I am in the midst of creating my first Mouse Guard character and I want to go for a more Nordic feel. Would it be out of the question for my character to have his cloak made from the fur of a foxwolf or bear? I know that kind of takes away from the whole color thing but it makes sence for the character I am looking to create. Any thoughts?
i think it would have to be from a furry creature of a smaller size such as a rat, ferret, hare or rabbit, mole, shrew, etc. You may also consider types of leather from skin of frogs, salamanders, or toads. Insects and arachnids could provide hardened armor material.
Remember that the order of natural things gives some added clues about what sort of things mice could reasonably take down on their own. If it were common for cloaks to be made with hairs that were pulled from the hide of a fox, wolf, or bear amongst thorns, bark or stones, it would be more believable than a cloak made of a leather hide from fox, wolf or bear.
I think that any mouse who wore fox or bear fur would be a serious badass. Don’t mess with him, man, he took down a fox!
Also think about the length of hairs relative to a mouse. A bear hair might be as long as a mouse!
I could see an alternative setting where all the mouse guards wear that kind of fur. Maybe every time the guard kills a fox (once a generation, say) they skin it and use the furs as a badge of honor. A bit bit darker and even more badass then the canon version of the guard.
Kenneth & Viktor - Thanks for the replies.
Allow me to elaborate a little on my character’s background. He was born and raised in a small border village North East of Wolfpointe. The village acted as a watch post and border base for the Border Guards ( a Ranger-like group of warriors based out of my campaigns Wolfepointe). The village has a long standing tradition of sending 1 young mouse to the Mouse Guard per year. The selection is done through the Right of Selection where the young mouse must prove there bravery and worth to the village elders to earn this privilege as well as his name (prior to selection they are just called so & so’s Son or Dottir). My character, Fenris, won his selection and his name by cutting the skin off of a sleeping wolf’s leg. The blade he used had been created by his father, a very skilled smith, who had sharpened the blade over and over for a month until the edge was razor sharp and incredibly strong. He still carries the blade today (named Wolf Tooth). He cut the skin from the wolf without even waking it up. The wolf is still alive and is called “Skin-shank” now. This deed earned him the selection for that year as well as gaining him the attention of his future mentor, Bastian, who felt that Fenris was a kindred spirit.
I hope this helps explain things a little more.
well, i can’t argue with the story. If I were the game master I wouldn’t accept that. Even sneaking up on a domesticated dog and brushing over hairs will typically be enough to wake the dog.
I wouldn’t defang a wolf by saying that anything could sneak up on it and cut off its skin without waking it. That’s far too much suspended disbelief.
If I were GMing I would encourage you make that bit into a goal. That’s a pretty cool story, it would be way better to play it out in the game. Back story should set up future conflict, instead of just being something awesome you did once. The awesome stuff should happen at the table!
Something to also take into consederation is that in Mouse Guard canon some animals, like hares, weasels and ferrets, are intelligent and even civilized and although you hate them with all your heart maybe you don’t skin them and make cloths out of them or eat them. On the other hand we have had cannibals and human sacrifice through out the history, at least as late as ancient mediterranean cultures there were human sacrifices. But it should be an conscious decision I think. Having, for example hare, weasel or ferret, skin for clothes would be similar to having human skin for clothes for a human although not exactly like that, maybe like if a cro magnon human would have made clothes out of neanderthals.
It’s alittle of cultural decision, how do your Mouse Guard mice act and do most mice accept the same behaviour?
I have to agree with Illern. I thought it would be cool to have a cloak made from weasel. Considering how close they maybe in culture it would be overly barbaric. It’s like having a decapitated hand attached to my belt as a trophy. That’s just an appalling thought!
How about a cloak made from the fur of a trantula? They are quite hairy after all and big compared to mice.
Another thing to think about with bear fur is that it would take a small army of mice to deal with a bear. The leader of that mission might hand out fur to line capes to every guard who bravely stood by the territories in the face of such a beast. I like the idea of a fur-lined cape being a signifier to other mice that you helped with Mission: Poison Honey Comb.
