5 – Epic Brewing

Epic Brewing

Table of Contents

I. Introduction

II. The “Formula” for Brewing

A. Prepared Materials

1. Wort

2. Inoculant

3. Container

B. Active Process

1. Temperature Control

2. Fermentation

3. Timing

C. Hazards

1. Oxidation

2. Contamination

D. The Result

1. Hot and Cold Distillation

III. Designing Wort and Inoculating It

A. Wort Contents and Properties

1. Water

2. Fermentables

3. Unfermentables

4. Herbs & Spices

5. Other Adjuncts

B. Inoculants

1. What It Ferments

2. Ideal Temperatures

3. Target for Brewing

4. Contaminants

V. Additional Considerations

A. Fermentation Chemicals and Byproducts

B. Sometimes Vinegar Happens

C. Simple Qualitative Hierarchy of Potions

D. Non-Uniform Palette and Physiology

E. Fermentation Bomb Weaponry

VI. Practical Examples

A. Case 1 – Tea for an Epic Bite

B. Case 2 – Commission for an Adventurer’s Guild

I. Introduction

Brewing is a science that developed through a historical survival technique which later morphed into culinary art. While humanity has been brewing for ages, we’ve only really known about it since Louis Pasteur and contemporaries of his era began understanding and quantifying microorganisms. The basic idea is simple, and can easily be extrapolated into MMORPGs to be a fantastic system for players to indulge.

However, this is not a basic system by any means. This document serves as a guide with concepts to assist the process of creating a meaningful and believable fantasy potion brewing system. Much of this is intertwining my experience as a gamer / game developer with my experience as an award-winning craft homebrewer, in order to make a system that utilizes realistic concepts of brewing, fermentation, and distillation, to create a dynamic and diverse crafting system for making potions and other beverages.

Potions are often a highly-overlooked part of fantasy games, but the actual process of brewing and producing potions is generally glossed over and often made instantaneous. An expansive brewing system is not only worthwhile for letting players make more powerful potions for tougher encounters, but also as a way to make potions a dynamic part of the in-game economy and market system. The system below details how potion-making itself can be designed.

A lot of things are definitely being glossed over here. This document could easily be much longer and in-depth, but without specifics on the content and features and attribute + buff relationships, it would be a whole lot of theorycrafting that might not mean anything. This is probably about it for the document, plus any minor edit and annexes, unless the team reaches out to me about helping to build it into the game. (And even then, expansion of the document might not be made public.)

II. The “Formula” for Brewing

Brewing in the world of EQN / EQNL can be represented by a simple formula for the sake of initial explanation:

(Prepared Materials * Active Process) / Hazards = Product

Which can be broken down as follows:

(Wort + Inoculant + Container) * (Temperature Control + Fermentation + Timing) / (Oxidation + Contamination) = Product ((Distillation is an option here))

A. Prepared Materials

1. Wort is the fermentable and unfermentable materials used in brewing. Water and any minerals contained with it, sugars extracted from fruits or grains or starchy foods, herbs and spices used for flavoring and preservation, and any other adjuncts which may be included for various effects. Some of these things may be boiled, extracted with hot water, added after boiling, and added in various other parts of the process. Wort will need an entire segment of its own to fully explain the process and details.

2. Inoculant is the raiding party of microbes that is going to perform fermentation. Generally this is yeast or bacteria, though the sources and quantities added definitely matter. Baking yeast, champagne yeast, wine yeast, ale yeast, lager yeast, all have a great deal of variation in what they would do, and each is required to be the correct type for the style of product to come out right. Allegedly bees and wasps carry the yeast that is most similar to what a brewer would want to use to make beer. Each yeast will also work on things differentially, where some may work on certain carbohydrates differently than others, or process non-sugars differently than others (since yeast affect things even if they aren’t actually eating it to digest it and produce alcohol). Temperature has a major effect on yeast as well, that is explained later.

3. Container describes the type of vessel the brew will be fermenting in. This can be anything from a glass carboy or fermentation tank for closed fermentation, or an open bucket or large stone trough for open fermentation. One isn’t necessarily better than the other, and both have a has a strength and a weakness. A closed fermentation system is protected from having heavy objects fall into it, but excess fermenting material and byproducts cannot be extracted from them except when the brew itself is siphoned out. An open fermentation system is more susceptible to contamination, as objects can more easily fall into it and cause contamination, but extra fermenting material and byproducts can be cropped off the top and reused or disposed. Generally a wooden barrel designed to impart flavor will be part of the aging process, but it is possible to ferment in a barrel as well.

