The Selene Colony


Mice! On the MOON!

Thanks to everyone for your patience as we work on putting out a new episode for you this week. Uninterrupted travel has interrupted our regular scheduling, but we’ll be back with new adventures from Betsy in the land of Topdown soon!

In the meantime, the MOON!

Above you’ll see a draft diagram of the Selene Colony. Long before the squirrels, rats, mice, and marmots took over the realms, Humans ruled and lived in paradise. The first men were called the ‘Eathir’, and they were brought to ‘Selene’ by the immortal ‘Uninati’.

Or maybe the people of Earth were brought to a moon colony by the United Nations? Something like that.

The diagram should give a good indication of just how big Calaen (called Selene by the Human colonists) is within the bulk of the moon. Discuss! Let me know if you have any questions!

See you soon on Mice on the Moon!


































Reeve Gurkin & Little Lord Luckless


Behold! Gurkin and Dunnock, two of the fellowship of foolish souls dedicated to bringing Prince Osfalt Bricklayer to the throne of the Weald. Gurkin on the left, Dunnock on the right.

Reeve Gurkin: Gurkin is a short, chubby rat charged with a shire in the Fernward. He’s a landlord, farmer, and man of the law. He recently took over responsibilities over his father’s lands when the elder Gurkin passed away. Married for a handful of years, Gurkin has no heirs. He didn’t hesitate to leave his lands in the care of his wife when Duke Lyndis Fern of the Fernward called him to join in fellowship against cruel King Vertibule Redox. Gurkin is loyal but stuffy. Blunt, stuffy, honest and formal. He believes in just rule and good stewardship.

Dunnock, former heir to the Dukedom of the Dundowns: Called ‘Little Lord Luckless’ as a tease by his friends, the stout mouse Dunnock is the junior of his house. His father, Dunnock the Elder, advocates for his lands and titles in the capital at Hythyr. The Dundown lands and holdings were ripped from his family when King Vertibule gifted them to his foul allies, Norve Rat mercenaries and pirates from the chill lands beyond the Bear Gate. Dunnock is young, but has survived quite a few battles against foes large and mighty. He’s a worrier, prone to be a squeaky wheel, and eager to make his father proud and gain back their hereditary lands. Dunnock believes in family, loyalty, hard work and a good meal at the end of the day.



Jeremy & Dragon


Jeremy and Dragon!

I love the way that O’Brien’s ‘Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH’ is a book for kids with reletively straight-forward science fiction themes, and Don Bluth’s ‘Secret of NIMH’ is something more of a science-fantasy tale? When I was drawing Dragon, I really wanted him to look like a DRAGON, sitting upon his hoard of dirty laundry.


Armoq Marmotini


Ground Squirrels! Rockin’ it all day long! These guys are the dwarves and gnomes of our little world. A bunch of serious-faced craftsmen and savage troublemakers. Let;s all hope they don’t dig too deep or too greedily. This is the moon, they could end up breaking out into the vacuum of space and destroying all of civilization.


The High Sciurlin

Warning! Red Squirrel Alert!

The red squirrels are analogous to High Elves, although the more I develop the idea, the further that concept departs from the original. Here we have depictions of two warrior-squirrels in armor.

Neither portrait of these handsome gentlemen are of our hero Dustbin, but I’ll throw something up for him soon.


Betsy & Gaddy


Best Friends Forever!

I mean, unless murder, betrayal, and thuggery get in their way…

This was one of the first sketches I did of our mischievous pair. Betsy’s (on the left) colors are right, but the patterning could be wrong? If I had drawn out the rest of the picture, you would see that Gaddy (right) is surrounded by a straight pile of empty liquor bottles.


Gray Huk – Grassword Fence


Gray Huk!

The fantastic fence from Betsy’s home town of Grassword. Another piece of amazing concept art from one of our fans and listeners, done in the now classic ‘Mouseguard’ style. Love that stash! Pass the chicken fat!

Gray Huk was a bunch of fun to use as an NPC. He was created on the fly, and now he’s too good to leave behind. Maybe he’ll turn up again, one day…



Mice from NIMH


The Mice from NIMH

First Row: Mrs. Frisby, Mister Ages, Auntie Shrew

Second Row: Cynthia, Teresa, Mister Ages again

Third Row: Timothy, Martin, and finally the hero Jonathan Frisby in the right corner.

One of my inspirations to do the game and the podcast came from these illustrations that I made for one of my favorite books and a truly beautiful film.



Fan Art Friday (Saturday)

Our first fan art is of Betsy the mouse in the style of another popular mouse-related game! LOOK AT THAT CUTE. (And then, maybe check out Episode 2? I don’t know. I would.)7B424091-E802-4EFC-9369-FBC52025A166

Do you want your art to be featured on our website on Fan Art Fridays? Send us your best doodles inspired by our podcast to figendstudio@gmail.com! 


