2017-04-01: A Fowl Fiendish Plot

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  • A Fowl Fiendish Plot!
  • Cast: Yarobeleedt, Gamma, Zed
  • Where: Adlehyde
  • Date: April 1, 2017
  • Summary: The Metal Demons hanging around Adlehyde try to deal with the cucco invasion. This is a mistake.


DG: A party led by Gamma is now entering Cucco Invasion.
DG: Party formation is now over. An Entry Challenge will now be drawn and displayed to the party.
================<* CHALLENGE - One Flew Over the Cucco's Nest *>================
|Type: Entry       |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 1          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 A screech tears through the air, first. You can't see the offender, but you
 can see what is coming. The skies are filled with fat-bodied, fluffy white
 feathered harbingers of doom. Cuccos come in a great swarm -- and as the
 panic begins, they come sweeping down from the heavens, dive bombing the
 truly unfortunate!
=Dungeon Conditions: Bad Luck, Tire===========================================
<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

'Do not draw undue attention to yourself.' These words from up on high were law, among the horrors that are the Metal Demons. Even someone like Yarobeleedt could understand the weight of that - and yet, he knows his own job. Let's cut him slack for about one or two paragraphs' worth of time here, he's doing it convincingly enough.

Dressed in a large enough robe and moving slowly to maintain the scant possibility that he'll fake human legs among a crowd, he tours the exhibits of Adlehyde. All the macabre body parts on display, all the blood, all the implements of bloodshed and terror, as the very tinier humans seem to regard all this nonchalantly.

The advance scout of the Metal Demon hordes soon comes to grips with the grim reality that he may be surrounded by some genetic offshoot of humans who are deadliest in their larval forms, and the cover of this obligatory I Am An Evil Person Hiding robe almost convincingly hides the fearful shivering underneath.

There is clucking from above.

Then, there is fleeing robed figure who sometimes looks more like he's crawling rather than running...?

The shrieking, though, that's familiar to anyone who's been around it before. The sure-fire sign that the advance scout has come across someone - or something - of grave peril indeed.

Like his reflection, sometimes, according to the wise deductions of Berserk.

It's the fastest he appears to have ever 'run' from his reflection.

...

...

...

Oh, (censored)


DG: Yarobeleedt has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward its party's challenge, One Flew Over the Cucco's Nest.
<Pose Tracker> Gamma has posed.

Gamma, on the other hand, hasn't gone into Adlehyde yet.

She's managed to avoid suspicion on meeting some people by pretending to be a beastwoman of some sort (which she doesn't really like, but there it is); the Lunarians don't know better and she's mastered, more or less, the art of lying to actual Filgaians. She's not a very good liar, though, so she's tried not to test it.

But in a big city, she's going to stand out no matter what. And so she hasn't; she's skulked around the outside of Adlehyde's walls, camping in the nearby forest and keeping track of people going in and out. It's still useful information, even if she doesn't get it from inside the city.

Today, though. Today, something is happening!

Gamma is attracted by the constant flow of something flying in the sky. She's gotten within eyesight of the main gate, though she's kneeling in a set of bushes so her lower body is more or less hidden. This does nothing for the blue, of course. She's got a pair of binoculars out, and she spots a particularly familiar person escaping the town, followed by...

...

"What are THOSE?" Gamma doesn't know what a cucco is. She doesn't know what a chicken is either. She starts to run, but towards the disturbance, not away from it, because Gamma doesn't know any better.

Poor Gamma.

DG: Gamma has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, One Flew Over the Cucco's Nest.
<Pose Tracker> Zed has posed.

There are few things in this world that can truly give Zed pause. Block puzzles. Passwords. Crosswords. Wordsearches.

...Okay, maybe there are more than a few things in this world that can give Zed pause, but there are only a handful that are ALSO things that he can stab with a sword. The venn diagram does not overlap all too much. But apparently, apparently, he has now encountered something that belongs, firmly, on that list.

For, while some run away from the disaster facing Adlehyde... One man runs towards it.

"DO NOT FLEE, FRIEND!" Zed roars as he darts RIGHT BY the MYSTERIOUS CLOAKED FIGURE. Who... Might end up tangled up in the long, flowing scarf trailing from his neck. "Do you see? Do you see what we face!?" Zed grins at the tremendous cloud of foul, wrathful hyperviolence rolling slowly but surely over the city. "This... Is our chance! AT MAKING HISTORY!"

"CHAAAAAAAAAARGE!"

