Mouseguard: Fifth Patrol

Entry 6: 1154, Late Summer

Her cloak is lost; Finn is eaten; witnesses to betrayal

After the disaster of the fox’s death, the surviving patrol quickly formed a plan to rescue the wounded. They determined that there was a river nearby which would block the spread of the blaze, but the creek had run dry due to a blockade of some kind earlier in the year. The fifth patrol was assigned to remove the block and set the river flowing again, while other patrols formed dirt walls, scythed away grasses, and moved the wounded.

The patrol followed the dry creek upstream to near the mouth of the river, where they discovered that a decrepit beaver dam was slowing the river’s flow to a trickle. The dam was in very poor state, and removing a few key supports would release the river entirely; however, the still pond was now a breeding ground for bullfrogs, and the tepid waters were writhing with spawn.

Finn volunteered for the dangerous job of breaking the dam’s supports, while Clove and Garrow watched for approaching frogs to ward them away from Finn as he worked. They missed a bullfrog which had ensconced itself inside of the dam already, however, leaving Finn and Rowan to fend for themselves. The bullfrog successfully seized and halfway swallowed Finn, but the dam burst before it could drown, sweeping the tenderpaw away in the debris.

Rowan refused to give up on Finn however, and the patrol followed the debris down the river, trusting the rest of the guard to successfully escort the wounded. The patrol manage to recover Finn before anything worse than what he had already suffered befell him, finding him attempting to return to the guard and complete the rescue.

Due to the success of this coordinated effort, the survivors of the battle were dragged free of the blaze, and the fire was contained from spreading further into the mouse territories. However, Rowan’s first student Kenly was spotted being lead away from the battlefield as a prisoner of the Walnutpeck mice.

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