Both nice ideas I think.
After much deliberation and discussion with my GM we decided to play out my background and the story changed slightly from the original one I posted. Fenris still received his hunting knife from his father and he still earned his name but the part that changed was the part concerning the wolf and cutting the fur off of it. What ended up happening instead was right out of Lion King. The part where Simba and Nala go to the elephant graveyard.
Fenris ended up going into a wolf den that was thought to be occupied by a ferocious old wolf. What he found was the remains of a ferocious old wolf. He used his hunting knife to break a piece of tooth from the skull and took a piece of fur from what was left of the pelt. As he left he was acosted by a crow who apparently had staked a claim on the wolf’s remains and did not appreciate them being tampered with. Fenris was fighting for his life when his future mentor, Bastian, arrived and intervened. The crow was fought off and the two returned to Fenris’ village. Fenris was put forth as that year’s champion and sent to Lock Haven with Bastian. After Fenris completed his service as an Armorer he became the apprentice Tender Paw to Bastian. After his term as Tender Paw was over, Bastian awarded Fenris with a gray cloak which had the wolf fur from their first meeting sewn over the shoulders, making Fenris look larger, and the tooth fragment became re-fashioned into the handle of his father’s hunting knife and earned the name “The Wolf Tooth.”
This all seemed more to the liking of my GM and I actually liked the way this turned out better than the background I had invented. It seemed a little less blood thirsty than what I had come up with and roleplaying the back story turned out to be very enjoyable.
Cool! I like how it turned. Playing out a characters back ground like you did sounds much more rewarding.
On the other, coming to think of, the celtic peoples were quite civilized and advanced, no matter what some romans wrote about them and no matter what we like to think of them, and some of them did cut their fallen enimies head off and tied it to the saddle as trophies. Well within known history some ancient cultures as romans, cartheginians and etruscians did sacrifice people, maybe even their own. So it could be a big controversy among mice maybe whether you can take trophies from any animal or only from uncivilized animals.
This maybe moving away from the topic a little bit…but since it was brought up. Trophies like remains could be used to gain sympathy with evil alignment types. Or even used as gear to get a helping bonus to intimidate rolls. Trophies like weapons and armor from enemies could inspire hope to all those good alignment mice from around the territories.
Just some food for thought.
Good food for thoughts I think. My players are definitely ‘‘too bad’’ at using tools for helping dice.
I don’t think this is getting away from my original post, just expanding on it. Having Mouse Guard decked out with items showing pieces of vanquished foes would be cool if a little barbaric. My character has his small portion of wolf pelt draped over his shoulders in addition to a wolf tooth handled hunting knife. Admittedly, having some over the top trophies being carried around would be a little far fetched just because of the size but within reason I see no reason to exclude trophies into your game as long as their is a good story to go with it. (Me likes a GOOD story.) Another player in my group has a lucky bird claw that she carries around. I want to know what kind of bird it is and why is the claw lucky. Can’t wait to hear that story. The GM might even play out that little scenario for the rest of us to enjoy.
Anyway, just my thoughts.
In Mouse Guard cannon, some mice do wear fur cloaks. It doesn’t take away from the color thing (as they can have it dyed if they wish). A fur cloak has the benefits of warmth, perhaps some level of waterproofness, some amount of camouflage, and the symbol it shows of how that mice may not be one to mess with. The downsides would be the weight, the heat (in the wrong weather) and perhaps the downside of the symbol it shows (“that mouse thinks it’s tough because it’s taken on a fisher? I’ll show it!”)
I have an NPC in my current game named Oswyn who was a hero in the winter war. He has the trait Huge (in human terms he would be 6’8" and 300lbs), who over his black cloak wears a cape made of weasel pelt and carries a weasel scimitar (which counts as a axe for him).
t think it takes away from the cloak colors at all! I rather think it adds to it. As long as your mentor had his or her reason for picking that cloak and, its all good! Furs can have different colors too.
I was actually thinking of making a character with a cloak made out of a snake`s skin.