Anauroch - Part Two: Ecology of the Sword

The sandy dunes of the Sword are home to a great variety of life, often to the surprise and horror of newcomers. This populatedness, where ulugarr thought to find only sand and sun, is due in part to Anauroch's surprisingly close proximity to regions with more hospitable climes and large sources of water. (Many Bedine, who rarely, if ever, leave the Sword, would be shocked by the luxurious and forgiving climates of nearby lands. Sight of the great seas of water to the south would stun them senseless.) It is from these regions that the Sword acquires many of its inhabitants. Though they may not have chosen to come here.often they were chased or driven by some predator or circumstance. and though they may not survive as long as the hardy native creatures, still the Mother Desert accepts all who choose to tread her sands. If they are clever, they can thrive.

Another source of Anauroch's diversity is less appealing to consider - indeed, to the Bedine it is the root of evil. That is magic. Wanting no truck with magic, nevertheless I have been forced by circumstance to observe it more closely than any Bedine should, or would ever wish to. I suffered these indignities because life, and revenge, are precious to me, and that is all I will say of the subject. I pass on information about foul magical creatures so that others may have warning. The very words leave a bitter taste in my mouth.

Many creatures found within the Sword are not found in other deserts, I am told. (Though I have seen much of the Realms, I have not journeyed to the place called Zakhara, nor do I wish to.) Other creatures are well known to frequent arid regions, and informed travelers will not be surprised to find them in Anauroch as well. Sometimes our monsters have slightly different habits than their cousins from other regions. It is best not to assume familiarity. Learning the nature, habits, and secrets of those beasts which prowl its scorched earth is essential to surviving the desert. As the Bedine say: "A careful warrior will make a wise elder."

Common Creatures

The first creatures a berrani encounters are most likely those insects that fly or crawl across the sandy wasteland. Flies, ants, termites, moths, and locusts are all common pests.

Few travelers pay insects any attention, however, unless they are engulfed in dangerous swarms. Whatever their behavior in outlanders' territories, insect swarms feed on any living thing they find in the desert, including plants, animals, and humans. Although quantities of fire and water are useful for dispatching swarms, there is an easier (and, in the case of precious water, less costly) way of warding them off. There is a nabat, or plant, called ularimil which grows in patches within salty, flat areas of the Sword. This reddish grass, when mixed with sparing amounts of water, forms a thin paste which repels insects of all kinds. Although inedible and strongly acrid, the paste has no ill effects upon the skin.

Like insects, spiders are quite common, although not as numerous nor as visible. Most spiders of the desert are poisonous, using their venom to immobilize their prey. Only the extremely large among their kind regard men as food (see Rare Beasts, below). Smaller spiders, such as the reikh'irud (known in other tongues as the tarantula), are truly a danger only if somehow disturbed or accidentally agitated. Spiders often ambush their prey (be they insects, scorpions, or even small desert rats) by hiding in the sand. Some build hidden traps with their webs. Careful travelers are watchful of stepping onto such a trap, for an angry spider always bites.

Another tiny but dangerous desert dweller is the scorpion. The Bedine highly respect scorpions for their hardiness and tenacity. It is a compliment to be compared to one, though many berrani are ignorant of the status implied by such a remark. These creatures behave alike to poisonous spiders - a watchful desert traveler is careful not to disturb them. Unmolested, they pose little threat. If a man is foolish enough to sleep with his gizam, or boots, off in the open desert, however, he should be wise enough at least to shake out those boots when he awakens. Many a desert creature considers the sheltered confines a perfectly comfortable cave or crevice to rest in, nest in, or defend with his utmost powers. The Bedine check their gizam for night visitors even when they have slept in the safety of their own tents.

The desert snail is a strange creature that dwells in the sand. Most active in the more moist and cooler winter season, these creatures mark the onset of the hot weather in an unusual way. They seal their bodily moisture into their shells with a viscous membrane and abandon them upon the surface of the sand, working their soft bodies deep into the ground to hibernate away the hot months. I do not know how, with the blowing winds, they expect to ever find those shells again, or if they will simply take whatever shell is handy when they resurface. I only know that sometimes the desert is white with snail shells. Desperate travelers have been known to break them open and suck out the stored droplets of water. The tiny bit of moisture recovered hardly makes such actions worth the effort, but there are times when even a few drops keep a water-poor body alive long enough to reach a real source of liquid.

