Festival: Spooktacular Peko Race
It is the time of year of hauntings, dark tidings, and mysterious happenings. So, of course, this is the perfectly appropriate time for a distinctly seasonal Peko Race. Racers are /required/ to dress their Pekos in some sort of costume in order to race, so bring your best creativity.
(OOC Notes: Standard Peko Racing rules. If you are new to the Mush and wish to attend, you may choose to 'rent' a Peko or simply already have one. Make sure you give it a fun name.)
Concepts to be Utilized: Dark, Light, Fire, Handle Animal, Capture Monster
Night has fallen early, as is common this time of year. An eerie mist lingers in the valleys between hills. It is only dangling lantern light that illuminates the area around the starting line, with various Landers and Adventurers dressed in costumes.
Unlike before the war, there is a security detachment representing all of the Alliances, seeming to have ensured that no one in attendance is an active threat, or so it seems. Still, even with the anxious energy, there is excitement as well. People seem enthusiastic about seeing the Pekos dressed in their finest costumes and seeing the thrill of the race.
After all this time, people need a distraction from war, and seeing oversized birds running through unusual challenges seems to be the best thing for that.
"Riders, take one pass by our wonderful fans to show off your costumes, and then make your way to the starting line!" The host for the festivities appears to be a squat looking Gnome with a handlebar moustache that sticks out from both sides of his face, curled up at the edges. He is wearing a suit and top hat which has a large peko feather sticking out from it. He looks more like a circus ringmaster than a race announcer, but it is the Shadow Festival, so it welcomes all types.
Haru's Peko is a lovely birb by the name of Karen. Karen is a draft Peko, salt of the earth avian. Her breed is meant for hard farm work and not speed like a racing peko or combat like a charger. No, Karen is a large lady with dusky brown feathers not unlike the bark of a maplewood tree. Today is a magical day where a peasant becomes a princess. Haru has given her normal barding a makeover in favor of flowing eggshell coloured silks. Tuby beads adorn at the end of the cloth that jingle when she walks. Soft metalwork of gold, copper, and rosegold adorn in chains to announce her as a Flame Princess. No princess is without an appropriate tiara and a large one rests delicately on her head with a firefly design of gently red pulsing gemstones down her neck. Her eyes are as sharp as her beak. She is majestic and if you don't treat her right she will burn you to cinders!
Having such decorum and respect for his Peko, Arabian Knight Haru offers a formal bow with one arm across his chest and one outward. "M'lady," he starts, "may I have this race?" Kweh. "May honor be won in your name today, Flame Princess Karen." Wark! She brustles, beads shaking. Haru uses his Ioun stones as small platforms to step up and mount onto the Peko saddle without disturbing the outfit. Kweh. "Whats that, Princess? You want to get down and dirty with this race track?" Wark! "As you wish, you spicy birb," he says with a grin. Oh this is going to be fun.
The first thing that is requested is a little walk around to show off the costumes. The four floating stones that circle Haru become red like molten magma, erupting into small orbs of flame to circle around him and his Peko as he trots around, giving a wave to those watching and the other riders as well.
Preparing for the race, Schneider dons his peko riding hat, made with the prize from the first season of Peko racing, it makes /him/ look a bit like a peko. Well, he's been called a bird-brain before. Rarz calms down a bit when Schneider dons the cap, it really does have an effect on his lack of riding skill, and Schneider, astride Rarz, joins the parade around, and then steps up to the starting area.
Honouring the spirits of the dead is a great way to keep them from rampaging, especially if you honour them with fire. Still the idea of a festival is never a bad one, and there's always the chance of fireworks or other sorts of fancy light shows! And even if not there's still a playful competition to get involved in; one Fuka hopes will be fun and preferably free of interruption from those pesky Palace Landers.
The diminutive Sylph rides out on her usual mount, a Peko she calls Sandy, standing up in the stirrups to tower over everyone as she grins and waves to the fans. Almost all that extra height being due to being in the saddle, naturally. She's decked out for a rather different season though, it seems. One that has a different sort of cheer which some might consider desperately needed. She wears a bright green coat and red skirt over candy-striped leggings, with a peaked hat of red with a white pompom on the top and red boots and gloves to match. In contrast, Sandy is caparisoned in a suit of clean white, the cloth draping about the Peko's body in a way that resembles a fine suit. Tied around her neck is a spiffy black bow tie; low atop her beak sits a set of horn-rimmed glasses, and a red apron with thin white stripes descends from around Sandy's neck to loosely cover her chest. She also wears a red peaked cap much like Fuka's, with the same white pom pom on the top.
Yes, Fukaziroh has picked a costume that probably doesn't have any significance for the Landers present, but it's one that should be immediately obvious to any Japanese adventurers. An Elf atop the Colonel, all decked out for Christmas.
