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- Simon was a servant to the house of Brock, as were his parents, and his grandparents aswell. He was a slender young squirrel of about 61 or so seasons old and very dedicated to what he did, infact, he was already a footman at such a young age. This preticular morning the masters breakfast was running behind so the footmen and maids had begun to help the kitchen staff to get things ready. Simon stood next to the cook, a fat old mouse named Mrs.Drubbles holding out a platter as she piled acorn pancakes onto them.
- "Simon, you better get going with those pancakes, his lordship has just arrived," cried a sweet otter maid named Sleek from across the room, just as Mrs.Drubbles slapped the last one onto the platter. The aggile squirrel dash through the kitchen, dodging at pot and full bowls and then walked calmly into the hall.
- Upon entering the main hall of Brockhall, the usual breakfast sight greeted his eyes. At the end of the long polished elmwood dining table sat the great Lord Brocktree, dressed in a robe of green silk he sat tall and majestically, whispering something to the kindly looking badger woman to his left. This was Lady Carium, the wife to Lord Brocktree of Brockhall. She was short and graceful, wearing a purple satin gown. Across from her, to the left of Lord Brocktree was a stout and homley looking badger woman, with big, welcomeing brown eyes and a smile to match. She wore a simple blue dress with a yellow apron. This was Lady Daisy, sister of Lord Brocktree. Next to her sat her mother, Lady Tania. She was an old, slender badger, with keen strict eyes eyes and pursered lips that warned she was a no nonsense woman. Across from her sat three highchairs each holding alittle badger dibbun, two pretty little girls and an adorable little boy, all still in the pajamas. The little boy was Boar, son of Brocktree and Carium, and his sister was one of the badger girls, she was called Mellie. The other badger babe was Boar and Mellie's cousin, Petunia, dauther of Daisy. They were all eating under the watchfull eye of their nanny, a old hare nurse called Nanny Waggem.
- As Simon set the platter down and began pouring Lady Daisy her morning tea he got to thinking about her late husdand Master Homland. That poor man, he was so kind, but not even the best healer's could stop the disease that killed him, and half the inhabitants of Mossflower. Simon was only a dibbun in the nursery then, when his jobs was just to be quiet and not dissturb the inhabitants of Brockhall. That disease cliamed his mother and father, his grandparents and many other servants aswel has Master Homland and Misteriss Amiable, the sister to Lady Tania.
- Simon was so caught up in thought that he forget what he was doing and Daisy's tea began to overflow out of the cup. "Simon!" she exclaimed as the hot tea began to drip into her lap. The footman imidiatley snapped back into reality.
- "I am so sorry my lady! I don't know what I was thinking! I have never-! I didnt mean-! I..I.." he stammered as he began sopping up the mess.
- "Not to worry my boy," she said smiling up at him and taking the rag from him, began wiping her lap. "Just go get another cloth napkin. Really, no harm done."
- The dissheveled squirrel gave and awkward bow and then ran off to the kitchens, feeling himslef on the verge of tears he quickly wiped a damp rag Sleek had given him across his face. She had seen the whole thing and was now gathering some napkins for him while he stood there trying to calm down. Never had he been so embarassed in his life!
- "Here Simon, take these," Sleek told Simon, pushing some napkins into his hand. "Just go back out there and clean her ladyship up. It was only and accedent," she soothed, giving him a reasurring smile and pushing him out the door.
- "Poor boy," commented a little vole kitchen maid. "He prides himself on his wonderful work, he will beat himself up terrible over this im sure."
- "I must agree Kiney. You should have seen his face fall when Lady Daisy told him she'd clean herself up." Sleek replied picking up some dirty dish rags and aprons. "Well, better get back to work
before Mr.Remies or Ms.Lithel catch us chatting the morning away."
