Newcomers Arrive
In which some Sylvanians arrive independently to Mosswood Fells to find their new way in life. Introducing Mr. Shea Norrister, Mr. Alphonse Sandeia, Nick Walnut, Zan Guang ... and more.

Times were a'changing in Mosswood Fells. The Sylvanians who had migrated were becoming more familiar with their surroundings as winter melted into the first signs of spring. Some snow still sat on dead leaves in the woods where the sunlight hadn't yet warmed it away. However, there was one gentleman who knew full well the fickle way Mother Nature worked in Sylvanian winters sometimes, and his nose twitched as he entered the outskirts of Mosswood Fells, pausing by a silvery sculpture of a mouse wearing a flower headband. "Aah, the scents of fresh pine and water," inhaled Mr. Shea Norrister, twitching his nose more in appreciation. He waggled his ears dramatically. From his head flopped a black top hat. "Oops!" he muttered to no one in particular. Shea often wore the hat to keep his head warm. His ears were perfectly comfortable despite the cold, for he came from the great line of Snow Warren rabbits, and he had heard a lot of commotion coming from this most northern direction for quite some time since the winter solstice.

Shea was a most dramatic hare, and that meant with or without his own say in the matter! In fact, he found that as he bent over retrieving his hat, he slipped on some ice and landed backwards! However, he was finely dressed for the winter: his great poofy feet stayed warm, his woolen trousers, vest, and tailcoat likewise protected him from the cold. Not that it mattered, mind, to a snow hare!

Ever so carefully, Shea knelt up and planted his paws on firm footing once more. Making his way through the woods, he paused at the majestic rumble of the nearby waterfall.

The rabbit smiled. "Aah, there we are. The Lords of the Mountain may well be pleased with me were I to offer them my skills in exchange for a life among them, rather than roaming endlessly. Yes! This is precisely as I shall do, for I am Shea Norrister!"

So saying, as he arrived, a snowstorm picked up behind him. He had arrived just in time. The young snow warren bounded along swiftly up towards the heavy doors further ahead.

Alphonse Sandeia used to be a shore cat. He had grown up with sand all his life; it and the purr of the ocean licking the ground was his comfort zone. However, with growing up had come great changes- and he prowled the woods confidently as an adept hunter. Deftly jumping over leaf and bough, bush and rock, he hastened through the woods, enjoying the feelings of running freely and quickly. Behind him he could still hear huffing and puffing. The tawny feline smiled a mercurial one. "Come on, lad, pick it up, pick it up!" he called, pausing as he bounced atop a boulder to get a better view. His only and closest friend was further behind him than he wanted; he wanted the youth to get stronger and faster as befitted a growing boy. Personally, he thought the kid was just flat-out hard to get along with. He was often being woken up at the crack of dawn, but preferred to sleep in (like much of fellow catkind)! Plus he was constantly hunting for enough food to keep them both well-fed, and half the time, the boy didn't want to eat meat! However, Alphonse considered, the youth was growing on him. His heart had warmed up over the last few years they'd known each other, and he couldn't picture life without him...

"I'm coming!" called a young boy's voice. It belonged to little Nick Walnut, a young orphaned chipmunk. Ever the bubbly optimist, the little guy's stubby legs carried him far- and he had enough energy to keep up with Alphonse, if not in exact stride. What he couldn't do was hunt like his older friend, a lanky young-adult feline, but Alphonse had told him he was the best forager and gatherer! It meant the world to the chipmunk.

Alphonse nodded sagely, looking skyward. His whiskers twitched.

"What is it?" asked Nick as he approached his friend, catching his breath and bending over.

"I smell winter. We're in for some weather from the south. We'd best keep moving. The mountains- I heard a rumor near Acorn Valley that they're occupied by those who are called, 'The Lords of the Mountains'. I want to meet these lords and see if we can make a home for ourselves there," the feline smiled, smug.

"Oh wow!" exclaimed Nick. "Do you really think we can do it?"

"Well, that's why we're going there- to find out!" Alphonse replied, tail curling in impatience. The cat sometimes had no patience, but being around the chipmunk helped him practice getting better at it.

"Yay! Okay!" exclaimed Nick, excited. His big bushy tail rolled rapidly in anticipation of their new adventure.

Grinning toothily, Alphonse asked, "Think you can beat me this time?"

