The Tale of the Broken Beer Keg

by Tarald, Lord of Smeg

Once upon a time in Ykalon there lived a poor farmer named Giles. He was happy, even though he was poor, some might say he was happy because he was poor. Nonetheless, the reason he was poor, was because drinking beer is not a well paid job, even though it easily conforms to a high-effort, time-consuming occupation.

Giles liked beer very much. So much in fact, that he spent all his time and money in the local pub, The Emperors Arms. He had very soon worked himself up a considerable tab with the Inn-keep, but Edwyster Barrington was an overbearing man, and took it upon him to ensure that Giles remain happy, even though he would also remain poor.

One day, when Giles was drinking beer down at The Emperors Arms, many guards entered the Inn, apparently looking for suspicious persons of unknown number, after another of the recent unprovoked massacres of innocents and guards in the area. This had become routine lately, but one of the guards found it oddly coincidental that Giles was in this same pub every time the massacres occurred.

Gile was, off course, too drunk to explain that he was always in this pub, and Edwyster did not really want to bring it to the attention of the guards that he, too, was here on all those occations. The guards grabbed Giles, and enquired as to whether he wished to surrender unto them. Giles refused to surrender to the guards, as he had heard that they did not serve beer in jail. He could not understand why anyone would want to go there. The guards thereby declared Giles guilty of criminal conspiracy, and he was promptly banned from the entire province. This was apparently not enough, as the guards insisted on killing him as well. Understandably, Giles disagreed to this, and ran. But not without grabbing a keg of beer, which allthough slowing his escape, was essential to provide his escape with meaning and purpose. Wearing armour, and suffering from wear from the recent confrontation with a fierce bandit, who had killed another score of guards and civilians, the guards were unable to catch Giles, and proceded to fire missile weapons. One arrow pierced the keg of beer Giles was carrying, and a fine stream of golden nectar poured out from the keg, and onto the ground.

Giles could not continue running, and spill the drops of life, so he slowed enough to be able to pour the beer into his open gullet, while still trying to evade the arrows of his enemies. It was only a matter of time, off course, before Giles tripped, and fell to the ground. He fell, and slid along the ground into a corner in a dark alley. He laid on the ground amidst debris and trash, in a little heap, with the broken keg hiding his facial features from the main streets. All the while, the golden nectar of life (Beer) was going down Giles throat quite nicely. The guards were off course highly trained in finding renegade citizens in hiding. After all, they could find a Master of Stealth grabbing a quick nap in the attic of an abandoned house while hiding behind some crates and wearing a ring of invisibility, finding a drunk farmer with a broken beer-keg was a piece of cake. Giles was by this time way past the stage of realizing what was going on, so he was captured, tried and found guilty of Criminal Conspiracy and put in jail before he even sobered up.

Now he woke up in a drab and nasty cell, without any beer, and no hopes of one for many years. In addition, the punishmnent he had taken from the guards during and after his escape, had made him sick to the stomach, and all of the sudden it seemed that the little beer he still had left in his body, no longer desired to share his company, and had decided to retrace their route in, to exit through the entry as it were, much to the distress of Giles. Unable to hold on to the remnants of his treasure, he proceeded to vomit all over the cell floor.

As if this was not punishment enough in it's own manner (After all, Giles figured, the only benefit of loosing beer this way is to make room for fresh beer, but now there was none to intake) the guards did not appreciate Giles attempts at redecoration of their beloved cell's and proceeded to execute Giles there and then, promptly relieving Giles of his poverty and happiness, as well as his life.
As hope I illustrated in this story, it is important to keep a steady flow of beer that goes down nicely. When people ask you "How are things?" You could reply "Going down nicely" and you would indeed be correct in your form of reply. As Giles illustrated, loosing beer is never good, unless to make room for more and fresher (undrunk) beer, and then also only in the right place and time. i.e.: Refilling your empty beer mug with vomit at the bar, just to make room for another pint is considered bad form, and while you may escape capital punishment, you will most likely be banned from the pub/province you are in at the time.