The Inspiration from NIMH

I have had a few world-building efforts over the last few years. Most of my efforts have been centered around enormous cities, retro designs, ancient civilizations, environmentalism, and post-humanism. I would work, sometimes intensely on an idea, then I would flake and the idea would transform or sputter out. Files and files of paper, stacks of detailed notebooks. Dozens of sketches, finished art. All good, but come to nothing. Beautiful parts of incomplete wholes.
Part of what you will see here is an effort to make good on that work. Much of ‘Mice on the Moon’ will incorporate that old work. We’ll talk about it.
But let’s go back earlier.
I watched ‘The Secret of NIMH when I was too young to understand it. Images from Don Bluth’s epic animated feature would be forever scorched on my soul and in my brain. I would forever afterward love the characters, the setting, the idea of hidden worlds within worlds, scavenge-punk, and the secret lives of animals.
After watching ‘NIMH’, I held a predisposition toward similar features of fiction. Last Unicorn, Lord of the Rings, The Rescuers and its sequels, Chip & Dale’s Rescue Rangers, Tailspin, Darkwing Duck, Duck Tales, Classic Fables, Raynard the Fox, The Dark Crystal, Island of Dr. Moreu, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, an obsessive reading of a wide variety of the world’s folklore. All of that, I think started there, with ‘The Secret of NIMH’. I think that perhaps even my interest in government conspiracy theory may have started while witnessing the secret and clandestine operations of the National Institute of Mental Health, and their experiments on rats and mice.
I recall reading ‘Flowers for Algernon’, one of the first books I read for school that I legitimately enjoyed, and noticing something like a common ancestor. Later I would read the actual novels, ‘Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH’, it’s sequels, and every scrap of related material I could find. I would learn to draw in the Don Bluth style, would dream of becoming an animator, and would fuel my creativity with NIMH’s fire.
I always knew I wanted to do something with my passion for this subject, but avoided it as I got older. I continued to read, enjoy the interest, read about naturalism, plants, animals, rodents and anthropomorphism. I went from being a fan to being educated in the science and literary criticism of the subject. I became an academic superfan of cute animals in clothes, pretending at being men.
I also realized that I just LOVE rats. That will be a topic that deserves it’s own post, but I would become a rat owner in the intervening years, and would become incredibly fascinated by tightly symbiotic relationship between man and rat. That subject absolutely never gets old for me. Later, we will investigate.
I mean, rats are going to be a BIG part of this blog. Rats, just, everywhere.


World-building is one of my oldest and most powerfully obsessive hobbies. I’ve always loved creating world and making places to visit in my mind. I would make an idea, sketch a boundary or a visual touchstone, and then I would visit that place in my imagination. I would discover details, record and organize them together, create connections and logical relationships. Repeat. Revise.
The place would build, and then build so big, parts would fall through my fingers. Stories would become bigger than me, leaking out my mouth and ears.
The first world I ever build was a house. I had heard, sometime around the age of thirteen, about the concept of a roleplaying game. I thought about the board games I loved, and with only a simple concept sparking in my brain, I made a map of a haunted house.
I enlisted two of my childhood friends in exploring my map, full of traps and hazards. I would describe the room, they would tell me what they wanted to do, I would decide what happened next, and they would react. Simple.
Probably also how I fell in love with maps…
My next project was inspired by one of my favorite moves: Terminator, and one of my favorite concepts, the ‘robot uprising’. Every time I watched the Terminator films as a child, I was more interested in that doomed future than I was in the time-travel or any of the events happening in the past/present. I made rules, characters, and maps maps maps.
I had a pad of graph paper, and I drew an interconnected and numbered system of maps that covered my entire living room floor. A huge space, mapping every inch of a hundred-square-mile area. Humans fought for survival amid machines executing a mysterious plan. I was fourteen.
A few years later I played 2nd edition D&D, and while I enjoyed laying the game, it was the books that really fascinated me. The tables, rules, the foundations of incredible imaginary worlds; I was drowned completely in the old TSR publications. Dark Sun, Planescape, Forgotten Realms… I read the books more than I played the games. I began to read more roleplaying books than I read fiction.
‘Rifts’ by Palladium books came next, a kind of ‘Gamma World’ on acid, really opened my eyes to what was possible in the extremes of fantasy and science fiction. GURPS, Fading Suns, Mutants and Masterminds. I absorbed everything I could afford to get my hands on.
As an adult, I do most of my world building in my efforts to create and write fiction or produce graphic art and illustration. The world-building is almost more of a ‘scaffolding’ for me to operate within. It has taken quite a few years to admit that I am better at world-building than at fiction, maybe better at world-building than at anything?
So here is a real world-building project. World first, and if I can make it into a narrative, or into it’s own unique game, or whatever media, great. Should be a fun ride.
Come with me, let’s see what happens.