Tales From Janus Valley
Really Holds His Booze
Bill Barleycorn is the resident brewmaster of Sweetwater Village. He is the latest in a long line of Barleycorns to produce halfling ales. His products are well-respected throughout the land, and his taproom is usually a friendly place to forget your cares for an evening.
A few weeks ago, Bill swore something started tasting wrong with Sweetwater’s waters. No one else listened, and Bill put his brewing on hold until he could figure out the cause. After his casks of water were drained, Bill had no choice but to start dipping into his personal stock, which dramatically impacted his detective work. Unable to find the source of the fouled water, Bill tried to leave town for help, only to tip his wagon into a ditch. Dejected, Bill was forced to watch helplessly as his hometown descended into delerium.
Bill’s grandfather used to tell him a story of when once, many years ago, Sweetwater’s wells ran bitter. A mysterious cloaked figure came down out of the hills with a magic potion that made the wells sweet again. Ever since, the village has celebrated the Sweetening of the Wells by adding a few drops of potion. These days, most everybody sees it as wholesome superstition, but Bill now thinks there might be more truth to it than anyone guessed.