DG: Zed has used his Tool Grapple Scarf toward his party's challenge, One Flew Over the Cucco's Nest.
DG: The party led by Gamma has passed this challenge! The party gained 7 exploration! If anyone needs to use party management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
DG: Zed has drawn a new Challenge.
=======================<* CHALLENGE - Hatches a Trap *>=======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 1          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 Cuccos may have black, seemingly vacant eyes... but the knowing farmer from
 Aquvy has seen what lay behind those eyes: sheer cunning. Dozens of cuccos
 have descended upon one of the grain silos at the edge of town -- and
 knocked it over. Now, with perfectly timed movements of their talons, they
 run as one -- and create a terrifying grain silo roller, which is rampaging
 down the street!
=Dungeon Conditions: Injure===================================================
<Pose Tracker> Gamma has posed.

THERE ARE SO MANY CUCCOOS.

"Ow. Ow. Ow!" Gamma ran directly at the problem and as a result is now part of it; there's about ten cuccoos that are trying to grab her demon-horsehair tail and pull it out for probable nesting material, or just because cuccoos are assholes, take your pick; several more are sitting on her back, and one is apparently roosting on her head. "WHAT DEMON MONSTERS ARE THESE!" she roars, caught in the cluster.

On the other hand, Zed has successfully dramatically posed his way out of it (except for one cuccoo, beak clamped on the end of his scarf, which is flapping around wildly with said scarf) and Yarobeleedt has made a pretty good start at running away.

Too bad that's not the end of this (un)natural disaster...

<Pose Tracker> Zed has posed.

Adlehyde has never seen a calamity such as this. The sun shines behind a cloud of furious, fluttering doom. But it is not simply primal wrath that lurks behind the beady, spiteful eyes of the Cuccoo. No. There is a certain cleverness there, too. A vile intelligence which seeks to reap terrible vengeance upon all those who dare to transgress upon the sacred pact between man and bird. All who violate the ancient compact are condemned to death.

This is the law of the world.

But nobody seems to have told Zed that.

"ISN'T IT OBVIOUS, GAMMA!?" Zed yells through a faceful of soft, downy bird. "This... This is the wrath of Filgaia manifest! This is a mere shadow of the true challenge ahead of all of us! Look! They attack all alike, regardless of culture, of people, of creed! TODAY, WE STAND AS ONE! AGAINST THE SKYYYYY!"

Meanwhile, not far away, that evil, avian intelligence is put to work. Somehow, inexplicably, the birds have knocked over a grain silo. Perhaps a more innocent mind might be deceived into thinking that it was just to get at the delicious seed inside. But the cuccoo... There is nothing innocent in the cuccoo. Only darkness. Only hate. As Zed speaks, the ground begins to rumble. To the north, a small army of cuccoos have mounted the not-quite-hollow cylinder of the fallen silo, and have now... Begun to roll it southward.

They are right in its path.

"Look! They have turned the works of man to their own advantage! We have much to learn from these creatures, Gamma! COME!" Zed brandishes his dark blade. Doom Bringer thirsts for chicken blood. "LET US MEET THEM! HEAAAAD OOOOONNN!"

Zed charges at the silo.

He leaps, looking to mount it himself... AND TO CUT IT IN HALF!?

DG: Zed has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Hatches a Trap.
<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

"NoooOoooOooooOoOOOOOO!!" Screams Yarobeleedt as he is caught up in the mighty scarf of the darkest hero of the Metal Demons. "I will never be manufactured history!! I don't want to be history!! Yarobeleedt is now and not yesterday!"

This was probably clever wordplay in the Japanese original. We are not playing the Japanese original. Still being dragged, lying flat on his sad little yellow-bellied back, Yaro flails noodly arms barely contained by sleeves into the air.

"Everywhere! The ^Flying Menaces^ are here." Yarobeleedt is now in the sad position of having to pontificate the problem, but that is his job. He's doing well now that there's a cuccoo flopping in front of his face, also a victim of Zed's scarf.

Zed's answer is to run forth screaming, hoping to cut it in twain.

"WHAT IS ^Silly Greenhead^ DOING," screeches the slug of a scout as he finds himself attempting to seize up all over Zed, like some kind of damsel in distress.

It stands to be mighty inconvenient.

DG: Yarobeleedt has used its Tool Clutch Harness toward its party's challenge, Hatches a Trap.
<Pose Tracker> Gamma has posed.

"THEY ARE PULLING MY HAIR!" The cuccoos appear to have figured out that a fair number of them can use Gamma's back as a perch, with a couple clinging onto the exposed bits of armour; the ones going after her tail have not actually stopped, and the one on her head has just laid an egg, which she splattered on her face when she pulled that one off her head.

Gamma is not amused.

This also means she's running to try to get them off. Gamma can run fast when she goes flat-out, and though she's not hitting her maximum speed she's still putting some horses to shame; she rushes in one direction, plants her front feet and kicks out, dislodging a couple from her back and flanks, then whirls, rising onto her back legs before stomping down and splattering another...

