When thrown at a target, this sand created a whirlwind cage shaped like an inverted cone. The cone stood 8 feet (2.4 m) tall and was 4 feet (1.2 m) wide. The sand cage would envelop the nearest creature, assuming they fit within the cone, causing abrasive damage as it settled around them. Once trapped within a sand cage, a victim was unable to perform any functions aside from moving and suffered a small amount of continual damage until released. The whirlwind created a loud hissing sound that drowned out all but the loudest sounds around it.
The whirlwind would actually dissipate if it sustained enough physical damage, though only spells or magic weapons could harm it. Anyone attacking the sand cage risked harming the individual trapped within as well.
Extremely dextrous individuals had a chance to briefly step outside of the cage to attack it. Each time a trapped individual attempted this feat they were harmed by the swirling sand of the cage. Any outside sand, either from a natural or arcane source, thrown at a sand cage would augment the whirlwind of the cage, increasing the damage it caused depending on the amount of sand involved.
A sand cage lasted for 2-12 minutes and would follow its victim around until destroyed or until that time lapsed.