Would you believe I clapped when Gnome said “Success!” Because hey, that was a damn good way to go.
COOL BALANCE THING!
WHEN YOU DO THESE SUPER SERIOUS< LIFE OR DEATH THINGS, AND THE PLAYERS BURN THEIR ENTIRE RESOURCE POOL TO LIVE OR DIE!
Rest in Peace Marx. You will be missed.
What a hero mouse, Marx definitely did not go quietly.
That was well played.
God that was brutal. Marx held up so well, though, and got some good successes where it counted considering the odds were against him.
With that being said, pretty fitting for Gnome’s character to be tortured by an Overlord, all things considered.
I don’t know why but i was expecting Ram Paul when they were in the great hall to greet marx via laying on the table with a rose in their mouth. I don’t know why. Man that was brutal, interesting episode also curse the bleeped spoilers.
Harford isn’t going to back down, but neither are the Mouse Guard. This ship can’t be allowed to leave port!
This season doesn’t have a montage episode coming, so this is the end of the Fall season! Next episode, Winter sets in.
Well, that was a hell of an episode. Really can’t wait to see how Winter shakes out now that all of Autumn is said and done.
To my dearest, sweetest boy, Tander;
What’s this I hear about you coming home and not stopping by? One day I go out and the gossip is flying about a chase and a boat, and now half the dock inspectors are fired, and some little Tenderpaw in a hat was in the middle of it? I was mortified to have people telling me things about my own son that I didn’t know. How dare you put me in that position! You were so close to home you could have thrown a rock through the window and you didn’t even wave? All your life and what does it get ya? Thanks a lot and out with the garbage.
Please remember that your father and I are wild with pride and support you in everything. I’ve included a batch of your favorite cookies. Please don’t eat them all at once.
My thoughts are with you. I heard the story, the parts we know for sure at least, and more than anyone else I’m concerned for you. You’ve never lost anyone in your service, have you? Please reach out to us this summer, the older mice who have been there and chosen what to do next. You decide, but you are not alone. Believe me. No one is alone. I lost a tenderpaw once, three years before I was charged with Isolde. If you want to trade stories, please say so.
Bronwyn, Guard Captain
Hello Zeke. I wanted to thank you again for doing us that favor. Reginald is ruined. He has a product with no buyers, and a lifetime ban from shipping through Port Sumac, Darkwater, and Mapleharbor to boot. He didn’t see that coming… but I did! I’m sorry, I shouldn’t make jokes. It makes people nervous and gives them the wrong ideas. I’m always telling them “Don’t you mind about the future. Don’t you try to think ahead. Save tomorrow for tomorrow, think about today instead”. I try to show them there is a path to prepare for, but so many get hung up on the details they stumble into it completely off guard. Good luck with your curse Zeke. I find they only fall on those that can shoulder them.
-The Seer Juniper
Patrol Leader Francisca,
I have been bested by the waves. Regretfully, our weapons were not recovered before the harbor began to ice. Thank you for breaking my mistake. Juniper has swayed me back to Orthodoxy, and I trudge east through the snow. Lina will answer for the mockery she made of us. And I know if I’ll only be true to this glorious quest, that my heart will lie peaceful and calm when I’m laid to my rest. If war is in our future, and if I have hastened it, then I can no longer run. She will die by whatever blade I can reach.
TO: Gloves & Velvet
[CORRESPONDENCE REDACTED FOR YOUR BENEFIT BY THE OFFICE OF MAYOR CAVRE]
I hope this letter finds you well. It is with the greatest regret I must confirm what you may have already heard. Your son has died. The immediate circumstances are not clear, and it is my top priority to determine the facts. Marx embodied the best of the Mouse Guard. His dedication to service above all else was inspiring. There are communities thriving today because of him. He was an asset, but he was also a friend. There’s a grief that can’t be spoken, and there’s a pain goes on and on, but Marx would be the first to say that we cannot stop for it when there is work to be done.