No, actually that one wasn't an egg, because panicked birds are dirty birds. Gross.

"I don't want to learn from them!" she whines, trying to scrape bird poop off her hooves. This puts Gamma in a surprisingly good position to see the rolling grain silo, which causes her eyes (well, one of them; the other one is under egg yolk) to widen. "Incoming!" she warns instead, before running directly at the problem. Again.

But this time, she does something different. As Zed tries to cut it, she tries to vault it, using her speed and leaping power to bound up and ontop of it and then over. It might work, if she wasn't built like a horse, and thus with hooves instead of feet that are useful for standing on curved things like a rolling silo. As is, it's risky. But it might work out. Maybe?

DG: Gamma has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Hatches a Trap.
DG: The party led by Gamma has passed this challenge! The party gained 17 exploration! If anyone needs to use party management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
DG: Yarobeleedt has drawn a new Challenge.
=========================<* CHALLENGE - Party Fowl *>=========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 1          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 A swarm of cuccos, perhaps hundreds of them, aren't far behind you. They
 descend suddenly, then run, like a great wall of charging white feathers.
 Fortunately, you see a door ahead -- and when you bolt through it, you find
 yourself in a party hall that was abandoned. Long tables, still piled with
 beer and food, can be seen. So can chairs and other odds and ends. If you
 move fast, you can construct a barrier and hold the mass of cuccos at bay!
=Dungeon Conditions: Weaken===================================================
<Pose Tracker> Zed has posed.

"I AM MAKING HISTORYYYYYY!" Zed roars as he zeniths his jump right up onto the cuckoo cylinder. Doom Bringer's blade carves right into the outside wall of the old granary, carving a thin line into it-- which then results in the whole thing falling in two pieces! Unfortunately one of those two pieces... still ends up rolling right into Gamma mid-jump. Which knocks her to the ground, which then results in her getting run over. Ouch.

Yarobeleedt is fine though, by sole virtue of still being tangled up in Zed's scarf, which seems to have now attracted a second cuccoo. "AHAHAHAHA! THIS IS THE BEST!"

<Pose Tracker> Zed has posed.

The second silo-half runs right into a conveniently placed slope, jumps into the air, gets some MAD HANGTIME, and then... Lands on the other side of Adlehyde's walls, crushing another cuccoo.

...Which results in even more cuccoos.

How terrible.

<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

Our terrible trio makes their way into an abandoned hallway, somehow, and Yarobeleedt frees himself of scarf and two cuccoos with the flick of his tail end, zipping underneath a table.

It's dark in here. This party hall had people in it no more than two minutes ago. The dust has not even settled. Everything has been left behind. Tables, furniture, decorative armor sets, Yarobeleedt's remaining dignity, etc.

"Close it! Close it! Close it!" He screeches. "Work like ^Metal Beast^ and close it!" He doesn't seem to do much to help move anything towards the (currently) closed door, but they can all hear the horde from beyond. They need to barricade this, and now.

"From sky, they cry! First one loud bird, then many!! Many!!! Yarobeleedt had heard one on ground cry when tiny human attack them... and then...!"

Does this mean this is a new human weapon of the era, perhaps?!

DG: Yarobeleedt has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward its party's challenge, Party Fowl.
<Pose Tracker> Gamma has posed.

At least Gamma is built Ford tough.

She rises from the wrecked silo, looking dazed more than dead; she flails around wildly for a few moments before her eyes focus again. On the plus side, that convinced most of the cuccos to get off her to avoid being run over, so she's actually clear for the moment.

Wiping her eyes free of the yolk, Gamma trots off after the other Metal Demons. "Wait for me!" she demands, barely squeezing in the door before Yarobeleedt closes it and making sure Zed is also inside. Then she looks at the door. She looks at the ceiling; it's a two-story building, she thinks. Then she looks at the door again.

"Stand back," she suggests, before pointing her spear up at the ceiling. She squeezes it, and the spearhead flies off, embedding itself in a rafter - before exploding, showering the area in front of the door with timbers and rubble! Sure, it makes the entire upstairs dangerous to enter, but who cares? They're not upstairs.

Once there's sufficient detritus in front of the door, she braces it, pressing her entire side against it with all her strength. "Give me those!" she calls, holding her hands out to catch chairs, tables, and others tosses to her, wedging them in against the fallen timbers at weird, hard-to-move angles.

She pretends not to hear the 'Metal Beast'. For now. Though given her cheeks are more purple than blue...

DG: Gamma has used her Tool Demolition Shell toward her party's challenge, Party Fowl.
<Pose Tracker> Zed has posed.

Rest in peace, Zed's double cuccoo scarf friends. Requiescat in Pace.

