Thread Contributor: KillerPikeBrethren Backstory-Part 2
Several Years Ago

I arrived at the Winterheim brewery in the spring, soon before the final winter melts.

From the start, the brewing elders knew I was meant to brew, calling it my ‘destiny’, or calling it ‘fate’. I knew nothing about the significance of it then, but their predictions would prove correct.

I was sent to the school at the brewery, but my previous training made me as knowledgeable and skilled as a man twice as old as me. They couldn’t yet let me attend these classes, as I was too young to do the heavy lifting, but I ended up in a class with boys much older than me.

I was top of the class, my skill challenged by none, but my will and dedication to learn also excelled past those of my fellow students, and soon I nearly rivaled my teachers in the perfection of my drinks.

I had a life outside the tavern, however, and many people in the town were delighted to see me when I would walk around the town. Even though my skill would soon challenge some of the highest tavern workers, my place in the society of the town was nowhere near the top.

I possessed neither the will nor the ability to become a clergyman, who were regarded as second only to the royals. Anyhow, being a clergyman would have meant giving up my brewing practice, which is what I was born for, I felt.

But everyday, I watched the children of the nobles on their way home, and I wished I could be one of them. They were the middle class of the town, wearing not the fine material of the richest, but certainly not the clothes of a lower class worker.

One child in particular interested me, and was the main reason I watched everyday as the children left school. She was called Dark, which was no surprise, as her hair was the color of the imperial stout which I saw served at the tavern.

I thought her the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen, and call it young love, but I thought about her often.

But it was not meant to be, her father was a religious man, and furthermore, was part of a group who worked to try and make alcohol illegal. Thus, my place as a young apprentice of the brewer would work against me if I ever tried to take her hand.

Nonetheless, I worked hard, waiting for the day I could work in the tavern myself, where the huge barrels and the large pots seemed to tug at my very soul.

My skill did not go unnoticed by the other apprentices, however, and some even felt jealousy. This was never my intent, I was merely trying to learn, but soon I would understand just how poorly my skill made my peers think of me.

One day, class had gone long, it had been a difficult class for nearly everyone, but I worked through it with relative ease. I was offered to leave early, but the hard rain outside seemed to drown out any plans I would have had, so I stayed.

When class was over, many of the other kids went straight home, while other splashed in puddles. I’d have been happy with either group, but it was not to be. As I was walking out the door, being one of the last ones out, I felt a hand on my shoulder.

“Where do you think you’re going?” A voice said behind me

The voice belonged to the bully of the class, a boy who everyone simply called ‘the wall’, because of his size and strength. He was at the middle of the class, but he and his two friends, who’s name I didn’t know, were rising in the class.

I tried to shrug his hand off, but he turned me around.

“Don’t try to get away, or we’ll make sure you can’t again,” the boy threatened.

They proceeded to go on a tangent of how my skill was making them look bad, and if I didn’t start doing worse, they would beat me up.

As if to seal the deal, he punched me in the chest, sending me into the brick wall of the brewery. They left, but I could barely stand, so I just sat down, protected from most of the rain by the roof.

I sat there for a few minutes, completely lost to the world, when a voice beside me snapped me out of it.

“Hey, are you alright?” The voice asked

I turned my head to see who it was and my heart nearly stopped, it was Dark.

“Oh, yeah I’m fine,” I lied, turning away

“No, you’re not,” Dark insisted, sitting down next to me, “You can tell me what’s wrong, I won’t judge.”

I tried to hold it in, but I couldn’t. I put my whole story out there, and afterwards I felt slightly better.

“Aren’t you the best in your class?” Dark asked, as if she knew me well

“I guess,” I mumbled

“Well, everyone’s talking about you,” She said, “You’re very well known throughout town.”

“Really?” I asked in disbelief

“Sure, everyone knows about the boy who can brew as well as an old tavern worker,” She assured me, “I’ve heard even the king is impressed.”

I had no words, I didn’t think even half my class knew my name, much less the king.

“Well anyway,” Dark said, “I was just on my way home, and you looked a little shaken, but I’d better be on my way.”

She stood up and started to walk away, but I called out to her.

“Hey, do you think we could talk again sometime?” I asked

“Sure,” she smiled, “I’ve got a few minutes after school. See you tomorrow?”

“Count on it,” I nodded

Although she was gone, I felt like all the pain had left my body, and soon I was running through the rain to the student house
I’ve made more alcohol on a video game than some breweries. Yes, I am happy with my choices.