Changing of the Guard
The Dry Years - 1163 to 1171
The Dry Years was a period of harsh winters and lean summers that pushed the mice of the Territories and all the denizens of the lands to the brink. Both prey and predator were teetered on the edge starvation.
As pray grew scares outside the Territories predators began to pay less attention to the Sent Boarder. Predators that hadn’t been seen in the Territories in generations were hunting mice. Badgers, Fox, Coyote, Wolverines and Wolves now roamed the Territories freely. This only served to compound the food problem. How could mice forage with such titans on the loose? The Mouse Guard did their best to re-pour the Sent Boarder as often as possible and to ward off the predators but it was an impossible task that cost the lives of many.
This wasn’t the only danger facing the mice of the Territories. The settlements of the Territories began to horde what little food they had. Places like Ivydale, which grew most the food of the Territories, were slightly better off then most places but even they had a hard time feeding their own people. The Mouse Guard worked diligently to forage for food and to make sure that the food was evenly distributed. However their simply wasn’t enough. As the years dragged on skirmishes between mice of different settlements began. The Gwendolyn did her best to stop the hostilities but between this and the Hidden Wars the Mouse Guard was simply spread to thin. War threatened to tear the territories apart.
In the summer of 1171 many believed this was the end of the Territories. The settlements were mustering for war against each other, massive predators roamed the lands and the Mouse Guard seemed unable to prevent any of it. Fortunately for all the sky opened and it rained for three strait days. When the rain stopped the Territories were transformed. No longer where they brown and withered, instead they were lush and green with new growth. War was averted as mice were more intent on foraging for food then taking it from each.
The next summer the Sent Boarder seemed to be working again as few predators were seen. This however did little to repair the Territories dim view of the Mouse Guard. Instead of guardians protecting the realm many mice felt the the Guard were leaches taking food and supplies but providing nothing in return. After the dry years support from the settlements along with volunteers for the Mouse Guard fell off sharply.
The Dry Years also saw the end of the alliance between the Mouse Guard and the hares of the Wild Country. The hares thought Gwendolyn was not giving them their fair share of food, they thought she was unfairly supporting the mice of the Guard over the hares . Gwendolyn did her best to convince them otherwise but they remained unswayed. Eventually the hares , in their anger and frustration, broke their allegiance with the Mouse Guard and departed for the Wild Country.