"What? Why would we want to close the door?" Zed asks, looking more puzzled than afraid. There is so much to fight! So much to do! Why would he ever-- oh, no. He knows what this is now. This is the exposition time. OK! That's a little bit better; all of these sorts of things need to have some kind of exposition to them, or else they're all stabbing face and no plot, and nobody buys a game just for the violence! The ESRB would never approve!

"But where did they come from? They are birds! They live in trees, sometimes in bushes, sometimes inside clocks. Wherefrom did they come in such great numbers? Unless... UNLESS this is... THE WORK OF A GUARDIAN!?" Zed shakes his fist as he hurls a table Gamma-wards.

"Yes. The Poultry Guardian... Perhaps the tiny human you heard summoned it!? How fiendish! Humans are truly amazing!" But then, the birds were indiscriminate in their assault. Could it be... That there are Guardians hostile to humanity as well? "Well! Regardless! We will overcome this threat, one way or another! Ahahahahaha!"

DG: Zed has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Party Fowl.
DG: The party led by Gamma has failed this challenge! The party gained 2 exploration! If anyone needs to use party management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
DG: Gamma has drawn a new Challenge.
======================<* CHALLENGE - ...Through a Goose *>======================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Agility   |Challenge Rating: 3          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 There is an unfortunate side effect of a flock of tens of thousands of
 enraged fowl taking to the skies. Not only do they scratch and peck, not
 only do they dive bomb the unexpecting, and not only do they possess a
 cunning far beyond any normal chicken, they have to do what every bird every
 does.

 When you gotta go, you gotta go.

 A rain of stinky white... stuff... comes pelting down from above, in the
 sort of carpet-bombing campaign that has not been seen since the ancient
 era. While less explosive, it is far, far stinkier.
=Dungeon Conditions: Madness==================================================
<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

Gamma takes point, putting her large mass and comparable strength up against the one thing that stands between them and an angry mass of birds looking to knock down the house to destroy the little metal pigs inside.

Thump.

Yaro's nasty eyes narrow.

THUMP.

"P-Poultry Guardian?!" Zed's theories spark a new boogeyman to check under the regeneration pod for at night.

T H U M P

Yarobeleedt, in a panic, runs up and tries to shove Gamma further against it. The hinges crack, the wood buckles...

...

To make a long story short, this entire hallway goes from 'zero' to 'cuccoo' with the snap of a finger, and the whole flood of the fiesty fowl will see them pushed out like they were caught in the middle of a liquid flood.

To think, the three of them could be bonding together over what could one day be considered a true war story between the Metal Demons and hum---

(Pffft, hahahahaha, oh, I can't go on there... sorry, sorry)

<Pose Tracker> Gamma has posed.

Gamma is actually pretty good at bracing things! "Don't be silly," she says, "there's no Guardian of Poultry, or we would have heard of it. Ha ha! No, it's just... just... I don't know. Birds?" She's pretty sure there might be a Guardian of Birds though, which is worrying in and of itself.

Unfortunately the door is not up to being braced like that, and - though Gamma didn't notice it at first - she managed to smack the hinges when she dropped part of the ceiling against it. Which means when she gets pushed into it...

"agphk"

This is because Gamma is currently drowning in cucco. The swarm of them pushes them backwards, toward the back exit to the party hall, which has an additional hazard. This hazard is... well...

Gamma has already experienced this once today, when she stepped in it. She was not dive-bombed by angry cuccoos attempting to reduce their weight in a hurry. "I DON'T LIKE IT!" she yelps, as she's pushed into the falling rain of white. She holds up part of the door as if it would protect her, like a shield.

It doesn't work very well. She's a lot bigger than it is. But she's trying.

DG: Gamma has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward her party's challenge, ...Through a Goose.
<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

Yarobeleedt is nowhere to be seen in this new development. With luck, he has been removed from the mortal coil and everyone involved can assume that one good thing has happened from all of this.

In reality, he's just hiding underneath Gamma and making it her problem as... things... splash on the ground around him, little bits of white and green finding their way on his standard issue identity-hiding robe.

"Mother," he whimpers.

DG: Yarobeleedt has contributed a Agility Basic Action toward its party's challenge, ...Through a Goose.
<Pose Tracker> Zed has posed.

Zed is carried on a tidal wave of bird. A veritable tsunami of white, fluffy flotsam. "This... This can't be...!" Zed gawps as he's hauled out into the open air, right in the firing line of... Of...!

Of the single most vile form of artillery ever conceived.

To which Zed says... What goes around comes around. Or rather...!

"POULTRY SHIIIIIELD!"

Yeah, that sure is a bundle of birds wrapped up in a scarf that he's using as cover.

DG: Zed has used his Tool Grapple Scarf toward his party's challenge, ...Through a Goose.
DG: The party led by Gamma has passed this challenge! The party gained 20 exploration! If anyone needs to use party management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
<Pose Tracker> Gamma has posed.

