The kladendrone /ˈkleɪdəndrəʊn/ is a stranger which appears to wear a mask. This mask, though seemingly worn over its head, is fixed to its skin, with the edges extending in finger-width folds. The mask seems to be made of a rubber-cloth substance, and the kladendrone's claws and teeth composed of a harder form of this material. Its flesh and other tissues, save for a creamy, gel-like substance present throughout its interior cavities, are firm, red and possess no other qualities of note. The gel, which resembles shaving foam in weight and texture, scintillates in bright light, and is cool to the touch. The kladendrone's skin and muscle tissue can regenerate from most injuries within an hour.
The kladendrone's voice is high-pitched and shuddering, and is not capable of anything similar to language.
The kladendrone appears in any structure which consists of rows of small rooms without adornment. Garages (particularly those for motorcycles), empty storage unit facilities, certain hotels, or stables, among others places, can all be likely sites for a kladendrone infestation.
It always generates continually in the same spot, with populations being replenished (sometimes to abundance).
The kladendrone seems impatient in demeanor. Not given to spontaneous travel, groups of kladendrone remain within the area in which they generate. Congregating in a singular mass, all appear to look forward and upward at a point, their heads bobbing and jerking to get the best view, and their voices overlapping, but not raucous. They vie to look over their neighbors, pushing with their shoulders at times, but not doing so rudely. Kladendrone at the center of the group seem to grow bored and leave after giving a derisive shake of the head, and meander at the edges before returning to press inside the congregation.
A lone individual, deprived of its ideal environment, wanders without direction. Its demeanor grows somewhat listless and prone to boredom, and during periods of idleness, it rolls rocks between its hands or uses its hind claws to clean its teeth.
Due to their persistently generating nature, excess kladendrone are pushed out of the group, protesting with a gasping trill. Because larger individuals have an advantage in strong-arming their strain-mates, groups become filled with larger kladendrone over time.
A lone kladendrone always attacks and kills another lone kladendrone that it encounters. Because of its weak strength, these fights are prolonged (sometimes lasting many days), as each stranger claws at the other's hood or bites at the limbs; most individuals also display ineffectual attempts at strangulation. The larger individual almost always overpowers the smaller. As soon as a third individual joins the pair, however, all fighting ceases, and the group remains together.
When a kladendrone finds a new fixed group, it does its best to make its way into the center. Kladendrone seem somewhat rougher towards individuals generated in a different group, but never cause outright injury.
Once ten lone individuals have banded together, they stop moving and begin vying once more for a center point.
A kladendrone in a fixed group ignores a sensitive completely.
Lone kladendrone or wandering groups display an alert curiosity, and approach any sensitive they meet. A kladendrone always attempts to look at whatever a sensitive seems to be looking at, and pushes at the sensitive or nudges them out of the way. Even when the sensitive moves, as soon as their gaze remains at rest for more than several seconds at a time, the kladendrone follows. As such, rapid eye movement allows evasion, as the now-disinterested kladendrone wanders off once more.
If attacked, the kladendrone does not fight back, and grows more subdued by continued onslaught. Because its flesh resists much physical assault, it can take a while to be killed. Whenever other wandering kladendrone witness another of their strain being killed by a sensitive, they always retreat surreptitiously.
After the kladendrone have been generated from a point for more than 91 days, the point becomes exsanguinated, and all individuals within a group die. The kladendrone's corpse shrivels up, the skin and mask wrinkling as the inner foam dissolves, taking the muscle tissue with it.
Loners are allowed to live out their natural lifespan, becoming listless and finding a secluded place to die.
Wandering kladendrone deface the corpses of their companions, their actions procedural.𐋍
𐋍 First it circles the eye marking with the middle digit of its left hand, then it opens the mouth if to inspect the teeth, then it gouges a line across the jaw from right to left, then it yanks the left arm and twists it behind the spine, then it opens up the belly with its teeth, then it pounds its fist against the space between the eyes, then it abandons the body altogether.