A Sourtrout begins its life as an almost natural looking pisciform, albeit with a five-fingered hominoid hand in place of a tail fin. Over the course of a few weeks the creature grows in length, sinuous and eel like, and already begins to show the patterns of decay associated with related monsters. Soon a pair of copepod parasites emerge from within its cranium, it beaches itself where convenient and it appears to expire, most of its body rotting away at a highly accelerated rate. Within only a day, the monster is devoid of almost all external tissues from its gills down, but it has only then reached what can be considered maturation. Its parasites, anchored deeply in its ossified brain, take over as the true seats of its consciousness, and doubly function as a pair of highly sensitive new eyes.
The mature Sourtrout's hollow skeleton is packed with powerful sinews, and can attain an impressive land speed employing its former ribs as locomotive appendages as well as spearing weapons, while the bony hand on its terminal end is strong enough to keep it grounded should the need arise to engage prey with its entire length. Its original jaws retain a bite powerful enough to snap through bone, but it feeds only on fluids drawn through its needle-like gill rakers.
The Sourtrout does not possess enough organs to produce a miasma as impressive as that of the related Junjo, but any bite or scratch from its bones and teeth delivers a paralyzing toxin derived from its heavy bacterial load, and the smaller, more concentrated puff of gas it can belch from its cranial cavities can make even a Festerupt woozy.
If a Sourtrout finds itself in a losing battle, it can shed any segment of its skeleton or even retract its precious parasites and discard its entire head, to be regenerated later. If severed in this fashion, the tissues of the head will swell dramatically and finally rupture in an explosion of volatile gas.
A Sourtrout is a confident, high-spirited and inquisitive monster that thrills in the act of hunting, a skill it continuously hones with its irresistible drive to toy with small, moving targets. When excited, it pumps air through pores in its skeleton to produce a haunting, reedy laughter.
A Sourtrout nearly always extrudes its parasites from what was the left side of its head, and recognizes this surface as its "face." The rare instance of a "right faced" Sourtrout is somehow not recognized by others of its kind as the same species, or vice versa, both regarding the other as unsettling.
The combat capabilities of the Sourtrout are obvious, and they are iconic to those who do battle in or around Mortasheen's great Garbage Sea. Off the battlefield their fast reflexes, keen senses and predatory drives make them particularly adept at controlling populations of such minute, fast-moving pests as rats, crows and elephants.
TETRODOTOXIC SKEWERS: the Sourtrout employs its jointed ribs both as legs and powerful spearing weapons, which deliver a paralyzing chemical.
HEAD CRUNCH:: the jaws atop the monster's head are particularly strong.
FISH BREATH:: the Sourtrout can belch a smaller, more concentrated cloud of the bacterial gas employed by the related Junjo.
SEAFOOD GRENADE: the monster's head can drop off and explode, scattering a noxious cloud of flammable, putrid gas.
Contents copyright Jonathan Wojcik