All dwarven clans make beer. It’s just a fact. But not all clans make good beer. Of those clans that make good beer, even fewer make beer worthy of going to war over its recipe. Even so, the small, insular Shattergut clan thinks they’re one of them. The Shatterguts are convinced their Boos Flussgelük1 lager is world famous and sought after by renegade brew-thieves. The secretive and jealous dwarves thus go to extreme precautions to keep their recipe secret, up to maintaining a mild enchantment on all beer that leaves their stores which prevents alchemists from reverse-engineering their process.
Perhaps chief among their many security measures is the very location and construction of their brewery. Wedged firmly into a mountain river “Y”, the only part of the facility visible above-ground is a squat fortress of precisely-joined bricks. The northern approach is at the end of a series of tight switchbacks through a narrow pass, and the southern end is thrust out over the conjoining rivers. Just finding the front door is a challenge.
Once found, entering the front door requires getting past battle-hardened sentries behind arrow slits overlooking a small courtyard. The interior of the fortress on the ground level is relatively open, mostly given over to storage of raw materials and—in the northwest chamber—a full cooperage for the assembly of casks, barrels, and other vessels capable of storing liquids.
Dominating the main open chamber is a channel cut across the narrow part of the river “Y”. Since the brewery is secret and hard to access, the dwarves have set up a system where they receive emptied barrels and raw materials down the eastern river and direct them through the fortress. Gates at either end can be lowered to block entry or exit by floating objects. River-wheel-driven machinery drives a crane which can hoist things out or lower full casks into the water. Agents downriver wait to pluck full vessels out of the water at predetermined intervals. Any vulnerable stretches of the river’s path are well guarded by Shattergut agents.
A ramp in the northwest of the main chamber leads down into the brewery proper, once a visitor gets past a series of traps, dead ends, and other surprises.
Loose translation: “Angry River Otter” ↩
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