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March 1st — The Eleventh Tribe, Session Fifteen

Year Three, Spring

This session was missing the players of Placeholder, Tribble, and Dusty

The Knot

Having concluded their business with Copper, the 11th Tribe emissaries make their way from the Forge to the domain of Arc-FaultThe Knot.

The Knot is not really a nest, but a web of heavy skeins of burning lines and cables — bundles of them tied together with wire — crossing and knotting around each other. Hylins make little burrows in amongst the wires, suspended over the sheer drop, it's a precarious and tenuous place, with few big spaces suitable for a meeting. For that reason Placeholder and Dusty wait at the end of the conduit from the Forge, while the others go in search of Leckie.

The party stumble (literally) across a pair of Hylin sisters, the tiny Socket and large Relay. Socket offers to lead them to Leckie, who is conducting experiments for Arc-Fault, but Relay insists that they should go and see the Master Tinkerer first, since they are strangers. Rivet blinds her with dubious logic, persuading her (at least for a moment) that, since they have already met the sisters, it doesn't matter who they meet first any more. While Relay puzzles over the reasonableness of this they others scurry off with Socket.

The Burning Voice

Leckie is a little distance away, working on some sort of web of burning lines that she's spliced together. It's obvious to Rivet that this is work in progress. Tribble worries that Leckie won't even recognise him, its been so many years, but Leckie has a picture of him in a locket that she treasures (Lozenge's player spent a luck on this fact) and she recognises him at once, and Rivet too.

Although Leckie is initially a little suspicious of Rivet's motives ("Did Volta send you here to ... kill me?") she is quickly persuaded that her father and friend are there to help her. Reassured, Leckie explains the secret to her masterwork. While working with Volta's Lightning Canon she came to realise that the energy in the burning lines carried some sort of symbol, what she calls the Burning Voice, the voice of the Eaters. It gave her the idea that it might be possible to send your own message along a Burning Line, if you had sufficient power and could make and break the connection. It was this that made her steal the canon plans and go to Arc-Fault. She was sure that Volta would work out what she was doing and steal her invention, whereas the ageing Arc-Fault would be easier to fool. Unfortunately she's come to realise that she needs capacitors like the ones Volta has — one at each end of the connection. Without these she can do nothing!

Tribble explains what the 11th are doing in Tangle, and she immediately suggests that if they help her get some capacitors, and then set up her invention at both ends of a burning line, then the proof of a signal will instantly guarantee her a Mastership. Then she can give them her vote! Of course, it may mean stealing the capacitors from Volta ...

Rivet suggests that they could trade for them instead, perhaps from Plug, another Master. But first they should speak to Arc-Fault.

Arc-Fault? Leckie says — but don't they know that Xerox, the fixer from Stationary, is here, in the Knot, with half a dozen guardmice! She arrived the previous day, looking for the 11th Tribe, and is with Arc-Fault right now!


Although Rivet favours simply grabbing the others and making for Plug's nest right now, the others want to know what Xerox is doing, and what she wants. They decide that Rivet and Loop — neither of whom are well known members of the 11th — should go to Arc-Fault's lab with Leckie and see if they can't overhear something of interest. Lozenge, too recognisable to go openly, decides to follow covertly.

The plan is quickly put into action, and seems initially to be going well: Leckie, Rivet, and Loop do a solid impression of flunkies performing an experiment, and get to overhear Xerox insisting that Arc-Fault help her find Leckie, who she believes is connected to Tribble of the "Canteen outcasts". A couple of Stationary guardmice lounge nearby, well armed, but not paying attention to the tinkerers.

Sadly, they do spot Lozenge sneaking along a bundle of wires overhead, as do another four guardmice who are on the second swag of wires. The guardmice surprise Lozenge and manage to pin her down by her paws, but she breaks free. Loop, seeing this from below, can't help but cry out, attracting Xerox's attention. Before she can act, Rivet pulls his pistol and levels it at her, demanding that everybody freeze, or he will shoot Xerox! The guards on the lower level freeze, but the ones overhead lose their grip on Lozenge, who knocks one right off the strand, and leaves another hnaging! Luckily the Stationary mouse falls safely to the bundle below.

