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Danger Level: Low
Commonly Infects: Typically infects other clockworks but has no issue spreading to anything it can get its hand on. If well fed it will become dormant and uninfectious.
Attack Method: Chimera's do not attack, instead, they let their host do all of the work and only serve as an extra pair of eyes. If aggressively prodded, and depending on what body part they have taken over, they will try to shake off the annoyance, but yet again will not attack. Chimeras trust their host to know when to strike for it.
Summary: The chimera strain is one that steals from other clockwork types and infects a single body part. This body will transform as necessary into the likeness of the stolen strain, just with a mouth and a few eyes tacked on. As long as the chimera mouth is fed, it will do no more, but if ignored it will take over as much of the body as possible, turning into what appears to be the stolen strain, but is actually an active chimera who will infect anybody it can get with the chimera strain.
Original Creator: Atomic
The appearance of a chimera depends on the strain it has stolen from and the body part it has attached to. For example, a dryad chimera attached to an arm would be covered in bloodwood while a harpy chimera attached to the back would make it quite raw while possibly growing a single useless yet beautiful wing.
The standard characteristics shared by all chimera, regardless of the strain it's copying is that one to ten eyes will be placed in the area, and one mouth will form. While not open, the mouth can be hard to spot. If the chimera is not fed enough or feels immensely threatened it will take over as much as the host's body as possible and mimic the strain it's copying. If one ever wants to check if a clockwork is secretly a chimera a quick look around the body for an extra mouth and eyes in the same general area from the original infection should be a good indicator.
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. If a chimera is not supplied with food, it will become agitated and start sending signals to the brain of the host to consume certain items, such as raw meats, metal beams, pets, and even people around them. The host can ignore these requests with ease in the first stage of the infection.
The limb may also consume metal products but feeding a chimera this is generally regarded as a poor idea as the chimera will integrate the metal permanently. Attempts at removal have been noted to "anger the chimera."
As a chimera limb becomes more frustrated with its host, it will consider them "incompetent." The reason the chimera doesn't advance its takeover is that it assumes the host to be smarter or more powerful than it is, and thus latches on as a parasitic guest. If the chimera is not provided for it will begin to take over the host. It can be halted by feeding it once more, but parts converted to the chimera will never return to normal. The voice of the chimera in the head of the infected will become harder to ignore as the infection progresses.
Some places consider those infected by a chimera as low-risk and allowed to live freely on the planet as long as they get monthly checkups. Should the chimera fully infect 30% or more of the host's body, they are no longer considered in reasonable control of their being and are evicted from the planet. At 30% infection, the host still has a fair amount of power but may eat animals it deems "unimportant" without a second thought at the request of the chimera, such as small mammalian pests.
Once the chimera has reached 70% infection, it will not stop and fully take over the host. The chimera will at that point appear as the strain it is mimicking as, and infect in a fashion expected of that strain. All persons and clockworks affected by it will gain a chimera. While all clockwork infections are undesirable, most will remark that "it's better than they thought they were going to get."
None / Unknown.
Multiple infections: While most clockworks strains fight for dominance in the host until one of them is left, chimeras will tolerate each other in the same body. As such it is possible to be infected multiple times with the strain. In heavily infested clockwork environments chimeras can make a clear identification of a clockwork's type difficult as many chimeras can make a clockwork appear as more of an amalgamation than it is already.
• Upon the death of the host, the chimera will start a takeover of the host's body after a few hours. All hosts must be cremated immediately following death.
• By having a chimera, the host will typically be ignored by all but the most hungry clockworks. Clockworks attempt to avoid eating the parasitic creature. Some famous clockwork hunters had gain aid in their hunts by pairing with a chimera.
No art currently, maybe you can help.