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Tuckagotchas, or Virtual Pets, were part of a brilliant mind-control scheme set up by a group of militant Xurientals in late -3 EC. The Xurientals intended to take over what we call Ghyll Proper by brainwashing us Proper Ghyllians with a cheap, addicting toy. The toy was called "Tuckagotcha", which is Xuriental for "small, strange creature that needs far more attention than your average person can provide it with, assuming that they maintain a lifestyle that contains a reasonable number of other activities and hobbies." They took the form of tiny egglike creatures with fur, entrapped in wicker cages. The owners of the creatures were then responsible for feeding and caring for their Tuckagotchas. Whenever the animals went hungry, thirsty, or slightly bored, they started chirping like birds. Their owner would then be forced to feed them, water them or play with them to shut them up.

The reason the things sold so well was that their chirping contained submental psychic hypnotic resonance frequencies, which caused their owners (and their owner's friends, family, co-workers and anyone else who happened to be nearby) to feel a sense of need for their Tuckagotcha. If they didn't have a Tuckagotcha, they would feel the need to buy one of their own.

As the creatures grew, they occasionally sprouted tentcacles or bulbs of flesh, which was seen as progress. Having a particularly well-tentacled Tuckagotcha was a sign of status in many places. The submental frequency signals also became stronger, and began to change in function. Instead of encouraging the listeners to buy more Tuckagotchas, they began to suggest that the Tuckagotcha Lords were coming and needed pampering just as their smaller subjects did.

Phase Two of the plan involved introducing larger creatures into the population, which would be able to subvert our culture from within. The militants never succeeded at this phase of the plan, however; they reckoned without the abilities of the Ghyllian toy corporations. Top toymaker scientists had been studying the Tuckagotchas for a long time, and having discovered that they were a form of EctoMechanaut, began developing their own cheap rip-offs.

Soon, Gottatuckas, Chirperuggatas, Tachirpers and Targarargararas were flooding the markets, each with their own special features and abilities that set them (slightly) apart from the others. The scientists, who hadn't understood the true purpose of the original Tuckagotchas, created imperfect submental frequency generators in their rip-off pets. This saved Ghyll Proper from destruction at the hands of trendy foreign toys, since the various signals scrambled and counteracted each other. Once the hypnotic effect was destroyed, Ghyllians quickly became sick of their "pets" and their constant need for attention. For weeks after the rip-off Tuckagotchas were introduced, the ground in most well populated areas became littered with pieces of wicker and small, sadly chirping balls of fluff. This was so disheartening to both the militants and the toy companies that Bearers of Bad News had to be employed to break it to them properly.

Although some Tuckagotchas got sold back to Xurientals by strong-willed Ghyllians, it is known that Xurientals are immune to submental hypnotic waves due to the fact that they live around the creatures that inspired the creation of Tuckagotchas, which are known as Trubbles. Nevertheless, Tuckagotchas and their rip-offs remained strangely popular in the Xurient long after Ghyll Proper had become sick of them.

The militant Xurientals have vanished into obscurity, and it is unknown if they are still attempting to take over Ghyll with toys, or if they are somehow behind the recent surgence of "Burfy" toys across our land.

Citations: Bearer of Bad News, Trubble, Xurient.

--Dfaran L'Eniarc 23:39, 7 October 2005 (EDT)

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