Xerox tells Rivet to put the gun down, and her force of will is so strong that he almost does it, but he regains his courage and keeps the gun (shakily) aimed. She tells them: "There's no need for this, I just want to speak to you." Rivet lowers the gun, and they agree to talk. Lozenge even goes so far as to haul up the dangling stationary mouse.

The 11th Tribe?

Xerox makes it plain, there can't be an 11th Tribe; the treaty of the ten tribes can't be changed, because their whole society would collapse. She has a different offer — Canteen can become a subsidiary part of Stationary. Semi-autonomous. Tribble could be a Secretary, and perhaps the remaining Clippies could be transferred from Carpet Tile to Canteen. It's an expedient offer, designed to find a way out of the confrontation between tribes; naturally Lozenge hates it. Lozenge insists that Xerox must know that the treaty has Canteen as a member instead of Carpet Tile, but is confused to discover that Xerox seriously believes that this is not the case. They realise that the original treaty must have been altered in the past, but Xerox insists that this is impossible, though she is reluctant to say why.

Loop tries her to persuade her to open up, pointing out that they have to resolve this impasse somehow. Eventually Xerox agrees. She tells them that she is certain that the treaty can't have been altered because it was written — somehow — by the Eaters themselves! The treaty is written on a series of paper strips, on which special mystical symbols are embossed into the paper. It's not something a Hylin could do, ergo, the treaty must be genuine.

"Symbols like these?" Loop asks, producing the fragments of paper tape produced by the Eater Beast in the far up (back in session six).

Xerox is, for the first time, unsettled. If the device that produced the treaty exists, and the Canteen mice have access to it, they are incredibly dangerous. It's clear that she's torn between the desire to resolve the conflict, and to wipe out the 11th before they can tear down all of Fac'Tory! To her, the treaty is sacred. Lozenge chooses this moment to make a counter offer. They could choose to alter the treaty, removing Asphalt and replacing it with Canteen. Xerox is aghast! If they do that, the whole ten tribes will collapse. The only way they could do that is if all ten tries — including Asphalt — agreed! It's insane.

Instead, she begs them to accept her original offer. Lozenge refuses, but admits that he can't speak for the whole tribe. They come to an uneasy agreement, Lozenge will take her offer back to Canteen and give it a fair hearing to the Tribe as a whole. With little more to talk about (other than to ask after Placeholder), Xerox gathers her guardmice and leaves. Once she's gone Arc-Fault finally recovers his courage and tries to shock them all with one of his tinkered things, but Loop calms him down. It turns out that the old tinkerer is exhausted from the confrontation, and he insists that the party come back in the evening after he's had a lie down.

To Plug, or not to Plug

Rivet suggests that they could use this time themselves to go to Plug's nest and try to obtain the capacitors. Leckie says that they need to steal back the Lighting Canon plans, so that Arc-Fault doesn't work out what they are doing, but they agree that they won't do that yet. Instead Tribble and Leckie will stay here, to speak to Arc-Fault (and stop him getting suspicious), while the others go to see Plug.

Dusty tells them that there are two routes to Plug — a quick route through Breakers Nest that will take a few hours, or a long route that would take days. It seems obvious that they should take the short route, until Socket (whose been hanging around unnoticed the whole time) tells them that Breakers has been abandoned after some sort of disaster a few years ago. She doesn't know what the disaster was, but no one goes there now. The players decide to take the quick route anyway.


Dusty, Rivet, Loop, and Lozenge make their way along the dusty rope of wires that leads from the Knot to Breakers. A similar hank of wires runs alongside in parallel. They are nearing Breakers when suddenly a dart (actually a thorn) flies out of nowhere and buries itself only a whisker away from Lozenge's paw! There, on the other strand, is a hunting party of ash-grey mice, hunters from Asphalt! Even across the huge gap (a 9 dice obstacle) they can smell the scent of stale blood, and feel the aura of menace that surrounds the creatures. Dusty and Rivet panic and dash for the shelter of the empty nest ahead. Loop and Lozenge decide to try and take cover on the far side of the strand, but not before Lozenge is peppered with thorns and badly wounded. Loop makes it, but Lozenge is pinned down and hanging from the wires.