B. Active Process

1. Temperature Control is one of the three main processes, and it is listed first because it matters first of the three. Temperature affects the entire process, from the moment the inoculant is added to the wort, to different phases of the fermentation process, to proper storage and serving. The temperature should generally be towards the mid to warm end for the tolerance of the inoculant, allowing it to get started strong and set up shop with all its metabolic processes. Once fermentation has started, keeping the inoculant within certain ranges will cause it to produce different flavors (more esters and potential off-flavors come from higher fermentation temperatures). As well, the rate of fermentation is effected by temperature, where heat will cause it to ferment harder and produce an often harsher product, while lower temperature for the range will take a bit longer and can even potentially get stuck and become inactive.

2. Fermentation is the second process listed, but it really is the one which everything hinges on. As soon as the inoculant enters the wort, fermentation begins, and the result is officially the weakest form of fermented product possible. One could technically stop here and say, “Yep, its a potion, lets bottle it,” but they wouldn’t be doing any justice to the materials that went into it. This is the process of the inoculants working on everything they can in as efficiently a way as they can, until they’ve reached a threshold of access to resources relative to material they’ve already fermented. Some inoculants may start to fail or produce off-products after they’ve only converted the brew to 5% of the target substance, while others may still be running strong and clean well past 8%.

3. Timing is the amount of time it takes for processes to be completed, as well as making sure things don’t take too long and have issues. Some ingredients are added during the fermentation process, some especially late to make sure they are still fresh and potent when it gets bottled up. When the desired level of fermentation has occurred, the brew can be pulled and bottled, or it can have other processes done before completion. To achieve higher clarity in the finished product, it may be necessary to siphon the fluid from the first container into a second, to allow more of the inoculant and other particles to settle out to the bottom of the solution.

C. Hazards

1. Oxidation occurs when the brew is exposed to oxygen once the output of CO2 from fermentation has reduced. Oxygen causes the product to grow stale more rapidly, deteriorating the freshness and potency of the components. There are two places where it will generally become a hazard: when fermentation has fully subsided (especially in an open fermentation system) and any oxygen trapped in the bottle when it is sealed. Additionally, exposure to light (specifically UV) will cause photo-oxidation, which will harm the brew in the exact same way.

2. Contamination is from any inoculants which don’t belong but have found their way in anyhow. Usually when fermentation is starting to ramp up or is in full force, the frothy inoculant and CO2 being exuded by the brew will keep out any potential contaminants, and the fermented product (generally alcohol outside the context of potions) is usually strong enough to keep non-acclimated contaminants from making an impact in a competitive and intolerable environment.

D. The Result

The result of the brewing process is a potion! Where it goes from here is up to the player. It can go directly in bottles, it can go in a specially-prepared wooden keg to age for a while, and the aged product can be mixed with a fresher product then re-aged to make something completely new. Distillation is also an option, and it be done by Hot or Cold distillation.

1. Hot and Cold Distillation

The two ways a potion can be distilled are through heat and cold. Heat distillation will strip away more of the additional effects and components, concentrating the desired product and capturing little else with it. A bunch of bad brews can potentially be salvaged into a worthwhile distilled product. The risk of hot distillation is creating a concentrated toxic off-product (unless that is the intent). By contrast, cold distillation concentrates the product by freezing the concentrated brew away from the water it was brewed with, allowing the distilled result to keep most of its properties though still retaining any unwanted byproducts from the rest of the process. Distilled products are almost impossible to contaminate, and oxidation will not harm them in a meaningful way compared to undistilled potions (and may be needed to get it to the final desired state). Photo-oxidation has zero effect on a distilled product.

III. Designing and Inoculating Wort

A. Wort Contents and Properties

There are many elements that can go into the process of brewing the wort, and each one affects the final product.

1. Water is the first major factor. Most potions will start with water, juice, or some other aqueous solution. The acidity of the water, as well as presence of salts, minerals, and other chemical substances, can all have a profound effect on the potion that is being brewed. Some processes involved with brewing (mashing and sparging grains, for example) might require different concentrations of minerals and acidity in the water to achieve the desired effect. There are potentially also enchanted waters that can be used, either water that has been blessed or enhanced in a way that will allow it to impart magical properties in the final product, or water that is magically enhanced to make up for deficiencies in the water or the rest of the process to ensure a high quality product despite low skill or poor materials. If the water is right for the thing it is being used for, it will greatly enhance the quality of the product. If any water is used without any knowledge of its properties, a high quality product can still be produced, but it isn’t getting any help from water (and water could even be hindering its potential).

