the Guardsmen
prefix co suffix do
turrimet praesie
4 ft, 1 in
11 ft
650 lbs
size variance
core temp.
4,300 years
no. appearing
( see entry )
complex / predicative
physical appearance
The codo /ˈcəʊdəʊ/ is a tan and rust-colored stranger with a robust build and large head. Its thick skin feels like a sweaty human palm. Otherwise, its exact appearance and behaviour differs between hemispheres.
The northern codo is lighter in color, with less pronounced stripes. A scar-like pattern stretches out from around its lip markings. Its blunt tongue cannot reach past its narrow and metallic teeth. The strain's gristly inner flesh hisses and twitches in the moments immediately following injury.
The dark stripes of the southern hemisphere codo set it apart from its northern counterpart, as does its upside-down head. Serrated jaws surround its maw, from which its fat and flopping tongue lolls forth. Brick chunks, building rubble, and crunched-up nails, most no bigger than an acorn, abound within the sinews of its oilless flesh.
Regardless of which hemisphere it occupies, when "hurt", the codo does not bleed. It heals from lacerations readily and without scarring, but cannot regrow excised flesh, such as a sliced-off leg. Should it sustain a loss of more than 19% of its overall physical mass, its every tissue becomes hard and plaster-like before breaking apart to powders-and-pebbles.
A youthful huskiness is characteristic to all codo when speaking, though the pitch varies between individuals. Its projection is always resonant, and its tone, confident.
The northern codo speaks in nonsense phrases that recall the languages local to its region.
Zalzabuxus zoxo calanorbon oliveration.
The southern codo speaks in strings of highly esoteric vocabulary, in whatever language is common in the area surrounding its range.
Dolven abstersive sternutator xiphosuran.
Though not being perceived as overly loud in volume, the codo's voice can be felt in the body of all listeners.
Yollagaloop tonnily daggazomp zatzaballa!
Insouciant iatrogenic zeugma, redamancy. Agastopia?
environment and generation
The codo generates in groups at the base of condroni towers. Its presence is dependent upon specific conditions, which are unique to each city.
Groups of codo enter the world one-by-one, as though stepping through a shimmering (and in fact, nearly blinding) shard of light. Though the codo at first appears stunned and disoriented by its generation, it develops its mature bearing within several minutes. It always generates in groups of 5, 10, 15, or 20.
New York City: sixteen sensitives occupy an area of one hundred square feet.
Osaka: a document describing strangers is read by more than 3,000 people.
Norilsk: a 50% decrease in population within ten years.
Carthage: a sensitive, deified.
rainy model city: rain_state_final.ei initialized
Shangri-La: the highest leader, assassinated in their sleep.
Xxn No: seventeenth day of The silence.
Blue Town: 3XX1 > 3ND
The codo's generation leaves behind a fresh, meat-like smell in the air that turns sour and disappears within an hour.
The codo's generation leaves behind a stale, sweaty odor that turns sweet and disappears within a day.
behaviour and social wrestling
In its disposition, the codo is stalwart, yet aloof. Though tirelessly protective of the tower which it guards (maintaining a distance of no more than thirty-three feet, it does not enter inside.
Pairs of codo pass the time by engaging in wrestling-like displays of strength. Each codo attempts to pin the other, utilizing grapples, flips, and submission holds. Though energetic and boisterous, these displays do not result in injury to the competitors. A pinfall of more than ten seconds determines the winner and loser, after which both individuals disengage.
Sparring takes place in what seems to be an informal manner, with pairs of fighters entering in random order. The non-participating individuals stand around and watch the display, cheering on in a cruel, aggressive way, as though attempting to goad serious injury.
Individuals waiting to compete line up to the side, with the rest (no less than half of the group) cheering on or watching the fight respectfully.
In general, the older of the two tends to be the winner, with younger individuals being more brash and careless in their motions. Fights average between one and sixteen minutes in length.
the covered buildings
The codo's presence changes the appearance of the tower which it guards, a phenomenon observable only from a distance. This holographic illusion starts from the base of the tower and works its way up in a process than takes anywhere from ten to one hundred years.
Codo-guarded buildings in the northern hemisphere appear to be covered in crude, but massive murals, which range from abstracted lines and splashes of color, to illustrative tableaus.
Buildings in the southern hemisphere take on a simplified, cartoonish level of detail, a median between a child's scribbles and a low-polygon video game model.
interactions with sensitives
The codo watches any approaching sensitive with a gallant diligence.
Though wrestling does not cease, the fight's onlookers instead turn their attention towards the possible intruder.
All sparring ceases, and all individuals move into a structured, defensive position.
Should the sensitive enter the codo's territory, the stranger turns animalistic in its aggression. It rushes towards the sensitive, using its sharp claws and teeth to sever limbs or tear off chunks of flesh. Losing all language or social decorum, it becomes so vicious that it will even injure its companions in the chaos.
Though the group seems to "feed" off of the sensitive, severed limbs or chunks of flesh are never swallowed, but are instead chewed up and spat back out onto the victim's body.
Once the sensitive is dead, the codo grows more listless with each bite, until its interest fully wanes and it abandons the mangled body altogether, as well as its aggressive behaviours.
The oldest codo in the group pushes the corpse from the territory's perimeter.
acceptance of the intruder
The codo allows a sensitive through their perimeter if and only if the sensitive says the password (unique to each tower) while within ten feet of their territory's edge. Following this, the codo grows indifferent to the sensitive's further actions, even tolerating injury.
pin-tower: "zealourous."
Bodhimoku Tower: "I accept."
mattress tower: "what have they done to us?"
Jaundice Press building: "exit."
Tomahawk Tower (New Algonquin): "seven perfect words."
tower 56, Blue Town: "▜▜▜▜▜"
Needle Pit: "I've left this place now I'll follow roads into the hearth and hollow."
the distortion height: 「僕は絶滅種です。」
New Candida: "five to the right."
Shinra Electric Power building: "5-5-8-9"
loss of stability
When pulled from its territory, the codo experiences a massive loss of stability.
"It loses its demeanor and turns violent towards itself. You can't scratch it up faster than it scratches up itself. By the second, it's changing. Scratching up the old stuff. What's beneath? Not flesh, anymore...just plaster..."
"A drop like that shouldn't be possible – is its stability really down to -75%? It's's just plaster..."
It dies within minutes, leaving behind a crumbling and disfigured plaster corpse.
aging and death
As the codo ages, its wrestling grows more violent. It bites or yanks the flesh, uses less safe grapples, or dislocates its opponent's limbs. Before long, the aging stranger loses its sportsmanship altogether.
The now degrading codo starts trying to punch out its opponent's teeth.
The now diminishing codo holds its opponent and, like a wildcat, scratches at their stomach.
As it ages and grows vicious, however, so too does it grow weak. These attacks rarely cause serious injury to its former companions, which do not tolerate the aggressor, pushing them from the territory, forcing their degeneration to plaster.
The final codo in a group slumps over without fanfare, its corpse becoming fetid within the day, then statue-like within the week. Its decayed flesh becomes as hard as granite, the monument standing as a grotesque icon for years to come.
Subsequent codo destroy the corpse.
Subsequent codo regard the corpse with vague reverence.
The death of the codo does not affect the appearance of the tower, which remains obfuscated.