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15:14, 3rd March 2024 (GMT+0)

Part 1. Scene 1. An Austere Occasion.

Posted by Game MasterFor group 0
Game Master
GM, 13 posts
Tue 12 Jul 2022
at 19:54
  • msg #1

Part 1. Scene 1. An Austere Occasion.

quote:
OOC: a note before we begin. For those who might be unfamiliar, OSR games like this one Are very open-ended. You essentially can do it you like, without having to make constant skill checks. Indeed, there is a game principal called "dice are dangerous" which means that when dice are rolled it usually means that you are in trouble. Of course, this is still bound by realism constraints. You are a little mouse and cannot declare, for instance, that you kill a human with your sling, or that you leap over a flower Bush with one triumphant jump. It does mean that you can just declare actions and generally assume that they go as intended, although I may reign you in where required. And obviously NPC's still need to make their own decisions.

In this opening scene, you certainly may introduce yourselves, for instance with a little scene in which you do something, or with a declared action such as asking people about something that you want to know. But although attendance at the wake is "mandatory", in and out of character sense there is of course no such obligation. And if you want to begin in a different area I will simply loop you into the plot in a different way.


All of the mice of Brickport had been ordered to the town hall for a great meal in honor of the two mice who had not returned from their journey for several weeks, and were therefore assumed dead. The mayor, Audrey Pipp, had declared that the wake would contain a great feast, and that every good mouse of Brickport should attend, bringing a gift (preferably food, but he didn't strictly say as much) in honor of those who had not returned. Consequently, the town hall, which was a red clay flowerpot turned over upside down, was filled with little mice sitting row by row and dining festively, with other benches laid out in front of the building to seat such a quantity of mice.

All manner of food had been brought, from seeds, fruits, to little baked pies. Tobias, who was normally a shy creature with a splotch of brown on his face, was halfway through a pie and a pint, while he regaled a number of youngsters with a tale about how Tobias had slain a mushroom monster on the day before Edmund left on his adventure (from which he had not returned). Calvin Splat was wincing at the great gathering with something like disapproval on his stern little face. And a young female mouse, Else, was sitting next to a little fireplace, staring deep into the flames with a solemn look on her pinched face, thinking about poor Hawthorne who had not come back.

A little bit of gentle night music was playing, as Lars the Drunk - sober for a change - led a little quartet of string and flute, through a number of well-recognized songs that had been transposed to a minor key in order to make them sound sadder, though this was a significant effort because the songs were jolly little jigs. Several mice were listening to the music, but none of them were dancing.
Jack Pipp
player, 1 post
Wed 13 Jul 2022
at 00:39
  • msg #2

Part 1. Scene 1. An Austere Occasion.

quote:
OOC Hey team Adorably enough, a group of mice is called a 'mischief.', I don't know if this is the vibe we're going for, but someone's got to respond first :) @GM let us know if we break any of the rules (I wasn't sure how much control we had over NPCs and other players)


Jack avoided his uncle Audrey Pipp, but was pleased and his decision to organize a communal feast

Jack was glad to see Tobias, usually so reserved, feeding the children's active imagination. Although Jack knew from his years of fungus farming there was no such things as mushroom monsters, he would normally have entertained the children as well with fantastic tales, tonight, he did not feel up to it given the circumstances.

Jack approached Else by the fireplace and gently took a seat beside her. The both stared into the fire until he put a hand on her shoulder. "I know what it is to lose someone under such terrible circumstances. Hawthorne was a hero and good friend and even more to you. Although we truly never really move on, we have to live every day of our changed life" Else looked up at him, her whiskers trembling, and for the first time, she took in the music and the connection in the room. She whispered "Yes and tomorrow there will be dancing. Tomorrow will be a brighter day" She took a few tentative steps on the tin flute melody, and while other looked at her astounded, she started dancing more confidently. Lars noticed and switched back to the original songs in major key, injecting vigour and hope in the room. One by one dozens of other mouse joined Elses' in dance in honour of the lost mice.
This message was last edited by the player at 05:17, Wed 13 July 2022.
Game Master
GM, 14 posts
Wed 13 Jul 2022
at 14:05
  • msg #3

Part 1. Scene 1. An Austere Occasion.

quote:
OOC: in this instance, I'm okay with it, especially because this is just at the settlement. However, obviously when you meet NPC's on the road, some of them might be intended as adversaries, so I don't want players to decide that things "go well" for instance, and it would be better just to say what your character is going to do.

One other thing I wanted to say is that I also have at least two adventures and possibly more in mind as options for what will do for this one-shot. I will lace a few plot seeds into this first scene, and if the party does not bite, I can always add more. Obviously, I would prefer that you all go on an adventure together, so it might be nice if you at minimum introduce yourselves to one another, or create circumstances to have you collide. For example, and just to make this clear, if you push back on the religion angle that I've seeded in here, that might go towards one adventure. But no pressure, because I have lots of others that are just as good. So just do what feels right to your character.


