The night was black, without a moon. The rain lashed with savage fury against the rhythm of the night. But under these conditions, it was time to try again.

Since my initial failure to unravel the mysteries of beer with bubbles, I have spent many nights secreted away in my basement pouring over Viktor’s tomes.

Going back to the beginning, Viktor learned of the alchemical process from a young student named, Throckmorton J. Galvin, a frequent visitor to the local tavern. One night, in a fit of drunken insight, young Galvin revealed he had discovered a process to excite bubbles within beer. He was mocked savagely for his inane banter, but Viktor was intrigued. He too yearned to know the secret to animate beer and learned all he could from Throckmorton before the lad was tragically killed in a serenading accident.

Fearful of jeers and condemnation for following in the steps of madness, Viktor continued his work in secret. He recorded a staggering number of failures, but one night, it seems he may have unlocked the mystery. However, brain damage suffered during that brilliant moment have made the last piece of the alchemical process incomprehensible.

After days worth of effort, I felt I was on the verge of discovery and brought in my manservant, Igor to assist. If we had success, he could easily be silenced through the application of ale. If failure were to befall us, his ridicule meant nothing to me and he could be run out of town under the cover of darkness.

My research revealed the secret lay in using gold, silver and copper, as well as a special blend of eleven herbs and spices, the nature of which I dare not reveal yet.

Using a leftover gallows, a myriad of wire coils and a specially prepared hot tub filled with ale, I made my preparations.

The lightning raged against the pitch black night as Igor and I readied ourselves on the roof. Igor was to hold the sword that would seduce the lightning to enter the coil and whisk it into the waiting tub of ale.

To give the lightning as much contact with the sword as possible, Igor was strapped into The Wheel. He might experience some heat and tingling, so his feet were placed in buckets of water.

I chose to conceal myself in animal hides. It is common knowledge that lightning is repelled by wolves.

As the storm reached it’s pinnacle there was a blinding flash and thunderous roar. The lightning sought out Igor’s sword and travelled through him with great vigor. Three, perhaps four blasts made contact and the wires crackled with bubble making magic.

Alas, Igor did not fare well and was brutally incinerated. This was surely the hand of the Oracle reaching out for Justice for all his wine stealing hooliganism during his years of service.

The ale held a different story. It bubbled and foamed around the gold, silver and copper coils. The tub swelled, churned and hissed with new life as bubbles danced and burst upon the surface.

"It’s effervescing!" I cried. "It’s effervescing!"

In my excitement, and as a tribute to Igor, I retrieved a mug to take in the glory of the bubbles. However, the alchemical fusion superheated the contents and I suffered terribly. The volatile power of the bubbles could not be contained and the mug was launched from my hand, which served to blister my entire front side.

With no healer in sight, I threw myself into the pond, wild cackles of pain echoing through the mocking trees. I’m quite sure, there will be a mark.

I have since destroyed Viktor’s book of knowledge and my follow up notes. This manner of sorcery is far too powerful and is far too dangerous for man to know.

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Igor, I insist you come out from behind that scarecrow this instant! Your display of cowardice is both shocking and embarrassing. You have the easy part. All you have to do is stand on the wheel. I have all the laborious thinking work to do!

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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