First off, I must say that I like the idea of this blade a lot. After all, what better way is there for a GM to give the party hints or point out the (blindingly obvious) clues that they always seem to miss? However, I would really like it to be a little better defined.
I think my main stumbling block is the source of the "hunches" or "ideas" that a PC gets. Does the player have to state the hunch out loud? Does the GM assign them based on a random dice roll, perhaps modified by the character's intelligence? Does the sword get these hunches on its own?
Without a clear idea of the hunch that the sword is trying to prove, I think that a player could become lost really quickly, not understanding what the sword is supposed to be doing. If this central concept is codified a bit more cleanly, this submission would easily move from a 4 to a 5 in my mind.
Very clever GM tool! It's fun thinking that players could feel like something would happen if they kick this tripwire only to be greeted by a nasty trap if they do. Even better, they could feel compelled to say something rude to a half-ogre, receive a minor beating, and then receive help and/or praise from someone who can aid them in their current mission. I really love that this sword can be as bitter as it is sweet and can help as often as hurt. Good read!
Good characterization of Corran. The link to Vulcan's Walking Stick was broken but I was able to find it through search.
This was an entertaining read. Characters and items like these can definitely be used to "flavor" a campaign.
I do have one question. How was the cooking set created? That part seems a little vague but is key to the whole piece. Did it originally belong to the royal chef? Was the walking stick somehow involved?
I find the first paragraph a little confusing. I think it could benefit from more detail. If I understand correctly, the famed brewmaster was revealed to be the bastard son of the king. But, by who? His father, the king (and, if so, why did the king abdicate?) Or, his father, the one who raised him (and why would he be taken seriously?)
Aside from that, I like the piece overall. A fun, non-campaign-shattering quest. The kind that I would like to throw at the players just to see how creative they can be in finding a solution. I would probably throw in a rabble-rouser who was going around and telling the commoners that the king was still brewing but the nobles were keeping it all to themselves. 'Cause who wouldn't want to riot if all the good ale was being horded by the rich? :P