In the Service of the Guard
Ealdwyn's former sweetheart, now fed up with his apparent lack of commitment to the Guard's ideals.
|Tough||2||+1D to all applicable tests|
Idleness dulls paws and minds, and should always be avoided.
Always find a lesson to impart.
I will teach the tenderpaw the basics of life on patrol.
Spear, rucksack, flute
Laurel was born in Port Sumac, a bustling port town. Her parents, Abram and Glenys, were boatcrafters of no particular repute. As a young mouse, Laurel obligingly helped her parents with their trade, but never had much of a fancy for it or the town she grew up in. The hectic commotion of everyday life in Port Sumac seemed to her just noise that drowned out any sense of meaning or purpose; surely life was about more than “everymouse for himself”?
At first, young Laurel found her escape in childhood friends. In particular, a roguish lad named Rufus was her near-constant companion. Rufus had a knack for getting into trouble, and Laurel enjoyed the sense of adventure, if not the disappointed scoldings from her parents. But as she grew older, she began to yearn for excitement that was less self-indulgent. Eventually she left home and applied to the Mouse Guard. Her parents were despondent – all along they’d hoped their daughter would grow out of her rash youth and join the family trade – but Rufus was especially bitter, as he saw the Guard as little more than pompous blowhards whose services nobody asked for but who expected compensation nonetheless.
After being apprenticed to Morgan the Archivist – another boring task she felt had little meaning – Laurel was mentored by Cai and learned the basics of life in the Guard. As she was promoted, first to guardmouse and then to patrol guard, it became apparent that Laurel had considerable skill at teaching other mice. When she was promoted to patrol leader (which was something of an accomplishment, given her relative youth), Gwendolyn began rotating tenderpaws and inexperienced guardmice through her patrols. She’s known for giving thoughtful gifts to the tenderpaws in her care and maintaining cordial relations even after those mice leave her patrol; one of her early pupils, Owen, is still close friends with her.
Shortly after her promotion, she became romantically involved with a fellow patrol leader named Ealdwyn. Over several seasons, their affection deepened, and they decided to marry. Unfortunately, he foolishly wasted all of the money he had assured her he was saving to establish their life together outside the Guard – and what’s worse, he wouldn’t tell her where the money had gone! The fight was like a tornado in summertime, coming on with sudden viciousness and leaving destruction in its wake for weeks afterward. Gwendolyn quietly intervened, sending Laurel out with a patrol to re-pour the Scent Border and chiding her for letting her personal feelings threaten the training of the next generation of guardmice. She returned from the mission with renewed commitment to her duties, but Ealdwyn, it seemed, had only lost his taste for service in the Guard. These days, he’s little more than a stayabout, doing as little as he can get away with while sponging off the good graces of the Guard. She doesn’t know what happened to the mouse she fell in love with, and she’s beginning to wonder why she ever thought of leaving the Guard in the first place. Now, more than ever, she knows what her purpose is.