Ale, Ale Everywhere!: The Stormstout Brewery

Chen was busy trying to talk sense out of a pandaren spirit when we arrived.

‘But where is everyone else?’

‘Oh, Gao is looking after the place while the others are across the wall, Zan… pay attention! Aren’t these tulips wonderful?’

‘Keliera, you and your friends make your way further in. I’ll try and find out what’s going on.’

The hozen party was extremely loud, and it took a while to clear them out of the main hall.

‘Who interrupt Ook Ook party!?’

The leader of the hozen, Ook-Ook, jumped down from his platform, scattering us around the room. Though strong, he proved attackable when the barrels that his peers were throwing at us hit him instead. We quickly killed him and sent the other hozen fleeing through the door.

Moving onto the platforms around the Brewery, we saw that virmen had taken over the main store of hops and grains, and were utilising all sorts of weapons. We soon came to their leader, Hoptallus, who called upon all of the virmen of the factory. An utterly chaotic battle of carrots, mallets, virmen and explosions followed, but by the end we managed to send the virmen fleeing.

The remaining terraces were filled with alementals and brewmaster ancestors, who tutted as we destroyed their playthings. Coming into the main brewing rooms, we found them infested as well, and leaks coming from all casks. In the largest room was Uncle Gao.

‘Yes, yes, yes! So close! Just a pinch of-oops!’

Gao accidentally spilled his first attempt at some brew, causing alementals to scatter over the room, forcing us into another fight.

‘Too bitter… just a drop of honey, and a cane of sugar, and maybe some corn? Yes, more corn!’ With that, the second cask loosed almost a hundred miniature alementals, which covered the floor in ale suds. Suddenly we were bouncing and sliding all over the place.

Yes, yes, yes… no, no, no no no no! Yes! No! Peppers! His third cask loosed two huge alementals, the largest we had faced yet.

‘Ahh, help! What is that thing?’ The three casks fell apart, and their contents swirled into a monstrous alemental – Yan-Zhu the Uncasked. ‘It doesn’t matter, nothing will stop me now, not when I’m so close! Maybe if I don’t look at it…’

Uncle Gao cowered in the corner and the alemental swept at us, bloating us with ale which knocked us over, swelling and bursting, then reforming again. Every so often he would rile the suds in the room to knock us over unless we jumped to avoid it. Soon, the creature fell, and Chen burst in, followed by Mudmug and Li Li, and immediately slipped over.

‘Is it… can it be???’ Gao rushed over to the brew coming from the fallen alemental. ‘Such harmony of flavour, such heady aroma! It is… It is the perfect brew!’

‘Uncle Gao, this brewery was left in your care! What have you done?’

‘You again! Don’t you see? I have made a name for myself! At last, I have brewed perfection!’

‘At what cost? The brewery is trashed! Infested!’

‘Details, details.’

‘There are virmen in the main store!’

‘Look, “Chen Stormstout”, we can’t all be heroes, running from our responsibilities, tromping around the Dread Wastes, saving the world. Some of us are artists.’

‘I think the brewery might be on fire.’

‘Yes, that happens.’

Chen could not get through to Gao.

‘If you let this brewery continue in this condition it will be closed and you may never replicate this so-called “perfect brew!”‘

Gao’s eyes opened wide in horror, and as Chen berated his uncle, we left, covered in ale and not really having a clue as to what had just happened.

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