As it turns out, Gamma makes an acceptable shield for Yar, though that doesn't do anything for her. She's pretty well splattered. She will want a bath and a change of armour later, and her shield is worse than useless; she ends up throwing it away as the group lurches into another building, out of the direct... line of fire.

Also, good news for Zed: the cuccoos don't seem to think that's an attack and start swarming him. Operation: Poultry Shield is a success. More or less, anyway. There's no perfect defense against this wave of white.

"This is gross," Gamma whines, wishing she could take her armour off right now. But she can't! There are still cuccoos, and cuccoos are, as we have learned, a threat to life and limb. "If this is what Adlehyde is like, I don't even want it!"

DG: Zed has drawn a new Challenge.
=========================<* CHALLENGE - Cluck Off *>==========================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Brute     |Challenge Rating: 2          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 You bolt around the corner, to find yourself face to facade with the Grand
 Opera House of Adlehyde. The doors come open, and cuccos pour out. Each is
 dressed in all of other peoples' finery: powdered wigs, opera glasses, fancy
 dresses, suits, and fanciful outfits used on stage. One cucco trots forward,
 then points a feathery wing at you.

 "Buc-buc-BUCKAAAAWW!"

 The others do the same, making various gang sign-like motions with their
 wings. These cuccos are issuing you notice. You just got served, and the
 only answer is a cucco singing contest. Of course, they aren't particular
 about their music: loud belting, percussive instruments, and using
 explosions to accompany your symphony will be acceptable.

 And if not, they will fight you.
=Dungeon Conditions: Tire=====================================================
<Pose Tracker> Zed has posed.

Well.

That sure is a thing.

Zed stares down an avian thespian. A bewigged buck-buck-buckaw with a bone to pick with anything even vaguely hominid. Zed stands before a collection of jeering cluckers, the subject of ridicule, the target of a vastly lopsided challenge. But.

But...!

"Gamma," Zed says, cracking his knuckles. "Provide explosion, please. I have... A bird to show up."

Zed steps forward.

And immediately begins throwing gangsigns.

Oh.

Oh no, he's starting to break-dance.

"Yo yo yo, my name is Zed. Z-E-D, the best that'll ever be. Back in the Photosphere was I born and raised, shoved into a locker for most of my days. But now I'm back, y'all. Now I'm back! Ain't nothing gonna bring me down, ain't no bird gonna break my back! Now prep the deep frier 'cause y'all look like you'd make a tasty snack!"

oh noooooo

DG: Zed has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward his party's challenge, Cluck Off.
<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

With thanks to his impromptu Gamma-brella, Yarobeleedt comes out of that mess... not as much of a mess.

"Fufufufu! Wonderful umbrella, quick thinker! Not bad, not bad." Is he praising or taunting Gamma, as he slithers and springs onto greener, less white pastures while the lot of them come up to...

...what it says on the card.

"Whaaaaaaat? I do not understand!" Yarobeleedt is known to be proficient in the vocal instrument of 'Being A Screechy Earsore' as he backs away from the rapping Zed and the challenge to his cred. Maybe Gamma could stomp on his back a few times to really get him rolling, or something.

No one would begrudge her.

DG: Yarobeleedt has contributed a Brute Basic Action toward its party's challenge, Cluck Off.
<Pose Tracker> Gamma has posed.

Gamma looks up from trying to scrape at least some of the mess off at Zed.

"Um," she says, when she's requested to provide an explosion. Well, she can do that all right. Brandishing her spear, she points it toward the sky, trying to find a good time to fire it off and provide some aerial fireworks -

She jumps the gun, firing it a little early. There is a rather loud explosion some seconds later as the spearhead stops going up; fortunately, it is high enough that no cuccos were harmed during the making of this action, and thus she isn't about to die a horrible, henpecked death.

Gamma doesn't sing, as it turns out. Fortunately, neither can Zed, so she doesn't feel particularly out of it. But she can keep rhythm with a foot-tap. That's helping, Zed, right? Right? (And if she steps on Yar's tail that's his own fault; she's not aiming at it.)

DG: Gamma has used her Tool Demolition Shell toward her party's challenge, Cluck Off.
DG: The party led by Gamma has failed this challenge! The party gained 4 exploration! If anyone needs to use party management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
DG: Yarobeleedt has drawn a new Challenge.
=====================<* CHALLENGE - Kislev Fried Cucco *>=====================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 1          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 Not even Gentleman's Aisle has been spared the rampage of the cuccos. A
 Black Tie that is sure to get an earful from Kent Hauch has lost his
 flamethrower -- because now this cucco is carrying it in its beak, and
 shooting gouts of flame out... to ward off the customers who were eating at
 a fried chicken stand. "BUCKAWW!!" it screams, in its terrible, terrible
 rage. But, its blasts of fire will also decimate the cart next to it, if
 action isn't taken -- and that will threaten the most important commodity of
 all: kegs of beer!
=Dungeon Conditions: Treasure=================================================
<Pose Tracker> Zed has posed.