- The Main hall was and amazing peace of arctitecture. It's ceiling, collums, shelfs, and even some of its furniture was made from the roots of the mighty oaktree in which Brockhall was located. The parts of the wall and roof that were not made of roots were plastered with a light rosy clay, giving the room a very homey feel. The large circular room was lit but torches lining the walls and a huge chandalier in the center of the room. But this wasn't an average chandilere. I was a great tangle of roots that hung low in the center of the Main Hall with candles of various shapes and sized stuck in little nitches carved in the roots. Every evening after their masters had gone to bed, they would come out and replace all the candles that had melted away and then blow all the flams out. Early the next morning, guided only by the torches on the wall would the servants light the great chandilere once more. To the right side of the hall was a sitting area with moss covered ledges, couches made of roots, and many over-stuffed armchair, the kind badgers love. to the left side of the hall was the dining area with a long elmwood tables with intricatly carved legs and chairs to match. At the far end of this table sat the Brock family, rulers of Mossflower country.
- "Brocktree, we need to talk, and now is as good a time as any," began Lady Tania in a buissness like manner. "As you know we have the least amount of badgers residing at Brockhall then ever before. We have lost Homland so we shall be graced with no more children from Daisy. My dear sister as left us aswell so thats another badger gone, and none of Lady Cariums family wished to live at Brockhall as the wives family normally do!"
- "I know mother, but what do you want me to do about?" replied Brocktree somewhat agitated.
- "What do I want you to do about it?" fumed Lady Tania as if the answer was obvious. "You are getting more and more aggitated and restless, you will be leaving us very soon to go questing, but while you are here you need to get husbands for the girls and a wife for Boar!" she excliamed, gesturing to the smiling babies who had forgotten their meal because they were to intrested in watching their grandmother tell their father and uncle what to do, they thought this was hilarious.
- "You tell'im granddy ma!"
- "Me wanna big strong mate!"
- "Haha! Daddy got in trouble!"
- "That enough little ones!" called Nanny Waggem, lifting them from their highchair. "We are going back to the nursery! My aplologies for the interuption my lord, my ladys." Giving a swift curtsy to her masters she trotted off to the nursery, hold the little dibbuns hand, scolding them all the way, "Petunia! We do not tell our uncle what kind of mate to choose! Mellie, we do not shout at the table! Boar, get your finger out og your snout this instand!"
- "Ah, good nurse Waggem," Carium said smiling, wathcing the old hare wipe syrup from her sons face at the doorway. Then she unwilling turned her attention back to the problem at hand, "As
much as I hate to addmit it, your mothers right Brocktree, no matter how many times you try to deny it you will be leaving soon and it is your duty as a father to Boar and Melle and as male caretaker to Daisy, it is your duty to find mates for them."
- "You are perfectly capable of finding mates for our children, you do not need me," the lord relpied trying his best to stop this converstation before it got any farther.
- "Well then we want you here! The more of us to find mates the quicker the search will end!" Tania exclaimed. With a sigh of frustration she motion for a servant "im finished, take this away!"
- "What is the rush! They are dibbuns, they won't be married for another forty or more seasons!" Brocktree reliped, throwing his untinsils down on the talble in frustration.
- "Brocktree, I was promised to you before i was even born. When you were barley a season old my family agreed to give there first daughter over to the Brock family at the age of 60 season. Boar is already 16 seasons old, how long can we wait?" Carium answered, reaching out to hold her husbands hand.
- "It was the same with my family. I was promised to Stonepaw before i was even in my mother stomache!" Tania explianed. "Finding the children mates will solve both our problems, think about it. When a child is promised to one of our little ones they and their family normally move in. At least the normal ones." she said, looking to Carium. "Then we will have an adult badger to rule Brockhall until Boar is old enough, a mates for the children, and more badgers in Brockhall!" at this her ladyship stood and gave a nod to her son then stuck her nout into the air and walked off, smiling the herself, think she had won some great agruement. "Come Sleek! Draw my bath!"
- Breakfast was over and the masters had left to go about there buissness and the servants were clearing the table. There were the footmen, Simon and Collee, an arogant, conceited fox, aswell as a few maids. They were all being watched by Ms.Lithel, the head housekeeper. She was a strict and dedicated old mouse, but she truly did care very much for the staff of Brockhall, aswel as the family she served.
