Conserning the state of Brennenburg, servants, and the food supply

Assorted questions and theories related to the daily life of keeping Brennenburg running, including food, tasks, servants, and Alexander's wealth.

Question 1: With a friend in town today we started wondering who even makes the food that Alexander, and later Daniel, eat. Like, first it was just "Probably Grunt" but then, looking at that hand, and body, we doubted it would be sanitary, or even really possible. Your thought on: Who, what made the food? You think Alexander had some human cooks or something? Maybe people he later put in the dungeons when the people got scarce? Or did he really just use the Grunts? -sent by anonymous

I imagine that at one point in time, Alexander had human servants. The layout of Brennenburg makes me think there used to be a full servants’ wing and housing quarters for them - I believe this was the Rainy Hall area, aka the starting location of the game. It seems to be an older area of the castle, with lots of storing space, and the collapsed corridors by Daniel’s awakening spot could have lead into servants’ rooms. The area is too far removed from the main hall to have been the baron’s private quarters, and they’re not as impressive either - they look like something that would have been meant to house the service staff. Also, the fact that the potions’ storage where Daniel’s note to self is found is hidden by a secret door makes me believe the whole area there was meant for human servants. It was rather common for doors leading into the servants’ area in better households to be hidden - the door or the opening mechanism was built so that outsiders would not find it easily.

Also, that blocked door downstairs right by the entrance to the Archives? It’s facing the same way as the starting area of the game, making me believe it was once a door to the servants’ area - the actual proper kitchen. It seems to connect to the old part of the castle, and if we assume that the Rainy Hall and the old archives were the servants’ wing once upon a time, it would make sense for the kitchen to be connected to this part of the castle. If the old archives were used for storing food, it would make sense for the kitchen to be down there as well. The kitchen down in the prison was likely only for feeding the prisoners - I doubt Alexander would have eaten food prepared down there - and someone of his status must have needed a proper kitchen and dining area since he must have housed guests from time to time.

By the time Daniel arrived in Brennenburg it seems Alexander’s human servants are long gone, however. The potential servants’ wing was mainly vacated, the storage on the other side of the castle had very little food left in it, and Daniel doesn’t seem to have seen any other servants that the cloaked Gatherers. Perhaps Alexander killed the human servants for vitae when he sensed his time was running out - perhaps he just couldn’t keep any servants there anymore as rumours about Brennenburg grew wilder and wilder, or perhaps his wealth had diminished over the years. Whatever the case, I think it’s highly likely that Alexander mostly cooked the meals himself during Daniel’s stay, with the Grunts perhaps doing just some basic labour like carrying potato sacks and such. In Brennenburg’s better days I’m sure he had human servants as well, at least to keep up the appearance of a normal old nobleman.

Question 2: Do you think that Alexander still had some money or "riches" in the time of Amnesia? Sure his castle is falling apart and everything, but it's not like he needed it to be perfect, and he didn't hire people to work for him either, and if he was a Freiherr like you said, he probably kept all the taxes of the people. He also doesn't seem the type to care much about "human frivolities". -sent by anonymous

It feels like his funds had diminished greatly over the years and by the time Daniel arrives in Brennenburg he doesn’t seem to have much left anymore. I think he probably had human servants once upon a time to keep the castle running but he’s probably managed the last years on his own, only depending on the Gatherers for grunt work (pun intended), probably partly because he couldn’t afford to pay them anymore, and partly because it was getting hard to hide what he was actually up to.

I get this feeling that Brennenburg was probably well taken care of in its days of glory, but it seems to have been some decades ago by the time of Amnesia. I’m sure Alexander still had some tax income by then but it must have been much less than before since the castle hadn’t been repaired for a while, and instead of fixing the parts of the castle that were falling apart he’d just moved his stuff into the parts that were still unaffected. Could be that the population in the area was so small that it didn’t generate much income for him, or that the constant wars and turmoil in Europe had made the royal house start collecting taxes directly into their own pocket to pay for it all. Either way, Alexander was definitely headed for trouble even before Daniel showed up.