Allhaven: A Mouseguard Tale
Born as the youngest child to Pierro and Entoinette Foulton, famous chipmunk bakers living and working at Foulton Pâtisserie in Gilpledge, DuJacques never quite fit into his family. While Foultons have traditionally born pale golden fur with deep brown stripes, DuJacques was almost the opposite, with ruddy chestnut fur riven by faint tawny stripes, including two across his prodigious cheeks that look suspiciously like a curling mustache. It also became apparent very early on that the excitable, insistent young chipmunk far preferred playing with his friends and feeding the neighborhood children out the back of his parents shop to anything so boring as schoolwork or, especially, learning the trade of baking like his four eminently obedient older brothers and sisters.
In fact, just about the only thing that Pierro or Entoinette said that DuJacques paid any attention to at all was their stories about the heroic Mouse Guard, whom they baked an enormous quantity of sturdy traveling loaves for every week in remembrance of the brave Guardmice who had risked life and limb to save the Foultons’ traditional village far to the southeast many generations ago. The entire family picked up and moved to the new colony of Gilpledge right away, promising to serve the mice who had saved them all and honor those who had died in the process.
Fascinated by tales of brave mouse warriors facing down weasels, owls, foxes and more, young DuJacques became fascinated by the idea of serving in the Guard, and the endless minutiae of carefully measuring flour, scooping sugar, sifting salt, and kneading dough that was his family’s entire life simply bored him to tears.
However, worse than all that, young DuJacques developed a love that his parents could never forgive. While wandering the city streets, playing Guardmouse with his friends, DuJacques stumbled across the Diners Market, a large open-air food “hall” in the eastern part of Gilpledge that served hot soups, roasted beetles, toasted oats, and more every day for lunch and dinner. Entranced by the smells and sounds of the myriad bubbling pots, DuJacques began sneaking away to watch the Cooks at work in the Market as often as he could, falling further and further behind his siblings in the art of Baking.
Things came to a head when DuJacques turned 18 and announced to his thoroughly unimpressed parents that he was going to become a soup chef. Pierro told him in no uncertain terms that he would, as his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather before him, learn to make delicious breads and pastries to feed the Mouse Guard, or else.
Wounded and driven to rash action by a lifetime of his own frustration, DuJacques opted for “or else.” Late that night, he snuck into the Pâtisserie’s kitchen and filled a small pouch with the few belongings from there that he had any interest in at all, including a beautiful forged chef’s knife, a banged up old pot lid that his mother simmered porridge beneath every Sunday for DuJacques’s whole life (her sole concession to the art of cooking!), and a bundle of exotic spices, herbs, and extracts, probably worth a small fortune.
With nary a look behind his fuzzy little shoulder, the chimpunk set out for the border of the Mouse Territories, for local rumor had it that the Guard were beginning work in expanding the Scent Border to encompass new lands in the Darkheather. A chance to see the Guard at work at their very bravest, and forge his own path in life? How could DuJacques possibly refuse?!