Xins are huge, amorphous creatures which inhabit lakes and the seven seas. There is one in the Starlit Lake in Cardinal Woods, brought there by the sorcerer Yue-Laou from the mystical city of Yian. While the origins of the Xins aren't entirely clear, it is said that Yue-Laou has corrupted them, giving rise to their current form.
The most notable trait of the Xin is that it possesses several so-called Satellites: small crawling creatures which are part of the Xin and controlled by its mind, despite not being attached to its body in any way. Thus, the Xin and its many satellites form a unified entity: the body remaining in the water while the satellites scurry over the land collecting information, acting as the Xin's sensory organs.
|“|| It is, I believe, the connecting link between a sea-urchin, a spider, and the devil. It looks venomous but I can't find either fangs or mouth. Is it blind? These things may be eyes but they look as if they were painted. A Japanese sculptor might have produced such an impossible beast, but it is hard to believe that God did. It looks unfinished too. I have a mad idea that this creature is only one of the parts of some larger and more grotesque organism. It looks so lonely, so hopelessly dependent, so cursedly unfinished.||”|
— George Godfrey, "The Maker of Moons"
Small enough to fit into a man's pocket, the numerous Xin Satellites which hide throughout the Cardinal Woods have been described on several different terms: Roy Cardenhe describes them as looking part worm, part spider and part crab, while also empathizing their unsettling appearance and strong acrid smell. George Godfrey called one "a crab", but also linked it to a spider, a sea urchin and "the devil". Both also described them as looking "unfinished", and further linked them to a reptile or even a miniature dragon.
What is known is that the creatures are small, soft and yellow in color, with crab-like legs covered in coarse yellow hair, and have no visible mouth or eyes, although they do have a couple of patches that might be regarded as eyes, but look as if they were painted.
Ysonde describes the Xin Satellites as: "living creatures without mouths, blind, that move when the Xin moves, like a mandarin and his escort". She also claims that if one of the Satellites is injured, the Xin "writhes with agony".
- "The Maker of Moons", by Robert W. Chambers (1896)