Anauroch has its own breed of bats that fill every night sky. Where do they come from, in this bleak, featureless land? I have discovered bats individually and in small groups tucked into the smallest gaps between rocks on a windswept ridge, or clinging to the under-fronds of oasis palms. Their wingspan is deceptive. Bat bodies are often smaller than a fist, and they fly great distances.

Though they primarily feed on insects, bats are not averse to drinking the blood of sleeping larger prey, such as camels, antelope, and even humans. When asked which creature is most numerous in the desert, a Bedine usually ignores insects and their ilk, and replies, "Bats." Though universally disliked, the creatures are regarded almost as one regards the sun, the heat, and the sand. They are simply a part of the desert and everyday desert life.

Few birds dwell in the Sword, but hawks and other carnivorous avians occasionally find dinner near oases. They might dine on small lizards, rodents, and even large insects. Vultures, of course, most often feed on carrion, and willingly follow a potential victim deep into the desert, circling it as it moves. Among my people, some claim a certain type of vulture is actually a demon that seeks the soul of a soon-to-be-dead man rather than his flesh. These large, brightly-colored bird-creatures are extremely rare, and are said to hunt only humans. (In fact, they may be purely myth - I have never seen one with my own eyes.)

Lizards and snakes do live in the Great Desert, but they bury themselves deep in the shifting sand to escape the heat of the day. Almost always, a traveler stumbles upon them at night. Like most of the creatures in Anauroch, desert reptiles eat meat almost exclusively. Their venom is concentrated poison to help them subdue their prey. Cobras and spitting snakes present a very real danger to all night travelers, while vipers and other species are found most frequently near oases. The Oasis of Vipers is, of course, avoided by man and beast alike because of the prevalence of poisonous snakes. (More can be found on snakes in the Rare Beasts section.)

Near an oasis, the relatively hospitable local climate supports more life. The larger animals can survive where there is water enough, and food. They will brave such proximity to predators that I have heard outlanders remark with amazement - all to keep access to drink. Antelope, especially gazelles, graze in small herds. Jackals roam in hunting packs, feeding primarily on what antelope they can catch (usually the weak and infirm). Sometimes a bold or desperate pack savages the domesticated camels and horses of resting travelers and Bedine camps.

More dangerous yet is the shrewd desert lion, which stalks any large game it finds, including men. These cats are master hunters and extremely stealthy, efficient killers. The only defense against them is a watchful eye and some training with a strong weapon. Bedine camps are not guarded merely against the jealous raids of neighboring tribes. Faced with prey that demonstrates the ability to skillfully defend itself, most lions choose to search for easier game rather than enter into a prolonged fight. If a man is foolish enough to corner a big cat, however, or threaten its young cubs, he finds himself in a fight to the death.

Herds of wild camels frequent oases even as their domesticated brethren do, but these well-adapted beasts can be found deeper in the desert than any other nonmagical beast. Although they can be broken to camp life, it is much easier to train the young of an already .tame. camel. Wild camels do not hesitate to lash out with vicious kicks and bites to defend themselves.

Rare Beasts

Aside from common animals, as I have said before, monstrous creatures roam the Great Desert. These are creatures to be feared. Many are too powerful both in strength and in sorcerous powers to be fought by even the greatest warrior. Against these foul foes, it is not cowardly to flee.

The Basilisk

I speak first of the basilisk, not because it is most prevalent or most powerful, but because I hate it most of all creatures. I lost my father, the great Asiru, son of Misarud, to a basilisk, whom the Bedine call hagar motab, bringer of stone-death.

My travels have shown me that these monsters are not only horrors of The Great Desert, but common in other lands as well. I have never met the beast elsewhere but merely listened, with grim memory, to ballads and recollections that goad my rage afresh. The Anauroch variety basilisk is brown-skinned. Like most desert-dwelling lizards, these creatures are active only after the heat of the day has passed. During sunlit hours, they hide underground in their cave-lairs. They are almost never encountered among the endless dunes of the deep desert, preferring to crawl about where either an oasis offers easy access to water, or a mountainside surrenders its sheltering angles of stone. Basilisks are not only evilly cunning, but lazy and cowardly as well. They prefer to lair where food, water, and shelter all lie within an easy dash.

