Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Fall : Mouseworld


The Fall
Mouse World

Had a surprise guest come over one night for game night.  Turns out, our dear friend Jon showed up a week early for Rocky's birthday game night.  Although the night was originally set for Urim, Che and Rocky's Cthulhutech game, we sort of decided to make it a oneshot night instead so Jon (who brought cake) didn't feel out of place.  Digging through my game stuff, I was looking for a nice game to run and Rocky suggested we stick to something using the Apocalypse Engine since those were magnificent for no-prep games.   I toyed between Mouseworld and Companions and in the end went for the furry little adventurers inspired by David Petersen's comic, Mouse Guard, and the role-playing game with the same title.

Each player chose a role to play:
Urim played Angus, a Scout who was Covered in Moss and quite Athletic.  He was a Brown mouse with a Green Cloak from Grasslake, and was good with handling perilous journeys and Ambushes.

Rocky played Millicent, an Engineer who had Sharp Teeth and a Dextrous Tail.  He was a Red Mouse from Ironwood who wore a Yellow Cloak.   He was good with Setting Up Strikes and improvising things.

Che played Gail, a Soldier who was quite Tireless and a Lightsleeper.  He was a White Mouse from Lockhaven who proudly wore his Purple Cloak.  Gail loved using Heavy Weapons (being an Expert of them) and was quite Battle tested.

Finally, Jon played Sabina, a Scientist who had Nimble Paws and a Keen Nose.  She was a Grey Mouse from Lilygrove whose Blue Cloak informed others she was mentored by Quinn the Teacher.  Sabina was skilled in Brewing and had a Spider as an Insect companion.

The story I ran for them was based on the Fall volume of Mouse Guard.  Gwendolyn calls upon the four on a Mission to investigate why at an outpost in the distant Calogero.  While the Mouse Guard Ivy was supposed to handle that  duty, she had sadly passed away due to an unexpected illness.  The group hurry to the nearby stream, craft a boat to use, and navigate its dangerous waters to reach the distant beach.  The journey includes a dangerous encounter with frogs, as well as a chance encounter with a bear that thankfully finds them too small a target to be noticed.
They are forced to set camp midway and take shelter from a growing rainfall.  The hiding hole they find however turns out to be occupied by a dangerously huge toad.  Thankfully, Angus succeeds in negotiating with it some space to rest (although the mice wisely maintain their guard towards it).  Morning comes, and a rabbit had taken over their ship, forcing them to forage for supplies before continuing.

As they do so, however, they find themselves besieged by a snake that rises from the bushes.  It is only thanks to the careful tactics of Angus, Sabina's concoctions and Millicent's well timed set up that gives Gail the opening she needs to strike at the snake.  They find hints of another camp having been attacked by the serpent, but sadly no survivors are found.  They continue their journey to the beach of Calogero.

Upon arriving at Calogero, the place is found to be omniously quiet.  The group hurries to the building and sees the signs of damage and assault that have struck it. Spying within, Angus discovers that the old timer Conrad is held captive inside by what seem to be rebellious mice, though the rebels themselves seem to be terrified of something.   Before they could safely get inside, they learn of what frightens the rebels:  Crabs.

The group rushes inside the building to buy them time, but questioning the rebels on who sent the crabs, they find no answers.  As Millicent rigs up a system to rappel over the crabs and escape, the tactic only succeeds so well to allow most but not all to escape.   Conrad decides to buy the others time to warn Gwendolyn of the coming threat, a sacrifice that he is more willing to make given the knowledge that Ivy, his grand daughter had passed away some time back.  Conrad makes himself an easy target for the Crabs, giving the group the chance to escape.  Sadly, one loses a cloak in the process of the mission, an action which most likely is to bear grave repercussions upon their return.  And while Gail finds herself torn with wanting to stay and fight, the rest of the Guard remind her to focus on her duties.

The journey is long, and rations nearly run out, but the group endures and bring the rebels, called the Black Axes, back for questioning.   They return to Lockhaven and report to Gwendolyn, who does not take too well the news of Gail's outbursts, and more so in her disrespect shown towards the cloak.  When Gail comments that there are things far more important than just a cloak, Gwendolyn takes huge offense in this and publicly reprimands her for her actions.    Angus is commanded to leave the Mouse Guard as punishment for losing his Cloak and Gail seethes with what she sees as an unjust decision on the Guard's part.   What they do not realize, however, is that it is all an intentional act by Gwendolyn to make the two seem more interesting to the Black Axe rebels and make them appear as worthy candidates for recruitment.

It was a gamble.
But it was one which Gwendolyn felt was needed to uncover the truth about the rebellion.. and one she hoped Gail and Angus would forgive her for making in the end.

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