We played a fun, short mission and I thought I’d post it. Someone might use it and I’d welcome any pointers :). Plus, it was purposefully planned to be a cliffhanger, so pointers might help me plan the second half We are newbies to Mouse Guard and role playing. I find it hard to remember everything and our games are very long (often 4 hours) when we actually have battles and I keep having to look stuff up. I purposefully planned no battles so that it would run smoother. It took us about 1 1/2 hours. There was no Players Turn. They didn’t use their traits against themselves. We aren’t very good at that yet.
We are in the middle of winter, but I made it a mild winter. I only had two players. One (Forsythe - age 46) had taken grain to Elmoss and was returning to Lockhaven for the winter via Ivydale. In Elmoss he found 18 year old Guard, Moira, and she asked to travel back to Lockhaven with him. So, their “mission” was to return to Lockhaven. (I’m trying to set us up for our first Winter’s Session in Lockhaven.) Forsythe’s goal was to return to Lockhaven and practice mapmaking along the way. Moira’s was to return SAFELY to Lockhaven and have fun. In the end, she had not gotten to do several things she wanted to do, so she decided she had not met her goal of having fun.
As a short but heavy snow storm whipped up, they saw a mound ahead covered with blue and something shiny. They had to make it through the snow (test) to find a dead guardmouse with a sword and a mail bag. The blue cloak had a beautiful ivy clasp and the sword was etched with ivy. They didn’t recognize him though. They had to look for shelter (test) and test healer to see how much they could determine about the death. (No signs of struggle or blood or anything.) They had to decide whether to take him with them to Lockhaven or bury him (test). The ground was too hard to bury. All the while, they thought they saw something moving in the trees. Eventually they decided they had to abandon the corpse, but take the mailbag to Lockhaven.
About that time a mouse (Tedd) came out of the woods claiming to be the corpse’s (Tarnack’s) friend. Tarnack was going to take Tedd to Lockhaven with him because Tedd had always wanted to be a guardsmouse and while he was sure they wouldn’t accept him, Tarnack still said he could come spend the winter in Lockhaven with him. But, as they were preparing to leave Ivydale, with the mail, Tedd took ill. Tarnack left. Tedd recovered quickly and followed, only to find Forsythe and Moira with Tarnack’s dead body. He was following them to determine if they were friend or foe. But he begged them not to leave the body behind. (And he also offered to carry the mail bag, which Forsythe and Moira, suspicious of Tedd, would not let him do.)
After a day of travel and a night of sleep, Forsythe who intended to keep watch all night but fell asleep because he was tired from a failed test earlier, woke to find Tedd and the bag missing. They tested pathfinder and easily found Tedd’s trail in the snow. He was stranded in the middle of a riverlet with the mailbag. A failed test to build a boat left Forsythe on a raft, also stranded with Tedd. Moira failed an attempt to shoot an arrow with string onto the raft and pull it loose. (The string broke.) A test of Health (strength) succeeded in Tedd and Forsythe jostling the raft free. Tedd confessed that he thought if he could be the one to show up with the mailbag at Lockhaven (alone) they might consider him a hero of sorts and look favorably upon him. That is why he ran off. (He’d gone in the wrong direction and gotten lost because he was a town mouse with little sense of direction.) Forsythe assured him the guard was not going to look favorably on him, but did allow that Tedd could be the one to tell Tarnack’s wife, Lola, the bad news.
They continued on to the gates of Lockhaven and were let in. Forsythe told the story to the gatekeeper. The gatekeeper had never heard of Tarnack, which was not necessarily unusual. He threw back the cloak to take a look and said, “That’s not Tarnack. That’s Sloane!!” At this point, Forsythe and Moira realize that Tedd has disappeared and the game ended.
Now, what I know and the players suspect is that there is something in the mail bag that Tedd was trying to retrieve. He never met Tarnack/Sloane, he made that up. In fact, he had actually poisoned him in Ivydale and was tracking him, waiting for him to die. He had insisted they take Tarnack/Sloane’s body with them in the hopes of simply encumbering them enough to give him a chance at the mail bag. I don’t know what part 2 will be yet. I have to figure out what the letter says, something about a plot or trouble somewhere. It has to be big enough for Tedd to kill over. And they will have to hunt for and find Tedd in Lockhaven. And I haven’t decided if the plot is in Lockhaven or if someone was just sending to Lockhaven for assistance. Also, I had hoped to do a Winter Session where mice grow up and all, so I don’t really want them to spend the winter outside the gates saving mousedom. It has to be something that can wait till after winter or be dealt with in Lockhaven. Or I can send some imaginary guard mice to take care of it and grow up our regulars.