A Subterranean Sandman
|Home:||Subterranean areas of a desert|
|Extremities:||Two arms and legs|
Subterranean Sandmen, The. Of all the →Demerara Desert’s unpleasant life forms, so-called Subterranean Sandmen are probably the most unpleasant. Before they can awaken and emerge, four conditions must be met:
1. Cogitating Quicksand. The first prerequisite is →Cogitating Quicksand. Zamonia’s largest deposits of Cogitating Quicksand are to be found in the numerous quicksand swaps of →Nairland and in certain parts of the →Demerara Desert .
2. 1. Disreputable Cadavers. The second prerequisite is that one or more persons of evil repute should have sunk into this quicksand and given up the ghost.
3. 2. Dehydration. The third prerequisite is that the quicksand has, in the course of the centuries, been baked by extreme heat into firm, sandy ground, and that it has absorbed its capacity for cogitation from the skeletons buried in its depths.
4. 3. Victims. The fourth prerequisite is that one of more persons should bivouac for the night above the skeletons lurking in the sand.
If all these conditions are met, there occurs the phenomenon referred to by Grailsundian demonologists and a ‘Malign Awakening’. Like ticks, the skeletons spend a long time in a trancelike or hibernant state before coming to life, burrowing their way to the surface, and killing any unwitting creature that happns to be asleep there.
[cont.] As already mentioned, one of the preconditions for the Sandmen’s emergence is their disreputable character. In most cases they are former criminals, desert pirates or murderers who have fled from the law and escaped into the wilderness. When coupled with the quicksand’s negative attributes, this produces a life form that leaves little to be desired in the way of savagery.
[cont.] There is no point in defending oneself against Sandmen. Even discounting the fact that the layers of sugar-sand encrusting their bones render them invulnerable [e.g. to fire of cuts and thrusts with a sword], they no longer have any vital organs to pierce. Moreover, even if it were possible to kill a Sandman, it would make no difference to him because he is already dead. The best advice that can be offered to those who experience a ‘Malign Awakening’ is to resign themselves uncomplainingly to their fate.
Appearance in the NovelEdit
Despite what Nightingale states in his Encyclopedia, Captain Bluebear defeated the Sandmen by soaking them in water.