A sandbox universe inspired by the Rob Cantor song Cuckoo.

Characters / Gallery / Writing / Minor characters / AUs

⚙ 1880s (Eddie) ⚙

Maxmillien Flugelmeyer is a weaselly clockmaker who is obsessed with the idea of being rich. 23 years old and probably 5 pounds soaking wet, Max spends all of his time designing elaborate deathtrap clocks to either hypnotize or maim their victims. The most fun do both. He is incredibly conceited and temperamental, and can be set off very easily. He is surprisingly gullible for a self-proclaimed "genius". His clocks work mostly by way of hypnotic music, written by the bellkeeper upstairs, Peter.

Behruz Rostami is Max’s assistant. He’s an amputee by way of an industrial accident, and began working with max to pay for the intricate, delicate clockwork prosthetic that Max made for him. Behruz is a little bit of an enabler, only if its because he thinks its funny to watch Max fail miserably at something and nearly lose a finger from one of his own inventions. Behruz is much more approachable and friendly than Max, and while enabling him to create a new level of stupidity, also functions as a moral center for Max’s schemes.

Peter Geiwitz is the bellkeeper, who lives blissfully ignorant of the chaos below him. He writes the songs that Max then programs his clocks to play. Peter is a bit ethereal and lives seemingly untouched by time or gravity. He sees instruments as friends, and is very gentle with them. Peter is mostly unaware of the fact that he has a proto-superpower in the strange effects his music has on the listener. He spends most of his time playing instruments, caring for them, and thinking about the portions of his life past. Peter’s room in the tower has a window with segments missing to see the stars, a way to remind him of his lost partner and their influence on his life.

Penn Russell is an apothecary/doctor who took care of Behruz after Behruz lost his arm. He’s caring and attentive, and allowed Behruz to live with him while he was healing, before Behruz became Max’s assistant and moved in with Max.

Kien Connelly is an Irish immigrant and a tailor, having come to the US with his impoverished family as a young boy to escape famine in his home country. He speaks with an Irish accent, though he intentionally suppresses it when talking to anyone other than his family and those he trusts. Through years of careful dedication and mentorship, Kien worked his way to being one of the most popular tailors among the high class society of the city. He is the only tailor who will see Max (out of pity), and he is typically working with clients or talking to the jeweler next door, who gifted him the purple brooch he often wears.

Emrah Demir is a jeweler who works in the shop beside Kien’s, and seems to be blissfully unaware of the fact that Kien has a (frankly very obvious) crush on him. He meets Max early on when he tries to strike a deal with Max to enhance his pocketwatches with precious stones, only to nearly lose a finger to one of Max’s trap clocks and decide that maybe Max is a little insane. The deal is back on later after Max grows up a little, but until then, he spends his days crafting and selling fine jewelry and metalwork.

⚙ 2010s (QuicksilverAce) ⚙

Howard Flugelmeyer is Max's great-grandson and a famed clockmaker. Once an idealistic inventor, nowadays he continues his business of hypnotizing the city’s orphans to work in subhuman conditions making clocks. He's cartoonishly evil, and his superpower is his hypnotic gaze which forces anyone who makes eye contact to obey his commands.

Ardalan Aragona is Howard's assistant, and he hates his job. Somehow, he's completely immune to Howard’s hypnosis, which is probably the only reason he's still alive. Alan keeps the business running smoothly almost singlehandedly, but is debating sabotaging his boss’ business from the inside. His only friend and drinking buddy is a man he knows as "Eddie" (David).

David Andrews (aka Edu) is one of the city's prominent superheroes. His superpower is audiokinesis. His main concern is Howard Flugelmeyer, and has no idea how Alan hasn't figured out who he is yet. After helping bust a shady research lab that Howard owns he becomes roommates with the unfortunate Dr. Gard.

Jonathan "Jay" Slick (aka Juno) is the other half of the dysfunctional duo of heroes. His superpower is chronokinesis. He's a cynical, depressive stoner type and drives David up the wall with his antihero attitude and habit of breaking into David's apartment at weird hours. Jay is Joey's cousin.

Dr. Steven "Stevie" Gard was a brilliant biologist who was forced by the Flugelmeyer company to do experiments involving phoenix DNA, using himself as the test subject. He now is a sort of mutant were-chicken who can turn into a giant humanoid rooster. He eventually learns to control his transformations and the phoenix-form's pyrokinesis, but he has to go "full chicken" to use it.

Zarin Lowell, usually only known as Grip, is an investigative reporter. His superpower is the ability to stop time for 15 seconds at a time. Rumor has it he and Juno exchanged real names and then promtly forgot. He gets captured by Flugelmeyer when trying to expose him for using child labor.

