[b]Mission: Find and Milk the Spider for Its Venom
Weather: Spring Rain
Obstacles: Wilderness & Animal
Gwendolyn summons the guard to her chamber with a look of great pressure. To her side stands an elderly grey mouse wrapped in a thick orange overcoat. In his paw he holds a fragile brown scroll.
“Copperwood is experiencing a plague. You must travel to Pebblebrook and secure a portion of spider’s venom for an antidote.” With a graceful step she allows the oldfur beside her to step forward. “This is Areon, an archivist from Blackrock. He has found information from many seasons ago that has driven us to assign this important mission.”
Areon adjusts the spectacles on his face and clears his throat. “As Gwendolyn has said, some seasons ago another town had experienced similar circumstances to Copperwood. They too were ravaged by a seemingly incurable plague. The matriarch at the time sent her greatest Mouse Guard to scour the territories searching for answers. On their quest an old and well-traveled insectrist named Flinn discovered a spider whose habitat was found near Pebblebrook. There, he and his patrol captured specimens of the arachnid and milked their venom, which was then delivered to the sciencemice at a nearby town. With the help of Flinn and his knowledge of lore and insects, they created a remedy for the plague saving hundreds of lives.” He begins to unwind the antique scroll, “This is a log from Flinn’s travel journal recounting the spider you search for now.” He raises the scroll close to his face and continues. “It seems that the spider is all black and carries a distinctive red mark on it abdomen, highly venomous and tends to be aggressive towards intrusion. Their lairs are often found near ground level and resemble a haphazard style of web construction.” Rolling the scroll and tying it back with a leather string, he gestures towards the matriarch and bows slightly.
Gwendolyn stares heavily on the patrol, and says “You must find this spider in Pebblebrook and secure its venom.” She sighs, “Copperwood is a large town with many resources, the medicines they have there are keeping the sick alive, but they still have not found a cure. For now the plague has been contained within the mines behind the waterfall, which is where the point-of-origin seems to be. But without aid, I fear the city may lose many lives.”
[b]Write Session Goals:
You left Lockhaven without delay, and traveled through an uneventful night before setting camp and sleeping peacefully till dawn. You awoke to an overcast sky, with a steady rain falling overhead. Dutifully your patrol set a quick pace towards Pebblebrook.
After having past Barkstone, you recall that Areon gave you one last bit of help and handed you a glass jar to collect the venom. He also invited you to call upon his assistant, Gillead, who has been searching the archives at Barkstone upon Areon’s request, should the patrol need any food or rest after they found the spider.
Fallen Tree: Wilderness
Nearing Pebblebrook, the patrol stops to find a tree has fallen across the path, a small crew of what looks to be local members from the town are attempting to finish a large tunnel through the rotten trunk and once again reopen the trail.
GM: “You’re going to need to pass a laborer test to get to Pebblebrook.”
Test: Laborer – Ob 3 (factoring rain as well)
Weather Twist: If the laborer test is failed, then read; “You are successful in helping reopen the trail. The patrol may now move forward. However, the rain has made your work wearisome. You must pass an Ob 3 health test or risk getting tired from your labor.”
Arrive at Pebblebrook: Animal
You enter Pebblebrook as the rain dissipates and the sun begins to take back the sky. Quickly your patrol begins asking the inhabitants for clues as to whether or not anyone has seen the signs of a spider fitting your description. An old forager wearing a wide brimmed straw hat, nods happily as you question him, and he answers with delight “Yes’ir, I have seen the likes of that black demon near a favorite spot of mine…” he leans close and whispers his next words, “Don’t tell anyone, but the nest sits right next to a thick patch of fresh herbs I’ve been tending and wait’n to harvest an’ sell.” He winks and begins walking towards the wilderness waving for you to follow, “It’s not far from town. I’ll take you right there. My names Stem by-the-way, Stem Hillongs.”
Stem guides the group to a shaded patch of flat rocks. A natural outcropping of stone juts forward from the mess, and there underneath hangs the spider you are looking for huddled near her egg sack.
GM: “This will be difficult. The spider is surrounded by a cage of thick webs. You must pass an Ob 3 Hunter’s test to reach and trap the spider, then an Ob 4 Insectrists test to extract the venom. Or you could test your Scientist skill to lure the spider out of its web to feed and capture it using a trap, Ob 5.
Black Widow: Nature (Spider) 3
Web spinner, Secretive
Black Widow weapons:
Venom - +1s to attack. Eight Legs - +1d to maneuver.
Mouse Twist: If the patrol fails at either of the tests, allow the group to secure the venom in the glass jar but invoke this next scenario. “The spider venom has been successfully milked and stored in Areon’s glass jar. However during the ordeal, the spider has perished from the stress. You group moves to leave the nest as Stem shouts in sudden horror, “MY HERBS, my precious herbs!” You turn to see that the spider’s egg sack has just split open. Erupting from inside are hundreds of freshly hatched spiderlings. They begin to spread and climb all over the place including Stem’s herb garden. He points a single claw in your direction and exclaims, “This’s your doin! Weren’t for you all, I’d be able to come back here t’morrow and collect a fortune.” He throws his hat to the ground and kicks dirt on it. “Now I’ll never be able to come back! Before, I only had one black demon to deal with, now I got thousands of em’! You Guards cost me everything!” Clearly Stem wants recompense.
Nature (Mouse) 5
Skills: Harvester 5, Haggler 4, Persuader 4, Underbrush-wise 4
Traits: Fiery (1)
GM’s turn is now over, but the threat to Copperwood is still extremely dire. Don’t forget to stress the need for action and fidelity.
“You can recover from your conditions; quickly make your way to Elmoss to deliver the spider venom, return to Blackrock to meet Gillead, or whatever you want. But hurry, Copperwood is in trouble.
Continuing the Adventure:
- Copperwood is still in trouble; the Guard must get to Elmoss and make a cure for the plague!
- Where has the plague come from?
- Why did the plague start in the mines?