It was my understanding that the Cadou was molded and acted as a maxwell’s demon to give people mold powers without mold problems. This is why Evelyn exists because mother Miranda knows how to make Bioweapons from the mold but was sandbagging it because she didn’t want competition. This would explain the difference in capabilities between the bakers and the lords it’s the difference between a natural disease and a lab developed weaponized derivative. The enemies in the village don’t behave like the molded, they don’t look like the molded, and they don’t seemingly possess the same hive mind provided that the host hasn’t had their intelligence reduced to chimp levels using wolf dna.
Eveline and the Cadou parasite are somewhat the same thing, which is why they both look like a Black God:
The idea was that Miranda discovered a fungal species in a cave and adapted to it, but lost her human nature (her final form during the battle is the true one, according to Takano).
Since her intelligence did not diminish substantially (arguably shaped her to mass pollution), she could consciously control fungal processes, such as quorum sensing, for example. This is a system that allows fungal cells to send and receive signal molecules: pheromones and autoinducers.
The fungus has this system to adapt to different environments, forming mycelium or sclerotium. Molded used this system to bypass "impassable" obstacles, such as doors. They were too dumb to turn the handle, but they could disintegrate into cells and assemble in another place. Dimitrescu's daughters used this system to mimic women. When the temperature dropped sharply, they changed morphology, which was able to live in the cold.
There are polymorphic fungi in nature, such as Candida albicans
, which can change the morphology of cells by reacting to environments. Fungi have two types of morphologies: yeast (unicellular) and hypha (multicellular with exceptions). And some fungi can shape-shift between these morphologies.
Miranda has become a fungus, but a sentient one, so she can shape-shift any form at will. To be more precise, the form that is indexed in the "library", and the genes of plants and animals, including buried people, the fungus usually acquired by decomposing organic matter in the local ecosystem.
When she became something new and found her daughter's consciousness inside the root, she decided to create a "vessel" that would be able to change the morphology of cells. Not just to express some genes differently in order to become an amorphous mass with metal junk, but to have the ability to change the structure of the brain to regenerate Eva's neural map.
But the thing is that many people don't adapt to the fungus. And those that don't die turn into Lycans or other dumb monsters, because the fungus crosses genes in the process of cell replacement. Miranda was a rare case, probably because she is a descendant of one of the local cultists.
And the purpose of creating the Cadou parasite was to create a "device" that could regulate cell replacement so that a human could adapt better the the fungus. This organism produces this species and controls it. Like Eveline.
The only difference between them is the fact that Eveline was created by inserting the genome of a fungus into a human embryo, and the parasite was a nematode instead of a human embryo. Nevertheless, the game hints that Miranda tried to create "Eveline" on her own, since she gave Eva's embryo to The Connections.
But even with the HCF and the organization's assistance, there were many defective generations until Eveline was created. And even Eveline had chromosomal defects, because of which she had an accelerated metabolism.
This is the way Molded appeared: Eveline's mycelium has her genome. This is a different type of fungus.
The lords were able to adapt better than the others because they are descendants of kings who were adapters. The Bakers, Ethan and Clancy have adapted better because Eveline is a conscious version of the Cadou parasite who makes decisions about who will be part of her family.
This is best seen in the DLC: both Clancy and Hoffman were infected and had the same stages through which their fingers could be fused, but in the process Hoffman became a Molded when Marguerite told Clancy that Eveline wanted to see him as an older brother.
The rest either died or became stupid "zombies" with animal features.