- "Why she insists on takin' that blessed cat with her is beyond me. Between her wardrobes, her travelling library, and her damned butterfly collection, I'm at my wit's end! And when it gets lost – oh, it will, believe me – she'll expect me to find her a new one. Sigmar! Where does one find a leopard kitten in Ubersreik?"
- —Reynald, Lady Kirstin Gottlieb's Porter[3a]
There are few lower on the social ladder than Servants. While their work is necessary they are usually despised by their social superiors. For the scullion, the stable boy, and the serving wench, escape from their hard lives often seems impossible. These unfortunates must perform an unending number of menial tasks for their employers, be they Nobles, Guild Masters, or Innkeepers.[1a]
It is possible for a Servant to work up to a better position, but the path is difficult. No one wants to listen to the lad that was cleaning the privy last week. Thus many Servants leave their masters behind and become adventurers instead.[1a] In other cases, servants may fall into adventure when they accompany their employers on their travels, or, for some particularly trusted servants, when their master directs to make journeys of their own.[3a]
A Day in the Life
- "Only a fool mistreats those entrusted to cook food and pour wine. Believe me, there's no end of damage a spiteful servant can wreak upon the unwise."
- —Baron Gerber Jochutzmann[3a]
The life of a servant is much like that of a burgher, but far lower down on the social ladder. The servant rises earlier and rests later. They usually live where they work, in the crudest of accommodations – a palette of straw in the barn, or a pile of rags in the basement. Breakfast is a simple porridge, sometimes stretched with sawdust. Then comes the workday.[2a] Typical daily duties for servants include dressing their masters, cooking and serving food, tending the grounds, and managing cellars and larders.[3a]
Unlike apprentices and crafters, a servant is considered to have no valuable skills or unique abilities. They can be replaced at whim, and they are reminded of this constantly. There is also no real hope of advancement, at least not without a radical shift in career.[2a]
Some few manage, however – there are tales of the serving maid who gained control of the inn where she worked, or the stable hand who somehow managed to become a burgher. For most, though, the best hope is to advance to a position of menial authority, where they can cruelly bully and harass other servants.[2a] The most successful servants may become stewards, overseeing their master's estate, including all the other servants.[3a]
Verbal and physical abuse is common. It is not surprising, then, that the short, brutal life of an adventurer appeals. For many, it is the only path out of a lifetime of drudgery.[2a]