Continuing The Grain Peddler:
Rather than continue to Barkstone after finding the map at the peddler’s overturned cart, Nipsy used the Player’s Turn to rush back to Lockhaven to confirm that the peddler was a spy and show the map to Gwendolyn. On the way she saved two mice: Rendon, who wanted to see the legendary Lockhaven in person, and Darrow, who wants to join the Mouse Guard.
The mission ended on the “to be continued” from Gwendolyn of “Make your way to Barkstone as quickly as possible to uncover this conspiracy.”
Nipsy is Hungry, Angry, and Tired after a tough time fighting a snake and the elements. Before she leaves, I will give her the opportunity to grab a hot meal with her artisan Grahame the Cook. If she manages to remember last session well enough to do the prologue, she’ll lose Angry and thus be able to get a good night’s sleep in Lockhaven. She will no longer be Tired. Otherwise she’ll be starting this trip Angry and Tired, which could be vicious!
The Pitch: The next morning, Rendon asks for an escort back to Shaleburrow. Darrow has been settled in as an apprentice brewer, and Rendon can’t be sure how soon another Guard will go to Shaleburrow.
It’s on the way to Barkstone anyway, and Nipsy happens to be from Shaleburrow. She is likely to oblige.
The Journey Begins:
The rain that marred yesterday is gone, but some of the rivulets are still growing as water gradually escapes the leaves of the trees and runs down the trunks. The path has sunk after the rain, enough that muddy water is flowing for some distance between this side and the far side.
It’s an Ob 3 Boatcrafter to make a one-time use boat for two, Ob 2 if she left Rendon behind to fend for himself. Likewise, it’s Ob 6 Survivalist to jury-rig a boat. The water is too deep to swim. It’s Ob 5 Pathfinder to try to find a way around.
Without tapping Nature or adding a die, all of those Obstacles will be impossible. But she does have a Persona point.
Complication: Nipsy successfully builds a boat, but an unexpected wind drives them far from the path down the ever widening rivulet. Eventually they manage to reach the intended shore, only to find themselves face to face with a surprised weasel who was drinking at the water’s edge!
Nipsy may try to escape (the smart thing to do) or stand and fight, trying to kill this weasel interloper. Since she tried to fight a milk snake by herself, who knows?
Escaping/Hiding: 4 Mouse Nature v 4 Weasel Nature, with a helping die from Rendon if he’s around. She may use Hidey-hole-wise for an extra die, too. If failed, she pushes herself as hard as she can and is Tired by the escape. But she also has dire news. There is at least one weasel between Shaleburrow and Lockhaven!
Fighting: A Fight Animal Conflict against a weasel with Nature 4, Fighter 5, and the Cunning 2 trait (adding +1D whenever he is being cunning). He is wielding a sword. Rendon can only help with Defend and Maneuver actions using his Nature.
The weasel’s Conflict Goal is “Kill these two mice before word spreads that I am here.” Thus a compromise could include Rendon’s death.
The Journey Continues:
The air turns colder, a reminder that winter only recently passed. Even a tough mouse needs to shelter against the air’s bite at night, and Rendon is not a particularly tough mouse.
It’s an Ob 2 Survivalist test to make a shelter for one mouse (one mouse makes more sense than for a Patrol, approximately four mice).
Complication: If Nipsy fails, they wake up from their crude shelter to find that snow has been falling heavily all night. The trees are white, though the ground resists it because of the recent rain. The journey past Shaleburrow will be harder.
One way or another, possibly Injured, alone and in the snow, Nipsy will likely reach Shaleburrow.
Rendon’s very-young brother will be watching the entrance of the tunnel leading down into the cavern-under-rocks that is Shaleburrow. If Rendon made it, he will be very happy, and Rendon will insist that Nipsy visit his family now or any other time she is in town. If Rendon isn’t there, the baby-mouse will ask imploringly, “Have you seen my brother?” (I’m not above guilting!)
Before she can take advantage of the offer of hospitality (or as she makes her way past the tearful young mouse), she sees a mouse in a gold cloak, unmistakably of the Mouse Guard, in the previously-ceremonial stockade in front of the Council Hall. The captain of the town guard appears to be lecturing him. When Nipsy investigates, the captain will tell her disgustedly that this mouse, Frederick, is a murderer. Frederick will protest mightily, saying he discovered the scene of a murder while searching for a weasel who had eluded him a few days ago.
“Councilor Hannidy saw you kill him.”
“Councilor Hannidy did the deed himself!”
Hannidy is a failed Guardmouse trainee who has resented Nipsy ever since(her Enemy). And now, apparently, a Councilor.
Shaleburrow’s government consists of three officials: the female mouse who most recently gave birth, the eldest male mouse, and the most successful forager of the year before. Hannidy, it would seem, was most industrious!
The Player’s Turn: Jailbreak! or Law & Order
Nipsy faces a choice, a particularly tough one if she hasn’t earned any checks and only has one to spend. She may try to break out Frederick by fighting the guard captain (Her Belief: “I will fight for and sacrifice anything for the Mouse Guard, who are my family.”), convince the Councilors of his innocence, or try to recover from Angry or Injured (recovering from Hungry/Thirsty and Tired is automatic, since she can go stay with her family). Just how much will she do for her Mouse Guard family?
If she tries to convince the Council of his innocence, she will have an Speech Conflict with Hannidy. If she tries to break him out, she’ll have a Fight Conflict with the Guard Captain. Hannidy is not that good at social skills, but Nipsy isn’t any better. If she fails the Fight, she’ll likely end up in the stockade next to Frederick. If she fails the Argument, Frederick will not go free. Hannidy will be delighted to have a guardmouse to punish.
If she ignores him because she feels the good of the Guard’s good relations with the towns come before any one mouse, she’ll earn a Persona point for playing against her Belief. If she tries to save him, she’ll get a Fate point for acting in accord with her Belief - you stand by your brother in his hour of need, whether he be wrong or right! And he is family, for he is a Mouse Guard.
Obviously some alterations on the fly will be needed depending on what she chooses as her Goal this session, and whether she changes her Instinct (currently “Always base decisions on good information,” but she never does that).
This is the first Mouse Guard mission I’ve ever written. Any feedback is welcome, criticism especially.