On the Ecology of the Xorn

"They think, you know, that we are being simple or perhaps superstitious when we say that the stone is alive, that it breaths and speaks and eats. But they don't live underground, do they?" - Torsav, Duaru warchief

Nomenclature: Xorn, Grinders, Greedy Creepers,

Description: Trinary Earth Creatures

Things that are known:

  • They can phase through earth
  • They eat gems and precious metals

Rumors and other whispers in the dark:

  • The xorn are a trinity of creatures, each based on a certain type of rock, igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. Other lesser types exist, but are less skilled at navigating impure rocks, and often become stuck
  • They are the result of a bet between two xeno-chimarologists on the possibility of crossing machines with monsters. Hence they are a cross between a concrete mixer and refuse pile
  • They are drones, simple machines, sent out by outerworld creatures.
  • They seek draconic soul stones, usually found embedded in the brains of a dragon.
  • Xorn are stupid, and will take any gem. They sort them by consuming them
  • Give a Xorn an Ioun stone and you will create an intelligent magic-using Xorn
  • They are the end result of teleportation mishaps, their misshapen limbs caused by the warping of space and melding of a mind with solid stone
  • Dwarves use salt-rocks to distract Xorn from gemstone deposits. Too much of the salt rock causes the Xorn to become pickled, stuck and barely able to move. Cooked over magma, they make a rare treat for the dwarves
  • Legend says that if a Xorn is exposed to enough pressure, it will turn into a multi-faceted, multi-hued gem worth the sum of all the gems it ever ate
  • Miniature Xorn are said to have depopulated worlds, stripping all the heavy elements from living creatures like a disease
  • Gem stone deposits are just bellies of Xorn who have died long ago
  • Xorn settled underground long ago, spawning gnomes, dwarves, kobolds, and other underground humanoids. They are ashamed of this story and will deny it
  • Xorn are fused hermaphrodites. Each is not a trinary creature, but two creatures, one male and one female, fused, both halves of the same Xorn. 
  • Crystal, Lava, Ice, and Metal Xorn were all eaten long ago, leaving only the gemstone Xorn we know today
  • Few creatures capture the hate of a dragon more than a dwarf, and Xorn have that honor. It is said that a Xorn once wandered into Xyphnecrop's great treasure hoard and consumed his entire collection of rubies, before snacking on the gems embedded in his gross underbelly. When the dragon awoke, the Xorn was long gone, though it would be a millennial more before the laughter at his fate ceased
  • Xorn are from the elemental plane of gluttony and avarice. They have been accidentally summoned by fat and greedy sorcerers
  • Xorn were once servants of the creatures that lorded over the very dragons themselves. When their crystal palaces were struck with disaster, the creatures were knocked lose, sent throughout the planes. Those landing on the plane of elemental earth fared much better than others, sniffing out and examining any gems in the hopes that it will lead them once again to their masters and their crystal cities. They eat the gems to collect building material to bring home
  • Xorn only eat crystals, not true gems
  • Xorn are the embodiement of rage from mother earth and stone, sent up from her igneous womb to return that which was unearthed and stolen
  • Xorn attack by extracting calcium from living creatures
  • Xorn are matter shorn of manners, some of the most rude creatures in the universe
  • Xorn are forlorn creatures
  • Xorn aren't creatures, but in fact silica based plant life
  • Xorn are filled with 'Xorn pearls' various geodes harvestable upon death
  • Xorn are unable to reproduce, because they lack a soul. They steal greedy hobbit children to reproduce
  • Samishi of Sulspicc claims that Xorn are simply the larval stage of another larger creature
  • Xorn actually have four arms and legs, but are phasic creatures, the fourth arm and leg are out of phase with the rest of the prime material plane. This has the side effect of a fourth attack happening after the first attacks occur
  • The excrement of Xorn are gem-dust bricks
  • They have a motile and sessile phase.
  • Their armor reacts strongly with sugar (gulcose) dissolving rapidly
  • They are the offspring of clockwork constructs and golems
  • Xorn are in reality the plaque on the teeth of colossal demons, being shed like dandruff
  • Xorn are the bio-mechanical creatures used to make space within the hollow world. Once finished they were banished to the elemental plane of earth, a considerable act of mercy, considering it is their idea of paradise. Those that force them back into the prime material plane are sadists.
  • Xorn do not exist. They are a myth used by thieves that are very bad at disguise

Note that many of the awesome images (with attributions) came from the thread at: CGhub

The ecology series is a crowdsourced series of articles, and contributors can be found on google+ under the hashtag #crowdecology. They are limited posts, but following me on G+ will allow you to see them. All artwork is credited where the artist could be found. Classic ecology articles from Dragon magazine are used both for reference and inspiration; the whole impetus of the idea was to create 'classic' ecology articles that are actually useful. Let's Read the Monster Manual by Noisms is also a source of inspiration.  If you're curious how to make effective use of these articles, read On the Use of Ecology.

Hack & Slash

1 comment:

  1. https://plus.google.com/u/0/+CourtneyCampbell/posts/2dTQ247KUuS


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