Whether it's because they're daunted by Zed's SICK BEETZ or intimidated by the gyrating movements of three members of a culture whose only real idea of 'dance' is 'that extremely discomforting thing humans do' which is a category that is also shared by such things as 'cooing at babies' and 'postmodern art,' the cuccoos are... Suddenly extremely offended.

This manifests not in the form of yet another sick burn, but instead... By yet another horrible rise of the feathery tide. Zed squawks like an offended bird as he's bulldozed by a cuccoo in a cocktail dress and carried off to...

...Somewhere else.

Probably to yet more cuccoos.

<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

Taking careful detours (read: bullied) a ways into the seedier parts of the town to catch up with Zed, our not-heroes have found sanctuary in Gentleman's Aisle. This is a bad place for some of them to be seen, but pretty much no one would be paying attention to finer details like 'metal centaur' here. Why? Let's give a hint.

Something to do about a loud 'BUCKAWW' over by a fried chicken stand, another something to do about a steady stream of fire coming out of its back - its back?! It... it has a flame-thrower ARM on its back. How is it even operating it? It doesn't have fingers!

Maybe this one... has the potential to unlock yet more forbidden powers.

Where there was a Yarobeleedt before, there is now a thin metallic cocoon that rests up against a cart full of kegs of beer, which is 100% a safe place to hide next to when there's open flame being belched everywhere by one angry chicken.

DG: Yarobeleedt has used its Tool Sheet Cocoon toward its party's challenge, Kislev Fried Cucco.
<Pose Tracker> Gamma has posed.

"Whoa!"

Gamma doesn't really know what the difference between a chicken and a cucco is (answer: rage) and so she assumes that there's a perfectly good reason for the cucco to be... defending... a fried chicken -

Actually, you know what? She doesn't want to think about that anymore. It doesn't make sense and it's kind of disturbing when she works it through.

Ignoring the chicken for a moment, Gamma darts past it, very deliberately ignoring Yarobeleedt this time as she charges toward the beer cart. She has decided she wants it before it gets lit on fire, so they can get at least one thing out of this horrible no good very bad day.

Gamma checks to make sure that the cart has no horse to pull it right now and simply shrugs into the harness. It fits, more or less; she straps it over her lower body and then starts to pull it away, not hampered very much by the weight. If Yar's cocoon is stuck to it, he might be going for a ride. As she goes, she splits the spear; the spearhead breaks apart into two prongs, and she fires a pair of rifle shots with an electric crackle backwards.

Not at the cucco, not quite. She's actually aiming at the flamethrower tank. Only around here does she realize... "Zed?" she asks, having lost track of him in the scuffle. Surely he'll show up again soon!

DG: Gamma has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Kislev Fried Cucco.
<Pose Tracker> Zed has posed.

Surely, he'll show up again.

Surely, Zed has not been overwhelmed by the clucking menace, torn to shreds and rendered into a pile of inert, metallic ash.

Sure...ly.

...........

Suddenly, the street is full of brightly colored smoke. Glittering dust clings to everything and everyone. Blasts of cuccoo-wielded flame disappear into plumes of technicolor haze, shedding light that refracts from countless tiny fragments of...

...Glitter.

...

"WITNESS ME," a voice calls from on high. "When evil shows its face in the light of day." There's someone... on a building?? "When darkness rises, and threatens to swallow up the happiness of Hyadains everywhere... I APPEAR!" It's... Zed. He's... Why is he wearing a cuccoo in a cocktail dress as a mask?? "IN THE NAME OF THE POULTRY INDUSTRY--" Zed leaps, brandishing a commandeered set of sheep shears and what appears to be a pot full of hot oil, "I WILL PUNISH YOU!"

Well.

This sure is a thing.

DG: Zed has used his Tool Smoke Bombs toward his party's challenge, Kislev Fried Cucco.
DG: The party led by Gamma has passed this challenge! The party gained 17 exploration! If anyone needs to use party management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
DG: Gamma has drawn a new Challenge.
===================<* CHALLENGE - All Out of Gysahl Greens *>===================
|Type: Exploration |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          |
---------------------------< Challenge Information: >---------------------------
 The cuccos have brought even their fellows who cannot fly. One comes
 crashing down now: a huge cucco, easily the size of a sumo wrestler, who
 lands with a crunch on a cart. It splinters out into broken planks under it.
 Then, the Fat Cucco bellows a cluck, and begins to roll forward into battle!
=Dungeon Conditions: Injure===================================================
<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

Gamma has the most righteous idea, as the flamethrower-bearing cucco trains its flamethrower upon the centaur and the coward, as great billowing clouds of smoke and glitter provide a dramatic backdrop to-- um.

