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Tail Feathers: The Blight of Dreadmound

Snag gets an idea.

Tail FeathersTail Feathers is the exciting new miniature skirmish game by Jerry Hawthorne set in the beloved world of Mice and Mystics. Soar across the table, send your troops on dangerous missions, and defend your nest! Players will recreate the famous battles for aerial supremacy that shaped the Mice and Mystics world. Take a look at last week's story preview, then pre-order Tail Feathers today for $15 off the retail price and a free promo Mice and Mystics Lost Chapter compatible with Downwood Tales!

Snag portraitSnag let out a sigh and slouched down even further into the throne that sat atop the enormous garbage heap that was Dreadmound. He was hungry, and it was no ordinary hunger either. There hadn't been any real morsels of food for days, and now his minions fought over even the tiniest crumbs. He looked down at their makeshift warrens and grumbled at the sight of sick rats lying out in the sun, or rats angrily playing tug-of-war over old belt leather. And he caught more than one ne'er-do-well looking up at him upon his throne, giving him the stink eye.

“Ingrates!” he snapped, though he spoke to no one in particular.

“Yer right about that boss,” agreed Mites, appearing from behind, scratching at his mangy neck. Snag groaned. Mites had a never-ending itch, and his constant scratching was particularly irritating.

“Don't call me boss,” Snag snarled. “I won't remind you again.”

“Right! Sorry boss! Er, m'lord,” Mites corrected.

“Look at them, Mites. Don't think I don't know what they're all thinking. They're discontented. Angry. And they blame all their misfortune on me.”

“The fools!” spat Mites. “Putting all the blame of a failure in leadership on our poor benighted leader. S'unfair!”

“Indeed,” agreed Snag. “Is it our fault that this part of the woods has so fallen victim to the blight?”

“Only but a little,” protested Mites.

“And if the land is blighted, how can anyone make food for us to steal?”

“A travesty of justice m'lord!” Mites declared.

“How long, Mites?” the lord of Dreadmound wondered. “How long until they turn on me? Look at them down there, no thought for my suffering or discomfort, just thinking of themselves. How long before they decide I would make a good snack?”

Mites portrait“If only we lived on the other side of the Meanderfield,” Mites moaned. “There's no blight o'er there. There's still food that's unstealed!” Snag had heard enough, and stood from his throne.

“Let's go!” he bellowed. “Scouting party!”

“A party!” cheered Mites. “Will there be ladies?”

“Mites, you're an idiot.”

“Will there be food?” But Snag did not respond. He clambered down the pile of garbage, pushing rats out of his way, and staring down those who looked dangerously insubordinate. Mites scrambled to keep up, one paw always scratching away. It only took five minutes to reach the edge of the trees, and Snag and Mites looked out from the dead, rotting portion of the woods they lived in and beheld the vast, sweeping sea of green that was the Meanderfield. And across it, on the opposite side, was a woodland paradise, lush and fertile.

“Over there,” mused Snag, “I would be a king, with lots of slaves and food.”

“Hey lookit there!” squeaked Mites, pointing out at the field.

“I see nothing,” Snag said, but Mites pulled a small telescope from his pack and began extending it until its length grew a ridiculous six times.

“Oh yes m'lord,” said Mites, and he began to drool. “There's food out there!”

Snag snatched the heavy telescope away, and lifted it to his eye. Sure enough, far out in the Meanderfield was a scrumptious looking patch of wilderberries, and there sat a little brown vole who was blissfully eating her fill.

“Curse her,” hissed Snag, but suddenly a dark shadow fell across the patch, and Snag gave a laugh as the vole dove for cover to avoid the grasping claws of a hungry bird. “That'll teach her to eat food that should be mine!”

“I wish I was a bird,” mused Mites. “Then I could eat all the time. All that power, just 'cause you gots some wings!”        

“Wings, yes,” agreed Snag. He swung around and aimed the telescope up at the dead trees behind him, knocking Mites over with the overlong scope. It took a moment, but he found his target. They sat as a flock up in the high branches of a dead oak, their feathers black, their beaks terrifyingly sharp, and they cawed and cackled at each other. And there behind them lurked their leader, the monstrous Scarcraw.

“Watcha lookin' at boss?” asked Mites, struggling to his feet.

“M'lord,” corrected Snag.

“You have a lord too?” Snag tossed the telescope to Mites who yelped as it knocked him back to the ground, and without another word, the lord of Dreadmound ran toward the old dead oak.

Eleven minutes later, Snag reeled from vertigo as he stepped out onto the branch. There was no time to enjoy the view, and he held out his club before him in as intimidating a manner as he could muster. Before him the carrion birds looked at him with amusement, for it was rare for meals to come directly to them.

“I'm here for your boss!” bellowed Snag, and he pointed his club at Scarcraw. “So buzz off you lot!” This made all of the birds caw with laughter, and Snag was suddenly aware of how ineffectively small his club was. But this was it – his last chance at saving himself and retaining control of Dreadmound. He slammed the club twice on the branch, and yelled again. “I said, buzz off! Begone or I start knocking skulls!”

And Scarcraw agreed.

“Skrawwwwwwwwwk!” and the massive bird stood and spread out its wings. The others took off in a bustle of black feathers and squawks, and Snag's guts turned to water.

“This is all Mites's fault,” he squealed.

Click here to pre-order Tail Feathers today for $15 off the retail price and a special promo Mice and Mystics scenario with initiative and search cards compatible with Mice and Mystics: Downwood Tales!

Tail Feathers Preview Articles
Week 1: Round Phases, Story Part 1
Week 2: Flight Basics, Aerijin & Zure, Story Part 2
Week 3: Attacking, Grizzard & Snag

Written by Mr. Bistro.
Mr. Bistro is a writer and game designer for Plaid Hat Games.