"I know you've been waiting for this as long as I have," Shiruba remarks to Tradewind as they trot up to the starting line. Immeadiately it can be seen that something is very different today. Tradewind was the one wearing a dark forest green cloak, with the hood pulled up onto his head to partially shadow his face. Several of his head plumes have been poked through a hole in the back of the hood to keep it in place, and give it an extra decorative touch. The straps on the left side of his riding gear have been fitted with sections of additional ribbed leather to imitate an archer's chest and shoulder guards. Similar braces are strapped atop his wings, with matching leather and bone-braced greaves adorning his legs to help solidify the look. Shiruba even carved a small bow and tucked it through his saddle straps so it looks like it's being carried under a wing, while several wood carvings of shrunken gnoll and goblin heads clatter on the saddle's read strap like a belt.
Plus in a bit of juxaposition Shiruba herself is wearing a fluffy yellow-tan outfit with artifical barding draped over her shoulders and back, and her ears tucked under her Peko Peko Hat that resembles one of the bird's head... so it looks like the Ranger is being ridden by a Peko instead of the usual way around.
Shiruba nods to everyone else as they take their place in the line up. Here's hoping everything goes well.
Bird comes in riding on Rizadoman and readies for the race. Yes today Bird shall be riding on Rizadoman, it is absolutely not Rizadoman wearing a Peko outfit on top of Bird who is definately not wearing scale armor painted teal blue. Yes, it is absolutely easier to believe that Bird is riding on top of Rizadoman.
As they stand at the starting line he looks about for a moment and then "Bird" leans forward and makes cooing sounds to Rizadoman and obviously Rizadoman responds with a receptive coo. Lizards and Pekos have a very similar language after all.
Once she's signed up she pats her peko on the neck. "You know the score Kan Featherquill Chaucer III... we come in last, and you come in dinner, and KFC IV will be in the next race got it?" she nods to him and mounts up. Luckily she's small so even with all that muscle and iron scales she's light enough for him to carry easily.
SO here she was looking like she would be on the cover of it with the old black heavy blade armour. Also, did the jaws on the shoulders move? It's hard to tell but her Peco? That pecko feathers are black as midnight and wearing very heavy barding, its legs are armoured in a similar style as Gwen's of interlocking armour the saddle and armour on its torso is a cross-weave of armoured material matching the colour of the rest. Its wings are armoured as well and seemed to be bladed on the edge thankfully it's just a very well-made costume and the bird is in no danger of cutting itself on its own edge. The front torso has an armour plate with a red gem set in the middle of it and finally, its head is fully covered by a helmet with gems that seem to give it red glowing eyes and horns.
She looks over at Shiruba calling out.
"I see you have paid attention to my convention cosplaying!"
Once again, Prophylaxis reprises a familiar role. Not just as a peko rider-- though he is certainly doing quite a bit of that, historically speaking. No, he wears a familiar outfit, one that once graced the city of Dun Loireag a year ago. His face is covered by a plague doctor's mask, the sickly grey leather intentionally threadbare. A pair of dark lenses cover his eyes, peering out from under a broad-rimmed hat. His shoulders are wrapped in a voluminous, black cloak, a ruffled cravat tied around his neck. All else is black cloth and brass trim. Black gloves grip the reins of his trusty steed...
...Who is positively princesslike, if also appropriately gothic. Konpeko, too, wears a stylized plague mask, save for the cut-out for her lower jaw to hinge through. But she has also acquired a black bonnet frothing with white frill, a theme that continues down the peko's fluffy body. It's as though she wears a victorian ballgown, albeit one made for giant flightless birds. Her wings peek through voluminous sleeves and her tail wiggles where it peeks out between two the cascading halves of a bustled skirt. Her whole ensemble is decorated with midnight blue tulle that terminates at a bright, silvery brooch fastened at her breast.
Konpeko preens. She feels pretty today.
Heck, even her claws are painted! It's an adorably spooky gothic lolita peko with a much (much) more frightening rider!
Riding on top of his rented mount, Curtana has a costume that's quite different yet similar to what he often wears. A metal helm with a chainmail curtain covers the back of his neck and rests on his shoulders. A pale white tunic that reaches the ankles with the icon of a grumpy sun was stitched on the front, and chainmail covers his arms completely. The Peko mount he rented for this event has mostly white plumage that fades to gray onto the wings. The saddle had bits of camping supplies with a buldging knapsack along the right side, with the grumpy sun stitched on the front of the bag as well. To top it all off was what appears to be two halfs of a coconut danging on strings around the peko's neck that occasionally clap together with a 'co-clop' sound.