2. Fermentables are the sugars and starches and other components which the inoculants are going to utilize during fermentation. These will be converted directly into the chemical components which give the potion much of its power. How much the fermentables can be utilized depends on the inoculants and the conditions present during fermentation. Different sugars could produce different things, for example glucose from grapes might be converted by some inoculants to a healing elixir, while fructose from melons may be converted by similar or different inoculants to produce a mana restoration elixir, and lactose from a tiger’s milk may be fermented into something which increases strength and maximum health.

3. Unfermentables are components which either can’t be fermented by the inoculants that were added, or are unable to be fermented at all (such as ash from roasted grains) are another part of the potion. While they provide less power than the fermented material, what they provide is components that improve flavor, affect the color, and change the quality of the properties as the brew ages. They also can end up being food for wild inoculants and contaminants, especially if these elements are attempting to ferment material that was unfermentable to the intended inoculants.

4. Herbs & Spices add extra effects and benefits to the potion, both for process and for effects. Fragrant oily herbs and buds like hops, geranium, and sage, provide flavor and preservative properties to the brew, as well as a healthy dose of antioxidants. Spices like orange peel may be added to improve flavor or add other types of effects. In this context, herbs would also be responsible for effects like improving elemental or status effect resistances, enhancing attributes, granting gradual health regeneration, and plenty of other properties. There is definitely a point where the size of the load of herbs and spices can be too much for the brew, making it extremely bitter and tough to drink like nasty medicine, so it is better to find a strong but balanced load of herbs and spices to add, and allowing the fermentation process determine the final quality and presence of effects provided by the herbs and spices. Herbs and spices help to stave off contamination, improving the lifespan and reducing hazards during the brewing process. While the herbs and spices are not actually fermented by inoculants, they are still consumed and processed into a different state through fermentation.

5. Other Adjuncts include anything else which may be added to the wort, for any number of purposes. Wood or nuts to accentuate and enhance the flavor, glycerin to improve the smoothness, magical ice essence to control fermentation temperature and make it easy to chill while lagering or cold distilling it later on, fish brains because your character is a bridge troll and they enjoy that sorta thing, pulverized energized silver that helps resist some things and slowly turns the character’s skin blue, whatever it may be. These can make or break the recipe, so it is important to experiment in smaller batches rather than wasting a large amount of material on a potentially foul or even ruined product.

B. Inoculants

1. What It Ferments

Inoculants ferment sugars and starches and anything else they can metabolize. Each yeast and bacteria and other inoculant is able to ferment a spectrum of fermentable materials, but no inoculant is able to get absolutely everything by itself. Leaving a portion of fermentable material unfermented helps immensely with flavor. While carbohydrates may be the thing which is being metabolized, everything in the fermenting potion is affected by the inoculant in one way or another, so having fermentables for the inoculant to work with are important in making sure the inoculants can enhance and amplify the effects provided by unfermentables and additives in general.

2. Ideal Temperatures

Each inoculant works differently at different temperatures. Too cold and it comes to a stop, even settling out of solution to the bottom of the fermentation container. Too hot, and it simply dies. On the cold side, it will work slower than normal, and might not reach the desired level of fermentation. On the warm side, off-flavors and byproducts may be produced, and the quality of what is being fermented is rougher and more astringent than usual. Each inoculant has a range where it can safely operate without fear of stoppage or off-products, and that range can differ greatly from one to another. Even within that range there is variation, as well.

3. Target for Brewing

A large part of brewing is knowing what you are actually trying to brew, and the inoculant is a major factor in that. Two batches of the exact same wort, with a different inoculant in each one, can end up being functionally and categorically different from one another. Conversion from fermentables to the desired products is another factor, as some products may require a lower percentage of fermented material for their style, while some may require over 10% conversion of the volume to achieve the desired product.