In my experience, these creatures are irrational and insane half of the time, and shrewd hunters the other half. A desert basilisk is easily angered, but it never fights to the death if it can avoid doing so. When angered, it hisses like a cobra. The lizard may attack prey, of course, but if the initial attack fails, a basilisk usually retreats and waits for an easier victim. Many Bedine have avoided a fierce (and probably hopeless) battle with a basilisk by stoutly fending off the initial attack and then falling back, rather than foolishly pressing on to slay the creature.

When hunting, basilisks pounce from a hiding place and attack their victims with their hideous gaze and strong, toothy bite. If they are able to kill a victim before the effect of the gaze turns it to stone, they drag the carcass back to the (always nearby) lair and devour it. Most basilisks need only eat a large meal.a kill the size of a man or antelope.once per month due to their slow metabolism. They are gluttonous, however, and eat any and all meat available. I have heard tell that, presented with enough fresh meat, a basilisk will literally gorge itself to death. I should think this would require a great deal of flesh, however.

If it turns a victim to stone, and if the lizard currently has a brood of young, the desert basilisk returns to its lair and leads its young to the petrified victim. The tiny reptiles (only one to three inches in length when newly hatched) then actually devour the stone, worming their way slowly through it with tiny but powerful jaws.

Apparently, these creatures have something in their bellies that allows them to digest petrified flesh as if it were in its original form for nourishment. Meat turned to stone is all the young eat, however, and they seem to lose this ability once they mature. I have never heard of a stone-eating adult.

If a desert basilisk petrifies a victim and has no young, it ignores the new "statue." A greater basilisk (of which rumors number only one or two in all Anauroch) is more likely to smash any immobilized victims with a contemptible lash of its tail.


These foul creatures are, in my opinion, the obvious result of magical crossbreeding. They display the physical characteristics of both lions and brass dragons - too many to be mere coincidence. Dragonnes lurk within the Scimitar Spires and among any of the northern hills in the Sword. They are found as well throughout the Plain of Standing Stones. Extremely territorial, the beasts are never encountered in numbers or even near others of their own kind. As dragonnes do not eat humans unless they have to, the only people who need worry about them are those who invade dragonne territories. Simply passing nearby, as the nomadic Bedine might, is not likely to anger a dragonne, but anyone or anything looking to settle permanently in a creature's territory is soon savagely attacked.

Of course, in times of great famine, when antelope or camel herds are scarce, a hungry dragonne may be driven to attack humans, so travelers should always be wary. More, they must guard their pack animals from predation. While the creature is unlikely to attack a man, it makes no such exception for his beasts. Bedine who travel through the known territory of a dragonne often put worn, sweat-covered clothing on their camels and goats to give them the odor of man. This seems to slightly discourage a dragonne from attacking domestic animals.although it is by no means foolproof.

Dragonnes are most dangerous to travelers during their mating season, which is the first month of fading heat. In this time, they lose their senses. Even the other beasts of the desert know to avoid a dragonne's territory when it is overcome by the mating drive. Any creature it sees, other than a dragonne of the opposite sex, it attacks. Oddly, mating-mad dragonnes rarely strike directly at their targets. One might fly to a high, rocky place and push boulders down upon its foes. I have even seen a dragonne swoop down from the sky, grab a man off his camel, and fly back up into the air, merely to drop the victim from a greater height.

Giant Spiders and Scorpions

These creatures are rare, but they may be encountered anywhere in the Sword or the Plain of Standing Stones. Scorpions come in a variety of sizes. The largest I have heard of was eight feet long. At one time, a tribe of asabis (laertis, to outsiders) attempted to capture a number of these vermin, to train them as attack creatures and possibly even mounts. Although they had a certain success with a few of their captives, generally the beasts proved far more trouble than they were worth.

Those giant spiders found in the desert are huge, hairy brutes, which do not bother with web making as practiced by their smaller cousins. They feed on small rodents and large insects, relying on speed to pounce, and attacking with an especially virulent poison that completely (and permanently) paralyzes prey, causing all bodily functions to cease.

Characters attacked by giant spiders suffer -4 to all saves if the attacker is size S or M, and -2 to all saves if the creature is size L.

Many Bedine tell camp tales of epic battles between giant scorpions and giant desert spiders. Though ulugarr consider them legends, these tales are most always true in the essential, observed facts, however they are decorated with morals. The creatures seem to be natural enemies, and gladly feast upon each other's flesh.