Looking rather pleased with himself (even if his rented steed keeps trying to nip at the coconut shells), Curtana pats his bird's neck. "Almost time, Patsy."
After all, those who know Curtana well might have guessed what he would have tried. A King Arthur with an African Swallow.
Black steel armor covers her figure, shaped into impractically spiky, jagged plates designed more for intimidation than protection. The 'breastplate' is well named, shaped to present the image of a much more impressive bosom than she actually posesses in her human guise. Instead of a helm, she's expanded her horned headband to add several spiky projections mimicing a crown (not a Crown, though).
Her mount is caparisoned to match, jet-black of color either by nature or by artifice is unclear. 'Flames' of red and orange and yellow silk rise from its head and trail down its neck, joined by more affixed to each foot. The beast's claws are tipped with iron, as well, raising sparks where it walks.
Finishing the look is the weapon she bears, a massive and impractical-looking lance of twisted metal, with thirteen crystalline shards scattered about its length. "Bow before your King!" she roars, brandishing the massive weapon in a single hand. "Who here dares contest my inevitable victory?"
Yes, the Chuuni is out in force today.
Syx arrives with his usual flair for entrances, his arrival predicated by magical fireworks. Then comes Meteor, the red feathered peko he's ridden in all the previous races. This time, however, Meteor is dressed up with a long, flowing blonde wig, and green and black riding gear. Syx, on the other hand, is rocking the full Degeneration-X look. Black leather, a green painted logo on the shirt he's wearing, and the signature crotch chop, complete with inappropriate gesturing. Yep, he's dressed as D-X era Shawn Michaels and Meteor is his Triple-H.
In Syx's mind it's worth it if one person gets the reference, the Landers should just love him regardless, because they always love him.
"Look at those wonderful costumes, ladies and gentlemen! Don't forget to get your votes in for your favorite!" The Gnome calls out, tittering his amusement. "All racers! On your marks!"
There his a heavy pause before the Gnome lifts a hand and shoots a burst of fireworks up into the air. "Go!"
Of course, the one thing most of the Pekos are not used to, is running in costume. Some of them are more elaborate than others, and some Pekos better trained to deal with this kind of adversity. A few begin to trip over their costumes, or have pieces fall appart and end up getting in the way of other riders.
In short, it is chaos at the starting gates. It's clear that few of the riders are professional cosplayers who are used to having their costumes stand up under real world stresses. Then again, even those who have costumes that have held up the best, still risk the running into bits and pieces from someone else's failed attempt at costuming.
"It's a mess out there, folks. Let's see who can pull out of the tangle and take an early lead!"
Challenge: Handle Animal
Rizadoman does not fear stepping up to any challenge and as the fireworks go off and even when he is played by a Peko, he burst into actions there three long strides with a turn in the middle as if imitating Rizadoman's Dance of the Naga and showing off it's skill before charging forward with a loud "KWAAAAA!" Moments later a roar of joy is heard from the lizardman dressed in a Peko suit. They will absolutely not lose today. Not when they are in such sync with each other.
By this point, Prophylaxis is quite familiar with his peko's proclivities, and can do little but sigh and patiently usher the lively, preening peko forward. It's alright, they've been together for this long, he's not just going to abandon his bird because she's more interested in being pretty than being fast.
And so they go together, the plague rider and his sashaying, frill-festooned feathered friend. Perhaps luck will be with them today...?
Nah, who are we kidding, they're going to explode or something right at the finish line again.
Then there's the ready call, and she settles into racing mindset. As does her ride, scuffing the ground with his talons a few times... and then there's the starting flare! Pooom into the air it goes.
Shiruba doesn't even need to give the command they've done this enough times together, Tradewind takes off as soon as the firecracker pops overhead to signal the start. The most Shiruba does is grab part of his cloak, holding it in lieu of reigns and to keep it from flapping up in her face. Over all the costume not being too flashy and out there works in their advantage as Tradewind is able to make a strong headstart, while avoiding bits and bobs of other less fortunate costumes scattering haphazardly about.
The Peko finally gets the lead out and starts charging off after the others. At least she's in the race even if it's towards the back. If KFC is lucky this moment of confusion won't lead to the deep frier.
Fuka was reasonably careful with her costume choice, making sure it was something Sandy could still run in, but the Peko tosses her head to send the little horn-rimmed glasses flying before she starts running. The bird settles into her stride quickly and Fuka's a skilled rider, but they get off to a bit of a shaky start nonetheless as they get blocked in by other riders who got a quicker start but lacked that coordination of mount and rider and costume.
