Introduce the Session
in this session, the mice find themselves scolded by a fellow Guard for having missed a letter with orders from the matriarch. This fellow Guard hands them the letter, which is already opened and explains they were expected over a season ago in a settlement far from where they are currently to mediate a major dispute–no word on the nature of the dispute is given. They have a long trek, and should be under pressure to arrive promptly considering their tardiness. (in our case the mice were in Wolfpointe from last session and were needed in Flintrust)
Allow a patrol member to offer the prologue
Assign the Mission
The patrol must course over several weeks of travel to arrive at their destination as fast as possible. They must deal with the mediation, then are free to patrol the nearby region for any other matters. Unfortunately, they do not know the nature of the dispute, nor whether it has already been dealt with. They have only this old letter (not more than a season old, but you get the idea).
Allow the patrol to write Goals
Ensure the group is prepared to take on some personal goals. With so little to go on, they might all feel inclined to write a goal vaguely abotu solving a problem, but remind them they also have substantial travel ahead. It can make a good goal as well.
Review Beliefs and Instincts
Allow the patrol to review Beliefs and Instincts
this mission presents wilderness and mice obstacles. You will want to look at how the group might face these in creative ways. Open up decision-making to the group; they will surely surpise you.
The trek from one settlement to another does not need to be an incredible Ob, but the patrol has a long bit of travel on their hands. Had they been actively patrolling the regions assigned to them during the season, they would have received the letter on-time. The distance to their assignment would be far easier.
Consider some of the ways the patrol must face this travel; what is most important? Is it best to find an excellent path, prepare a good camp each night, watch for fair weather days to travel the most, harvest the bounty of the wilderness each day for food, or speak with an animal about getting a faster beast to act as mount for the patrol? You can suggest some possible checks, but remind them to consider the world around them.
To represent the extensive travel they must take on, allow for three skills to influence the tale of this obstacle. They might share the tests; however, each test will influence the following tests as well. Remember that the skills are being used concurrently during the travel.
(the travel could be represented by a journey conflict, but that places the obstacle in greater prominence in the session; i do not recommend it in this case)
The mice of Flintrust are a close community. Each mouse works. Each works hard. The government of Flintrust is formed by an oligarchy of eight council mice, with two representative speakers augmenting their council. These speakers interact with the mice of Flintrust directly and then return to the council with their petitions for matters of the settlement.
Each mouse serves their community family with the skills passed down from one generation to the next. A mouse is really not considered an adult in the community until close to thirty years of age; they live at home until then. Rarely will a mouse be allowed to leave Flintrust; the skills of the entire community are needed. When parents die early, sometimes mice are considered children under the care of the community until they are much older. This is especially important when they have a needed skill.
(If it helps, think of it as a bit communist and a bit socialist. Everymouse works with what they can, and can have anything produced or provided by other mice of Flintrust; it is far simpler than even a barter system.)
Recently, the Baker parents, and Brewer parents left their eldest daughters in charge of the business of the family while they took holiday in Lillygrove. They were stalked, killed, and eaten by crabs along the coast. The daughters are distraught, but want to be considered adults to make their own decisions and possibly move away from Flintrust. Their skills are needed, so the council does not want to allow this.
In addition, there is a stone mason’s son who has become the sole worker of the household; father is too old to continue. Regardless, it is still his father’s name which is given credit for the work done by the son. (in our case this worked perfectly as the stonemason is the enemy of an patrol mouse. his inclusion was essential to that.)
Lastly, there has been a recruiter from Windselm (est. 1153) trying to get mice folk from the territories to move out intrepidly to Windselm. Not only does he have some families petitioning the council for a rightful stock of provisions to resettle, but also, he saw a chance with Kirsten Baker, Millicent Brewer, and Russell Mason–all very young mice–to bring needed skills, two pretty young mice, and a handsome young mouse to Windselm to further the growth. The council denied this outright.
In their anger the foursome turned toward banditry to seek the provisions to make the journey. Now, they have all been arrested and are being held in a makeshift prison. The council wishes the Guard to become involved as mediators. They would have liked their involvement before these youths had turned to banditry. The youth only wish to move from Flintrust to make a name for themselves and be treated as adults. They felt it was only taking what was due to them.
There are the two speakers of the council who are both fully interested in the case. Both are quite beyond adulthood and deep into middle age.
Platte is a female councilmouse of Flintrust. She is a skilled boatcrafter (an out-of-place skill in Flintrust). She feels strongly the four bandits should be hanged by the neck until they are dead. She hates banditry and sees their petition to be counted as adults an insult to the Flintrust laws.
Platte has a belief which she will argue for or engage the council in empassioned speech for: The strength of a home derives from the integrity of the family. (in other words, to her, the community family is what makes Flintrust strong; it must be protected) In the case of a speech conflict, she will argue for a goal of hanging the four bandit mice.
Royce is a male councilmouse of Flintrust. He is a skilled miller (a common skill in Flintrust). He feels strongly the girls have a good case for being counted as adults in their respective homes. Without parents, they will not be allowed to arrange their own marriage; that will fall to the council. They cannot make decisions about their younger siblings. He feels they should have been given the right already. He also feels strongly about the mason’s boy being given status as an adult. In the case of the recruiter (Sinclair), he feels he took advantage of the girls and deflowered them in the as well as convinced them to banditry; however, he does not wish to kill this mouse. He would prefer he be exiled from Flintrust and news of his deeds be published throughout the lake region and Lillygrove. (let the guard take him far away)
Royce has a belief which he will argue for and engage the council in empassioned speech for: The strength of a mouse derives from the integrity of the home. (in other words, they will be strong mice because Flintrust is a good town; our community unity will last even if they go; they will carry it with them always) In the case of a speech conflict, he will argue the locals be forgiven (there is evidence), and Sinclair be branded an outlaw and expelled from the settlement. Furthemore, the local youths should be allowed status as adults and possibly be allowed to leave.
Sinclair is a male mouse who is in the area trying to convince families from the region surrounding the lake that Windselm is a great new place to resttle. The area boasts many skilled, hard working mice which would be an asset to fledgling Windselm. He does not deny the girls and the mason’s boy became involved in banditry, but denies he was involved in that. There is evidence against him claim of innocence. He will admit, if pressed, that he did take advantage of the two girls inappropriately, yet claims they initiated those relations. Sinclair has not specific belief, but will be given a chance to speak before the council. He will argue the local youth be given status as adults, be forgiven their banditry, and be given provisions to resettle in Windselm. He includes that he should be aquitted of any charges, since he is innocent (though he denies evidence to the contrary).
If the patrol does not become engaged in this as mediators; the mice will all hang; Platte will be considered the winner.
In the case of travel going badly through a few dice rolls, use a weather twist to induce some condition, then move onward. The mice obstacle is far more time-consuming in this mission.
In the case of the patrol not getting interested in the matters of the council, use an animal twist to provide an added dimension of action. The patrol might not want to be involved.