The Asphalt mice chase in pursuit. They have plenty of thorns, while Lozenge, Loop, and Dusty, have no ranged weapons at all. Rivet, however, has his pistol, and he bravely stands his ground and looses a shot at the hunters. Amazingly (he rolled all successes) the shot carries one of the cannibals straight off the wire and down down down into the churning machinery far below. The other hunters, wounded and shocked, take cover.

The party take the chance to run into Breakers — a big metal box full of racks of ceramic blocks and buzzing wires. Although they can see nothing, they can feel a breeze on their whiskers, and smell a stale dusty scent overlaid with mould. Dusty, who has been there before, tells them that there is an open central passage that leads to the nest, which is in the middle of the blocks, and then out the other side. It seems easy enough to follow this route by touch, but Lozenge smells something she has smelt before — the stench of death. She puts her paw down on something soft and fuzzy that sticks to her paw. It's a corpse, and something is stuck to her! (she takes 1 sick).

Lozenge, feeling unwell and uneasy, persuades Rivet to use the last of his firesticks to make a light. At once they see that they are surrounded by corpses, and that everything is covered in a thick layer of mould. Twisted stalks of fungi burst from the bodies, twisting out of their eye sockets and mouths! It's nest rot, and Lozenge is infected.

The Rot Ghosts

Lozenge wants to get out, now! But the route back would expose them to further attacks from the hunters, so the only way is forward. Loop, hoping that there are ghosts here that could aid him, produces the skull of an ancestor from his pack and invokes a vision. This is a bad idea. He sees at once that he is surrounded by ghosts, but that these are fungi ghosts! A collective evil animated by the nest rot! "Flee!" his ancestor tells him, "I can't help you here!". Loop sees the rot ghosts extend their mycelia into Lozenge, who at once grabs a handful of fungi and tries to thrust it down Rivet's throat! Rivet manages to fight him off — it helps that Lozenge is badly wounded and sick — and they flee the empty nest before more of them can be infected ...


  • I hesitated about whether to apply higher Danger for being in the open air of the Knot. In the end I decided not to do so, but it might have been better, it didn't feel quite precarious enough.
  • Plot-wise, things are starting to come together. I'd been waiting for an opportunity to reveal the structure of the Treaty for ages.
  • Although we didn't use the revised "save from death" rules, everyone was very aware that Tribble would cost 5 luck to save. It made them very nervous of letting him get into any danger, and that's a good thing. We had the sense that his "luck was running out", which is exactly right.

February 23rd — The Eleventh Tribe, Session Fourteen

Year Three, Spring

The Hub

After their encounter with Apparent, the group becomes all the more determined to speak with Nominal. They entertain the idea that Nominal is Apparent's prisoner, or dead, or an invention. Despite the fact that no one in the caravanserai (as they have taken to calling the top level of the next) has a bad word to say about Apparent, they decide that he is their enemy.

While most of the group take the chance to rest, trading for food and stuff collected by the Hub's scroungers, Tribble makes his way laboriously down the levels of the nest to reach Nominal's lab. It's oval — bean shaped — with metal struts running through it. A single bundle of cables reaches down to what Tribble learns is called a door, a moving panel of metal that blocks entry into the lab. There's no clear way in. Loop, meanwhile, uses his lenses to study the place from the outside, and realises that part of it can be detached and lowered down the vertical on a cable. He also spots a river, which cuts through the vertical just above the lab. It's the only place in the vertical close to water.