Asabis, as these beasts are named in the tongue of my people, are serpentine humanoids unique to Anauroch. Primarily subterranean creatures, these fiends often rise to the surface at night to raid Bedine tribes for food. Like lamias, they feast upon the flesh of men.although asabis prefer the internal organs, or "soft parts," as they hideously call them.

I have encountered two varieties of asabis. The more common, and I suspect more intelligent, are warriors, and the larger, more monstrous my people know as "stingtails." The difference will become obvious as I continue.

Common asabis are brown or gray and narrowskulled as the little swifts that dart across the dunes. Their yellow eyes flash malevolently in the night when they leap to attack. They dress in crude armor and fight with weapons that they fashion themselves. Occasionally, some take up the equipment of their fallen human foes. Those asabis that carry scimitars are often particularly favorite targets of young Bedine warriors. A recaptured sword is especially blessed.

Laertis can burst up out of a dune as if from is their favorite method of attack. What stops them from being a worse menace than a greedy Bedine sheik is their inability to attack under At'ar's burning gaze. As it is to Anauroch's lesser lizards, so too is the heat of the sun injurious to asabis. Indeed, a very little exposure can kill them. So, they only come out at night.

But this does not mean the creatures are not mobile. Their underground passages create huge catacombs beneath the desert. In the dank darkness, they can travel far. If one is caught above ground by daylight, or if a band is preparing an ambush, they dig themselves several arms-lengths into a soft duneside, where they hide from the heat of the day. Asabis organize themselves into tribes, each ruled by a council of elders and a war-leader.

Stingtails seem to be a strange, mutant form of asabis. Brown or reddish, rather than gray, they loom head and shoulders above their smarter brethren, yet seem content to merely follow. They are always found among an asabi tribe, never on their own. Stingtails can wield weapons both with their hands and in their prehensile tails.

Those sinuous, pebbled tails have a worse function. If a creature uses its tail to slap a foe in combat, instead of merely slicing at him with an extra blade, it can secrete a liquid poison onto its victim. Thus they acquired their name.

Though both asabis and stingtails themselves are immune to it, this poison is very effective against other creatures and against men (it yields terrible consequences, both physical and mental). Some Bedine warriors coat their blades and points with stingtail poison.

In their lairs underground, asabis cultivate fungi to feed upon when meat is not plentiful. These creatures, despite their evil nature, never war among themselves. Unlike many of the desert-dwellers, they never resort to cannibalism.

Though few humans realize it, most asabis are not acting merely on their own whims and strategies. A majority of laertis are actually mentally controlled by illithids and beholders that dwell under Anauroch (see The Underdark of Anauroch for details).

A few tribes remain autonomous. Even these free creatures hire themselves out to the Black Robes or other evil masters. Apparently, they prefer the security of working for outsiders to being forced to fend for themselves.

Asabis can be found throughout the Sword. There is a great asabi force gathering under the ruined city of Rasilith. Those monsters, however, are under the direct control of the evil creatures that dwell in the Underdark. In contrast, many "free" asabis dwell in caves under the rocky spires of Azirrhat. Despite the gold that can be found there, the Bedine avoid Azirrhat for just this reason.


Asabi Stingtail


These vicious devils have slaughtered whole tribes of my people. Using their evil spells to bewilder and slay their prey, they feast upon the flesh of humans. Fortunately, for the Bedine and for the outlanders who roam the face of the Great Desert, they are fairly rare. From all I have heard and observed, a new lamia is born only infrequently.

Common lamias always appear to be females. attractive, desirable females.from the waist up, but their lower quarters are animals. And not only one species; the animal portions vary greatly. I myself have seen lamias with the bodies of lions, goats, antelope, and once, even a camel. I have heard tales of even more exotic aspects. Could I picture monsters with the nether parts of giant lizards, wolves, or even large cats not native to the desert? It strains my belief, but I cannot say that it is not so.

As there are two kinds of asabis, so too are there two varieties of lamias. A lamia noble, however, always has the lower body of a giant serpent. Horribly, the torso that tops this snakelike lower portion can be either sex.

It is said that normal lamias are begotten by the mating of lamia nobles. But no one I have met can tell the tale of the nobles' origins. Most likely, anything so cruel, so grotesquely formed must be a magically created abomination from ages long past. Perhaps it would be a fitting quest to attempt to slay all lamia nobles, for if the rumors are true, that would spell the end of the whole race.

