Thurle - 2(6)
The biomechanical thurles are insect-like creatures slightly larger than a man's hand. Their back is covered in a domed shell of an amorphous, mercury-like substance, and their underside is host to ten silvery legs. At their front, they have a set of mandibles and three eyes, the latter of which glow in slowly shifting colors.
Thurles are ambush predators, well known for their ability to transmute their body into any other solid material, be it stone, metal, synth, glass, etc, taking on all its hardness and mass. When transformed, they can meld their bodies into a surface they are clinging to, becoming almost indistinguishable from the rest of the surface.
Motive: Hungers for flesh
Environment: A colony of thurles can be as small as a mated pair or a dozen or more individuals. They can be found anywhere, but seem to prefer clinging to artificial surfaces, particularly in ruins.
Damage Inflicted: 4
Movement: Short, can climb any surface
Modifications: Hiding as level 4 when melded to a wall or ceiling, 2 otherwise; listening for prey as level 4
Combat: When a colony of thurles hears prey approaching (as they are blind when hidden), they fling themselves off of their perch at tremendous speed and transmute into something hard and dense mid-flight, essentially becoming living cannonballs.
When transmuted into a hard, dense substance, they have Armor 3 and deal 4 points of damage. If the players can spot them before the thurles hear them, they can attack them while still on the wall or ceiling. At that time, depending on the composition of the wall, they might have Armor 1 for a wood or synth wall, Armor 2 for a stone wall, Armor 3 for a metal wall, or no armor in the case of dirt or other soft material.
Transmuting takes less than a second, and a thurle can transmute into any material once per round as part of another action, taking on the hardness and mass of that material. A slain thurle reverts to its natural form.
Interaction: Thurles are mindless and cannot normally be interacted with. However, a character who Masters Insects (Ninth World Character Options pg 65) can use their abilities on thurles.
Use: An enterprising bladesmith is intrigued by the thurles infesting a nearby ruin. If he can find some way to make them remain in their transmuted state after death, he could have a functionally endless supply of azure steel (Numenera pg 77) or other materials. First, though, he needs a large number of the dangerous creatures to experiment on.
Loot: A slain thurle's biomechanical parts can occasionally be scavenged for a few shins, or an oddity.