Envisioning locales and environments is a crucial step in my design process when I’m working on a game. My work on mouse guard has proved no different. Birchflow is the first locale that I’ve expanded upon for my own use.
Birchflow is one of the largest groupings of artisans in the Territories. Mice of the ‘soft sciences’ have been drawn to it for generations. What was once a small commune of mice who gathered to revere the forces of nature that seem to hold all mice captive, it has developed into a major trading partner. The birch trees that make its walls provide a supple wood and the makings of brilliantly white paper. The stream that runs through its borders provides ample cold-cellars to prepare brews and aged foods. Their skill is elevated by the belief that to craft delicacies (for the tongue or for the eye) from the bounty the world provides is to honor nature. It is the sale of these highly sought after goods that brought Birchflow from a simple vestige of nature worship into a thriving, defensible monastery. The artisans are able to purchase their safety from certain dogs of war by continuing to train the most skilled crafters in all the Territories. The books they illuminate and the records the duplicate make them invaluable to the guard and earn them a guardian in Lockhaven.
Birchflow is separated into a series of small dormitories, studios, and storerooms spread among a close-growing thicket of birch trees. A network of streams weave their way through Birchflow towards the great lake to the east. Over time they have made deep valleys of their banks, protecting Birchflow from flooding, but making access somewhat difficult for mice and land-bound predators alike.
Birchflow is a theocracy, commanded by The Prior, the most devoted of the monks. He is counseled by his most valued friends and acolytes, as well as the Masterpaw for each of the cities more profitable trades. When the standing Prior steps down or passes on, his advisors elect his successor.
Residents of Birchflow tend to be prefer perfecting their craft alone rather than accept help from others once they’ve completed their apprenticeship. They also dedicate their lives to the work of their craft. These craftsmice can easily lose sight of things that fall outside their discipline.
Recruitment Skills: Brewer, Archivist, Loremouse
Recruitment Traits: Independent, Disciplined, Steady Paws
Birch Bark Paper (famous for its pure white finish), books, cured/cellerable foods, artisan beer
Imports: Inks, grains, and metals.
Exports: Cellerable foods and brews.