— Frank Wood on Willis Linsay trading Steppers to the sand-whalers
Sand Whalers were sapient crustacean-like creatures, native to Gap Mars East 1,500,000, Plus Change. They rode on sail-driven sand-yachts, rudimentary vehicles made of wood and bones of the creatures they killed, when they hunted the huge land-dragons, just like the whalers from the nineteenth century, hence their name. They used spears, bows and harpoons.
They are described as insect-like creatures with armored bodies and multiple long manipulating limbs. They were taller than humans, around six-foot tall.
On the sand-whaler's world, the humans discovered five monoliths that had inscriptions on them. They couldn't get close enough get a look at them, because of some sort of invisible force field that gave them an unbearable headache when tried to get close. The sand-whalers, however, could go near the rocks, and so Willis got them to photograph them for him, in exchange for the knowledge of how to make and use Stepper boxes.