4. Contaminants

Beyond the inclusion of adjuncts that may befoul the potion, contaminants are what will ruin a potion the fastest. Undesirable inoculants, such as bacteria in a yeast-based brew, will cause a multitude of hazardous problems. First, off-flavors and products will be produced, which can even make the potion harmful or disagreeable to consume. Second, it can hinder the positive benefits because it is competing with the desired inoculant(s) for resources. Third, contaminants that are included towards the end of fermentation or in the bottling process will potentially cause a second round of fermentation to go on (which may be imperceptible) and can even cause bottles and other containers under pressure to forcefully explode.

IV. Additional Considerations

A. Fermentation Chemicals and Byproducts

Yes, fermentation is used to produce alcohol and a variety of other chemicals. Some of them may be dangerous. Distilling these chemical solutions down can potentially create additional chemical products. In the context of potion-making, some of the chemicals being produced could be essentially liquid magic carrying the magical properties and essences that went into the brew, though there may still be alcohol or other byproducts present. Some presence of alcohol may be required to preserve healing potions so wild inoculants don’t utilize the healing properties which allow them to spoil the potion.

B. Sometimes Vinegar Happens

Off the above list is cooking vinegar. Sometimes a bad batch can be salvaged into something worthwhile by turning it into vinegar, and this cooking vinegar can be used by chefs to infuse their foods with powers and properties that it would otherwise not have gotten. I could see a player making an entire career of buying bad batches and converting them into powerful magical vinegars. A vinegar potion could exist, but it wouldn’t be very pleasant unless they are of a race that drinks straight vinegar without a second thought – they may get a bonus from it!

C. Simple Qualitative Hierarchy of Potions

Below is an example of what the hierarchy of potions, from simplest and least effective to most complex and potent.

Single material uninoculated – This may be little more than a tea of boiled herbs, or a simple malt syrup. The most basic effects of these materials will be transferred through the potion, but it will not have the potency or dynamic characteristics that a well-crafted brew will have, and they will succumb to oxidation or contamination or simply becoming stale from aging more rapidly than other potions. The trade-off is that they can be produced very rapidly, even in the field with very simple tools and a campfire.

Multiple materials uninoculated – This has a bit more complexity and power than a single material potion, but doesn’t compare to a like-quality fermented product. It may not last any longer than a single material uninoculated potion, but it has the potential for more diverse effects that can start to have synergy with one another.

Simple inoculated – This represents the easiest possible potion to make with an inoculant, which means it cannot be made in the field and requires a place to ferment. Something fermentable and some inoculant were put together to make a potion. It will keep better than something uninoculated, and will be more effective.

Complex uninoculated – This is a fine quality uninoculated potion, produced with equipment that isn’t readily available in the field. It carries all the faults and considerations of uninoculated potions, but is a much higher quality product than a simple inoculated potion.

Simple distilled – This is the result of distilling a simple inoculated potion. It does mostly one thing and little else, but packs a lot of power compared to the undistilled version. Because distilled products keep extremely well, this can go in a jar on a shelf and sit there indefinitely without worry of oxidation or contamination.

Complex inoculated – A great deal of time, care, and effort went into the preparation and use of the materials for this potion. This is nothing less than amazing, and should be taken seriously by whomever plans to use it. Every part of the brewing process was completed with a watchful eye and a steady pair of hands. While these can fetch a good price for their obvious power, they can be made even more amazing with extra work.

Complex inoculated distilled – The above potion distilled. It will be the most powerful distilled potion around, but will still lack the full complexity and diversity of the original product.

Complex inoculated aged – A complex inoculated potion which has been put in a high quality container to age. This is likely a wooden barrel that was specially prepared for this specific batch.

Masterwork – Multiple complex processes went into the making of this potion. It is almost a shame to drink it in anything but an absolute life-or-death situation. It likely took the handiwork of multiple skilled brewers to make this exceptional product.

D. Non-Uniform Palette and Physiology

Another point that could be interesting: potions affecting each race differently. Humans and gnomes may enjoy the taste and effects of a potion because they share similar physiology and flavor palettes, while elves may find it dreadful and impotent for any effects, and kobolds may find it to be a deliciously addictive laxative. This means brewers would need the aid of their various allies to taste test and try out brews, in order to find who it works best for, and who should probably avoid it.

