At long last, we had out finale for Old Country for New Mice! School and life took a toll on our game time. We were able to eek out a final session this past week to put a cap on our game.
The mission would be very clear, but very complicated. I wanted to experiment keeping missions more open ended than I have in the past and play this by ear. As a finale, I had an obligation to make sure things wrapped up so this mission would be a long one.
"The peace between Weasels and Mice is at risk. Hostilities have escalated there. Travel to Ferndale, speak to our Guard liaison there and his Tenderpaw. See what can be done between Ferndale, The Weasels, and the guard to put this genie back in the bottle before we have a War on our hands."
The game begun with journeying to Ferndale. This was a difficult pathfinding check traveling over fallen logs and thick underbrush. Our party tried to take a shortcut over a decaying log and ended up falling through right into a wasp nest! Luke, acting quickly, calmed the Wasps before any harm could be done.
I described Ferndale as a eclectic fort surrounded by sharp Palisades and anti-siege spikes. Standing high above the walls is the Ferndale's keep, built atop a large stone mastaba, built long ago by Weasels.
The party, approaching Ferndale were harassed by the fort's mice. They demanded the guard relinquish weapons and swear fealty to the Fort's commander. Obviously confused, the party circled up the fort commander and demanded an explanation. The Party won over the commander (Garrow being a war hero would be a great weapon against the imminent weasel assault!) and finally admitted that the other Mouse Guard stationed here have been uncooperative. The party was able to persuade the commander for some time with the imprisoned guardsmice.
The fort has been under attacks by raiding Weasels and it has taken a toll. The Fort is hardened and under lockdown. The Mouse Guard refuse to acknowledge the situation out of fear of escalating this into a war, so the fort feels betrayed and kind of on its own. It gets worse when the guardsmice here (the ones the PCs are supposed to meet act VERY suspicious to the mice in the fort, refusing to disclose what they were doing around the Fort.)
They met the mice in the jail beneath the Mastaba where they explained that they came barring a message for our PCs from Moira-- Garrow's Weasel frenemy. The two were imprisoned for defying the Fort commander and not giving this message to him. They said that Moira said she had a solution that could stop the war. She has vital information about the weasels attacking the fort. She said that Garrow would know how to find her (Circles).
The party persuades the fort commander to let them out of the Fort while not telling them what they're doing, and sneak out circling up Moira. Moira doesn't belong to the weasels attacking the fort, so this is kind of sneaking out into the fringes of a battlefield to meet up with a spy!
Moira meets them and greets them both. She explains that a tunnel lord has fallen and that the tunnel princes are feuding. The attacks against your fort are attempts at a particularly brash young prince to gain respect. You see-- beneath the mastaba is a the tomb of a great Tunnel Lord. If the weasel prince can get the crown then he can unite the weasels (with legitimacy) and stop the feuding. Now this clearly doesn't stop the tension between Weasels and Mice, but Moira can maybe sway this Lord and handle him... sticking the pin back in this grenade. It's a tense situation and the PCs want to know what they should do! Moira tells them to sneak into the Mastaba, avoid the dangers and traps, and deliver her the crown and she can deliver it to the Prince. She has no proof this would work, and that the Party has to trust her. Garrow wants to know why she's hasn't responded to his Swords and Stronghold move in their play-by-mail game. She apologizes and says this affair has taken a lot of time from her.
So our Mice sneak into this crypt, avoiding guillotine traps and mazes to recover the crown! They sneak once more OUT of the fort to find Moira once more and turn over the Crown.
Moira thanks them for their service. As she's leaving, she tells her that she has decided on her move in the game. She leaves into the darkness in the tunnel and as she's going, Weasel warriors come out surrounding the Party! Betrayal!
We ended our season on that note.
This was a VERY FUN way to end our session-- with a dungeon crawl! I love Mouse Guard so much. I've been playing so much of it lately online. I've done a Mouse Guard Samurai game (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSwYQrAxiRI) and currently GMing an ongoing regular mouse guard game.
This mission was pretty crammed with content and should have been two missions, but since this was the finale-- so it goes! We all loved this game a lot and I kept how they were gonna play with this scenario pretty open. We have a quasi-religious/cultural conflict where neither side is going to give ground. The party, when realizing the scale and scope of what was going on recognized why what they did her would have widespread ramifications. It was great fun seeing them work in desperation to keep the peace.
I was hugely inspired by The West Wing for this episode and Middle East politics.
I hide in a cubicle all day until the night time where I play RPGs and other games and stuff.