On one of my nights of rebellion from Fafnir’s research homework, I went out drinking with Dremnin. We were several mugs in to the ale when we started joking about making our own beer. How we could name beers after ourselves and the rest of the Unchained. We came up with the idea to name our imaginary brewery. It would have to tie in to the name of The Unchained, but as just two of us would be the owners we needed it to be something else. In staying with the chain theme we went over several names. Broken Chain, Iron Chain, Steal Link, Split Link were some of the Ideas that we had come up with, none of them rolled of the tongue the way we wanted. We had consumed enough ale that I do not remember who came up with the name, Broken Link Brewery.
The laughing at the idea turned in to a serious drunken conversation. Could we do it? Could we buy a majority share in a brewery? I had 8000 silver pieces and 100 gold. Dremnin told me that he had about the same. Suulin had purchased the now Tippling T’skrang Inn for a little more than 2000 silver. I had bought in for 1000 silver so that she could buy furniture for the inn. If that was the case we should be able to buy in to a brewery for four or five thousand.
We stumbled on with the idea. We should also buy a boat for Thom and Kor to captain. They could go down river to the richer farm fields in the south and buy our grain directly from the farmers. Then ship it up to the brewery. We could also ship our brews down river opening up our range of sale. Hell we could spread our fame buy naming the beers after us and painting our faces on the barrels. Our faces would be in every bar in the kingdom of Throal.
We laughed at the pipe dream to be brew men. What did we know about brewing ale, other than it tastes good. We stumbled out of the Tippling T’skrang and headed across town to the Nial Zomay to sleep it off.
I woke up to find Dremnin in my room at my desk. He was writing on several of the pieces of paper that I had for my research projects that Fafnir had assigned to me. Dremnin looked at me when I stirred. He poured me breakfast ale and handed it to me. It was light and washed out the dryness in my mouth, it also helped to clear my head. I asked what time it was. Dremnin told me that it was near lunch time. Shit, Fafnir was going to be mad. I was to be at the library after breakfast.
Dremnin asked me if I liked the ale. Sure I said with a confused look, it was ale. No he said. Try the ale and tell me what you think. I took another drink and paid attention this time. It had a light oat flavor with a hint of honey and it was smooth to drink. It had low alcohol content but it was a breakfast ale, it was supposed to be light. I told him that it was good. He smiled, good enough to put your noble name on he said.
I looked at the mug and back to Dremnin. Are we really going to try and do this? You really want to try and by a brewery? Dremnin told me that he had been looking in to what we had talked about. (I don’t know how he always seemed to escape a hangover after a night of drinking. It must be some kind of scout skill.)
Dremnin went on that there was a small family brewery in the Throal proper town of Yastnae looking to expand. With my Throlic Thaneship I was allowed to buy property in Throal. It would also be under the protection of the Troalic Royal Guard. If we bought a brewery in Barter Town we would have to worry about the lawlessness of the populous and any attack by raiders.
I got up from my bed and put on my best clothing and my red feathered hat. We walked to Yastnae and found the brewery. It had a simple brick front with a gold colored lettering that said Brewery. It was simply colored compared to the rest of the town that had lots of bright colors. We walked in the front door. The smell of grain, hops, and ale was in the air. There were a couple of middle aged dwarves in the front room. They introduced themselves as Rokin and Hilda Stor. The male was tall for a dwarf and had a very serious face with a bald head. He had a ring around his head of brown hair. His full brown beard had several silver beads woven in to it. His wife, Hilda, had a sweet face and a welcoming disposition. She had a large amount of red hair with bonze beads woven in to it. She also wore a bronze head band to help hold her hair out of her face. She had a wide nose and round red cheeks. We told them that we were looking in to buy a majority share in a brewery and we had herd they were looking to expand. The Dwarves smiled and told us that they had inherited the brewery from Rokin’s father and that they wanted to grow the business and take it in to new directions. They asked us what we knew about brewing. Dremnin and I laughed and said that we had sampled many brews and knew what tasted good.
