As she drew close to the broken barrel she noticed something hanging from the snapped panes. It had the consistency of torn fabric. She found it difficult to tell if the noise had come from in or outside the barrel as it seemed to have stopped for the moment.
As the lantern oil caught, Shalin got a good idea of why the room felt damp. One of the barrels at the far end of the room seemed to have been broken at its base, its contents spilling out over the cellar floor. Either this has happened recently or whoever ran the bar above was woefully bad at keeping his stock in rotation.
The room was dotted with more barrels, most of which seemed to be full and unopened. Two had what appeared to be machinist contraptions attached to them, with tubes of copper reaching up into the bar above. A few sacks were lumped in one corner, soaked through with the spilled beer.
The stairs led down into a dark, damp room that smelled like onions and stale beer. The rat seemed to be unable to smell anything through the stench and took up most of the staircase as they descended. As far as Shalin could tell, the room seemed to be ten feet across and fifteen long, but its contents were hard to see as little light filtered in through the staircase.
It was hard to tell where the door led except that there was a set of stairs descending in the direction of the bar. The gap between the board of the door was large enough for a large snake to fit through, but not a massive one.
Shalin had relatively little trouble moving the empty kegs, but she made an awful lot of of noise doing so. Underneath where they had been stacked was a cellar door, as she had suspected. The boards of the door seemed to be further apart than they should be.
Thankfully the man seemed to lose interest after Shalin left the bar. In the alley she found her rodent friend sniffing around the barrels, which seemed to her eye to be empty ale kegs. The were no obvious signs of serpent trails, but the ground was much harder in the alley than it had been in the park.
The bar seemed to be doing a decent enough trade considering the time of day, a few people milled about inside at one of its two tables and a couple sat at the bar. Shalin's oversized rodent veered off towards an alley by the side of the establishment.
The grass wasn't especially tall, more overgrown than anything else. None-the-less the rat steed was able to follow the snake tracks quite easily, nose dug into the barely visible groove left in the more manicured grass. Shalin was led towards the south side of the park.