Any traveler can be unlucky enough to run across a lamia in rocky, mountainous regions of the Sword. Beware the naked beauty beyond the crest of the hill! A Bedine woman would never be so immodest as to greet a man without her veil, but there is a further giveaway. Lamias refuse to wear jewelry of any kind. A Bedine is decked with all her wealth: rings, chains, and beaten ornaments jangle at her neck, dangle from her arms, and weight her keffiyeh against the tugging of the wind. If she is jewelless, if she is veilless, turn away.

Even greater numbers roam the Plain of Standing Stones. A lamia prefers to live alone and she makes her predations on a traveling party one at a time. The creatures also like to lair among the ruined, mostly buried cities of the distant past. Unfortunately, such ruins are common throughout Anauroch. It is my theory that perhaps the nobles are actually survivors of the great cataclysm which swallowed those cities. If this is true, then noble lamias have much lore that has been forgotten - magical lore. Thus foul, dangerous information probably best left "lost."

A single lamia is a curse upon those she dwells near, but far more horrible is the lamia noble which organizes a large force of these normally solitary creatures. This has happened only once during my lifetime. But two entire tribes were destroyed before a great council, led by my father, organized half the tribes of the Sword to destroy this threat. Hundreds of Bedine died in this war, but the threat was extinguished. The pair of lamia nobles which had led the attacks was slain.

Today, lamias can be found in concentrations only within the Lion's Eye Oasis and the far northern ruin of Hlaungadath. My people avoid these areas, naturally. The lamias that control the Lion's Eye Oasis are ruled by the powerful and cruel Glaendra, a female noble nine feet in height. She uses a great many sorcerous artifacts, and commands a formidable force of lamias. It may be of some value to note here that even before the lamias came, Bedine legends tell of horrific monsters dwelling in the surprisingly deep lake formed by the oasis. I know this to be true. At least one reptilian creature - a dragon turtle - resides there, controlled by a powerful, sorcerous water naga. The naga possesses a great hoard of treasure, which it keeps within the submerged ruins of an ancient castle.

The ancient city of Hlaungadath is said to be home to as many as one hundred lamias and a dozen lamia nobles. Rumor has it that there is more treasure there than a man can imagine, both in terms of wealth and dread magic. From what I learned in the underground regions, the phaerimm consider these lamia a major threat. The passages below the city seethe, a constant battleground between the two evil forces (see The Underdark of Anauroch).


The only shapeshifting were-beasts that I have ever seen in the Sword are were-rats. A small tribe of Bedine, calling themselves the Nasaba, are in actuality were-rats in human form. Somehow, long ago, the entire tribe was infected with lycanthropy. Unlike the were-rats that I have heard tales of when I visited the outlanders. cities to the south of the Mother Desert, these creatures most resemble the small, quick, desert rats which commonly skitter hieroglyphic trails in the dunes of the Sword.

Most ulugarr fear were-beasts with a deep and irrational passion. The tales told in other lands about them are so gruesome, so villainous, that no outlander would hesitate to commit murder on a man he suspected of carrying the lycanthropic curse. I know this because I heard it, around camp fires and in common rooms and taverns throughout the Realms.

But we in the desert are more open-minded than you berrani. Until I traveled, I had not even heard of the existence of were-beasts. And I want to you to hear the tale I am about to relate without your native prejudice. Put it aside.

The Nasaba are extremely insular, and attempt to pass themselves off as a cautious Bedine tribe that avoids contact with strangers. Only their small, wiry appearance (though that physique alone is not terribly uncommon for Bedine), and the presence of so many normal desert rats in the camp might give them away. Strangers who insist on spending the night with this tribe must all too soon discover the ratmen's secret - and then they are devoured. Other than the occasional stranger, however, these creatures tend to eat only the foods a normal Bedine tribe would gather.

I only know their true nature because I stumbled upon them as they were being attacked by a dark naga and a force of asabis. The entire tribe transformed into their ratman shapes. The surprise alone was enough to turn their foes away.

Since they do not hunt humans, and discourage the presence of strangers whom they would be forced to slay, I will not think of the Nasaba as evil beings. I wish them no harm.


