Empire Wine

"This," said the sommelier, "is a bottle of Empire Wine." He held the thick crystal bottle up to the light, turning it slowly, and the glowing liquid within coursed like yellow fire and molten gold. "Only seven were ever made, and three have already been drunk."

"And after tonight, there will only be three more to drink," said the first rival.

"You know the destiny that lies within, yes?" asked the older man of the two younger men. "Of all who share a bottle, the Fates will conspire such that all but one soon find death, and the survivor inherits all the others ever had or would have had."

"That is why we sought you, at no small expense," said the second rival.

"Pour, and let us be done with this," scowled back the first, and the sommelier did. The two glasses stood shimmering, patterns blazing through them, somehow dancing from one glass to the other. Even in two vessels, it was one wine. In angry silence, they each raised a glass and drained it in one long pour, leaving the cups faintly glistening with the fading magic of the wine.

"What did it taste like?" asked the sommelier.

"Bitter and rancid, overpowering and unforgettable," replied the first rival.

"Perhaps that is the burden of power, and the realization that not everything you want will bring you happiness," commented the older man.

"Perhaps, or perhaps it is your own death rushing to meet you," countered the other rival.

"And how did yours taste?" the old man inquired.

"Sweet and suffocating, yet fading away into nothingness."

"Perhaps that is the release of death," opined the first wine-taster.

"Perhaps, or perhaps it is everything I have sought and he has denied me."

"We shall see. Time shall take its course," smirked the first rival.

"Yes, it shall," growled the second.

And with that, they each left by a different door. After they were gone, the old man sniffed the bottle carefully, then tilted it so the last forgotten drop landed on his tongue, and it tasted exactly like it smelled—Victory.

Black Bean Botulism Dip

Take one can black beans. Use half, then store the other half in an opaque container in the back of the refrigerator. Wait until you have forgotten about them. Discover them, sniff cautiously, and make a pensive face. Be unsure as to their okay-to-eat status. Rinse them thoroughly, then place them in a saucepan to simmer. After a while, add some cream cheese or sour cream. Blend until you have purple goo with beany lumps. Put it in a clean container, then return it to the back of the fridge. Wait until you have forgotten about them again and they develop fur. Make a blechy face and throw the whole mess away.

Mmm, mmm good!

Bones of your Enemies Bread

1 dead enemy

2 cups tears (body temperature)
2 cups warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup oily black ichor of the deep ones
1/4 cup vegetable oil

1. Flense your enemy and save the skin to make a hat. Drain the blood into several large jars for making marmalade (below). The meat is best eaten right away, but can be frozen for up to six months. Allow the bones to dry in a warm, sunny place free of moisture.

2. Grind the bones to make flour. Measure out six cups, and save the rest. (If you are hungry for bread before your revenge will culminate over the course of many years, or if you are so powerful you have already killed all your enemies, you should make enemies with some wheat, and grind it into flour instead.)

3. If your enemy died weeping inconsolably and you saved the tears, use them here. Otherwise, make brine by combining water and salt. Add the sugar and yeast, then sit back and wait until it turns into a bubbly froth that reminds you of your enemy's rabid screaming and twitching-filled dying moments.

4. Mix the ichor in with the yeast, then mix in one cup of ground bones at a time. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it's as smooth as your cunning machinations. Place it in a well oiled bowl, and turn the dough to coat it a proper chthonic black. Cover it with a damp cloth stolen from the dispossessed heirs of your slain foe. Wait about one hour, until the rising dough has doubled in size, like your ever-growing fortune.

5. Punch the dough down, venting your righteous rage and fury. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half, as you did your enemy's lover before his or her very eyes. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9x5 inch loaf pans shaped like the crest of your noble house. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above the pans, allowing it to lord over all the other inferior food in your kitchen.

6. Bake in the fires of hell for all eternity or until golden-brown (about 30 minutes at 350 °F / 175 °C).

Blood of your Enemies Marmalade

blood of your enemies
fat, juicy black leeches

You will need the ingredients in the ratio 1 liter blood : 2 kg sugar : 1 liter water : 3 leeches.

Keep the blood warm to keep it from coagulating. Separate out a fifth of it from the rest. Place the leeches in the blender on high until they are well blended, then add the puree to the greater part of the blood, which should now flow easily. If the blood still looks too thick, you can add another leech, but don't overdo it. Too many leeches will keep it from jelling properly later.

Set the water to boiling in a large stockpot, and add the sugar, stirring until it has dissolved into a thick syrup. Gradually stir in the blood-leech mixture. Reduce to medium-low heat, but still boiling, and wait 45 minutes to an hour. The mixture should be reduced to a thick glop, with the bubbles leaving pits that fill slowly. Turn off the heat, and allow to cool to room temperature.

Once cool, pour the reserved warm blood over the top and stir vigorously, then quickly seal it into canning jars. Refrigerate overnight, then spread on fresh, oven-warm bones of your enemies bread to make a tasty treat that reminds your new allies how important it is to stay on your good side.