The apex predators of the Ashkahi Whisperwastes.
Though referred to by scholars mad enough to study them as "sand kraken", they aren't actually cephalopods. They swim in sand as easily as their sea-bound "kin" swim in water, filtering oxygen from the earth through specialized gills. They eat anything not possessed of an above-average running speed, and are renowned for temperaments most would describe as "uncooperative". Their scent is said to be that of old leather and decay. Their tentacles are twenty feet long, studded with grasping, serrated hooks, dry as the desert in which they dwell. Their maws are hideous and beaked, and their eyes are as wide as dinnerplates. Their voices are chittering, guttural hisses.
They are also, inexplicably, infuriated by the calling of the Dark, an ability of the Darkin.
Scientific Study Edit
The undisputed expert in their study, Loresman Carlo Ribisi, theorized they're a kind of desert worm, mutated by magikal pollutants from the ruins of the Ashkahi Empire. Ribisi postulated that the beasts are possessed of canine-level intelligence, and to prove his theorem, captured an infant sand kraken, brought it back to the Grand Collegium, and attempted to train it in simple tasks.
Ribisi constructed stone mazes, filled them with earth, and set the beast (whom he named "Alfi", after a much-beloved familia pet) loose inside them. Alfi would be rewarded with food if he successfully traversed the labyrinth. Ribisi introduced more complex patterns as Alfi grew in size (six feet long at his last recorded measurement), also incorporating simple devices such as latches and doors to prove the beast's growing intelligence. Sadly, Alfi utilized this knowledge one nevernight in escaping his enclosure, murdering the better part of the zoology staff including a rather disappointed Ribisi, before he was dispatched by a cadre of baffled Luminatii.
Ordinances about the keeping of wildlife within college grounds were tightened considerably after this affair.