Click image to download this free TTRPG battlemap of an Illegal Sewer Brewery, then keep scrolling for the detailed adventure prompt written for it.
You arrive at a large and beautiful town after a long and tiresome journey. Your muscles aching after days on the road, you seek out the nearest tavern you can find for rest and hot food.
The buildings here are clean, and the people wear well-kept clothes. There is no litter on the swept streets, but along the way you notice homeless men, women and children, dressed in rags down narrow alleyways, huddling under whatever shelter they can find. Many are shivering despite the fair weather, and missing teeth, while some rock quietly back and forth. Others randomly cry and shout out loudly, as if there were voices in their heads taunting them.
The cheerful and pleasant townsfolk go about their day ignoring the people in the alleyways, though a couple give them nervous glances.
In an alleyway next to the tavern a dirty woman wades through the homeless, giving them drinks of water from a bucket with a ladle. Some of them slap the ladle away, but she patiently picks it up again and continues to the next homeless person. The happy townsfolk don’t seem to see this woman, either.
As the woman spots you and sees you’re not a local, she leaves the bucket and hikes up her skirts; hurrying over. ‘Don’t drink the brew!’ She warns, but as she does, two strong guards’ step onto the main road with a peasant next to them, pointing towards the woman and confirming ‘That’s her.’
The guards grab her by the arms, and the largest rumbles. ‘That’s enough from you, troublemaker.’ Then she is knocked unconscious and dragged away. One of the guards looks back to you and grunts ‘Continue about your way, outsider.’
If you continue into the tavern, the bartender will welcome you enthusiastically and cheerfully offer you the towns world-famous brew. After you leave, you’ll be approached by a dark figure outside the tavern.
‘You didn’t drink any of that brew, did you?’ He’ll ask. If you haven’t, he’ll nod and say ‘Good. If you did, you’d be addicted like everyone else in this damn place. It may look beautiful from the outside, but Glendale is rotten to the core. Something big’s about to go down, and you don’t want to be here when it does. Now, I have to get back underground where I’m needed.’
If you ask him more about what’s happening, the figure will explain that the Lord Ruler has been getting everyone addicted to the brew, so they all follow his laws and remain upstanding citizens. If they don’t, he cuts off their supply—and when that happens, it’s two weeks of agonizing withdrawal before your body finally gives out and dies. He even does this to outsiders like yourselves, only he’d leave you to suffer for a week before telling you why, and what he wants you to do in order to get your next fix.
This shadowy figure’s “friends” have figured out how to brew the drink themselves, to escape the Lord’s control and retake the town. But it’s only a temporary measure, he explains. Ultimately, the Lord Ruler is the only one with the antidote—so they’re planning to seize the castle and reclaim the town as their own, using the antidote to banish the damned brew as it should have been years ago.
Assessing that you seem competent at handling yourself, he invites you to assist for the share of the castle’s treasury. If you agree, he’ll lead you underground to the rebellion’s sewer brewery. But when you get there, the figure will be horrified to find the rebellions safe haven is being attacked by the Lord Ruler’s men.
WHAT’S HAPPENING? The woman who initially warned you not to drink the brew was a member of the rebellion, giving the homeless addicts water with a hint of the brew in it to ease their symptoms. When she was taken by the guards she was tortured, and broke; revealing the location and plans of the rebels.
Because of this, the Lord Ruler has struck the rebellion when they weren’t expecting it; throwing out their planned assault. If the brewery can’t be held, they might not have the numbers to take the castle and free Glendale from the ruler’s subjugation.
If you drunk the brew, you’ll need to help the rebels in order to survive the terrible addiction—as well as claim the antidote from the Lord Ruler, if you’re ever to withdraw completely. That is, unless you wish to stay in Glendale forever, doing as the Lord Ruler commands.
The reason the rebels know about the antidote is because their leader is actually the Lord Ruler’s bastard brother. He began the rebellion by showing some of the townsfolk how to brew the substance in the sewers. He, unlike his brother, is loved by the people, and plans to become the next town leader after his brother is removed.
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