In a desert environment, the strong survive. The sandgrazer’s are nearly defenseless.
The symbiosis that they share with the Lemieans is simple, they each have something the other needs. The desert tribes need a source of water, which the sandgrazer provides. The sandgrazer needs protection from predators and other hazards, which the lemiean’s provide.
The water glads naturally drop off due to weight. After a certain weight they would simply fall. The do eat, but do not seem to eat as often as most animals would. In a desert you wil lfind a lot of animals eating certain plants that horde water to get their water intake. The sandgrazer doesn’t need to do this as they horde their own water, therefore they would not be required ot eat as much as a normal desert animal. They eat yes, but not nearly as much.
They are more of a domesticated animal. They have very little fight in them and enjoy the attention and protection the Lemiean’s give them. They are not like their difficult cousins, the camel. They will allow only certain people to ride them and if they are of a certain weight, to heavy and they will just stand there or sit.