Placeholder takes quite a different tack. Spotting Apparent going about an errand she offers to help him. He's a little wary at first, but she paints herself as his equivalent — Tribble's aide. It turns out that Apparent is overworked and overstressed, trying his best to cope with Nominal's demands on his own. She seldom comes out of her lab, always busy, so Apparent has to do all the work. Placeholder chums him around the nest, carrying things, and ends up at the lab, where he lets her in through the door so that she can lug packages for him. She hears the gurgle and splash of something watery from further inside, but doesn't take the risk of having a look.

Back in their temporary burrow, Placeholder assures Tribble that Apparent isn't evil. Likely Nominal doesn't really know why they are here, and has heard all the usual propaganda from Stationary — if she even knows that they are from the 11th. She may have refused to see them on that basis alone. Tribble is persuaded to compose an actual message to Nominal, explaining why they want to see her, and give it to Apparent.

Rumours of Xerox

While they wait for a reply, they investigate the Hub more. It's clear that this would be a good place to trade through, it's already the practice of the caravanserai to ask for a proportion of everything traded through it, to cover the needs of visitors. Indeed some of the 11th end up doing some basic chores around the place to help ease the burden of looking after them. While they are doing so, they hear rumours of a mouse called Xerox a fixer for Stationary, who is dispatched when a problem needs to be dealt with. The players agree that they would rather be gone before Xerox hears that they are in Tangle.

Meeting Nominal

After a day or two, a reply comes from Nominal, she will see them after all. Half the party travel down to the lab (this time without sneaking) and are let in by Apparent. Nominal meets them in a small burrow, though it's clear that she's always got an ear on whatever it is that is gurgling next door. (Rivet really wants to know what it is.

Nominal turns out to be a very reasonable mouse, without anything like the madness that Volta showed. She understands the concept of trade, and is open to it, especially after the 11th offer to pay the usual fees on anything passing through the Hub. She suggests a condition of her own, that whatever route this trade takes across Fac'Tory it should enter Tangle at the Hub. Once the players agree, the deal is done, and Nominal is their first confirmed vote.

The trade deal is why they've come, but Rivet wants to know what Nominal's invention really is. He manages to appeal to her inventor's pride, and persuades her to let him see it. The invention turns out to take up most of the lab, it's a tangle of pipes, buckets, water, channels. Things fill, move, empty. Rivet is in awe of the scale of it, and even more so when Nominal explains what it is — a model of Tangle, showing the flow of trade, food, scraps, messengers. Basically, what we might call an analogue computer. With it, Nominal can anticipate the needs of all the nests, and keep them supplied. The Hub isn't just a crossing point, it's they key to supplying all of Tangle. They couldn't have made a better convert.

The Forge

The party have been in the Hub for many days, and the caravanserai is out of supplies, so the 11th decide to push on. Dusty's route takes them to The Forge, a small nest built on the dangling top of an industrial lighting fixture, where Copper smelts metals in the heat of the Eater device. Most of the tribe choose not to even try descending the pendulous cord, but a few go down. The Forge is small, cramped, and hot, barely big enough to hold the few mice that live there, and full of dangerous sparks and molten things. Copper, a middle-aged hylin with many burn scars, has no time or patience for visitors. Although Tribble raises the notion of trade, Copper has no interest in it — until Rivet suggests that Canteen has huge stockpiles of tin-foil that Copper could melt in his forge. This is a total lie, but Copper doesn't pick up on that. After some cut-throat haggling he agrees to vote for the trade agreement in return for two full packs of foil, delivered to his nest.

The 11th thank him, and leave quickly for somewhere less dangerous.


  • Much of this session was pure RP, without needing to engage much of the systems, but I think this was okay. We had a few Charm + Persuading rolls, and some Wits + Sensing.

February 9th — The Eleventh Tribe, Session Thirteen

Year Three, Spring

This session was missing the players of both Placeholder and Lozenge, but saw the return of Dusty

To Tangle

Parting ways with Underlay, the Eleventh Tribe expedition continues to try and find a route to Tangle, which is so high above their heads that they cannot even see it, but their bad luck continues. Even with Underlay's directions they wander for a day or more, only stopping at one point to feast on crumbs dropped by an Eater. Everyone is exhausted, even more so when they finally reach their route up — a vertiginous metal grid, filled with burning lines, that runs from the bottom level to the middle. Nevertheless they all scramble up, Tangle at last!