E. Fermentation Bomb Weaponry

There’s really no practical application or controllable mechanisms in real-life to try to create a device like this, so please do not try this at home, this idea is strictly for use in a fantasy world. For brewers looking to bring some extra bang to the battlefield, sealed thick glass containers full of fermentables and rapid magical inoculants that produce toxins can be prepared. They are kept chilled and individually-packed. They can be activated in two ways. One way is shaking it furiously and throwing it, which will either explode on contact or burst after a short “pressure fuze” time has elapsed. The other way is applying heat to it, which will cause it to burst when the hyperactive inoculant gets from warm to hot. Anything mixed with the explosive potion, plus anything produced by the inoculant itself, will be sent along with razor-sharp glass into the flesh of any unfortunate foes in the radius. A massive catapult-sized container of this type would be potent for assaulting an enemy encampment without destroying their infrastructure.

V. Practical Examples

Let’s explore what this might actually look like in a few specific cases. First I’ll present the scenario, followed by recipe, process, and result.

A. Case 1 – Tea for an Epic Bite

Scenario: Out in nature, an adventuring comrade is bit by the infectious maw of a unique wild beast. The toxic bite cannot be cured without a potent antibiotic magic, or a combination of healing salve with a potion of remedy. While the healing salve is being prepared, a potion of remedy is in the works by the team’s experienced chef and brewer. Choice herbs are selected from plants in the area, combined with clean water from a canteen. The herbs are added at different intervals, so they are boiled for 15 minutes, 10 minutes, 5 minutes, and some are added just before the pot is pulled from the fire. After cooling down enough to drink, and after the healing salve is applied, the tea is consumed in an attempt to purge the infection from within. With some effort, the pungent remedy is consumed, and recovery begins.

Recipe: 1 quart of water

4 oz Wise Owl Sage

4 oz Purple Jute

4 oz Blood Chard

4 oz Black Parsley

Intent: Each of these are known for remedying effects, but the brewer hasn’t a clue which exactly does what, so they just go for a shotgun approach to the solution. They recognize that it might not be the most pleasant thing to drink, but should work with the healing salve to fully remedy the horrible infection delivered by the nasty creature’s bite. This will not be inoculated or aged, and will be consumed immediately, preventing any hazards. The quality of the water is negligible for this, but it happens to be very pure and clean without minerals or other additives.

Process: After being picked and rinsed, the herbs are gathered in roughly 1 ounce bundles. The target brewing time is 15 minutes. Once the water reaches a boil, 1 ounce of each herb is thrown in. The brewer uses their brewing hourglass set to determine how much time has elapsed, adding another set of herbs after 5 minutes of boil, 10 minutes of boil, and finally at 15 minutes when the pot is pulled from the fire. The pot is allowed to steep for 1 hour before being strained into a cup and served to the wounded adventurer. The air is now filled with the piercing aroma of herbs, which may soon attract unwelcome visitors.

Result: The herbs produce significant levels of antibiotic-type antitoxin, gradual health restoration, gradual lost attribute restoration, temporary greater resistance to all toxins, temporary minor vision boost, and temporary minor plant empathy. Without taking more time to study each one, the brewer has no idea which herb contributed what, and what effects may be present in insignificant levels. The effects of the water have no bearing, and the lack of fermentables and inoculants means there is no modification or amplification of the potion’s effects. While it takes a few tries, the adventurer is able to gulp down the entire cup of foul green liquid, and the infection appears to be immediately getting better upon consumption.

II. Case 2 – Commission for an Adventurer’s Guild

Scenario: An Adventurer’s Guild has settled on a local brewer to design them a potion which will give them an advantage against a mighty dragon that has been assaulting their distant settlement. The potion must give them immunity to fire, fear, charm, and must be distilled so it doesn’t take up a lot of space. They don’t realize that the brewer they selected can produce high volumes of mid-quality one-purpose non-distilled potions, but is not very experienced with more complicated brews. Pride guarantees that they take up the task despite their apparent lack of skills for this complex a task. Taking the down payment for the batch, the brewer set out to get equipment and materials for the job. They have just barely enough to get all the supplies they think they’ll need, as well as a low-end heat distillation kit from local crafters to perform the distillation process.

Recipe: This recipe was designed using things of which the brewer is knowledgeable and has had success in the past, or is advised in a guide they’ve been provided by fellow brewers.

