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What We Did To The Rats (The Quiet Year)

Sam Kabo A.
user 30231972
Seattle, WA
Post #: 55
Players: Alex, Jerome, Sam.

"I'd rather not do a straight-up Quiet Year." "How about Mouse Guard Quiet Year?"

"So, setting - are these mice rural or urban?" "Huh. I hadn't even thought that they might be urban mice. Let's do that."

So, we had Redwall-style mice: intelligent, tool-making, but (in this case) with very little technology or sustained culture. We didn't have fire, starting out.

And thus was founded a community of mice that lived inside a big mysterious tubes-and-pipes machine in an abandoned warehouse-style factory. Nobody had really been outside the building in living memory, so the entire map was just the factory interior. The Outside was a big scary thing, and the culture's increasing need to deal with it was a running theme.

Big themes: fire! We scavenged matches and figured them out, and then burned down several things in horrible accidents (including an entire freakin' truck, which is a big deal if you're just mice.) Eventually, after wasting most of our matches, we developed an eternal fire in a protected spot and developed a detailed system to protect and fuel it.

On the other hand... outsiders. This got a little dark. Crows, salamanders and rats all pushed at the edges of the factory. The rats were the oldest threat: big and scary, they came in through the pipes in the factory's bathrooms and settled around there. The rats were total bogeymen for our culture: we were sure they were cunning, dangerous, amoral. (Bravery was one of our initial scarce resources.) We made efforts to communicate and form relations with them, all the time sure that they were going to start invading or making trouble, which... kept seeming as if it was just about to happen, but never actually happened.

The salamanders went off to hibernate in the autumn, so that wasn't a problem. The crows... were relative latecomers, associated with a branch that had broken through some of the upper windows. The crows made a whole lot of trouble, so we tried to create bird-lime from random factory products.

We ended up making napalm instead.

Then we decided to try and shock and awe the rats with a demonstration of the power of napalm. We didn't really intend to hurt anybody.

The temperature was hot enough to slag all the bathroom pipes, so afterwards we didn't even have to worry that more rats might show up some day. We weren't entirely sure how we felt about that. The Frost Shepherds showed up about three cards later.
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