"Bgaw?" (translation: WHAT THE CLUCK)

This provides ample distraction for Gamma to blast the crap outta the flamethrower ARM, which finds itself ripped free of the cuccoo's back, and finds itself spiraling and spinning higher and higher towards where Zed makes his dramatic entry.

Oops.

There is a great, giant snarl of spilled boiling oil, shears, clucking, and something involving a dramatic pony ride away from the fire and the flames while Yarobeleedt continues to not help anyone with anything, ever, just another member of the cart full of beer.

Yes, it would appear in the chaos, the Metal Demons did not yet locate the Teardrop, but they did locate... a lot of beer, and a smokescreen in shich to try and escape the birds.

But the birds will not let them escape so easily.

<Pose Tracker> Gamma has posed.

Gamma stares at Zed for a few moments, especially when the horrible explosion happens and nobody knows what's going on anymore (especially Gamma). She even stops dragging the cart. But eventually she remembers to start moving again.

Gamma gets about five steps before she stumbles forward, the straps around her lower body slack and loose. This is because a gigantic cuccoo has just landed on her beer cart, showering her with splinters and booze! At least it smells slightly less bad than the cucco poop from before. She's... like fifty percent cleaner, maybe?

But she doesn't have a cart. "You broke it!" she yells at the fat cucco. "You broke my cart! I was going to take that as victory spoils!" Spotting it starting to roll, she holds her spear completely wrong, both hands near the spearhead and the heavy metal haft used as a striking surface. Gamma swings it like a metal baseball bat, trying to deflect the now-rolling fat cucco away from her and down in a completely random other direction.

Maybe everybody wants to get out of the way of that? (Including Gamma, in case the cucco bounces off a wall and comes back at her.) That seems like a plan.

DG: Gamma has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, All Out of Gysahl Greens.
<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

To the surprise of no one, Yarobeleedt has yet to leave the cuccoon.

It might prove sturdy enough that the Giant Cucco might step on it and slip, or something, while Gamma pushes it back.

It might also crush the worm in there outright, which is also a fine outcome.

No one loses today!

DG: Yarobeleedt has used its Tool Sheet Cocoon toward its party's challenge, All Out of Gysahl Greens.
<Pose Tracker> Zed has posed.

Zed does not get out of Gamma's way.

Zed... Stands on her back. A cuccoo is on his head, clucking in perfect serenity. It has reached poultry zen, a stark contrast to the chaos unfolding all around it, and to the manic typhoon upon which it roosts. "Go, Gamma," Zed roars, his sword flashing in the warm light of a nearby quite-on-fire butcher's shop. "Let us show this creature... Our true power."

"STEED AND RIDER ARE OOOOONE!" Zed roars as Gamma jukes and charges. "CHEEEESUTOOOOOOOH!"

DG: Zed has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward his party's challenge, All Out of Gysahl Greens.
DG: The party led by Gamma has passed this challenge! The party gained 26 exploration! If anyone needs to use party management commands, do so now. Otherwise, the next round's GM may begin the next round with +dungeon/draw.
DG: Zed has drawn a new Challenge.
=======================<* CHALLENGE - Motherclucker *>========================
|Type: Final       |Dungeon Ability: Combat    |Challenge Rating: 2          |
--------------------------< Challenge Information: >--------------------------
 One cucco is behind this: the Mother Cucco, a bird with bright red plumage
 and fury in her black eyes. She drops down towards you as you make your
 escape. She lets out a bellowing cry -- and her children come. Then, her
 wings beat, and she takes off towards the skies -- but gives a final look at
 you.

 You don't have the sufficient level to fight her yet, but know this: she
 will be back.

 The horde comes at her call, though. Dozens of cuccos swarm, dive bombing,
 scratching, pecking, and unleashing their terrifying martial arts upon you!
 Feathers fly -- and so will you, if you're unlucky!
=Dungeon Conditions: Wound====================================================
<Pose Tracker> Gamma has posed.

Gamma charges after the fat cuccoo, smacking it a couple times with her spearhaft. And then -

"Zed, why are you on my back?" she asks, in a tone that sounds almost conversational but hides an undertone of DANGER. She doesn't slow down, though - which means that Zed can indeed get off his charging slash without embarassing himself, causing the cuccoo to roll towards a fountain, hit Yar's cocoon, bounce over the edge and get stuck in the water. "There had better be a good reason for you to be standing on my back!"

"Also it's covered in cucco doings," she adds, which is half true; it is now covered in those and also drying beer. It does not smell good.