- "Way to go clutz, spilling tea all over her ladyship." Collee commented drly to Simon, giving him a snobbish smile.
- "It was an accident, everyone makes mistakes. Even your perfect self has messed up before," he replied calmly, not even looking up at his insulter as he stacked the plates onto a tray.
- "Good for you that you didn't spill it on the old lady, she would-"
- "Collee! I certainly hope you are not speaking about her ladyship Lady Tania! Or any member of the Lord's family for that matter!" Ms.Lithel excliamed, glaring sternly at the sly fox.
- "Of course not Ms.Lithel, I was talking about you," he replied, turning on his heels and walking off to the kitchens just as Mr.Remies was coming out. Mr.Remies was the butler at Brockhall. He was a middle aged dormouse also very dedicated to what he did, overall a very proffesional man.
- "Collee! You will turn around right now and apologize to Ms.Lithel and never again speak to your supierior in that way again, that is if you wish to keep your job here!" the butler exclaimed, turning the footmen around to face the very mad housekeeper,standing under the chandilere, hands on hips.
- "My apologies Ms.Lithel," the clever fox said, bowing low to the old mouse, putting on his saddest face. "I don't know what came over me, I've just ben so upset that Simon keeps bullying me."
- "You dont fool me you nasty little boy," the housekeeper replied angerly, yanking the howling footmen up by his ear. "Simon, give those plates to Collee then go about your other work, you to
ladies," she said, looking to the maids. "Colle will finish up here."
- "But that could take an hour!" he protested, refusing to take the stack of plates from his fellow footmen.
- "Well, if it will only take you an hour then you can do the morning dishes when your done here." Mr.Remies said, pushing Simons plates into the angry foxes arms, then escorted Ms.Lithel out into the hallway to disscuss the matter of wha to do with Collee. The rest of the servants had soon all left to go about their other chores, leaving only a steaming fox standing by the dining tables, holding a precariously high stack of dirty dishes.
- Brocktree sat in his study, shuffling through paper after paper, obviously searching for something. The study was a somewhat small square room with a desk and large, overstuffed armschair in the center of the room. All four wall were made of shelfs carved into the walls, from floor to ceiling. Every inch was packed with scrolls and volumes, tombs and records, but it was all straight and neat, not a mess. This was because of Niles. Niles was an ancient hedgehog and long time friend of Brocktree. He was the Butler of Brockhall all through Brocktrees childhood and acted as somewhat of a father to him when Stonepaw left wandering, but he soon became to old and weary to be butler, so he retired
to be recordkeeper of Brockhall and personal adviser to the lord and his family. He stood silentley by Brocktree as he poured over scrolls, leaning heavily on a old oak cane.
- It was very quiet in the little study, all that could be heard was the rustling of parchment as Brocktree flipped through the scrolls Niles had given him. The silence was brocken by a soft knock on the door.
- "Get the door please Niles," Brocktree asked, his eyes not leaving the papers.
- Niles opened the old wooden door to find Simon there with a midaged shrew wearing overalls and a straw hat standing behind him. "This farmer of Mossflower has news for his lordship," the footmen said in a formal tone to the old hedgehog.
- "Bring him in," ordered the lord, sitting up striaght in his chair, looking very regal.
- The farmer walked slowly into the room, giving a bow to the lord, then looked to Simon for help. Simon nodded and mouthed "go on" and gave the scared shrew an incouraging smile.
- "Um.. Uh... Your lordship, I saw a band of nasty looking vermin, about a score or so of them m-m-my lord," he said, bowing constantly, at this the badgers expression harded and he leaned forward, listening carefully to every word the stammering shew said. "They were wa-wandering through the woods, in the middle of their group were little ones, all chained up and cr-crying your lordship. I re-reconized them as children of my fellow wo-woodlanders, y-your Brocktreeness, oh i mean your badgership. Oh wait! No, no i mean my lordiness. Oh! No, no wait i mean-"
- "You are fine my deat man. I appriciate the information. Niles, please escort this man out, Simon gather the entire gaurd, now!"