Gwendolyn, Matriarch of the Mouse Guard
To our dearest granddaughter,
You don’t know how much joy it brings us to have you in the family, even if you haven’t visited since it became official. We love you all the same. If we only knew what was to come when you were on our porch those months ago! Now you two, the two of us, and Hops, we’re a typical family quintet. Hops says hello, by the way. He’s been trying to do everything himself at the brewery, shoving us out like we’re already useless. But it’s because he cares. He’d blow his lid if he saw us saying so though, like chaos never happens if it’s never seen. But you’re family now! No secrets! We have so much to catch you up on. You’re always welcome to our house on Maple Avenue.
From your doting grandparents, Stout and Poppy
For Isolde [one copy delivered, one placed on permanent file, one delivered to Quartermaster Genrui]
Following your patrol’s requisition of four hares on emergency detatchment, three returned themselves to the stable and had nothing out of the ordinary to say. One hare, the one you rode upon, returned early and I’ve spent weeks convincing him not to quit. Our relationship with our dear friends, the hares, is vital to our purpose. My job is to maintain that relationship. To take care of their needs, to show them they’re appreciated, to listen to their dreams. But that’s never going to happen if they get treated like livestock instead of our equal partners! I know what mice whisper in the courtyard: that I’ve gone screwy alone in the stables. Whatever they say about me, I don’t care! Have fun gallavanting about the territories without a care in the world; but know that without our hares, Wolfepointe would be a mess of hoofprints. If you’re typical of the guardsmice out there I’m happy to remain in Lockhaven. I’d rather be me than be with you. Enclosed is an invoice for the extra time and treats it took to get things under control.
Meredith, stable-keeper of Lockhaven
Guide to the Territories pt9: Kenzie and Rand
Kenzie is wise, prudent, and calm. He wanted to join the guard from a very young age and dreamed of slaying beasts, until he took a lesson from his father to heart: that wits can be the sharpest weapon. He is based in part on Jesse Glenn, a childhood friend of David Petersen, fellow illustrator, and collaborator on their “The Plotmasters” project. Kenzie appeared in our first episode, but has his first speaking part in our current most recent one. In the Fall and Winter volumes his leadership saves the day.
In the game, his skills tend toward thinking and planning, with 5s in Persuader and Survivalist. He has the traits Calm, Tall, and Leader; and he is Duck-wise. He takes one of the Guard’s mottos for his belief “It’s not what you fight, but what you fight for” and his instinct is “Always consult Saxon when trouble arises”, which may have left him feeling a bit lost when the two of them were working solo this season in our story.
Rand is dedicated and stoic. In his patrols he would tire out his enemies before laying a severe blow with the pointed end of his shield. Rand doesn’t make many appearances in the source material, because he is permanently stationed in Lockhaven managing its defenses. He gets this appointment following an injury in the Winter War of 1149 which limits his mobility. Rand is also based on a friend of Petersen’s, but one that doesn’t make things to plug (as far as I know). He is not statted up in the book because it is set, by default, after Rand stops taking missions in the field. He also appeared in our first episode, but his largest appearance in our game so far is as the mouse that discovered Marx’s corpse, and as the mentor of Tander’s recently-graduated friend Taryn.
Rand appears as a child in the 2014 Free Comic Book Day story, The Tale of the Axe Trio. It’s the story that Francisca alluded to in her scene with Kenzie (even though it’s a Haven Guild secret, probably should have kept that one under her hat). The sisters inspire him to join the Guard and foreshadow his place in his patrol to come.
Saxon, Kenzie, and Rand were a power team before the books take place, and it’s easy to imagine they’re doing wonderful things wherever our patrols aren’t. Here’s a picture of them together in their glory days.
And now, the guide to the Easter Eggs in this set of letters. Will I keep playing this game with myself into the 1149 seasons? Who’s to say. Each Fall 1148 letter has at least one line taken from a major musical. Not long after posting them, CofffeeDog cracked the code in our Discord channel, so congratulations to him!
