The xoridromel /zɔɹədɹoʊˈmɛl/ is a striped black and white stranger covered in eye markings of various sizes, which contrast with the colors of its stripes. Its pointed head is large and ponderous, and it holds itself upright on its four handless arms. Its skin is smooth and glossy, while its flesh is black, muscular, and slightly gritty. Its skin can be pierced with little difficulty, but the xoridromel's above-average regenerative ability allows it to repair itself when damaged, with minimal distortion of its markings once healed.
The xoridromel has a dry, starch-like smell at close range, and leaves this smell behind on any surfaces it comes in contact with, albeit with no obvious staining or residue. This odor, however, does have a tendency to turn acerbic over time, causing the xoridromel's territory to take on a faint tartness.
The xoridromel possesses a small body cavity half-filled with a black, slippery fluid, which, like its flesh, is somewhat grainy, leaving behind a dark sandy residue behind on anything it comes in contact with. This half-filled chamber appears to serve some balance-based functions, as the xoridromel loses its ability to hold itself upright when this fluid is drained from its body. The fluid within this chamber is extremely cold, but this frigidity remains encapsulated within the xoridromel's inner flesh, with its other surface being warm (almost feverish) to the touch.
The xoridromel's hard, monotonous voice sounds muffled and muted much of the time, but can be heard clearly when one presses their ear against its side. Its vocal pitch is neither masculine nor feminine, and is always expressed with a flat and succinct cadence.
The xoridromel appears in abandoned factories. It likes wide open spaces, medium light levels, and drab, dusty concrete walls and floors. Because of its large size, it does not appear in rooms with a height of less than 19 feet, or a width of less 35 feet at the shortest side.
The xoridromel starts off small, and grows in periodic lurches, a process which takes two to seven hours. It rolls and squirms with spasmodic, flailing movements during this formation, attaining balance only once its small fluid-filled cavity forms. Individuals are born without this cavity 0.26% of the time; these xoridromel are capable of living out their lives in full, but do not engage in any ambulation (being unable to even stand), and spend their lives writhing on the ground, moving themselves from place to place only with incidental
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The xoridromel's disposition is relentless and inscrutable. It moves with undulating, sinuous motions, its head rolling from side to side in a circular, twisting lull. Although it stays within a small environment, it is always in motion, and pushes against walls, climbs towards windows, and falls back on itself with a smooth, balanced unease. As it moves, it knocks over boxes, furniture, and other objects, with no intentions towards any form of interaction.
The xoridromel never stops talking. It does not speak in its own language, but rather, repeats random conversations that have occurred within a 1.3 mile radius (and being able to repeat conversations going back several years). The xoridromel repeats these conversations with no delay between statements, and with no tonal variation to differentiate the speakers of the original conversations, making it hard to tell where one speaker ends and the next begins. Its cadence is clipped, and it speaks quicker than a normal human being, compounding ease of understanding.
The xoridromel's behaviour appears largely automatic. It displays few reactions to stimulus, recoiling only slightly at the loudest of sounds. Similarly, it displays no social behaviours, and does not even appear able to recognize others of its strain. When two individuals appear within a space, they often bump into and crawl over one another, toppling each other in their unceasing crawls.
The xoridromel has a tendency to generate grit within its surroundings, doing so in small cavities between bricks, inside of cracked concrete, and where the floor meets the wall. This grit is similar to the small, inorganic granules found within its flesh, and appear composed of a stone-like substance that leaves a tarry residue behind when rubbed. Although it takes many years for this grit to be apparent, over a long enough span of time, a xoridromel's environment will become noticeably befouled.
The xoridromel attacks sensitives on sight. It utilizes its considerable weight to crush sensitives beneath its bulk, and is unrelenting in its assault. If attacked in return, it twists in a coiling manner, but does not move away from its attacker. A sensitive who runs from the xoridromel is pursued.
Proximity to the xoridromel gives a sensitive the ability to perfectly repeat overheard statements and conversations. This skill does not apply to spoken statements made by the affected individual themselves, nor does the effect allow them to memorize written text. The duration of this effect increases based on the time spent near the xoridromel – an encounter of several minutes will allow a sensitive to repeat statements and conversations for a few hours, while several hours spent near a xoridromel will grant this skill for several days. Once the effect wears off, recall of verbal statements returns to previous levels, and previously memorized conversations fade away as well.
Despite this seemingly beneficial effect, the xoridromel's presence also causes eye strain, headaches, and sensitivity to sound. The severity of these headaches
increases following multiple encounters, and after four to five encounters, even brief exposure to the xoridromel causes severe migraines, making it difficult to derive much use from its recall-granting effect. Repeated exposure to the xoridromel also appears to raise the risk of certain types of cancers, owing in part to its propensity to generate grit in its surroundings, with this substance appearing within the human body, as well, in microscopic but nonetheless significant amounts.
The xoridromel does not age, but rather, dies suddenly, collapsing to the ground with a heavy thud. Its corpse displays remarkable resistance to decay, with its rubbery flesh remaining pliable even years after the xoridromel's death. Decomposition becomes evident only after many decades, and even this tends to be limited to a slight loosening of the skin and gelatinization of the flesh. The xoridromel can only fully decompose in the presence of water, heat, and fungus, meaning that its corpse can potentially remain present until the building in which it is found succumbs to the elements.