Tangle is the name the Hylin give to a mess of conduits, bundles of burning lines, junction boxes and cable-guides that hang in the middle of the empty above the main part of Factori. There is no level proper, just a web of passages and exposed routes that exist above the lights the Eaters use. As a result Tangle is made up of many individual nests (or labs) each run by a Master Tinkerer, and containing a dozen or so Hylin. Although the nests are linked by the various ways of Tangle, and trade constantly passes between them, each Master jelously guards their own inventions, especially the ones that gave them Master status, and co-operates with their fellows as seldomly as possible. Making a trade deal will require courting the favour of multiple Masters.

A complex history

The following history emerged in play in dribs and drabs:

Four or Five years ago, Tribble — then a young mouse — trained under a Master called Fibre, whose great invention was the Lightning Canon, a huge fixed device that dominated his lab. While there, Tribble had a daughter called Leckie. When Tribble decided to go and seek a mystic life elsewhere, he left Leckie behind.

Less than a year after he left, Fibre died when an experiment with the canon went wrong. He was succeeded by Volta, the best of his students. Volta took new students of her own, including Leckie and, later, Rivet. Although both Leckie and Rivet were gifted tinkerers, Volta was young, and it didn't look likely that either might succeed her any time soon (barring accidents). Rivet decided to leave and seek out the 11th Tribe, but Leckie — apparently — stole the plans to the Lightning Canon and defected to another Master, Arc-Fault, taking the secret with her. As a result, Volta branded her a traitor and Arc-Fault an enemy (though to be fair, Arc-Fault was already a rival), along with anyone associated with her!

Sadly for the group, neither Rivet nor Tribble currently know about Leckie's betrayal ...


At the top of their exhausting climb the group meet a wandering Hylin, Corona, who appears to be looking for a device she dropped. She is small, maybe two, with a complex lens aparatus perched on her head. As it happens Dusty found something odd — like three tiny gears welded together — at the bottom of the climb. It is Corona's missing invention, the Gearinator 2000, and she seems glad to get it back.

Corona turns out to be one of Volta's Junior-Junior Apprentices, and she happily guides them to the nearby nest, which is built inside a junction box. The smell of ozone fills the air, along with the crackle and pop of live current meeting the hanks of paper and lint that the Hyling have stuffed into the box. Looking up, they look directly through the workings of the Lightning Canon, which takes up much of the space.

Corona takes the visitors to her burrow, and they meet the other Junior-Junior, Caution, who is obsessed with measuring heads to see if there is variation between them. She wants a head from every Tribe — the group do not promise them. Both Juniors, on learning that they plan to speak to Volta, beg for the players to talk-up their projects so that Volta might promote them to Junior. Tribble and Rivet persuade Corona that her Gearinator 2000 doesn't do anything, and it turns out she knows it, it was why she threw it over the edge. Disconsolate she claims that she has nothing else, but it turns out (when the players ask) that she has a whole bunch of lenses like the one on her head, which they tell her are far better inventions. She lends Loop one of them — the Farsighter — for him to field test, and he uses it to stare into the void below Tangle, which both feels mystical, and helps him spy a better route back to Canteen. (+1 Dice on route finding).

The group climbs the nest to find Volta, a frenetic mouse who can't stop working (on things that sizzle and flash) while she talks. Although she knows both Tribble and Rivet she doesn't trust either of them after the Leckie incident — which is the first Tribble knows about it. Luckily, despite the group's exhaustion (and Tribble shocking himself on a piece of equipment) they manage to persuade Volta not to shoot them with the cannon, and instead to listen to their proposal. She does — distractedly — but then tells them that she won't consider their otherwise interesting trade deal until they go to Arc-Fault, get the plans for her canon and "deal with" Leckie.

