The Sand Vortex, or Silt Vortex as it is sometimes called, is a huge creature that lies in wait for unsuspecting prey crossing the Sea of Silt. It lies beneath the silt, but even fliers are not safe from the sudden whirlwind that may suck them down into the waiting maw of the creature. The Sand Vortex is pancake shaped and has a light gray skin that blends in very well with the silt. It is about 40 feet across and 5 feet thick.
- Frecuency: Rare.
- Organization: Solitary.
- Intelligence: 1 (Animal).
- Treasure: Q.
- No. Appearing: 1.
- Armor Class: 2.
- Movement: 0.
- Hit Dice: 15.
- THAC0: 5.
- No. Attacks: 1.
- Damage/Attack: 5-20 (5d4).
- Special Attacks: Whirlwind.
- Special Defenses: See below.
- Magic Resistance: Nil.
- Morale: Steady (11-12).
- XP Value: 12.000 xp.
The Sand Vortex attacks with a special psionic power, whirlwind. It lies in wait, using its life detection power until a creature walks or flies overhead. Then a sudden whirlwind engulfs the unfortunate creature, sucking him down into range for the vortex to attack. Of course it also raises a huge cloud of silt with a 200 feet radius.
A wading Giant has a chance to notice that he has stepped on a pancake-shaped beast instead of the rock floor.
Once the Sand Vortex has sucked in a victim, that being is vulnerable to an attack by the center maw. Few indeed are the Giants that have escaped once they have stepped onto a Sand Vortex. The vortex is nearly mindless and continues to try to entrap its prey.
If a victim is inside the Sand Vortex, but hasn't been, or can't be, swallowed, he may try to attack.
Should a vengeful Giant or adventurer try to sneak in from the side, the vortex is not helpless. In addition to the silt in the air, the Sand Vortex's life detection power means that it usually knows exactly where a foe is. It won't react to someone attacking from the side, but should such a being begin to hurt the vortex, the Sand Vortex attempts to defend itself. It uses telekinesis to throw clouds of silt at anyone on the sides. If this fails, the Sand Vortex merely levitates into the air and drifts with the wind to an area where it can feed undisturbed.
The victim is allowed a saving throw versus breath weapons to avoid being sucked in. The saving throw is modified by a -4 penalty if the victim was on the ground. Creatures larger than Dessert Giants (Athasian Rocs, Cloud Rays, etc.) are allowed a + 4 bonus to the save. A creature in the cloud may also be blinded (save vs. paralysis to avoid). Blinded creatures have only a 50% chance of flying out of the vortex, 75% for very large creature.
Wading creatures are allowed a surprise roll. If they are not surprised, and immediately retreat, they are not subject to the whirlwind effect, although they may still be affected by the Sand Vortex's other psionic powers.
Man-sized creatures are swallowed whole on a successful attack. Larger creatures still take damage if hit.
The spinning of the Sand Vortex, as well as the silt in the air, causes all attacks to be made at a penalty of -4. Blindness may cause another -4 penalty, so the intended victim is in serious trouble.
In addition to the possibility for blindness, the silt causes 1 point of abrasion damage per round to exposed skin.
At the same time, the vortex uses its project force to attempt to knock the victim into the silt. A successful power check forces the intended victim to make a saving throw versus breath or be dumped on its back in the silt.
- Psychokinesis — Sciences: telekinesis, whirlwind (Cost 15 PSP, Maitenance 5 PSP/round), project force; Devotions: control wind, levitate.
- Telepathy — Devotions: mind blank, life detection, mind bar;