By the time Fuka deals with the consequences of bad luck, she can see a few riders well ahead. "Catch them, Colonel Sandy!" she cries, gesturing forwards as if the Peko can't see them and hasn't already started running. Sandy, like Fuka, loves to race. Competition is in her blood, even if winning may not be. She's never started particularly strong but then, how you start is rarely important. It's how you end the race that counts.
Bits of costumes are flying from the other racers, and Curtana tugs on the reins sharply to get Patsy to curve around a large bit of discarded costume. Doing his best to help his rented mount find a route through the cluster of close racers with moving those reigns, but it honestly seems like Patsy is just humoring his king. It's going to be an interesting race for the Pooka.
Syx takes the bird's head and turns it around to look at the track and the rapidly vanishing racers. This gets Meteor to squawk and then take off, finally.
As the pack of racers manages to get out of the tumble of bodies and costume parts at the starting line, they soon find themselves out in the open plains of the Ninetails Dominion. At first, everything seems peaceful enough, racing through tall grasses and dodging around rocks.
Oh wait, that was not a rock...
This is Ninetails, afterall, and it seems that the darkness has attracted a few unwanted monsters to the area. It isn't just the usual zombies in the area, but there seem to be other, more demonic creatures perched upon trees and looking for victims.
There is a cry as one rider is setupon by some kind of large, monstrous bat, while another gets an arrow shot at them by a skeleton archer.
It seems that the best chance of getting past these monsters is to try to blend in with the darkness, itself. It's not easily possible to sneak around while riding at high speed, but they can, at least, use some dark magic to hide themselves from detection.
Naturally Fukaziroh had expected some kind of presence of dark monstrosities... whether of the Palace Lands variety or just the typical spooky scaries of the Dark itself. She considers her options quickly, coming to a plan. Light would be an option, yes, just blasting her way through or dazzling the attackers with one of her blinding spells. But light isn't really her strong suit, and at this time and in this field it'd make her stand out.
Instead she chooses to do the opposite. Chanting low and strong, ducking her head low behind Sandy, she floods her skin with dark mana. Then she straightens up, her skin gone ashen with the presence of the dark energy pooled at the surface. "Catch them, my lovelies!" she cackles, pointing ahead to the racers currently outpacing her. "I, your dark mistress, command it!" she cackles. Yes, actually cackles.
Of course she knows this will never happen. Anything already passed by the pekos will never be caught by ghosts, skeletons, or other night minions. They're racing birds after all. All she's looking to do is confuse them, distract them, get them to turn and look where she's pointing, all so she can race past them in the distraction. A CUNNING PLAN!!!
Forward the brave Naga warrior and his faithful bird ride forward until that is they come across the terror of the ninetail lands. The evil undead. Rizadoman does his best to calm Bird, "KWwaa kwaa Kwaa" After a few moments of hesitation the pair choose to not try and hide, instead they take a deep breath and charge right in with a loud roar and Kweh mixed together. Besides just as with any monster train, its not a problem to run past the threat, its what to do when you need to stop.
"We can't stop here friend! THIS IS BAT COUNTRY!"
A black orb builds at the tip of the good doctor's staff. It wriggles like a living thing, like a worm of ebon chitin clad in a globe of ink. As he lifts his rod high, the globe widens and bursts, flooding the world in a wave of dark, inverted light.
It's as though nothing happens. Nothing. At first. But then it comes. The darkness swallows the awareness of a full dozen monsters or more. It thrusts them into a place they have never seen before. They are one and all strapped to a bed, bound by fetid leather, chains anchoring their heads. Their eyes are clamped open, their arms and legs spread wide. Their chests are savaged wounds, ribs pulled aside. Standing over them all, a nightmarish shape: A surgeon in bloodstained robes, eyes shining with gleeful hate. He laughs as he cracks open one rib, rejoicing in the scream that reveals his truest goal and his one true joy. A mouthful of teeth, gleaming and shining, wedged wide open by black tendrils, writhing. He lifts his tool, a vicious, rust-encrusted drill, and one by one ruins each of those teeth, cracking enamel and sundering exposing nerves with a mad surgeon's skill.
Yes. This nightmare that they see is a terrible one, a vision of that wicked dentist with wild, vile, malicious elan. None, not even monsters can escape that terrible soul, the one that they call...
The Cavity Man
...And while they're all writhing in the midst of that illusion, Prophylaxis and his bird stroll merrily by, totally unharmed. Look at Konpeko! She seems to be having so much fun!!
That wasn't what she meant. Not at all. And now the critters are more attracted to the chocolate than they are to the other riders! She charges on through the darkness, batting creatures away with her lance, unhesitating to slaughter her 'subjects' on her way to her inevitable victory.
Unfortunately, utilizing too much dark magic to blend in with an already moonless night means that it soon becomes very, very hard to navigate and stay on the path. The markers for the race track are small, motes of light, but there are monsters that seem to be using lures to pull Adventurers off track.