Mechanical digression; to complete their trade deal the players need three things:

  1. A scouted trade route between the nests
  2. The agreement of at least 4 masters
  3. Seven successes from negotiation or side-quest scenes

Solving the Leckie situation will give them both a success and Volta's agreement, so the group agree to her demands.

Interlude for Rest

Although the group would love to move on from Volta's slightly frosty welcome as soon as possible, they are just too exhausted and injured to do so, so they abuse her hospitality for a few days while they recover. Rivet uses the time to dismantle the Gearinator 2000 for useful parts, while Tribble goes in search of some remains of his old master Fibre. He learns that some bits are in a box held by Volta's assistant, but he fails to persuade him to hand them over.

The Hub

The easiest route to reach Arc-Fault's nest involves first travelling to the Hub, a junction point where all of the parts of Tangle meet. From the Hub they can travel to the nest of Copper, and from there to Arc-Fault's.

The Hub is run by Nominal, a Master whose signature invention no one seems to be able to describe. It is a huge echoing vertical, broken every dozen body-lengths by a ring of metal connected to the edge of the vertical by metal spokes and supporting huge bundles of burning lines that run the entire height of the vertical. The Hub nest is supported on a half-dozen of these rings, with the entrances at the top and Nominal's lab at the very bottom.

Because the Hub is the centre of the various nests, it is used to visitors, and it seems word of the expedition have arrived before them in any case. The group find that the top level of the nest has a place where visitors can get food and sleep (sort of an inn). Here they ask about Nominal's inventions, but even the mouse who runs the rest-place doesn't seem to know what they are, only that she showed them to the other Masters and they all agreed that she was one of them. The party suspect dark things!

They agree that they should try and talk to Nominal while they are here, but they are interrupted by a supercillious mouse — Apparent — who appears to be Nominal's assistant (though he says he works with Nominal, not for her), and who seems determined to block them. He says that Tangle knows all about the renegade 11th Tribe, and that the best they can do is wait here while he petitions on their behalf. Naturally the players distrust him completely and decide to break into the lab when he's gone, in case Nominal is a prisoner, or indeed long dead.


  • We had a discussion about the role of Rests in an adventure without a strict timeline. If there is no time-limit, there is infinite healing. I concluded that the best thing was to treat Rests like Fronts in Apocalypse Worlds, and create a list of what happens in the background as the number of rests increases. E.g. after 1 Rest word of the party's presence spreads, after 3 it has reached all the nests, and so forth.
  • After the session I realised that the players had forgotten (or I had failed to make clear) that they could just use Luck to heal, which would have significantly changed how difficult their negotiation with Volta felt.
The Death of Tribble
The Death of Tribble

February 2nd — The Eleventh Tribe, Session Twelve

Year Three, Spring


It is the start of the new year, the year that the tribe have been given to flourish by the Black Seer. Many plans are proposed: building fungi gardens, exploring the depths of the between, fighting the rats, travelling to rubble, or offcut. In the end it is agreed that a trade mission would be the best plan, exchanging the food that The Eleventh Tribe has in quantity (thanks to the exploration of the bin) for the scraps and other materials that it lacks.

This is not simply to be a single trade caravan, but the establishment of a new route, that will also strengthen the ties that they have with the rest of the 10 tribes. There are a number of possible destinations, but Tangle emerges as the top choice, since multiple mice originate from there, and it is within easy reach.


Before the expedition can begin, Squab and a number of other yearlings come rushing into the nest to announce that they have come across the most massive piece of food left by the Eaters! It's already attracting beetles and flies, though, so they need everyone to come and shift it.

A good portion of the tribe scurry to the camp level (where the tribe first rested on arriving at Canteen), and discover a huge piece of meat — pale, with rough skin, and a bone running through it — wedged near the edge of the between. A trail of beetle larvae and bluebottles are already swarming over it. While everyone contemplates this bounty, Loop goes to the edge of the empty in search of visions.

