The stividremi (/ˈstɪvɪdreɪmi/) is a dark, laterally-striped stranger with a boxy frame, diminutive feet, and a sharply angled, drooping snout. Its soft, puffy skin is pleasant to the touch and suede-like in texture, although it lacks any discernible fibers upon its surface. Its four to five stripes are raised by 0.7 inches, and feel much smoother than the rest of its skin. Its flesh is dry, foamy, and sponge-like, with several satsuma-sized, hollow pockets in random locations, which do nothing to distort its form.
The stividremi exhibits only minimal regenerative ability (taking several weeks to repair itself following a cut), and loses the ability to heal altogether following multiple wounds. Repaired flesh is rubbery and ranges in color from white to grey, lacking the soft, suede-like texture that otherwise characterizes the stividremi.
The stividremi's voice is quiet and youthful, and emanates from deep within its belly. Its language consists of sounds common to the languages widely spoken in the area in which it appears, with an emphasis on vowel sounds. The stividremi speaks at infrequent intervals, however, and instead tends to restrict itself to peaceful sighs and murmurs. When not speaking, it gurgles with a quiet plash.
The stividremi appears in a wide range of locations, with no particular preferences beyond a general tendency towards smooth, flat surfaces and wide patches of light.
When the stividremi first appears, it rises from a point into a juvenile stage. In this stage, it is small enough to fit in the palm of one's hand, and the stividremi remains at this size for several hours. It grows to full size with a sudden lurch, and looks at its hands with shy dismay, brushing itself off any possible dirt that may have accumulated on its sides during this abrupt growth.
The stividremi's disposition is discrete and considerate. It walks with quiet, padded footsteps, and remains aware of its surroundings at all times. It affects the world around it only by accident, and whenever it knocks over an object, it places it back in its original location, often re-positioning the object several times until it is exactly as it was before.
The stividremi follows any sensitive it encounters with a quiet but incessant interest. Once it is close enough, the stividremi places its nose on the sensitive's arm or stomach in order to feed, drawing blood from the sensitive's body and into its own spongy flesh. The stividremi absorbs blood through its skin, and feeds at a rate determined by diverse and complex equations which vary between individuals. Most stividremi drink only teaspoons of blood, while others drain until their target is fully exsanguinated. Similarly, feeding time ranges from several minutes to up to one hour.
When a sensitive touches their hand upon the stividremi's surface, they leave behind a bloody handprint, which the stividremi absorbs through its skin after several seconds. The stividremi dislikes being touched, and makes a quiet sound of protest when stroked or prodded. When a stividremi wishes to feed, however, brief and nonviolent contact such as this does not dissuade it, and, instead, the stividremi merely moves away and chooses another position from which to approach.
Despite its predatory nature and potentially detrimental effect, the stividremi does not tend towards aggression, and moves away from individuals who attack it or display threatening behaviour. Once it has been allowed to feed to completion, the stividremi wanders off with a grateful nod.
After feeding, blood drips outward from the stividremi's snout over a period of several days to several weeks, depending on the amount of blood absorbed. A satiated stividremi has no interest in feeding from sensitives, although it retains a subdued curiosity towards sensitives it meets. Although the stividremi's flesh does not radiate heat on its own, all absorbed blood remains at the same temperature it was at when taken from the sensitive, and as such, a blood-filled stividremi feels quite warm and sloshing to the touch.
Approximately 1% of individuals absorb blood at an accelerated rate, and can drain an individual of all blood in 21-47 seconds. These individuals tend to be short-lived, but display more aggressive temperaments than their companions. In addition, their presence in a group encourages aggression in other stividremi, although these tendencies disappear once the aggressive individual leaves the group.
The stividremi is friendly, but not exclusively social towards others of its strain. Stividremi play games with one another by absorbing blood back-and-forth and mimicking each other's vocal patterns, but travel in groups only when in enclosed environments, and split apart once the group enters a larger space. Groups of stividremi sometimes approach a single sensitive, but do not swarm them, and, instead, wait with patience for their turn to feed.
The stividremi also absorbs the blood from any corpses it finds, but is poisoned by doing so, with the severity of poisoning corresponding to the amount of blood absorbed. A poisoned stividremi exudes blood from its entire body in an effort to expel the offending liquid, and its movement patterns grow more erratic as it paces in circles or walks backwards with a shake of its head. When it is unable to bleed itself out fully (as in the case of stividremi which absorb more substantial volumes of blood), its body begins to blacken and crumple inward in chunks. Other stividremi do not attack or display fear towards poisoned companions, but do move away from them, and will avoid any corpse that poisons one of their companions.
As it ages, the stividremi's behaviour grows more and more tired and relaxed, and it becomes more lackadaisical and less persistent when feeding, until it can barely bring itself to raise its snout toward a sensitive at all. At the end of its life, it lays down on the ground and passes away with a happy sigh. Its corpse first loses coloration and grows hard and scabby, then collapses into a translucent, gelatinous substance, which appears to mold over with a light grey fuzz before fading away into the earth. This decomposition is gradual, and a corpse may take several years to disappear. When one of their companions dies, any remaining stividremi circle and congregate around their body for 1-78 minutes before moving on in their gentle search for blood.