"YEAH!" exclaimed Nick, hyper as usual, and bolted northward towards the mountain. Wondering where the chipmunk got all his energy from, Alphonse tore off after the youth. He would conveniently neglect to tell Nick that he gave the kid a head-start, and that he preferred his friend in front where he could see him, despite the feline's good hearing. Alphonse had heard rather strange noises lately in the middle of the night.

Zan Guang smiled to himself atop his mountain peak home. His son Zheng and his wife had created quite a lovely family, his Sibilant Solitaire Siblings were doing their duties as they had willingly sworn to do as wonderfully to the letter as ever.. all was going well. Ever so slowly, the old panda rose from his stone chair, padded with old fabrics which had grown comfortable with use. "Perhaps I will pay my family a visit for a while and come down from my long time meditating," he mused with an old, gravelly voice. He smiled quietly, but then seemed to remember something.

The smile faded, and instead his demeanor became serious. "One must yield and sacrifice that which he loves in order to rediscover himself and that which is around him. Another must learn humility. Those in their roles will learn and grow with their choices in the past, and the four must perform as one. So much to do..." Zan Guang mused. "It will be so. Hopefully my son has received the scroll I sent."

The line caught. Shreve Fisher, a young silver-furred feline, wore his favorite pair of home-made blue overalls with a silvery-grey fish painted on them. He sat outside the Mosswood Fells' cascading waterfall in the foothills. "Hey, a bite!" he exclaimed as he yanked on his fishing rod. A sparkling, fat green and pink fish had caught. Deftly putting it in his net, he looked around, then wiped his face. "I think that's all for now!" he called.

A rustling in the bushes came, followed by purring. A ginger-colored cat emerged: his friend, Oliver Flynn- an adept hunter in his own right but who had dreams of prosperity running often through his mind. "Yeah? What'd you get?" Oliver replied, hefting a large, colorful bird behind him.

"A salmon! Do you think that'll be good enough?" Shreve asked as Oliver headed over with his catch of the day. "The weather is good now. Maybe the lords of the mountain will be pleased. You said you wanted to start a butcher shop, right?"

"Right!" Oliver affirmed, smiling confidently at his close friend. "With other Sylvanians to make a living among, it should be easier. I'm done with that tough winter. We deserve better, my friend!"

Translation, Shreve thought to himself, make money and barter. But the silvery cat refused to interfere with his friend's dreams. In fact, quite the opposite- he wanted to be there for him through thick and thin as he had been for years.

And there was no way to know if these lords of the mountains would even accept them in. Shreve was nervous. 'Hi,' he thought to himself, 'we're here to make a living by selling to your people, let us in please'. It didn't seem to go very well. But then, Oliver seemed so gregarious that he was sure the ginger-furred cat would find a way to make it happen.

After all, that was one thing he liked about him...

Emmie Aurysia was... well, herself, she considered as she skipped along the wooded pathway. The ground was becoming mud; she splashed into it haphazardly, uncaring despite her fancy dress which she'd made a long while ago. The mud would turn to solid ground soon enough as the land warmed. Though she was skipping, her mind was- as usual- elsewhere. It was already further ahead, at the top of the mountains whose shadow she entered, the sun at her back. "Forty-four, forty-eight, no- yes! That must be right, I had precisely forty-eight shining-" she shook her head, awash with numbers. Others called her odd at times, but no longer. Emmie had a knack for numbers, capable of doing plenty of calculations. She knew that being social wasn't her best trait, but that was okay by her- her talents were still numerous. She giggled to herself at the pun. She had heard splashing up ahead, and smelled feline in the air.

"Oh! Must be close to the Fells' foothills by now," she mused to herself. "I bet if I pair up my love of number and fairness with others here, maybe they'll accept me!" She hadn't known Sylvanians to be rude to her before, but she felt like she was an outsider among them, even her own family sometimes, and couldn't understand why. But her dreams were stronger, so she had begun a new journey. "I bet I could make something of myself with enough time..."

The idea delighted the little hamster woman. Sprightly as ever, she made her way towards Mosswood Fells.

The Zan Panda family and the Sibilant Solitaire Siblings were busy. A family of cream and chocolate-colored pointed felines had arrived in the fells, from, as Zheng and Feng were informed, the red panda Mrs. Redwood. And so, Zheng considered as he inked up a quill again, they are culinary school friends. Mrs. Redwood is setting up to be a baker with Mrs. Chocolate's family. I'm sure Ellie has skills to contribute.

