Casium (working title)
Gorgons are large snake-like creatures with arm-like limbs and golden eyes that lack pupils and irises. They have blue-green scales—being more blue on top and green on bottom—and span a length of about eight to fifteen feet and a width of about one-half to one foot depending on age. Their heads look like something like a cross between a human’s head and a snake’s head: It has snake-like nostrils, brow and ears; and a humanoid looking mouth and jaw. Despite the humanoid looking jaw, it still can unhinge itself like a snake so that the gorgon can swallow creatures whole. The inside of its mouth is akin to that of a snake’s, two large fangs drip with venom and diminutive rows of serrated teeth line tops and bottoms of the mouth to aid in moving its prey down its throat. The gorgon has a snake-like forked tongue that serves the same function as a regular snake’s tongue.
The gorgon’s arms are small in relation to it’s body—only about a foot long including the hand at smaller sizes, and going up to two feet long with the hand at larger sizes—giving them a minimal range of movement. The ends of the arms are capped with small, hand-like apparatuses with only two, thin fingers and an opposing thumb that appears similar to a bird’s talons. This gives the gorgon the ability to grab hold of other creatures and surfaces, even objects such as weapons (though a gorgon generally does not have the motor skills to use a weapon beyond awkwardly throwing it). Their arms are usually at their sides in a way that prevents them from getting the way of the gorgon’s slithering-like movement.
The gorgon’s eyes allow for thermal vision at night and in darkness, as well as being able to see shadows and movement in bright light. The gorgon prefers to hunt and function at night because of this. Gorgons also have a superior sense of smell and taste to most creatures, even when compared to normal snakes; this helps them detect opponents and prey that they cannot see.
Gorgon’s venom is injected when is bites and causes the flesh around the wound to decay and rot away, inflicting incredible pain that feels akin to the pain inflicted by searing one’s flesh off with molten rock. The venom takes mere moments to take begin taking effect and takes only a few days to completely rot away the flesh of the creature. For the gorgon, the flesh rotting from the venom aids in its digestion after being eaten.
Gorgons can also, at an average of about once per day, unleash a magic-like breath ability that turns all victims within the effect into stone. The gas breathed out is a yellow-green in color and smells like sulfur mixed with rotting meat. The victim(s) needs only to hold their breath and close their eyes for the duration of the gases’ effect, which tends to dissipate to safe levels after about a minute. The gas cloud is strongest and most concentrated within its first seconds and spreads in a cone-like cloud from the gorgon’s mouth, spreading out more and more as the gas lingers in the air until it dissipates completely. Gorgons tend to only use the ability as a last resort since any victims turned to stone are completely inedible to anything aside from creatures that actually eat stone, such as basalisks .
The Zeli, their owners and masters, are immune to the effects of the gorgon’s petrification breath and venom. A gorgon can easily tell the difference between a Zeli and another creature due to their unique smell and temperature patterns.
Gorgons have the same average intelligence as any standard animal, probably akin to that of a dog. They may be trained to do tricks or specific tasks by their masters, if so desired.