As the mice began to dance more energetically, leaning into the more celebratory atmosphere that Jack had created, a plate or two fell from the table and tinkled on the hard floor. The atmosphere had shifted quickly, and not everybody was happy about this…

Calvin Splat stood up abruptly, his chair scraping noisily on the floor beneath him. He was dressed in severe dark clothes, with a little silver fabric similar to human's tie dangling from his neck. He muttered something under his breath, "...Reverend would think...", before speaking loudly enough that others can hear, in fact loudly enough that it cut over the music. Calvin's voice was grating, sharp, and rattled something deep in your brain.

"Hawthorne and Edmund were two worthy souls of Brickport. They lived, they contributed to the collective, they inspired many lives, and they will be sorely missed. Much as some of us would seek to move past the pain of their loss, however, that time is not yet upon us." He looked severely at Jack here, and utterly withering look beaming from his narrowed, green eyes. "Although… The Chapel of Eternal Peace awaits those of us who might decide that this world's pains are too much to bear."

Here, he looked over at Audrey Pipp. The two mice exchanged heavy, meaningful glance between them. Then Audrey spoke up, "Jack, you heard the Hon. Mr. Splat. I understand what you are trying to do. But Mr. Splat is right. Some things cannot be rushed."

The room fell silent. An opportunity for other mice to speak and have their say.
Else
player, 4 posts
Wed 13 Jul 2022
at 16:29
  • msg #4

Part 1. Scene 1. An Austere Occasion.

For a moment, Else was embarrassed. Lars had been in the midst of playing her favorite before Calvin interrupted, and she had hopped onto one the tables to lead the other mice in a dance. Now the room came to a silence with Else standing out awkwardly. Slowly, however, her embarrassment gave way to anger, and she glared at Calvin Splat. It occurred to her that Calvin very much reminded her of an ill tempered badger, and suddenly she realized the best way to honor Mr. Winhterholme's memory. She opened her mouth, projected her tiny voice as best she could, and began the story of The Badger Who Moved in Next Door.

quote:
Feel free to have someone interrupt. But if the story continues, it's about a badger who decides he wants live among the mice. But gets frustrated when they won't do everything his way, thinking that all the world is his den. Eventually the mice take to intentionally annoying the badger through a series of colorful pranks until the badger finally leaves.

Game Master
GM, 15 posts
Wed 13 Jul 2022
at 18:40
  • msg #5

Part 1. Scene 1. An Austere Occasion.

quote:
Else, give me a Will save.

Else
player, 5 posts
Wed 13 Jul 2022
at 18:47
  • msg #6

Part 1. Scene 1. An Austere Occasion.

In reply to Game Master (msg # 5):

quote:
Dice rolling. This character's kryptonite. Else rolls a 16, and fails. Perhaps her voice falters under the gaze of Calvin Splat.

Game Master
GM, 16 posts
Wed 13 Jul 2022
at 18:58
  • msg #7

Part 1. Scene 1. An Austere Occasion.

quote:
A spell is used. The caster rolls TWO dice, and rolls 3-5. No 6s, so no self-damage. One die in the 4-6 range, so a usage is marked off.

Else sees Calvin as her close friend for eight turns. Since we are not in combat, I'll let you interpret that, Sam, but I imagine it would be for long enough to kill your story, as a combat turn I believe is 10 seconds.


It was funny. Else knew that the story had a rather comical turn to it, one in which the mice triumphed gloriously over the badger. She knew the tale like the back of her paw. But as she worked her way through the opening lines, she saw Calvin staring at her in the most peculiar matter. It was as though he was listening most rapturously to what he was hearing. His paws were behind his back in a meditative position, and his head slightly cocked. There was a look on his face of the deepest pleasure. And yet…

Else found herself struggling to tell her story. The story, after all, was designed to make fun of Calvin. Yet here he was, so meek, so humble, so deeply enthralled and listening. And that was what she wanted, wasn't it? To be seen. To be heard. Like Hawthorne was. Calvin was her friend. She just hadn't seen it before. And to hurt her friend's feeling with a nasty little tale… Well, that just wasn't right.
Else
player, 6 posts
Wed 13 Jul 2022
at 23:57
  • msg #8

Part 1. Scene 1. An Austere Occasion.

In reply to Game Master (msg # 7):

Else suddenly felt very embarrassed again, and began to climb down from the table. Calvin tried to tell her what proper grieving behavior was, but she just didn't listen. Now she'd gone and talked out of turn like she used to with Mr. Winterholme when she tried to guess the ending of his stories. He'd always gently remind her to wait patiently until the end like everybody. Then, of course, she remembered that Hawthorne would never tell her another story, and her eyes welled up with tears.
Jack Pipp
player, 2 posts
Thu 14 Jul 2022
at 01:19
  • msg #9

Part 1. Scene 1. An Austere Occasion.

Jack couldn't stand Audrey Pipp's patronizing tone. His uncle was incorrigible.

