The buledroni (/ˈbjuːələdrəʊni/) is a fat, pale blue stranger which, like the ladroni, lacks hind legs and instead pulls itself forward on its short, thick arms, of which it possess up to three pairs. Its skin is smooth and clammy to the touch, and its body cavity is filled with a thick, white fat. The buledroni is notable for the "eyelids" that cover its grey, glaucoma-covered eye markings. These eye markings ooze a clear fluid identical to human tears, giving the buledroni a faintly salty odor.
The buledroni requires partial submersion in water to stay alive, and dies when the water around it dries up. Despite this link to water, it is unable to swim, and drowns when its head is submerged for more than 45 seconds. Although it is not vulnerable to temperatures, it does shiver when exposed to extreme cold. Its regenerative ability is poor, but present (taking several months for cuts and gashes to close up), with minimal scarring, although healed areas tend to be softer and more vulnerable to further injury.
The buledroni possesses no language, and speaks only through sobbing. Its voice is soft and mournful, and echoes in somber, melodic tones. Half of buledroni display masculine vocal pitches, while the remaining 50% display feminine vocal pitches.
The buledroni appears in small bodies of water, and is most often found half-submerged in fountains, ponds, or slow-moving rivers. It is more likely to appear in foggy or misty areas, where it starts off as a shapeless white cloud that coalesces to form the buledroni's body over a period of seven hours. The buledroni appears in groups 75% of the time.
The buledroni's disposition is perpetually sad, and it spends most of its life motionless, sobbing into its palms with its head pointed downward. When it is not crying to itself, it squirms forward in listless heaves, or dips its hands into the water around it. Groups of buledroni congregate in circular or linear formations, where they hold each other in vain, neither comforting, nor exacerbating each other's sorrows.
The buledroni appears particularly distressed by images of people, and always cries when exposed to this visual stimulus. Buledroni which live near large billboards of human faces, for example, never stop crying, and lead lives shortened by this constant melancholic stress.
The buledroni is calmed by fish, and strokes their heads or sides as they swim by. The presence of fish causes 0.07% of buledroni create duplicates of dead fish inside their bodies. This response proves ultimately fatal to the buledroni, and as these corpses decompose inside it, the buledroni's own surrounding flesh rots alive.
The buledroni reaches its arms out towards any sensitive who comes within reach, and holds them against its body, as though comforting or consoling them. It continues to do this until the sensitive moves away. The buledroni makes no attempts to hold onto unwilling sensitives, but instead emits a baneful sob, turning its head downward with disappointment once a sensitive makes clear their disinterest in physical contact.
"The fountain stood not three blocks from the bay. It was a modern, grotesque thing in the shape of a square. In each corner, a statue of a fish, out of whose mouths water shot to douse the pointed boots of some uniformed man whose name I didn't know, but who I supposed had been important at some point in time. The white cement statues had a gritty, factory-made smoothness to them, while the recessed lights were just a little too bright, and the whole thing exemplified that special sort of tastelessness that gleams in all new things that try so hard to emulate the old.
On most days, the beasts flickered in the mist, ignored by crowds of families and dancing children, and they billowed away as over-eager dogs ran through them. No one gave them any thought, and even the creature's sobs did nothing to conjure up attention. They seemed quite clear to me, though, but disappeared when I walked close, which left me just some person who would crawl in fountains and reach into nothing, and it was strange, because I did not consider myself a crazy person, but all the same, there I was.
One night, I decided to visit on my way home, and there was no one around at all, this time. It had just rained the day before, and every surface still retained that slickness, still stayed a shade darker, even though the puddles themselves had all dried up in the hours prior. This time, the creatures did not fade away to nothing, and I was able to wade over and to touch one, and it held me, no hesitation.
I started to come every so often. Not often enough to call it a habit, but often enough to realize that this odd comfort had given my life a sort of constancy. I didn't need it all the time, but when the urge would overtake me, there I'd find myself, water soaked into my shoes and this fat beast's tears spilled down my neck.
One night I saw that I was not alone. A brown-haired woman stood, and she, like I had done, allowed the beast to wrap its arms around her in my place, as I stood just outside the fountain. We made brief eye contact, her face stoic despite the water that trickled past her chin, but we did not speak, and I did not come back for many months after that." Seong, Ya. Journals, morse-9:iv, 13
The buledroni's presence stimulates the productions of tears in sensitives, the rate of which varies between individuals. Some sensitives experience only a slight watering of the eyes, while others experience blinding streams of tears that cascade down their cheeks in unending streams.
Despite its size, the buledroni is far weaker than a human being. It is completely non-aggressive, and makes no attempt to defend itself when attacked, instead burying its face in its palms or reaching out to stroke its attacker with gentle forgiveness. The buledroni displays resistance only when its eyelids are pulled open, and it pushes at its attacker with futile shoves, too weak to stop this encroachment, let alone do any harm.
Certain, rare individuals cause the buledroni to turn its head away, although there is no discernible criteria by which these individuals are selected.
Although the buledroni is a member of the predator class of strangers, it lacks the aggressive tendencies of its companions, due in part to its morose disposition. This does not mean that it should be considered harmless, however – rather, it is very likely that the buledroni is just as prone to violence as the other strangers in its class, but that the conditions for these violent tendencies are so specific that no normal interactions can ever trigger such a response.
The buledroni dies without a fight at the end of its lifespan, their bodies growing limp and collapsing into the water. Nearby buledroni stay at the corpse's side, and whimper, stare, and console their living companions. As the corpse begins to break apart and decompose, individual buledroni grab onto arms or other body parts and cradle them carefully in their arms, as a mother would a tired infant. This behaviour continues until these parts grow too soft to hold and melt down into congealed white blobs, slipping away from their companions forever and dissolving to fog when they touch the water.