The coral you tentatively IDed as ricordeas is not a soft coral from what I can determine. The part stuck in the sand is not rock, it is hard "stem" so to speak. It was fragged while I was watching, but I do not think it is a candy cane. There were several polyps on the stalk and they sold me three.
I found the hermit where the star polyp was supposed to be again. It was on the sand in a cave. Could have blown there, but what a coincidence.
People who say that pets lower their blood pressure never had a reef tank!