Tander’s letter takes a line from Rose’s Turn in Gypsy. Mama Rose is the great overbearing mother in American Theatre, so it seemed like a perfect fit.
If there’s two things Sondheim lyrics are always good for, it’s mournful sympathy (the other thing is older women who don’t give a fuck). So Sable is comforted by a line from Into The Woods’ you Are Not Alone
Zeke’s is less personally appropriate, and more of a personal favorite. I love Jesus Christ Superstar and how absolutely it paints the disciples as useless morons.
Francesca’s letter’s lyric reflects more on the writer than the recipient. It’s from The Impossible Dream in Man of La Mancha. During that last session when I had to figure out where Harford was coming form, I saw him as a Quixotic kind of guy, pursuing a more noble heroism than those around him, but only making things worse for the world around him. Poor guy.
Marx’s was another obvious one. If you’re going to include musical lyrics in a letter about a fallen idealist comrade, there’s no choice but Les Miserables’ Empty Chairs at Empty Tables
Back to ones I put in to make myself smile, Lily’s letter has several lines from Welcome to our House on Maple Avenue from Fun Home. It’s a story of a young girl having a lovely childhood except for all the heartbreaking tragedy that she doesn’t really understand until she looks back on it years later. A real laugh a minute, that show.
Isolde’s contains stuff from the most recent show of the seven, I’d Rather be Me form Mean Girls. It makes me laugh to think of a Guardsmouse cooped up in Lockhaven and blowing off the stress in really petty outbursts.
Isolde is totally my favorite.
The Winter session is a special session, where all the Guard return to Lockhaven for rest, reflection, and change. But first, a funeral must be held.
Lily is played by Eliza. Sable is played by Arden. Francisca is played by Riley. Tander is played by Drakkel. Isolde is played by Poor Weather. Zeke is played by Devious Vacuum. Marx was played by Gnome. And our Games Mouse is Grant.
The introduction song was written by Grant, adapted from The Dancers; a tale of the Mouse Guard as told by Klya Vanderklught, collected in Legends of the Guard, vol3.
This was a really lovely episode and send-off. And hoo boy that last scene.
I’d like to point out that while I (mostly) wrote the lyrics, Thyl punched them up and fixed the meter and rhyme in a few places, but the story of the song is adapted from The Dancers; a tale of the Mouse Guard as told by Klya Vanderklught, collected in Legends of the Guard, vol3.
Also, the first part of Gwendolyn’s eulogy was taken from Mouse Guard: Winter 1152. Those words are straight from Petersen’s pen for another character’s funeral.
During Winter, all mice are asked to reflect on what they’ve learned throughout the year. They must write a report for Gwendolyn, and they must train to keep their skills sharp. But during one very special day, every mouse takes the day off: Yulefrost.
The introduction song was written by Grant, adapted from The Battle of the Hawk’s Mouse and the Fox’s Mouse by Jeremy Bastain, collected in Legends of the Guard vol 1.
Oh this is so good.
“In a just world, their roles (Tander’s promotion while Lilly is still a Tenderpaw) would be completely reversed.” Oh man my heart on that one.
God, Mouse Guard is good.
Nice to see some spider facts pop up. Mammals also hear by interpreting vibrations in specialized hairs, we just keep ours inside ear canals for the sake of protection and acuity. The spider whistle is brilliant, I want one.
Lockhaven’s long winters come to a close with the Promotions ceremony. Enterprising tenderpaws become proper guards mice, skilled guards mice become reliable patrol guards, and responsible patrol guards become charismatic patrol leaders. But the highest rank of all, second only to the Matriarch herself, are the Captains - six trusted generals who manage the Matriarch’s will directly. But this year, the start of 1149, due to unusual circumstances, there is a seventh Captain…
The introduction song was written by Grant, adapted from The Thief, the Star-Gazer, the Hunter, and the Tailor by Cory Godbey; collected in Legends of the Guard vol 2.
Granny is absolutely