Sandmen were rare creatures found in Zakhara. Originally from the Elemental Plane of Earth, these creatures were used by the dao to capture slaves on Toril. They were favored by the dao for this task because of their ability to capture targets without damaging them.
These creatures literally resembled a man made out of sand. The sand comprising their bodies was held together by magical forces.
These creatures were ambush hunters, preferring to attack at night. Any creatures that came within 20 ft. (6 m) of a sandman would fall asleep unless they were able to resist. Elves were more resistant to this effect than other races. Each touch from a sandman brought another wave of drowsiness that their opponents had to fight against or risk falling asleep.
This deep sleep lasted for at least half an hour, and no amount of noise or physical disturbance would cause the target to awaken during this time. Any victim falling asleep before a sandman often woke up as a slave to the dao in the Great Dismal Delve.
Sandmen were immune to all forms of non-magical missile attacks. Projectiles simply passed through them as they would if they struck normal sand.
Upon death, a sandman would crumble into a pile of sand. This sand could be used to create potions of dreaming or sand of truth. This sand could also be used as a physical component in a sleep spell, resulting in double the effects of the spell.
Sandmen were slaves of the dao, but they had a chance of gaining freedom if they brought enough slaves to the dao mazeworks to replace them. The dao used magical amulets to control the sandmen when they were sent out from the Elemental Plane of Earth.
Sandmen did not need to eat or sleep. They excelled at survival in harsh conditions. The only way to starve them was to keep them suspended in air for a length of time.