<Pose Tracker> Zed has posed.

"There is a reason," Zed says to Gamma, "That I am standing and not sitting! But for now, we need every advantage, Gamma. We need to be vigilant. To use every ounce of strength we have, because I have seen it. I've seen the foe waiting for us at the end of this nightmare--!!"

There. Beyond the overweight butterball, past the poop-painted boulevards, roosting amidst the great and ancient golems... There. A tremendous, red bird. A vermilion bird. The Fenghuang-- Moor Cluck.

Its black eyes do not stare into your soul. They reflect the very depths of the Abyss itself.

"Brace yourselves!" Zed declares, Doom Bringer shedding an ominous halo of deep, inner light. "We-- wait!!" The bird... The bird takes flight! It shuns them! NO! "NO! GET BACK HERE! ARE WE NOT WORTHY--"

No.

No you are not.

"Damnit. Damnit! Fine. If she wishes to send her children against us--" Zed brandishes his blade, but hurls a cluster of brightly colored smoke bombs into the gathering cuccoo storm. But... Wait. No, that's not glitter. That's not smoke! THAT'S FLOUR! THAT'S SEASONING! "LET US SHOW THEM, FELLOWS! LET US SHOW THEM THAT OUR MOTHER'S CHILDREN ARE SUPERIOR!"

"LET US DEFEAT OUR FOES! AND THEN! LET US EAT THEIR SUCCULENT MEEAAAAATS!"

Zed... May have been exposed to too much cuccoo today. He's gone... Coo-coo.

DG: Zed has used his Tool Smoke Bombs toward his party's challenge, Motherclucker.
<Pose Tracker> Yarobeleedt has posed.

Yaro's cocoon shudders open after a great pressure passes over it. He looks up into the eyes of the bright red bird before the three of them.

...

He's back in there moments before she shouts her terrifying cry.

...

Of course he'd just wait for it all to blow over.

DG: Yarobeleedt has used its Tool Sheet Cocoon toward its party's challenge, Motherclucker.
<Pose Tracker> Gamma has posed.

Gamma doesn't throw Zed off her back, at least. But: "Yes, but you're standing on my back," she points out, again. "I don't stand on anyone else's back! You have to learn to stand on your own two feet, that's what they told me - or four feet as the case may be," Gamma corrects, rambling on, "but anyway you have to do it - "

Oh wait. There's a new cuccoo. And that one looks... frightening.

"It's running from us!" Gamma is exultant, even though that's basically the opposite of what is actually happening. She raises her spear, shaking it... but there's suddenly more cuccoos. Not just a few, but a veritable horde, swarming and clustering around her and Zed (and Yar too, under the cocoon - she's going to have to yell at him later).

"Agh! WHY ARE THERE THIS MANY!"

Gamma doesn't really attack so much as swing wildly. Her heavy spear scythes through them, bludgeoning some and sending them flying, and with a roar she rears up, whirling about and lashing out in all directions to try to make a safe space. (This might knock Zed off if throwing seasoning didn't do it.) "Back! Back, you infernal birds!"

DG: Gamma has contributed a Combat Basic Action toward her party's challenge, Motherclucker.
DG: Zed is too exhausted to continue!
DG: Yarobeleedt is too exhausted to continue!
DG: Gamma is too exhausted to continue!
DG: The party has failed this challenge! All party members are now Exhausted. Your party can no longer continue and is forced to retreat!
DG: The party led by Gamma has been fully Exhausted by Cucco Invasion!
<Pose Tracker> Zed has posed.

The Children of the Mother are met in bloody battle by the felspawn of the Motherclucker. Blade and spear meet claw and beak. But... But is this truly all that there is in life? Is it really nothing but war and the slaughter? Perhaps. Perhaps so.

For now, though, it seems Filgaia's fury proves more than a match for Metal Demonkind. Yaro believes himself safe within his shroud, except when a cluster flocks around him, hoists him off the ground, and squirrels him away to places unknown. Several start sitting on top of him. They... May believe him to be an egg that needs to be hatched.

Others swarm all over Gamma, attacking her with all the means available to your average chicken. But Zed...

...Zed is... gone?

No. There he is. Leaping up a veritable rainstorm of poultry, jumping up, up, up...!

...Up to grab hold of the great red bird's tailfeathers as it turns to flee.

Zed... Seeks to fight the demon, himself!? SUCH VALOR! SUCH FOOLISHNESS!

But... It's pretty cool, too.

(He's probably going to fall off somewhere in the wilderness. He might need rescue. Maybe.)

<Pose Tracker> Gamma has posed.

Eventually, Gamma is driven out of the square and indeed right out of Adlehyde itself...

...without her compatriots. Hmm.

This could be hard to explain.