The Golden Arch

Action Fiction Games recently had an open call for submissions for their Murka setting. I sent in a submission, and even though I wasn’t selected, had a good time talking to some of the other entrants, and will certainly go back at it next time. There were no NDAs, or “don’t use this elsewhere” that I could find, and since they aren’t using it, I figured I would.

The Prompt:

They provided the following prompt.

“Write up a recognizable parody magic item, store, or location that you might find in Murka. Include any relevant lore or interesting facts about the item. This item could be food, armor, a weapon, a potion, or anything in between!”

My Entry

The Golden Arch (Parody of McDonalds)

Theater and Restaurant

The Golden Arch is a massive restaurant, situated underneath its namesake. A gargantuan arch, the last remains of a series of ancient aqueducts built throughout St. Linus. The current owner, Roland McDougal, is a highly successful, classically trained, bard from the Washtown College of Satire, turned restaurateur. Using his celebrity and wealth, he managed to purchase prime real estate in St. Linus, and open his own theater. The key to the theater’s success was not the show, as many actors quickly discover, and certainly not the unremarkable food, but rather, the magical effects that food seems to give off. The primary offering is a bland, deep fried, hunk of an unknown meat known as tendies. These meat hunks provide the effects of the goodberry spell when eaten with few small exceptions. The tendies provide the nourishment to sustain a creature for a day, and associated calories, while the patron only feels as though they ate a single bite of food. Originally invented to prevent the sound and distraction of diners eating during the shows, Roland never got around to correcting those who ordered multiple courses. Tendies are now sold in 6, 10, and 20 pack meals and contribute heavily to the obesity problem that ravages St. Linus.

Ever the savvy businessman, Roland Staffs the Golden Arch entirely with a race he seemingly discovered or created. The Smilers are large, blue, peaceful, and most importantly, mute. If pressed, Roland gives different answers each time on their exact origin, but ultimately, they save him a bundle on paying workers. Roland puts on a massive show each night, but as time goes on, the clientele has slowly drifted from its intended audience of high society out for a night on the town. Nowadays, most patrons order their food “to go” and don’t even bother with the performance. Roland shuts down the ever-present rumor of a Smiler uprising but is well aware that the theatrical portion of the business is fading from importance.

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