The number of giant serpents and monstrous lizards in the Sword is not large, but they are a menace nonetheless. Huge snakes, such as the giant cobra, are a rare but very real danger, but the heway snake is the most feared.

My travels in the outlanders. countries have convinced me that none have as hated or as deadly a foe as the heway. Monsters are monsters the Realms over: they kill folk, they ravage towns, they terrorize livestock. But the heway's special talent is more horrific than any other.

This twelve-foot, slimy-scaled beast secretes poison from its skin into a well or oasis, fouling the water so that any creature drinking from it is paralyzed. It does this in a cowardly attempt to weaken its prey, but its selfish act has far-reaching consequences. Without the blessing of good water, whole tribes, whole regions, are condemned to death.

To defend itself, the heway can hypnotize its foes with a sorcerous stare. It moves only in twilight. Not only Bedine, but all herd animals as well, will kill a heway on sight.


On the subject of serpents, it may be good to add a small bit on dragons. Drakes are rare in the Sword, but they do exist. A venerable brass dragon whom the Bedine call Tayyib-kher dwells at the eastern end of the Scimitar Spires. A rumor that I have heard swears a number (up to as many as a dozen) of other, younger, brass dragons live nearby. This rumor goes on to claim that these brass dragons slew any and all blue dragons (for these are enemies of brass dragons, the way basilisks are enemies of Ibn Al'Arif) that once lived in the area.

This is not entirely true, for I have seen a blue dragon in the Hills of Scent myself, although it was still young and quite small for a dragon. In any event, Tayyib-kher is known to the Bedine as a benevolent protector of the Spires, although he has an annoying habit of waylaying entire tribes so as to talk at length with the elders. Such an encounter can lead to a delay of many days for a traveling tribe.

To the east, a mated pair of copper dragons has begun the habit of flying in from the Desertsmouth Mountains to hunt hatori. Normally, these dragons ignore humans, but occasionally they swoop down to play some strange joke upon a traveler, as is their nature. Most humans have nothing to fear from them, but I once saw them attack and destroy a caravan of Black Robes. Whether the dragons wreaked such destruction because the Zhentarim are evil or because they perhaps showed no appreciation for humor, I do not know - or care to ask.

Not every dragon in the Sword is kind-natured, of course. Though most outlanders are unaware of their existence, the Great Desert is home to a breed of yellow dragons - evil to the bone. They enjoy feasting upon the flesh of men. Their greatest delicacy is another race, however. Yellow dragons seem especially fond of munching on D'tarig, a dirty dwarf race that dwells on the southern and eastern fringes of the Sword. I have seen these fiendish creatures most frequently darting around the fringes of the Saiyaddar, a semi-fertile plain known for its antelope, and for Bedine antelope hunters - either of which the dragons happily devour.

Lastly, I have heard tales of a great wyrm red dragon, trapped for some reason in a cave on the northern edge of the Sword, near the Oasis of Vipers. This fiendish dragon is depicted in all the rumors and legends to have advanced magic-using ability, even for one of his twisted kind, and he uses spells to summon monsters from other worlds and turn his foes into terrible undead. He sends his creatures out to wreak havoc and chaos as revenge for his mysterious entrapment.which the legends all agree occurred long before the desert was even created.


Both andro- and gynosphinxes may be found in the Sword. My people have long used sphinxes as characters in our tales and cautionary parables relating to the differences and relationships of men and women. It is considered a virtue among Bedine men to resist the lure of women and of love, just as the androsphinx avoids the gynosphinx.

In real life, sphinxes roam the desert in seclusion and solitude, avoiding all other creatures - a fairly easy task in the deep desert. Both types of creatures seem to be completely magical in nature and need food or even drink only once every few months. For this reason, they may even be encountered in the Shoal of Thirst, where all is dust and salt.

Some sphinxes, of both types, know spells which can create water. If encountered in the deep desert, some are willing to make a deal with a traveler. They cast their spells if travelers can give them something of value.

Not all Bedine would take advantage of this opportunity. Though my people picture sphinxes in our tales, they are nevertheless tainted by forbidden magic. But you outlanders have fewer fears about magic, so I tell you this in case it is of use.

Gynosphinxes are almost solely interested in locating androsphinxes, or in some magical item or spell that will help them eventually find one. Androsphinx motivations are far less focused, and their desires vary greatly. Many wander without any purpose at all.

Elminster's Ecologies