Art by, Festerday
Danger Level: Medium
Commonly Infects: Prefers larger prey in isolated areas but will go after smaller creatures if nothing else exists.
Attack Method: The gorgon moves when no one is looking, typically stalking isolated areas. When it gets close to its target, it crushes them either with its body or jaws. Due to the powerful bite force of a gorgon, death is typically instantaneous.
Summary: Gorgons are simple clockworks. They pretend to be a statue, stalk, and kill. They are notable for being some of the longest-lived clockworks, with some being over 1000 years old. No clockwork understands how much it pays to be patient more than the gorgon.
Original Creator: Atomic
The appearance of a gorgon depends directly on its metal content. None to low levels will cause the gorgon's outer skin to harden into a soft stone that frequently cracks under the stress of normal movement. These cracks often "burst with blood," which can hit and infect even if no physical damage is done. On the other end of the spectrum, high content will cause it to be converted into the appearance of a metal sculpture. Unlike the other skin type, these only crack open at joints.
One extreme case of the high end was called the "The Seed." This "statue," which looked like a seed, was collected during the demolition of a forest and displayed in a major city. After numerous reports of missing person cases linked to those going out to vandalize "The Seed," it was concluded that while it appeared utterly smooth and metallic, it would open up and eat vandalizers the second they turned their back on it.
Due to how little gorgons move, they often become covered in moss and other plant life or obtain layers of dust and rust. Every member of this strain invests into padded feet, allowing them to make less noise on their approach towards their victim.
A deadly silent predator, even when ripping its prey limb from limb it does it in a slow and meticulous way. It is quick to cover up the mouths of those screaming for help. This clockwork stands still in the same spot for months on end, waiting for the perfect opening to kill.
If one comes across a gorgon, freeze, and back off while looking directly at it. The second one looks away, the gorgon will go into action and launch itself at its next meal.
It is important to note that they will not stop their charge if their prey is within five feet of them. Many have been killed attempting to take a photo on a gorgon, believing it would not attack if being stared at from such a close spot.
Initially assumed to be intelligent, it has been concluded they are as dumb as most clockworks. They will attack cut-outs of people as aggressively as the real thing, allowing elimination teams to lead them into traps.
Research has also shown that the counterproductive freezing in place while looked at behavior is not entirely for the purpose of sneaking, but was primarily evolved to avoid other clockwork strains. Using dead clockworks as puppets showed that if the clockwork stared at the gorgon, it froze in place, but as soon as the clockwork looked the other way, it would begin to make its hasty escape. As many clockworks are movement-driven, stopping in place is a significant advantage for a stain that cannot risk being eaten, especially due to its low infection rate due to its slow lifestyle.
If a gorgon has recently eaten and catches a second person, it will immobilize them with a sticky infectious fluid from its mouth that hardens into stone. Over the next few months, the person inside will be rewired from the inside out into a gorgon. Gorgons who do well will have groups of statues, all posed just the way it wants it to be, creating a more alluring spot for those nearby. As long as food is plentiful, it will share its meal with its fellow bleeding sculptures.
Euryale: The euryale is notable for the high-pitched wailing it does while hiding. This piercing scream often temporarily deafens its prey, allowing it to sneak behind and attack before it can locate where it's coming from. Like a typical gorgon, if spotted, it will freeze in place.
Stheno: The stheno is a mildly smarter yet more aggressive gorgon. The goo that it spits out is inactive if walked across slowly, but if pressure is pressed on it, for example, from a fleeing person, it liquifies, catching the unlucky soul who fell into it. The stheno's attack on sight method is to ensure its prey activates the gooey traps it has laid out around its hunting grounds.
Sticky liquid: All gorgons create a sticky liquid, the composition of which depends on the clockwork itself. Once prey is hit or entrapped with the slime, it melts off the skin before solidifying into a stony or metallic surface.
• A third subspecies of gorgon that could spit out paralyzing mucus is currently believed to be extinct.
• Gorgons do not consider robots to be able to "look" at them and will immediately give chase. Wearing extremely reflective clothes will confuse the clockwork into attacking an organic in this way.
• The best counter against a gorgon, other than putting fire inside of its mouth, is to wear a mask on the back of one's head. Doing this means no matter what, the gorgon cannot attack from behind.
• It is believed by some that gorgons are far more common than reported to explain missing person cases. Some have even taken hammers to ancient statues in their attempts to prove the conspiracy true. It must be stressed that gorgons do not take over preexisting statues and that attacking landmarks will just result in a hefty fine and destruction of history.
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