Feral cloud

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"Feral cloud" is the collective name given to the feral zombies that follow in the wake of an organized zombie horde.

What is a Feral cloud?

A feral cloud is the collective term given to the feral zombies that follow the groans of a moving horde. As time goes on, feral clouds tend to grow larger as they sweep across the city, catching up more and more ferals. At later stages, the feral cloud can deal even more damage to an area than the passage of the horde itself.

Benefits of Feral Clouds

Hordes actively encourage and promote the growth of feral clouds as they benefit both the horde as a whole as well as the feral zombies individually.

The horde works effectively to break open and deny strategic targets in a suburb to humans, most usually the mall, Necrotech buildings, police departments, and hospitals. They also break open many other buildings in the suburb, allowing feral zombies to feed on the humans left inside. As a direct result of the horde's tactics, the defensive capabilities of a suburb are regularly crippled, making it much easier for feral zombies to break into buildings and devour the surviving humans who have failed to flee. In this way, a feral cloud often becomes self feeding, though still drawn in the wake of the horde in its search for food, finishing off the buildings that the horde simply doesn't have the time or will to destroy themselves.

Death of Clouds

Feral clouds can, and with some regularity do, die. This almost universally happens when the horde pulling the cloud comes to a halt. This can be because the horde has returned to its home, because the horde is pausing to allow its straggling members to catch up, or because it hits a mall or other building (or set thereof) that stubbornly refuses to die for a couple of weeks. The feral zombies in the cloud, without a steady supply of groans and food to keep them interested, usually disperse.

There are a number of theoretical tactics to disperse a feral cloud, but none of these have been executed successfully as of the time of writing.

History

Feral Clouds were rare before the introduction of Feeding Groan in December 2005. There are only four instances of such clouds being created prior to that.

  1. The fall of Shearbank in September 05.
  2. The destruction of Ridleybank in Late September/Early October 2005
  3. The First Siege of Caiger Mall generated a localized cloud that soon dispersed without doing too much damage due to unique circumstances.
  4. Stanstock (The cloud dispersed after Stanstock and the introduction of Feeding Groan)

Of these three, the first two were particularly destructive. These clouds were generated as a result of the spread of information regarding these events through metagame means. The first two were also arguably the most potent clouds of history, both devastating numerous surrounding suburbs when they dissipated.

Once Feeding Groan was implemented, zombie hordes became capable of pulling feral clouds after them. The first and most devastating of these clouds was the first Mall Tour, whose cloud was drawn initially from zombies that had populated Whetcombe Park and participated in Stanstock, and laid waste to most of Malton's malls.

Later, the Big Bash managed to destroy over half the city with an enormous feral cloud participating, at one point the entire western side of the city was in the red. These days, there is typically a feral cloud in one form or another following most large hordes. Major feral clouds these days typically follow the year's incarnation of the Big Bash or Mall Tour.

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