One almost looks like a large angler-fish, sticking out of a nearby pond, which neatly gobbles up an unsuspecting Peko and Rider, followed by a satisfied burp.
Maybe it might be best to just deal run past the monsters or deal with them directly than hiding. With no moon or starlight, they'll need to light their own way, allowing them to not only see the other racers around them, but what obsticles may stand in their nearby path.
However, it is a delicate balance. Not enough light and they might end up off track and losing time. Too much and they will attract too much monster attention, meaning that the race may become that much more dangerous.
Konpeko has no idea! She's just following her nose to keep track of the other pekos. Hopefully it doesn't lead her astray!!
Well. At least they probably won't be eaten by monsters.
"As you wish," Haru says as the Arabian Knight cosplay leans forward. The Light comes out in a dull fashion. It looks more like pale moonlight that softly illuminates the track nearby. Although not providing a ton of actual light, it does give a blacklight effect to objects nearby enough to keep the two trekking forward. Delicate balance.
Rizadoman and Bird are absolutely made for each other, why you may ask well that is because at the end of the day when they have a small horde of undead chasing them they don't stop. They don't choose to fight. Nope Rizadoman and Bird glow with a bright light of holy magic as they charge on to the finish barreling through in a sort of way that says they decided the fastest way to the end is a straight line. The holy magic healing any damage Bird sustains as fast as he takes it, on top of the fact that he is wearing decent scale armor. If anyone spots the shining bright light running in the lead they would inevitably notice the horde following them. Somewhere in the back of his head Rizadoman does try to figure out what to do with it by the time they get to the finish line.
Kan leaves a trail of sparkling starlight in his wake as the pair plow through the night like a beacon the mix of costume and quotes perhaps leading to a bit of cognitive dissonance in onlookers.
Fortunately Fuka doesn't see a rider swallowed up by a monster. Or rather, fortunately she doesn't see the peko swallowed up! The rider will pixellate and respawn. The peko, however, will just be crunchy dinner.
Her idea of using one of her signature spells to masquerade as a monsterish queenly sort was a good one, Fuka muses, and it's let her pull ahead of the bulk of the pack. But they're in danger of getting lost, and there doesn't seem to be quite so many monsters in sight. So this time she pulls out the light spells. A chant of runewords calls forth a globe of light slightly behind and off to one side of her head. From the pommel of her back-slung sword, in fact. The blazing dome of light will no doubt draw attention from the denizens of the dark but Fuka doesn't give a kweh. It'll also blaze brightly enough to blind them while also illuminating Sandy's way. Besides between Sandy's feathers and the brilliant white of her costume, there's little chance they'd hide anyways. Best to just be outstanding as always, and see what she can see while she bedazzles all around her! "Onward, Colonel Sandy!" she bellows, raising a fist into the air. If she can also light the way for some other less fortunate riders, and perhaps distract monsters from them, so much the better! Fuka's never been interested in winning at all costs after all. Helping others who need it while still trying her best? That appeals very much indeed.
While this is absolutely fantasic for seeing, it also acts as a beacon for the creatures that await in the dark. The knight ducks down to dodge a bat that looked bigger than both him and the Peko, and he resists the urge to curse under his breath. Hearing June somewhere far ahead does give him a bit of inspiration. "She's right, after all. Fly, Shadowfax! Fly!"
The renamed peko, unseen in the darkness, rolls his eyes at his silly rider.
Wait, that's -not- one of the other riders, or even one of the track markers! It's a monster! Well, the Oni King knows what to do with monsters -- she SMASHES them! And that's why her lance is solid steel despite being a costume item.
Seeing other riders lighting up the path, she decides she might as well do the same. But of course she has to put her own chuuni mark on it. Instead of simple light, she calls on the tiny faeries of the land. "Come, spirits of Light, spirits of Fire! Light my way!"
And they do. Not by lighting the path ahead of her, but by lighting -her- and her mount! The faeries gather around the silken 'flames', the crystals that still adorn her lance, the points of her 'crown', and even some in her hair! Faerie lights turn her costume flames to something more real, as if she truly were a monster of fire and darkness!
It doesn't take long for the racers to end up with a particularly long train of monsters following them around. Luckily, the fastest riders are able to kite them and keep the group at a distance. However, they can't very well continue following the track and lead this entire mob of monsters back towards where unsuspecting Landers and Adventurers are waiting.
There are guards shouting warnings, offering up nets or rope or other devices to the riders to try to slow down the shambling mess of enemies that are following them. Trying to just outrun the enemies seems like a bad idea, the few riders who had tried soon found themselves overwhelmed by others coming out of the darkness around them.
