Greetings screenlings ! Time has come to explore the Xyl. As you may be aware already, the Xyl are humanity nemesis: they have been hunting us down for centuries now. Although we have succeeded in fleeing time and again, our final stand might come soon -so we have to prepare, and know our enemy. The information Steve has supplied me about the Xyl is scant, and I am completing the holes with ideas of my own. I want the aliens to be fleshed out thoroughly: they might be wholly different from us, but that does not mean they are not entitled to their own set of motivation, biology and ultimately, wider goals. The Xyl are 'insectoids', Steve wrote in the earliest draft of the game design. That does not mean a lot, since insects are endemic to Earth: my guess is that Steve meant that their culture is mostly marked by eusocielity -that is, the specie is made of castes of both reproductive and non-reproductive individuals working in tight cooperation. If you are familiar with Frank Herbert's "the Hellstrom hive", you might have read how humanity itself could go that way -but I digress. The Xyl are thus ruled by eunuchs, with the chemically neutered workers assuming the brunt of the work and fighting, the females being the powerful overseers and commanders, and finally the males that have regressed to a parasitic stage. Indeed, males attach themselves to females and fuse with them -it is not uncommon for a successful female to sport a couple of dozen of males attached to her sides. Sometimes, a hermaphrodite 'goliath' will be borne, with both the female and male reproductive set of organs. This last creature is most fearsome, and might give us a hint at what the old Xyl males looked like before they genetically regressed. The Xyl's homeworld is unknown, but the most common theory is that is must be a low-gravity porous rock-and-ice world. Xyl's anatomy indeed still show vestigial or regressed digging limbs as well as ventilation sub-limbs (used in confined spaces by the females in order to ventilate their eggs). It is unknown for how long the Xyl have left their underground habitat for the surface. Now that the Xyl have been introduced a bit, let's explore their looks. Here below are a few concept drawings. The study is in an early stage, so the shapes might differ a lot. Is there any you particularly are fond of ? Why ? I will keep on posting concept studies of the Xyl race until we hit the metaphorical jackpot, so stay tuned. P.