– Mash

10 pounds Honeycomb Wheat (establishes base color, provides most of the fermentables)

1 pound Medium Quartz Malt (improves flavor and adds different fermentables, minimal color change)

1 pound Charred Barley (improves flavor, color, and enhancements to anything fire-related)

2 pounds Assorted Stone Fruits, diced (improves defensive / resistance properties)

1 Bear Heart, diced (provides resistance to fear)

10 Scorpion Brains, diced (provides resistance to charm)

– Boil

12 ounces Wise Owl Sage (to enhance status effect change resistance)

½ ounce Rainbow Algae (clears up the solution during the boil, reducing negative byproducts)

4 ounces Magically-Enhanced White Garlic (improves stability of benefits during fermentation)

1 ounce Tormentor’s Radish (provides fire resistance when fermented, painful to consume unfermented even if cooked)


Standard Potion Brewer’s Yeast (amplifies magical properties while minimizing production of non-magical chemicals)

Process, Brewing: River water is collected, boiled, and tested. The water is treated with sulfuric acid and calcium silicate to reach the proper hardness and pH balance, as well as providing extra sulfur for the fire resistance component. The various fruits, along with the scorpion brains and bear heart, are mixed with the grains for the mashing and sparging processes, which finishes by being drained into the kettle. This is then boiled for an hour, with 8 ounces of wise owl sage added at the start of the boil, 4 ounces of magically-enhanced white garlic at the 30 minute mark, and another 4 ounces of wise owl sage go in with the ounce of tormentor’s radish before the heat is cut. ½ ounce of rainbow algae is also added 15 minutes before the heat is cut, in order to help draw unwanted particulate out of solution to produce a clearer product. The finished wort tastes like a sweet, spicy, bitter, horrid mess, but it appears that it has potential to be a powerful potion.

Process, Fermentation: Standard Potion Brewer’s Yeast is used for this fermentation, which will guarantee the preservation and amplification of magical properties while minimizing production of alcohol and other non-magical chemicals. Because it is being ordered on short notice, the brewer decides to run the fermentation process on the warmer side for the yeast, which should also help with fire resistance enhancement. A small charred oak barrel is being used as the vessel for fermentation, with a pipe fitted to the lid so yeast and gas can escape instead of having pressure build up. A few days before the order is ready, the yeast has stopped producing gas, and it is time to move on to distillation. Before this step, the brewer tries one small bottle of the potion, using their potion testing area to confirm that it does indeed provide them with the desired resistances without any unsightly drawbacks. Despite the heart, brains, garlic, and radish, it actually tastes pretty good.

Process, Distillation: Despite their best efforts, the brewer is unable to fully get a handle on heat distillation, but is unwilling to chop the profits and hire an expert distiller to finish out the process. They do their best with their limited skill, and make what appears to be a fairly well made product. That is, a lot of water was extracted out, but the brewer has no idea what the distilled product will be like. They bottle it all up, and try a sample of the batch in their testing area to see if it even works before calling the guild officers over to check it out.

Result 1A: The brewer is able to demonstrate the power of the potion to the guild, all right. Standing with mere cloth on their body, they walk to the middle of their testing area, and consume the potion. They then instruct the guild’s wizard to unleash their most powerful fire attack possible, which ruins the cloth but leaves the brewer completely unharmed. The next test of charm and fear effects are tried, both of which fail to affect the brewer. Confident that the potion does what the brewer says it does, the guild is ready to make their transaction and set off towards the dragon. The brewer stays in put for a few minutes, continuing to explain the benefits and bonuses they are feeling from the potion, until after a few minutes they finally shut up and lead the guild officers to the business desk. To make sure there is not a bait-and-switch going on, the bold ogre captain takes a drink and proceeds to the testing area, where the effects of the potion are indeed proven and no negative perceivable effects are known to the guild. The guild buys all 60 of the remaining potions in the one-ounce vials they were bottled in.

Result 1B: The dragon is being called out to a clifftop arena selected by the guild. Arrows tipped with hard acid crystals are used to enrage and draw the dragon into position. As the dragon settles in a favorable spot, the raid leader announces for everyone to consume their potions. Timed like clockwork, everyone takes a drink of their potion at precisely the same time. Quickly cries of desperation ring out into the air, as the guild’s bravest warriors find themselves victims of a petty hack who managed to stall the transaction of a harmful potion long enough to clear the blinding property that apparently affects everyone but ogres. Everyone but the ogres in the group go blind, due to chemicals produced by the poor quality heat distillation process. While fire, charm, and fear effects may not work against them, the claws and teeth and tail of the dragon certainly do, and the mostly defenseless guild finds itself quickly defeated.