Like invisible stalkers, sandmen hate being summoned. To have their spirits ripped from their elemental homes and bent to the service of a mortal spellcaster is galling to them to no end. The difference is that while invisible stalkers want to be left alone on the Plane of Air, sandmen are perfectly willing to tarry on the Material Plane just for a chance at a little revenge.
As the Bestiary 2 notes, sandmen have a variety of ways to torment foes. Some sandmen are happy to cause mischief from hiding—many a traveler has fallen off their mount and been lost in the desert forever just for walking through a sandman’s sleep aura. But others will be more proactive, acting as sandy ghosts that blow away when approached, or setting up avalanches and ambushes to attack foes directly.
An airy appendix of the Planes of Earth, the Uncertain Plateau is a planar dumping ground of sorts—the kind of place adventurers tend to wind up after a mishap with a bag of holding or similarly unorthodox means of travel. The sandmen who live in this windswept desert are fiercely independent dervishes who hide their names under pseudonyms to avoid being summoned. Egalitarian and communistic to a utopian (or perhaps dystopian) degree, all proposals are submitted “the Collective” for ratification. Adventurers stumbling upon a shoal of sandmen are likely to hear the merits of attacking them being voted on just before the sandmen strike.
Even by the standards of ancient Toth, where scribes were as honored as priests (the two often being one and the same), Parse, the Valley of the Books, stood apart. There the pharaohs spent their wealth on libraries and auditoriums rather than pyramids. In the millennium since sand covered the valley and drove out the human inhabitants, sandmen have moved in, picking up right were Parse’s old philosophers and debating societies left off. It is hard to know whether they are furthering the intellectual pursuits of the ancients or just parroting them, influenced by some magic in the stones to replay centuries-old arguments. However, actually suggesting the latter to any of the sandmen will earn an immediate outraged attack.
Wanted by the fey courts for his own crimes, a bogeyman finds a useful henchman in a murderous sandman. The bogeyman is able to feed off the sandman’s victims’ fears without leaving the stink of his own magic on the crime scene for other fey to trace. Meanwhile the sandman is able to slake his bloodlust while the bogeyman researches (or at least claims to research) the location of the last human that had the sandman summoned and ensorcelled.
—Pathfinder Bestiary 2 236
Looking for the salt mephit? He and his pals are here.
Also, author Todd Stewart checked back in to offer more of his thoughts for salamanders:
They'd have their own kingdoms, and they'd probably be wary in dealing with some of their neighbors to avoid being largely a slave race like the azers. I'd probably split them into a number of nations, each with a slightly different viewpoint on relations with those from outside of Elemental Fire (some as clients of the shaitan genies for instance), others as slavers no better than the efreeti, while still others as isolationist racial and elemental purists.
Read his full comments here and be sure to tell him how much you love his fire mephits (and everything else)!
Also, therealkendrickdane had a girl. Tell him congrats!
Radio show will go up tomorrow.
Finally, thank you again for all the emails! I’m going to officially stop asking for them (and start replying to them) but feel free to continue to say hello and tell me about yourselves if you haven’t already. You know the drill: dailybestiary [at] gmail [dot] com is the addy.