Use Your Tongue to Save the King

Can't you just taste the heroism?

WELL MET, ADVENTURER!

Hope you have a safe and tasty Thanksgiving planned. My partner and I ordered a barbecue feast from Bludso’s in Los Angeles. Our plan is to stay inside for several days and eat all the food. There will be movies and a family Zoom call, but mostly mac and cheese and food comas and sleeping under piles of blankets. The good life.

You are the official taste tester for King Dankmore, long may he go unpoisoned. Stoically, you stand to the right of his golden throne, ready to chow down for your kingdom. The spindly, bearded king whispers to you, “I would trade places with you in a heartbeat. You get to sample the finest food in the land, with none of the responsibilities of statehood! Eat up, you lucky duck!” He chuckles to himself, then winks at you. How you hate him.

The stone-walled banquet hall in Castle Dankmore is playing host to royalty and dignitaries from the rival kingdom, Moredank. This is a very special occasion. You are celebrating the clearing of the king’s eye gunk. For the last few weeks, King Dankmore was waking up with little crusties in his eyes, but now they’re gone. No doubt, this was the divine intervention of the Lord our savior, ruler of everything, bestowing a holy gift upon his greatness, the blessed king. Or maybe it just was an allergy thing. Who can say?

The meal is about to begin. The long table holds an array of delectable treats: roast peacock seasoned with exotic pepper, roast whale seasoned with priceless nutmeg, traditional pidgeon-rat pies served without flavors, cooked apples of various sizes, countless raisin bowls, and for dessert: coal black custard.

“A toast,” the king says, raising his overflowing wine goblet. Everyone raises their glass at once. “To peace between our kingdoms, and between my eyelids.” They all concur. The king hands you his glass to taste. As you take it, out of the corner of your eye you see Nigel Snivels, hand to King Moredank, rubbing his hands together with a sinister smile. The red wine in the goblet bubbles, which is uncommon in your experience.

What would you like to do?

If you want to taste the wine, open your refrigerator, close your eyes, and pull out an item at random. Find the “expiration,” “best by,” or “sell by” date.

If the item has no date on it, choose another item at random.

BONUS: Remember those who don’t have enough to eat this year. Donate any amount to Feeding America and shift the date on the random food item you chose by 6 days.

LET’S GET JACKED!

Have you ever wondered what the future will be like? Cybernetic limbs. Instant skills. Megacorporations overthrowing governments. This is the grim future world of… 2013. My friends Asterios Kokkinos (The Loudest Podcast), Joe Starr (Honest Trailers) and I are playing the classic TTRPG Cyberpunk 2013, which is the great grandpa of the upcoming video game. The sessions will be released as an actual play podcast with music and SFX. Here’s a cyber_sneak peek:

In Jacked!, I’m a gun-toting multimillionaire cyber Mormon. It’s the part I was born to play!

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Geoffrey Golden is a narrative designer for video games. He’s written for Capcom, Ubisoft, Square Enix, and indie studios around the world.