Moreover, Audrey had teamed up with Calvin Spatt, that depraved individual. Jack felt anger bubble up in his veins. Else being humiliated in public. He saw the tears in her eyes. It was too much. Jack He wanted to lash out and insult Calvin and his revolting church. Jack knew how things could escalate if he was not able to keep his self control.

Perhaps Audrey was right: Some things cannot be rushed. Perhaps Jack should find a way to get back at Calvin later. At that moment, something unusual happened that helped him make his decision.
Game Master
GM, 17 posts
Thu 14 Jul 2022
at 15:13
  • msg #10

Part 1. Scene 1. An Austere Occasion.

quote:
OOC: I enjoyed these posts, and will let Devin or Jonathan step in to provide the "something unusual" that Jack set up. I was just fussing with Devin's character sheet so he was unable to post until now, but maybe can reply the next day or two. Jonathan might be on vacation still.

Magnolia Seedfall
player, 3 posts
Fri 15 Jul 2022
at 16:58
  • msg #11

Part 1. Scene 1. An Austere Occasion.

In reply to Game Master (msg # 10):

"Calvin! Are you making the little ones cry again?" Magnolia sauntered over to the table where Else was standing, picking her up and placing her back on the table to finish telling the story. Of course she was nervous to tell the story because she didn't want to insult Calvin, but he was too dense to understand it anyway...besides, maybe it would suit him to be insulted every once in a while instead of running around like he owns the town just because he convinced some yahoos to follow his church.

In a way, wasn't he responsible for her uncle Edmund's death? They might never have gone there if the whole town wasn't falling over itself to join Calvin. Her uncle was a man of tradition and honour; quite the opposite of this Calvin character, or so she had heard. It need not matter that she had never met him until now. She had never met the Queen but she knew how she felt about her. She sat next to the table glaring at Calvin, urging Else to finish the story.
Game Master
GM, 18 posts
Fri 15 Jul 2022
at 20:01
  • msg #12

Part 1. Scene 1. An Austere Occasion.

Calvin smiled accommodatingly. "Yes, Else. Go on with your story." He had an idea of how the tale might end, after his small intervention. He looked at Magnolia as if to say I'll remember that, before turning to look at the young storyteller, knowingly.

But just then, there was a grand commotion from the Green Gate. The confusion and clamor reached the town hall before any specifics did. But eventually it was Bartholomew who clarified what was going on.

Bartholomew was the last mouse who claimed to have seen Edmund and Hawthorne alive - though he had said they were off to see the Queen Madriga, so perhaps there were others who could stake a firmer claim on that. He was a heavyset mouse - even more so after eating greedily from Brickport's stores. He and his family had appetites that made one wonder if they had parasites.

"It is the Caterpillar King!" Bartholomew announced, seeming to enjoy how so many little eyes swung upon him seeking information. "The Caterpillar King has arrived and seeks our aid! He's all ... he's roasted!"

"Roasted?!" Someone cried out.

Bart seemed annoyed at being questioned. "Yes, yes. Blackened like soot! He fainted after he made his plea. The Doc is looking after him now under The Glow!" The Glow was a common meeting place mice used when seeking public attention, and comfortable warmth.

quote:
OOC: Bart and his family were in the prelude, for Devin and Sam's recollection. They were going to Thimbletown after claiming that a "great sleep" had come over The Briar Keep. Evidently, they've made themselves quite comfortable in Brickport instead, now. They have a son and a daughter; the former is known to be quite a handsome young thing.

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:01, Fri 15 July 2022.
Magnolia Seedfall
player, 4 posts
Mon 18 Jul 2022
at 17:11
  • msg #13

Part 1. Scene 1. An Austere Occasion.

In reply to Game Master (msg # 12):

The Caterpillar King? Roasted?! And he might know something about what happened to her uncle Edmund, right? She needed to check it out - Magnolia darted immediately to The Glow, pushing aside any mice so unfortunate as to be in her way. On her way, she racked her brain about why her uncle could possibly want to see Queen Madriga...wasn't she thousands of mousemetres away?
Game Master
GM, 20 posts
Mon 18 Jul 2022
at 18:38
  • msg #14

Part 1. Scene 1. An Austere Occasion.

quote:
OOC: I made a separate scene for that. Naturally, you can go where you please - this whole thing is a sandbox. If you go somewhere other than what I'm mentioning, just say so and I'll invent new scenes accordingly.

Jack Pipp
player, 4 posts
Tue 19 Jul 2022
at 14:46
  • msg #15

Part 1. Scene 1. An Austere Occasion.

In reply to Magnolia Seedfall (msg # 13):

Jack appreciated Magnolia's efforts to stop Calvin from imposing his views on the room and extinguishing the small spark of joy.

Alas, with Else's story interrupted, they would unfortunately need to get at Calvin some other day. Besides, there seemed to be more urgent matters at hand.

He rushed off to join Magnolia at the Glow
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