The gouranderi /ˈɡʊɹmɑndˈdeɹɪ/ is a large stranger with a rosette head and limbs, and empty, vacuous blue eye markings. Although the gouranderi's skin appears smooth, it is extremely abrasive, and causes rough scrapes on skin or any object that touches its surface. Its inner flesh is muscular and slick, and its claws are hard and dark, composed of a heavy, metallic substance.
While the rest of its mouth appears wholly organic, a tight metal valve in its throat leads directly into its inner cavity, which is lined with a series of concentric, grinding, gear-like pieces of metal, similar to the inside of a meat-grinder. This internal structure remains in motion at all times, audible as a constant ratcheting or grinding sound. This sound is apparent (if muffled) even when the gouranderi's mouth is closed, but becomes far louder when its mouth is open, the valve at the back of its throat dilating to show these rotating, grey-to-coppery components.
When struck or exposed to flame, the gouranderi's body grows splintery and fibrous as a defensive response. This fibrous flesh is difficult to cut or burn, with only prolonged sawing or exposure to fire having any effect. This increase in fibrousness temporarily impedes movement in the gouranderi, but it returns to a normal state within three days.
The gouranderi is soft-spoken despite its size, and capable of speaking only through vowel sounds. Its voice has a tendency towards a higher pitch, but only somewhat so, with most individuals not presenting as strongly differentiated in their vocalizations.
The gouranderi appears in long, narrow corridors and passageways of all kinds, preferring residential locations above all else. It finds itself at home between the repetitive apartments of large complexes, as well as in hotels. Dim lighting, a lack of windows, peeling wallpaper, and ratty, loose carpeting all appear to raise the likelihood of a gouranderi infestation.
The gouranderi's generation is precipitated by a stain upon the ground, greasy and copper-colored, upon which the gouranderi appears. It is small, with only a single gear inside of its chest, and grows longer and wider in a series of wresting turns. With this first lurch, the gear becomes duplicated, with each subsequent jerking of the gouranderi's body causing the device inside it to become more complex.
When formation is complete, the gears begin to turn, shredding the flesh that lies inside this structure. This ground meat then slops outward from the gouranderi's mouth in a series of heaves. Though the gouranderi remains limited in its territory and does not tend to explore, it does move away from this initial area when able, showing some avoidance of its own minced⺺ flesh.
Like a bear-trap
, his memory won't let anything go.
Jealous Fontaine. The Velveteen Killer.
The gouranderi's disposition is bleary, any slight twinkle of self-awareness clouded. Inhibited in its movements, the gouranderi is able to take only short steps back and forth, and rotating with a slow, clumsy turn of the head. It displays only a dim awareness of its surroundings; confused, but not animated in this confusion. It does not leave the corridor in which it appears.
As the gouranderi moves, it reaches its hands out to claw at its surroundings. Though these motions are rather slow, and the gouranderi is not aggressive in its mannerisms, its strength is great enough to leave deep gouge-marks behind.
Despite the gouranderi's fearsome internal anatomy, it does not display any interest in devouring objects around it, and, if anything, appears somewhat discomfited by this constant motion, rubbing its sides or tapping its throat, the gears' constant motion evident beneath its skin.
The gouranderi keeps an exclusive territory, and even when multiple individuals appear within an area, they do not interfere with one another. It does not engage in direct physical interaction, but some communication does appear to take place in the form of finger-tapping against the walls or swaying of the tail from side to side, the latter of which incites a sympathetic reaction even in individuals unable to see such an action.
The gouranderi's head tends to follow any sensitive within its environment, and it does not grow bored of this fixation, but does not move to initiate contact. In spite of this, it behaves as though it wants, more than anything, for a human being to walk into its mouth.
It sways in place from side to side with the open insistence of a creature that wishes to play, but is too tame to make any sound beyond a slight "aahnn, aahnn." Even though the gouranderi is unable to converse with people, it does respond to statements spoken in a questioning intonation with a nod of its head.
Thus, despite its treacherous innards, it is safe to be around barring outside intervention. Even when attacked, it does not use its mouth to retaliate, but instead grabs the legs or arms and attempts to yank its attacker to the ground.
Should a sensitive find themselves inside the gouranderi, they are shredded to a pulp by its many bladed gears. Death tends to be quick, but not instantaneous, with most sensitives surviving twenty to forty seconds of serration. As this occurs, the gouranderi twitches its head in quick jolts from side to side, but predominantly remains still, with the most rapid motion being the unseen twitches of its tongue within its mouth.
Once the sensitive has been shredded in full, the gouranderi becomes ill, its flesh undulating in and out with additional clanking of these gear-rings within it. It lets out a crying sound and lowers its head, regurgitating the now-liquified contents in full. Although it searches for whatever chunks of form it can find, taking specific interest in sludge-drenched facial fragments. This interest dissipates quickly, however, with the gouranderi returning to its normal actions before long, albeit with an overall avoidance of the floor upon which its victim rots and seeps away.
The gouranderi's overall health is linked to the integrity of the gears within it, which suffer natural wear-and-tear over the course of the stranger's life. As the gears inside it grow rusty, so too does rust sweat outwards from around the gouranderi's eyes and mouth. This staining appears to cause no pain to the stranger and can be wiped away, but does nonetheless contribute to a general mottling and corrosion of its markings.
Eventually, the gears within the gouranderi jam, and its grinding ceases. This cessation causes an immediate and violent response in the gouranderi, which collapses to the ground, clawing at its own sides or the surfaces around it. Its small vocalizations give way to choked screams, and it spends the short remainder of its life in this agonized state as its muscles grow soaked with rust and its skin bubbles and warps, in turn. It dies with a final choke, its flesh rotting over the span of a week, and its gears growing oxidized and breaking apart within two. A gouranderi corpse leaves a thick pile of such ferrous dross behind.