Choose Your Own Adventure 21: The Brewery
The current choice — selected by coin toss due to a tie — is to visit the brewery with corporal Dunscher.
“I think I’d like to get a drink before visiting the healer.”
Sergeant Berschiss grunts his disapproval. “Fine. Duscher, once you’ve picked up the beer, meet me at the blacksmith’s.” He gives you one last glare through his one good eye before walking off down the street.
Berschiss seems displeased by your decision, but Dunscher seems happy enough to have you along. He waves you up, to take the seat on the cart that the sergeant just vacated. “I’m glad you decided to come along. The brewer, Javor, is a bit grumpy, but I’m sure he’ll be happy to let you try a drink. Especially since I’ll be buying a few barrels.” He leans in close to you with a smile before he goes back to driving.
There are a few stares and glances en route to the brewery, mostly directed at you. The soldier may not be very out of place, but you, his passenger, are an oddity.
The brewer’s has a tavern in front, with the main supply of alcohol in the rear. You go in through the tavern, which is mostly empty at this time of day. Dunscher says, “Javor, I’m here to get a few more barrels for Kleriv. A few of beer, a few of mead.”
Javor was an older man, with only so many gray hairs left on his head. His wrinkles seemed to have wrinkles. He shouted back to someone in the back section of the building, “Roll out a few barrels! We’ve got a man from Kleriv here, and we know how much soldiers can drink.” When he turns back, he looks at you, and asks, “New friend, Dunscher?”
“This is Syndel,” he replies easily. “We found her out by Oblivion Canyon. She’s had a hard time of it. Think you can spare a mug for her?”
“I have to put in so much effort to keep my customers happy,” Javor cheerfully grumbles. He pulls a wooden mug out from somewhere, and fills it from a container out of sight. You take a single careful sip. It’s mediocre mead, sweet and fairly weak. Which is good. Although you don’t know how long its been since you last ate, the grumbling in your stomach suggests that it’s been too long for you to easily tolerate strong drink.
“Any for you, corporal?”
Dunscher looks longingly at the mug, then says, “No, thanks. I’m on-duty.”
“Some other time, then.”
A gangly young man comes out a few minutes later. Dunscher inspects the barrels, and briefly haggles with Javor over price. Then Dunscher and the young assistant load them into the cart, which Dunscher has pulled into a narrow alleyway between the brewery and its neighbor.
You leave with your mead only half-finished. Javor seems disappointed, but you did not want to drink too much without eating something.
It is not until you and Dunscher step back into the seat of the cart that you think this visit to the brewery may not have been the best idea. Dunscher chatters for a bit about beer before leaning towards you again and making a suggestion.
“No. Not interested.”
“Aw, come on, Syndel-” Annoyed at your refusal, he grabs your arm and pulls you towards him.
Your reaction is reflexive and immediate. Your first move is to punch Dunscher in the face. Only a few short seconds later, you’re taking a couple of deep breaths, while the young soldier is unconscious on the ground, bleeding from his nose.
You make a mental note that your earlier impression that you could take the two soldiers was probably correct.
But, until you can find some more information, you have a more immediate dilemma: What to do with Dunscher? You could just leave him here, and either hope he doesn’t remember what happened or plead some kind of failing of your own memory. Visiting the healer was on your to-do list anyway. Or you could try to get help right here, right now. Or you could just give up on Venbrik and get yourself out of here by whatever means necessary.
Option 22: Leave the scene like you had nothing to do with it, and try to find the healer’s.
Option 23: Go for help. Dunscher’s going to need a healer and, ideally, you can also get some help in keeping him away form you. (Not that you really need any.)
Option 24: Hide Dunscher’s unconscious form somewhere, steal some supplies, and get out of town as fast as you can.