The male dwarf did not laugh at the joke. He looked at me seriously and asked what we were going to bring to the partnership. I smiled my charming smile and said that we would be bringing our money and our fame in to the deal. If we were to find the brewery to our liking we would buy in. We would change the name of the brewery and the name of the beers to the names of the members of The Unchained. I could see that the Brew Master had just figured out who we were. “Forgive me for failing to introduce ourselves.” I said. I am Thane Ardor Zomay S’kram and this is Dremnin Karkerson of Diamede we are members of the Unchained.” He agreed that our names alone could make a great difference in the sale of the ales.
Rokin planted his fists on his hips, taking a power stance, and gave one last demand that he had the final say on the brew recipes. I laughed and said, “Would you come out in to the world and tell us how to slay a horror?” His face wrinkled up in a sign of confusion. Dremnin stepped in and finished my thought. “We know nothing of brewing beers and ales. So we would no more tell you how to be a Brew Master then you would tell us how to be adventures.” I added, “We will tell you how we think it tastes as we consider ourselves a bit of an expert on the taste of ales and beers.” He smiled and said that he could live with that.
While we were taking a tour Dremnin had been looking around tring to figure out what the business was worth during most of the discussion. He leaned in and told me that he believed that the brewery was worth about 10,000 silver. So we offered to by 60% of the business at 6,000 silver. The dwarves agreed almost immediately. Dremnin and I just looked at each other and shook our heads. (Damn we paid too much.) The Rokin told me that he would have the papers drawn up and we told him that we would have the money when the papers were complete.
The arrangement went smoothly, the papers were signed the money exchanged. I took an office in the upper floor of the brewery. I was not going to be there all the time so I did not need to be on the main floor. I had started working on the renaming of the brews we were producing. I had arranged for a metal worker that had a shop right down the street to make a sign that said “Broken Link”. I wanted it to match the sign that was on the front of the building.
I talked to Dagmar about the people that he was trying to help. I asked if he knew if any of the people were artists. He gave me a couple of names. The first was an ork. He was talking about the work he had done, while drinking from a crock of cheap wine. It was early in the morning and the ork was already drunk. Probably not the one I wanted working in the brewery. The second was a windling. Aeriela had multi colored clothing with small cheap bells sewn on to it. While we were talking she started sketching me. We talked about the job and that it would be putting likenesses of The Unchained on the barrels. She told me that the job seemed like it could get old doing the same stencils on the barrels but right now the job would help fund her art work. We settled on her wage, part of which was a small room to live in, at the brewery. At the time she was staying in a tent made out of an old cloak from a troll.
She showed me the sketch and I was impressed. She had been using a piece of charcoal out of the fire in front of her tend. The drawing was on a piece of plank she had collected from one of the many building projects going on the farm. She had drawn my profile and done a good job with the ruff supplies.
I stopped a pair of ork teens and asked them if they wanted to make a few coins. They both looked eager at the idea. I gave then each four silver and told them to help the windling to move her stuff to the brewery. I told them to go find some crates and a cart they could use. The two ork boys ran off eager to please.
I took the picture that she had drawn and wrote a note on the back of it giving her permission to stay at the brewery. I sealed it with wax and my new rune ring. I gave it back to her and explained to show that to any gaurds that try to stop her and to show it to the brew master. I also told her that there waqs a room in the attic that she could use. It might need a little cleaning but it was hers to use.
I explained to her the first part of the job would be to find the members of The Unchained and to start getting sketches of them for their labels. Stilicho could probably be found on the dashing stag. Dagmar could be found at the forge. Suulin, Dremnin, and Urgral would be around the Tippling T’skrang. Vridich would be the hardest to find, but would have to turn up at the inn or the boat at some point. To make sure that she had the supplies she need to make the labels gave her fifteen silver. The little windling put the silver in to a shoulder bag.
When the two young orks came back with a two wheeled cart and some crates, I told her that I wanted to see some drawings by the end of the week. I left them to mover her belongings.