Tales of the Guard
Ferndale was one of the oldest and largest cities in the Mouse Territories before its destruction during the Weasel War in 1150.
The thick canopy of ferns above the settlement allowed the mice to travel in relative safety from one tunnel complex to the next, and even host open-air markets and festivals. Even so, they existed on the very edge of the Territories, and so relied heavily on their town’s Rangers to scout out approaching threats and keep the town safe.
The same ferns that provided for so much of the town’s safety also provided its prosperity. The mice of Ferndale brought in a large harvest of ferns each year, which they knew how to prepare in a wide variety of foods. Sciencemice from Ferndale had also discovered ways to use ferns to help other plants grow more abundantly, increasing yields at other settlements. They also discovered fungi growing throughout the soil around their tunnels, knitting the ferns together. They developed a number of medicines and elixirs from these fungi.
Located in a small valley growing thick with ferns, Ferndale consisted of a few outdoor bazaars and public buildings beneath the canopy, with most of the settlement built underground in fourteen tunnel complexes called wards.
Ferndale had a constitutional democracy. Ruled by a king in ancient times, the royal family remained as heads of state while the actually governing of Ferndale passed to a Council, with members elected from each of the city’s wards. In the case of a tied vote, the king was given the right to break the tie.
Food and medicine
Ferndale exported large amounts of food throughout the Territories, as well as medicine. They imported weapons and armor, preferring Ironwood because the alternative, Copperwood, was a rival of theirs.
Skills: Harvester, Scientist
Traits: Alert, Inquisitive
In the winter of 1149, Rampaul invaded the Territories, and the Weasel War began. Late that winter, a clever weasel named Fin concocted and executed a plan to rouse a bear from hibernation and drive it towards Ferndale. As the dark slumbering god approached, Nola sounded the alarm, while her husband Clarke and son Garrow rushed to evacuate the town. The bear began digging out the wards with his huge claws. Nola perished along with most of Ferndale’s population.
Garrow led the refugees through the hostile wilderness, where they suffered further attacks from Fin’s weasels, until they reached Barkstone several days later. Many of the refugees from Ferndale remain in Barkstone, though many others have since spread out across the Territories. Though Barkstone still has the largest concentration of them, they can be found almost anywhere in the Territories now.
The bear, called “the Destroyer” by many of the refugees from Ferndale, has taken up a den near its ruins. Hoping to keep it from moving any closer to the Scent Border, Gwendolyn has taken to secretly gathering remains from various Guard missions into regular offerings.
Fin’s attack and his raids on the fleeing refugees earned him the title “the Brutal.” Rampaul rewarded him by making him a Tunnel Lord, and giving him control of the Darkheather tunnels stretching beneath the ruins of Ferndale.