It's clear that everyone can eat their fill (some of the youngsters eat so much they can barely move), or fill their packs, but the players have a mre grandiose plan to transport the entire thing to the nest. Rivet proposes that he and Cobalt tinker something, but Cobalt refuses to be upstaged by a newcomer and insists on creating his own invention, with the result that neither of them is finished when Loop comes tumbling back into the group squeaking that he's seen some sort of the beast in the empty!

There's panic and confusion, so that, even warned, the group aren't ready when a lithe, russet, but enormous eater beast darts into their midst. In an instant it has caught Tribble in its jaws and bitten him to death! Rivet fires his pistol at the creature, while Lozenge leaps into its jaws, trying to pry them apart and wedge his spear in the gap! His ploy fails, but at least they dislodge Tribble's body.

Placeholder and Loop rally the other tribesmice into forming a makeshift spear-line, with the intention of driving the beast back, but it is focussed on it's meal, and they can't stop it snatching Tribble back by the tail and running off with him in its mouth!

During this conflict Tribble died twice — saved by successes the first time, and by luck the second time — and only a single point of damage was inflicted on the weasel!

Aftermath of the Beast — Asphalt!

The Tribe abbandons the food and flees back to the nest with their portions of meat, all except Husk, who insists that no one gets to kill Tribble but her! She goes in search of his body, and amazingly returns with Tribble alive, though greatly injured.

He tells a strange story: the beast carried him into the Empty, but met two strange Hylin there who seemed to be able to control it. These Hylin seemed unhappy to have caught the wrong mouse, though pleased that the 11th Tribe were close. They contemplated eating Tribble, but decided to abbandon him to fate and keep moving. There can only be one conclusion, these are Asphalt mice!

Loop says that he has seen a beast like this before — years ago he was bitten by one, and thus gained his seer's vision. He calls it a slither-beast and convinces everyone that they must prepare defences against it. Slither-beasts can be confused by mazes, it seems, and also travel low to the ground, so would be bothered by sticky obstacles. The tribe decides to build a sticky glue maze, blocking the approach to the nest.

Tribble, meanwhile, slowly recovering, forces himself over every detail of his encounter with the Asphalt mice, trying to remember something else that might help him. In one of these feverish vision sessions he encounters the spirit of the Black Seer, who takes him back to the place of his death and allows him to see the Asphalt mice properly. He tells Tribble that he has information on the cannibals that might be useful, and Tribble agrees to go to the ghost nest in the summer and stay there for a season (originally the seer wanted Lozenge's kit for half the year, but Tribble offered himself instead) in return. The seer reveals that the Asphalt tribe worships death, and must be working for it.


A few weeks later, when everyone is recovered, the expedition to Tangle sets out, with their packs full of food samples. Although there is a reasonably obvious route to reach Tangle, it passes through Stationary, so the group takes a riskier route across the bottom level of Factori, amongst the feet of the giant Eater Beasts that fill the main part of the structure. (Although Dusty is with the group, his player is not). Tribble does his best to guide the group back to his old home, but they are soon lost amongst the giant beasts, afraid to show themselves in case they are devoured, and running low on water.

Luckily they run into a Waykeeper from Carpet Tile named Underlay, who mistakes them for Stationary mice. Underlay is on her way to Offcut, and happily shares a little of her supplies, as well as directions to a place where she believes they can climb up to Tangle.


  • The fight with the weasel went terrifyingly well, in the sense that the weasel was terrifying and not something the group could easily defeat. Although it was statted to be much less dangerous than the cat in the previous campaign, (or even the rat champion) this group isn't full of over-optimised fighters.
  • The "save from death" rules needed to be revisited. It was clear that, although 3 Luck is a significant cost, there was something wrong with the concept of using it endlessly to save the same character — it stops feeling like luck and starts feeling like invulnerability. Each brush with death does add 1 Mortality to the character, but that just makes it more likely to die offscreen in winter, which is unsatisfying. We agree to try the rule that the cost of the "save" goes from3 Luck to 2 + Mortality Luck, so the first save is easier, but as the shadow of death closes in on you it gets harder and harder to escape fate.