There is no question about it. There is no creature more fearsome, hungry, and murderous than the clockwork. These beings of flesh and metal are highly infectious and notoriously hard to kill. Only flames can match the hunger of the clockwork. The element that many feared for its destructive power is now their only savior. Below is a list of strains of clockworks that exist. A list that is unfortunately growing.
Accessories to massacres, abetters of atrocity. The presence of a muse immediately complicates any clockwork outbreak response, as they will appear by all accounts a normal civilian. Beneath their calm exterior, however, muses burn with a zealous desire to see all living things consumed by the clockwork virus. In an outbreak, muses will lead strangers into a clockwork's waiting jaws, poison emergency water supplies with cetus strains, and sabotage the equipment of first respondents.
Cyclops are lumbering giants, moving slow with heavy footfalls through the territory they have laid claim to. Most of them are out in unpopulated areas: ones that try to lay claim to anywhere with a number of people will be a target for immediate removal before it gets any larger. In its territory a cyclops keeps a disparate herd of creatures hypnotized by its eye and following it wherever it might go, and it snaps these up like snacks as it goes, kept satiated. If it finds anything in its territory it can't hypnotize, the creature will be grabbed and put somewhere they can't escape easily from, usually a cave blocked by a rock or a pit with steep sides, left to eat later.
One of the most well known and feared clockworks, harpies are known for their disgusting killing methods, their massive jaws, saggy flesh, beautiful wings, and their nasty attitude. They perch high up and seek out any movement. Harpies are movement based predators, meaning that if a person doesn't move when a harpy is looking for a victim, they will not typically attack. Not moving will not work after the clockwork has already locked on and as such this defense method should only be used if the person can confirm the harpy is not already attempting an attack.
The behavior of a minotaur infection highly varies, depending on the stage and progression of the infected.
In the gestation stage, erratic behavior isn't immediately recognizable at first. Infected individuals will seem to be just fine in the very beginning, if not highly irritable and unwilling to engage in physical contact. While non-violent, victims will shy away from being touched, fearing harm from something as little as a hug or tap on the shoulder, and become increasingly more volatile the more they are subjected to such activities. With the tumor growing inside of them, they become convinced that, even if their species does not reproduce in such a manner or is a part of a sex group unable to reproduce, that the tumor is in fact, their own offspring.
Upon the first few days of being infected, a myrmeke will begin to retreat into whatever home it had before to begin the rest of the infection process. This is a crucial step, as living without a shelter will cause the myrmeke strain to peter out and kill the infected before it could ever fully develop.
Once safely within a shelter, the myrmeke will begin to enter the stage where its rates of infection and clockwork slime production are at its highest, and the shelter that the myrmeke is living in will become slathered in the clockwork's infectious slime for up to weeks on end.
When someone is infected by a nemean strain, the first warning sign is a large growth on the neck. This growth eventually turns into the nemean's "mane", where its defensive glands are located. Then, the nemean seeks out metal, and starts covering the hosts body as their mind begins to be overtaken by thoughts of hunger and impulses to run and hide away from possible attackers as the armor grows. As the protective coating finishes its expansion across the body, eyes begin growing on the host's head and newly-grown tail, and the host bends backwards, their spine now representing where any normal creature's underbelly would be. Once this happens, the process is completed, and the nemean comes out from its hiding place to hunt.
A remarkably straightforward strain of clockwork, the tenebrae is nothing short of a violent aggressive monster that kills all in its path with no regard. Solitary tenebrae are devious, if straightforward, monsters. If caught in the open, they will generally operate in a straightforward fashion, striking a full-tilt towards the nearest uninfected being it can find.
In more ideal circumstances a lone tenebrae will utilize something amounting to predatory cleverness.
The typhon is a killer. It is far more focused on tearing apart and smashing prey than it is in infecting or even personally consuming the bodies of the fallen. A horde of lesser clockworks typically follows in its wake, consuming and converting all the victims of the typhon, growing in size and numbers until eventually these hangers-on, who have already been infected with the dormant typhon strain accumulate sufficient mass to wake the infection and metamorphose into a new typhon. In this manner, a typhon outbreak can rapidly turn a regular clockwork infestation into a full-blown catastrophe.
Typically dormant until activity dies down for the day, sirens are known to lurk dark alleyways, abandoned buildings, and deserted streets. While mostly an urban clockwork, they can be spotted in rural and in the middle of absolutely nowhere in sporadic cases.
The siren call is what sirens do about every 5 to 20 minutes while seeking prey. They yell into the air a phrase such as "Help me!", "Hello?", "Come here!", "AAAAHHHHHH!!!", or a plethora of other common phrases to get the attention of any onlookers.
Should a chimera be well fed, there will be no ill effects. It will remain in an inactive and noninfectious state, and apart from the original infected body part, there will be no more physical effects. To satisfy a chimera, it must be fed a meat product every time the host eats, regardless if it needs to feed or not. The host will have to stick to a strict diet and carry small meat bits to feed their chimera should they decide to snack.
In the dormant stage, a manticore virus will slowly spread to nearby living tissue. The rate of infection is very slow; a manticore can take years to grow centimeters, and growth slows even more as it gets larger. Left untreated for decades, however, the disease will begin its transformation into the active stage. This is extraordinarily rare because a manticore tends to explode before that happens.
The cetus strain is docile compared to other clockworks, but do not be fooled, this strain is just as deadly as many others. Instead of actively hunting its prey the cetus has over productive glands that ooze out far more of the infectious, yet flammable slime that is a crucial trait in clockworks. When a cetus exits a water source to locate a better one, this slime makes them highly vulnerable to all fire-based attacks. A single lit match would set the cetus, and the path it slithered ablaze and is the recommended way to dispose of them. The cetus can afford this major weakness due to its habitat.
Dryads are skittish clockworks and avoid most organic creatures, a trait rare to see in the typically all-consuming clockwork. When small they latch on to a safe spot, attempting to blend in and only moving when trouble arises. If anything kills them all land they have infected will continue to grow but at a slower pace until another dryad is created. This can take months to years to happen. Typically authorities will spot the infected land and burn it before another dryad can be made.