INNS, TAVERNS AND WAYHOUSES, A travelogue and guide to the Realms best food
by Ursus von Bearnington, Esq.
Translated from the original Bearish by Darkscale, itinerant dwarven food hobo
Though many would consider places such as Waterdeep or Phlan as the prime culinary locations in the Realms, they miss out on all the wonderful for to be had in the small backwater towns scattered on the many trade routes that keep this great loose confederation of city states alive. Take for instance the town of Red Larch. Located in the middle of nothing and nowhere the town's reputation as the home of Crumble Bread has turned many away from discovering the true wonders therein.
Having just parted ways with the mysterious (and possibly illiterate I mean are those even letters in that note she left?) Poppy after or recently concluded slaying of the strange old necromancer we returned to the city of Red Larch, content and looking for our rewards. By chance it tuned out that today was "Pickle Day", and a local manufacturer of the best non-dwarf made pickle I've ever tasted, and better than most of those, was in attendance at the Inn. Grund the half orc (also possible illiterate given the sign he had made) was selling his pickles fresh from a barrel… delicious. The proprietor of the inn, Kaylesa, gave us our reward and promised us food for the rest of our stay in town. I can only hope pickles are a plenty for the up coming days.
We stayed to gossip for a bit, learning of the strange stone faced men that have supposedly been terrorizing the local quarrymen and given leads to other locals in the know such as Stenor Thistlehair, a local halfling wheelwright who some call shady. But who doesn't love a bit of shade?
However, before that we decided to take a detour and check in with our favorite old lady Minthra, proprietor of the Mhandyvver poultry house and grandmother of the little ghost seeing girl. Being a long time resident of town she had the scoop on many of the goings on, letting on that many of the "town elders" like to play at being more important than they are and may be the ones donning the weird robes. She also served us some of the best Chicken and Waffles I've ever tasted. Perhaps THE best. Those alone are worth a trip to Red Larch, no doubt…. the chicken is breaded and flavored just so, the waffles are flakey and buttery. I don't know how she does it, it could literally be devilish magic but in the end, all that matters is how good they were. Make sure to try them if you are within a days ride of town.
After this lovely meal we took a walk about town and Waelvur's Wagonworks looking for our shady halfling. Waelvur himself was in attendance, and non to friendly I might add. Totally uninterested in helping out his fellows with the stone faced investigation. To me this makes me think Minthra was right and he is one of them, playing at being important and mysterious. He bid us leave his shop and we complied, no sense in further antagonizing the man with all those workmen to see… we'll catch up with our halfing when he's off work and finding his drink.
So off to the Mellikho Stoneworks to check out the source of these stone face rumors. Mellikho her self is a rather loud and grating women, berating her workmen as lazy and cowardly men while they are working to make her a living. It's a shame really. She did however offer us the princely sum of 10gps to investigate the rumors and get her workers back to work, so that cleared the way for us to speak to them over lunch.
The workmen didn't have a great deal to say, though they did let us know the sightings have only been happening for the past few months. They seem rather irregular, though it';s hard to know since they themselves are only present in the evenings rarely. They told us of hearing odd sounds now and again, and of the tunnel collapse that was blamed on the workers. We didn't find any firm proof of anything at this point, but plan to come back in the evenings to try and stake out the area.
At this point since we had time to kill and little else to do we checked ou the local dress shop/bath house. This was perhaps not our finest investigative moment but it did lead us to a wonderfully entertaining few hours of psychedelic water show fun started off with the wonderfully simple brownies made by local amateur baker Haeleeya. Tasty and relaxing, if not informative.