It seems like the riders are in for a fight, trying to round up and capture as many of the trailing monsters as they can before continuing towards the finish line.
Challenge: Capture Monster
(This may be easier said than done.)
Once again, Schneider's forced to wheel around and confront them. He doesn't want to dump the /really big/ boom, that would probably cause problems on the race track. It would probably obliterate the race track. So he goes with more of his low key magic, hurling DAMNED and GUNZENRO at the pursuers while they chew more of Rarz's costume off, and once again, the pack passes him.
"The slow ones should be easy to wrap up," he lets the guards and other riders know. Haru slips his attention back to the Flame Princess as any more of the mobs are out of his range now.
As it strikes the arrow passes its Thorn Bind Hostage charge on to the net as well, causing the ropes to become like vines to grapple firmly around the large monster so it looses footing and falls over, hopefully on top of several others and crushing them. Then the barbs growning from the rope because of the spell dig into the ground to root the creature in place. So to speak.
Coming out of the dark stretch, Fuka dismisses her light since it no longer seems to be needed. Still, she's drawn together quite the monster train herself, what with her brilliantly-blinding light. She hears the shouts of guards and frowns. They do have a point. She'd just assumed they'd break tether as she continued moving... but no, looks like she'll need to do something about this.
Fuka doesn't even consider just forging ahead and letting the monsters have their way. That's just not her style, not even in a competitive race. She accepts a net and begins circling around, trying to entangle a host of monsters as best she can. How hard can it be anyways?
Well, hard. Very hard, in fact. She gets a new appreciation for her monster-handling friends at the exercise. Some monsters evade her nets, some break free. And others are ensnared, yes, but there's always more. By the time her nets are exhausted, Fuka's left with her sword out, carving a path for herself and Sandy, getting bogged down and barely managing to get free with great effort as guards come to her aid with their own ropes and nets. Oh look, someone's added a whole lot of new red streaks to her red-and-green elf costume!
Rizadoman and Bird's luck give out finally as the swarm catches up to them and buries them. Any on lookers would look at the crowd with horror as if the rider and peko had just been lost to the swarm of monsters. There is no way anyone could survive that. Finally there is a moment of silent...
Then a muffle sound from the pile of monsters, "By my Brontosaurus ancestors..." and moments later from the horde burst forth Rizadoman and Bird. Rizadoman's relic, the pin around Bird's neck and obviously maybe juicing Bird with the might of a thousand pekos and running through the horde in such a way that they are running through some of the zombies but at this speed no monster can follow them. Alas it won't last to much longer.
He lands on top of one of the monsters, which snarls and snaps at him before he wraps the net around it and then drives it into the ground to take it low enough for the net to take effect.
He repeats the process a few more times, dropkicking a flying monster out of the sky and dropping an elbow on another, each time using Meteor's saddle to give him the extra height he needs in order to pull off his moves.
A loud roar echoes out in the night, and for a split moment, silence fill the air. That moment is broken as many monsters find a new target to chase after, the knight clinging to the back of a pale peko. Driven by fear with so many beasts behind it, the peko seemed to have gathered a second wind of sorts. Leaping over several of the large nets being used by the guards, the renamed Shadowfax doesn't look back, but Curtana risks a look. The large mass he managed to collect had just reached the nets and were tangling up very well, which was slowing down many of the monsters behind those already caught.
"Well...when I told you to fly, you really did so. Thank you." Curtana pats the neck of the peko, already starting to feel a little fond about the creature. Shame he would have to return him later.
She grabs a net and rope in passing, without slowing, from one of the attendants standing by the track. Then she yanks on the reigns, and her mount rears back, screeching! She wheels about and goads the peko, which charges back towards the mob of zombies.
"Time to round up my army!" she calls, tossing the net onto the front of the mob and riding a wild circle around it with the rope to secure them. "Now, follow me!" she shouts, and rides on, dragging the mob behind her. Zombies sliding out from the back of it from the sheer force on the rope as it slides over their heads.
While most of the monsters are able to be captured by the combined efforts of the riders, there are still a few that manage to break free and continue the persuit as the riders make for the home stretch. They can see the lights of the fans and hear the cheering...
Well, there is one thing that definitely works against the undead, and that is fire. The guards seem to be helping, but the riders are going to need to join in if they want to keep themselves and their audience safe.
It becomes almost like a very gruesome fireworks display, with various techniques lighting up the night as monsters are turned into barbeque for the joy of the peko racing fans. The question is, who can escape their tail of monsters and get to the finish line first?
Thankfully, since it can be used as a substitute in providing light, Shiruba did come packing heat. She nocks several arrows in Thundersnow Howl and fires them one by one at the lingering monsters still in pursuit, each one igniting into a potent blaze of it's own to burn down whatever monster it strikes.