More importantly, Ellie had brought her daughter Mina. Feng had decided the little girl needed something to be cheerful over from their journey to the Fells, so she had commissioned the mole, Mollie McBurrows to craft one in her spare time. Feng was delighted as Mina spun around in her little bronze-satin sundress, purring merrily.

"So," Zheng was saying as his wife smiled indulgently in the youth to Mrs. Keats, "you will be working with Mrs. Chocolate and your friend, Mrs. Redwood, am I correct?" he asked, quill scratching ink into the scroll he had before him at his desk.

"Yes sir," Ellie said, bowing. She caught the unreadable panda's dark eyes drifting behind her.

Behind her, Dante dipped his head respectfully, bowing.

"And the felines behind you?" he queried.

"My sister, Arabella."

Arabella stepped forward and curtseyed. "Pleasure to meet you," she said to the pandas. "My boyfriend here is Dante, and these are Isabella and James Keats, mother and father to my sister and I."

More quill-scratching sounds from the desk as the panda nodded slowly. "Dante, what would you be doing?" he inquired.

"I met a young black cat earlier," Dante said shyly, intimidated by the large bear. "I couldn't quite get his first name, but he said 'Eclipse'-"

"Ah, certainly that must have been Enai if he wore a purple knitted vest."

"Th- the same," Dante exclaimed.

That brought a chuckle from Zheng. "He is ever the artistic one. I'm sure he wouldn't mind teaching you the arts over a cup of tea."

The feline nodded, ears turning red. "I do take a fancy to the arts, yes. I wouldn't mind at all!"

"Noted. And to you, Mr. James?" Zheng inquired.

"My skill is also with my hands and my strength," stated James. His voice was smooth, though his manner slightly brusque. "I work with metals." His wife Isabella nodded next to him.

"And I, well... it sounds silly," the older woman admitted, "but I love flowers. I'd like to spend my life simply with family and tending a garden."

Feng smiled quietly to her husband, black eyes sparkling. Zheng felt his wife's gaze, looked up, and nodded. "Our flowers are presently grown by the Corntop and Babblebrooks rabbits," Zheng explained.

Isabella's silky ears sank slightly on her head.

"But," he continued, "we do have a woman whom I'm sure would love to have help. Her name is Nancy Waters. She's a russet-colored beaver lady. If you can get along with her, she has a green paw."

"Is she difficult to interact with?" countered Isabella perceptively, tilting her head to one side. Her tail tip twitched slightly.

Ah, felines, thought Zheng, ever talking silently with their tails. He knew the twitch well, despite its many meanings, from the Sibilant Solitaire Siblings. "I foresee no issues. She is a humble woman."

Isabella Keats closed her eyes languidly, reopened them and nodded. "I am sure we will get along, though I may have plenty of years on her in age."

Feng chuckled. "We all get there eventually. It should work out well. Nancy has been as pleasant as any Sylvanian I've met yet who has chosen to reside here."

Isabella purred briefly in acknowledgement; a short, rattly thing.

Zheng took some more notes. "Alright, everything is formalized. Welcome to Mosswood Fells, dear citizens." He smiled broadly at that. Around him, the silent Sibilant Solitaire Siblings gently clapped, purring. The Keats purred as well, curling their tails in pleasure.

As the sunset began, Dante and Arabella sat outside on the balcony. They could see straight past the western forest to the coast. The sun dappled the ocean brilliant reds and oranges, shimmering quietly. "I know you said you wanted to move for your sister and her daughter, but I think this is a great choice."

"Yes?" Arabella asked, curling her tail around his.

"Yeah. I can think of nowhere better, overlooking the ocean and waterfalls..." He rose.

"Where are you-"

Dante knelt. "I would love nothing more than to begin this life with you here in a new way as well. Arabella, would you marry me?" he asked, proffering a small blue box and opening it. A tiny golden ring sat on a sapphire-colored satin pillow.

Arabella mewed in surprise, beads of happy tears rising into her eyes. "Yes!" she exclaimed, and leaped into his arms. Laughing, he hugged her back tightly, nuzzling into her neck. After planting a kiss there, Arabella let go and she sat back down.

She extended her paw.

The ring slid on.

Both knew they would have to return to the pandas to let them know- and then to find their family to share the good news.