Joey Lartigue is Flugelmeyer's head of security and the guard assigned to making sure Grip doesn't escape. His superpower is telepathy, but usually doesn't tell anyone. He's paid well but has the attitude of every exhausted minimum wage worker. Like most significant workers at Flugelmeyer co, he only hasn't quit because he fears (with good reason) that Howard will kill him if he tries.



"What Cuckooverse character are you?" personality quiz

the only sane one (by Ace, ~1,000 words): David gets to know his new enormous, feathered roommate.

Coffee Break with "Eddie" (by bluef00t, ~900 words): Ardalan and David have a little chat.

The Bellkeeper's Partner (by Eddie, ~1,600 words): Behruz finds out more about Peter's past.

Grip (by bluef00t, ~8,800 words): How Grip got locked in a cell 8 stories beneath the Flugelmeyer building, and more importantly, how he gets out.

Minor characters

William Geiwitz: Peter's older brother, who took over the family farm when Peter moved to the city.

Apricot Arbor: A mysterious, mischevious person of indeterminate gender who was married to Peter for a time. Their eventual terminal illness led Peter and Penn to first meet.

Maxwell Flugelmeyer: Maxmillien's "son" (unbeknownst to most, he's actually a clone). Also Howard and Maxine's father. A lot of time and aging shenanigans are involved.

Maxine Flugelmeyer: Howard's older sister. Powers: a type of charmspeak that causes the listener to believe anything she says.

Lila (aka Belladonna): Howard's equally melodramatic villainous rival and eventually his wife. Powers: agrokinesis (the ability to control plant growth telepathically) and an immunity to plant-based poisons.

Caitlyn Gard: Steven Gard's wife, also a brilliant biologist. After his transformation, she dedicates her time to finding a cure or at least a treatment for her husband.

Miriam (aka Bee): One half of a popular duo of twin superheroes. Powers: a tranquilizing sting in her punch. She marries David post-story events.

Ashlyn (aka Bunny): The other half of a popular duo of twin superheroes. Powers: superspeed.

Comet "FJ" Trafford: A rather unhinged marine biologist and wannabe supervillain. He accidentally mutated a fish with wish-granting superpowers and immediately made this everyone else's problem.

Geoffery: FJ's poor wishing fish. Has human intelligence and can breathe air. Is very tired of FJ's shenanigans.

Elliot: A boy whose persistent nightmares begin to take physical form, eventually consuming the whole city in visions of their worst fears.

Mr. Moon: An antivillain who plunges the city into endless storms with a weather machine after the death of his daughter.

Cannibal: A monster woman with love-potion venom. She's literally a maneater. Unfortunately, the effects of her poison are contaigous...

A Lady: A mysterious figure whose kiss can (temporarily) reverse a key element of her target's personality.

Oleander "Ollie" Flugelmeyer: Howard and Lila's son. He also has agrokinesis, but is a rather laid-back guy who doesn't really want to become a villainous CEO.

Caspian Aragona (aka Rostam): A factory orphan who unexpectedly develops extremely strong telekinesis. He's one of Alan's (many) adopted children post-story events and becomes the city's next flagship superhero training under Edu.

Avery Gard: Steven and Caitlyn's daughter. She's born with a transformation and regeneration ability like Steven's.

Notable AUs

When one of Howard's immortality projects goes wrong, Ardalan gets de-aged to about six years old. But instead of fixing this, Howard quietly adopts him and raises him alongside his biological son Ollie as the perfect heir to the Flugelmeyer business.

Years later, new CEO Alan Flugelmeyer is a ruthless businessman who does his "father" proud. But he begins to become suspicious of his own adoption, and decides to investigate whether he's related to his father's old assistant who vanished under mysterious circumstances. What he finds scares him—enough that when a superpowered orphan named Caspian tries to destroy the factory, Alan teams up with the kid to ruin the company and exact revenge on dear old dad Howard.

Writing: uh oh you made a fucky wucky in the timeline (by Ace, 330 words)

Exactly what it says on the tin. For the most part, canon events continue as normal.

AU character names
Maxmillien: Maxine Flugelmeyer; still usually called Max
Behruz: Behnaz Rostami
Peter: Sarah Geiwitz
Penn: Penelope Russell
Kien: Kiera Connelly
Emrah: Elmas Demir
Apricot: still uses Apricot as a chosen name
Howard: Helen Flugelmeyer
Oleander: Ophelia Flugelmeyer
Ardalan: Aryana Aragona
Zarin/Grip: Zarin Lowell; still uses Grip as a nickname
Joey: Josephine Lartigue
David/Edu: Rachel Andrews/Miss Melody
Jay/Juno: Joanna Slick/Kronos

More coming soon...

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