That also burns a lot of mana though, and Shiruba is reminded she needs to finish working on those non-magic fire arrows.
Karen spreads those wings wide as a heated gust of wind carries into the air hundreds of feathers. They cut through the undead like hot knives, landing and immolating others. Its a flurry of down that gusts up into the air and settles slowly down fractioning like ashen snow still burning like fireflies. A great way to end the race with the Flame Princess Peko!
'Bleeding' and annoyed, Fuka pulls free of the pack of monsters. Seeing some of the people around her lighting up the night with blazes of flame, the little sylph growls. "Come on, Colonel Sandy. Let's Kentucky FRY them!"
Chanting, Fuka lashes out with glowing balls of liquid fire, shooting her depleted mana supply dry. Reeling from weakness, health loss and mana depletion, she slumps over the front of the saddle, apparently out of pretty much everything.
Fortunately for Fukaziroh, Sandy knows what to do, and the bond between peko and rider is a strong one. The bird carries her rider towards safety. Towards the finish line and the cheering crowds. And Fuka ... somehow manages to keep in the saddle, snuggled in like a plushie elf.
"Ah sod it," Prophylaxis grunts. "Konpeko, brace yourself! We shall become, ourselves, a comet streaking across this dark night! Let's go!" The doctor sweeps his staff once more. A wave of heat blasts through the darkness Konpeko squawking with surprise as she feels her body blaze with heat...!
She hops! She skips! She...
/TAKES OFF LIKE A ROCKET./ Literally, her feet are emitting tiny thrust cones that inexplicably leave a catastrophic wave of fire in their wake. The conflagration sweeps forth like a tidal wave into the swarming undead, lighting the lot ablaze as if caught by a particularly incendiary sonic boom...!
It's... very pretty, at least? But will it be enough!?!?
Rizadoman and bird look at the the remaining horde of monsters infront of them as he grins and leans forward to put his head near Bird. "Today we show them how lizardmen disposes of things." Bird and Rizadoman both take a deep breath and both blow, Bird sending gusts of wind and Rizadoman flames as they create a huge breath of fire infront of them while charging on through the mess of the undead and on to the finish line. They keep blowing there breath of flame the entire way and when they get pass the finish line they both point there head up in the air and create a fountain of flames for others to see.
"What did the man say...Ah yes!"
She looks at the monsters as they go after the fans, she's not going to win this race she turn and wills tart chanting spells letting bolts of fire go. She'll cross the finishline but after she's turned the monsters to ash!
"BY FIRE BE PURGED!"
The 'cl-clop' draws Curtana's attention, and he leans over to spot that the coconut shells were still hanging up despite everything. "This could work..." Leaning over, Curtana snatches the shells and tugs them off the string before cupping them into his hands. Chanting softly, the shell started to build up in heat before noticably bursting into flame. Twisting around, he pitches his improvised weapon backwards at the undead still hounding after them. A few moments go by before the night is lit up with an impressive fireball, with bits of flaming shell flying everywhere.
Curtana turns around and lets out an impressed whistle at his handiwork. "Let the sick rot that plagues this land be purged."
She lifts her lance high in the air. "I'd say you deserve this, but you don't deserve so much as to be crushed under my foot!" She brings down the lance, and faerie-fire trails its wake, lashing out at the zombies like a whip!
Except that, well, it's FAERIE fire. It looks pretty. It shines and flickers like real flame. But it doesn't /burn/.
She waits a few moments to appreciate the pyroclasm that doesn't come. Just 'burning' zombies shambling towards her. Uh-oh. She turns and spurs her peko on, rushing towards the finish line. Better to finish the race and let someone else take care of the zombies. She can go back and bash them after she's won.
A roar goes up from the crowd as the Pekos and their riders begin to make their way along the home stretch, leading to the finish line.
"It's a close one folks! Who will it be? It looks like it might be, yes! Yes it is. It's Rizadoman and Bird in the front, followed a beak-length behind by Fukaziroh and Sandy!"
A group of Landers come down onto the field and over to Rizadoman, offering out a box made of darkly finished wood. Inside is a mask that is made for a person, but it is shaped like a peko's face. It is black with ample plumage and two demonic horns curling up from it.
"Last but not least, the winner of our costume contest is..." There is a drumroll. "Prophylaxis and Konpeko!" A box is carried over towards the pair. Inside is a mask which is obviously made for a person, but it has feathered, peko-like features, white feathers, and such an adorable angelic halo.
"As you can see, the rewards for this race are a pair of wonderful costume headpieces for our fastest racer and costume contest winner! Congratulations all around to all of our riders!"
He roars forward and sends flames out in every direction, Meteor resembling his namesake as he rushes forward through the last of the monsters. When Syx crosses the finish line, he looks back and sees there's other people finishing after him, which means he didn't come in last! After settling down he gives Meteor a big 'ol hug around the head, "Nice job bud!"
"Pretty fancy riding there, Curt," the white haired human says to the new Alliance member, "real knightly stuff. Hitting a tavern though. Got plans?" An arm stetches upwards. He needs to get out of his costume as well given it lacks a shirt and the pants are a bit too baggy outside of a costume party. The Enchanter looks more like a thief right now.
Settling down within the brightly lit track region after the finish line before the audience, Sandy coos and kwehs, trying to get a response from her rider. "Five more minutes." mumbles the semi-incoherent Fukaziroh.
This does not impress Sandy, who begins to hop and jump until the little sylph is unceremoniously ejected from the saddle. "UWAAAAAAH!" she shrieks, abruptly awake and deploying wings instinctively, only to hit the ground and tumble due to not realizing where the ground actually was. "Colonel Sandy I can't believe you just..." she pauses, looks around. They're... in the finish area? And they got second place? "You just did *GREAT*!" Fuka roars, flinging her arms around Sandy's apronned neck. All is forgiven, no threats of the Kentucky variety uttered.
Rizadoman takes the mask and removes his own Peko headwear and replaces it with the mask before letting out a victorious roar. Meanwhile Bird starts trying to peck the hand that holes the beer to stop June from trying to force him to drink things. Finally Rizadoman leaps off Bird and once again lets out another victoriuous roar in celebration before he shouts to everyone, "To all the racers today, you did not run in theface of terror, so you are all WINNERS!"
Curtana claps loudly as Rizadoman got a black mask, and Prophylaxis won the costume contest and the white mask. "Great job, everyone!" He almost starts to peel off and start heading for the inn he had a room at, but a call from Haru has him twisting around. The 'pretty fancy riding' has the Pooka blushing from embarrasment, sure that it was a teasing remark. "Honestly, that's all from this fellow here. I'm just the numbskull who stayed on all the time."
Turning his head, he looks at the rented peko that managed to lead him through all that chaos, currently crunching on an apple between his beak. "Maybe trying to make a purchase, but that won't be until tomorrow morning. Just know I won't drink too much, now!"
The costume contest...
They won the costume contest??
"Wehk?" Konpeko squawks, taken utterly aback. It's as if the bird is saying 'who, me!?' but in bird-ese. "Hah, you see that! Everyone knows how adorable you are now, Konpeko!" Prophylaxis laughs, receiving the box with gratitude as he dismounts, but...
The one who is really happy is... his bird, apparently? She's preening and prancing even more now! Do birds understand fashion contests? Apparently this one does.
"...Maybe we should go into Peko Beauty Contests instead of races...?" The doctor wonders, canting his head thoughtfully to one side.
Fuka perks up at mention of celebration. And Curt's need for beauty rest. "Hmmm." she muses. "Gwen might do you some good indeed! Maybe a little lavender, some ringlets? Big shoulderpads? You could end up downright pretty, Will!" she beams. Poor guy.
Turning to Haru she nods. "Yeah, I like the idea of a little recovery... sooooo tired right now. I doubt I could power a flashlight!" she claims. Despite her claim she seems rather energetic, or at least not feeling as bad as her level of injury would suggest. She'll heal after all, and recover. Fun is more important than sleep!
The blue eye finally settles back down onto Fuka, which means it keeps going down for a while, with a smile, "Fuka gets it. You slayed in the race today, by the way. Soooooo close. I bet Sandy was thrilled."
It takes Curt a few moments before it finally dawns on what Fuka is going on about, and he furiously waves his hands back in forth. "Absolutely not! My hair and my armor doesn't need any changes. And big shoulderpads are just silly! Give me some classic rune plate any day." Hmmm...that might fly over everyone's head here, but Curtana is fine with that. "Hello, June. And yes, Haru is buying drinks tonight, apparently."
He does says this with a straight face.
"Colonel Sandy was AWESOME!" Fuka notes of her beloved peko. A creature of strong bonds and particular eagerness to work together with a rider, she's an ideal mount for the animal-loving Fukaziroh. Sandy nuzzles her, knocking her elf hat askew. It must be wired in somehow to have stayed on all this time, or else clothing and menu magic is in play.
Still grinning, Fuka peers up at the bovine werefang and the red-skinned oni. "Neither of you have trouble holding your booze, I'm guessing." she smirks. Then abruptly turns around at the chorus of others, blinking. "Gwen too! She has personal flotation devices when it comes to booze, right?" Fuka grins. "Come on, Will, join us! The night's young!"