Outpost of the Moons
Often imitated, but never duplicated. I hear that Til at Hell's Half-Acre has a standing reward of no small amount of gold for whoever can successfully duplicate the dumplings of the Outpost.No one quite knows why the Outpost was build some 500 years ago. It is not on any major trade route. It does not guard some mountain pass or vital river crossing. The nearest landmarks of any note are The Basin of Dancing Blades and The Maze of Glass, but those lie just over 150 miles south as the crow flies. It is not near enough to the coast to monitor shipping lanes, nor to have or need a lighthouse. It has a wall, as one would expect from most military outposts located in the wilds. Walking beneath the intricately carved date, featuring the phase of the 3 moons on the night ground was first broken, one is greeted by an outpost fit to house the roughly 100 people that are stationed here. There are a couple of barracks buildings, a small smithy for repairing equipment. Some training dummies are scattered about between the barracks, for archery practice mostly. There is also a small drill ground. There are even some small houses for those soldiers that wish to bring their families to the post.
I'm telling you the kitchen is a mimic, Just like at Hell's Half-acre, its just that this one is a bit lazy and lets others do the cooking. How else do you explain the same cooks making worse dumplings everywhere else?Most impressive though, is the mess hall. Or at least the smells coming from it. Humble though the building may be, the wonders crafted within started as a treat for those stationed here and have since become world famous. At meal times the long tables are packed with soldiers joking and laughing as steaming trays of dumplings are passed about and empty trays are stacked almost as if by magic back by the kitchen, awaiting a new load of savory nirvana. The only reason that the Outpost of the Moons still exists is because of these absolutely divine dumplings. Which is odd. The dumplings could, one would think, be made anywhere. There is no local meat or vegetable that goes into them. The flour used to make the dough is nothing special, brought it with other supplies from Favortown or Silmere. While there is a spring nearby where the fort gets water, it has no magical properties. No one can point to anything that the cooks do different, not even the cooks, who change out about once every 6 months with the guard rotation.
Its probably some fae creature, thats wot I 'eard. Mixes the ingredients wit' magic at night whiles ereyones sleepin. Takes the snores o' the current captain as payment.One theory holds as much sway as any other, as no one has been able to prove any of them. The fact remains that people travel from far and wide in order to have the dumplings. Some nobles from as far away as Doceancot and Thunder Dunes will hire mages to flash-freeze fresh dumplings and deliver them, still frozen, that they may be re-heated (also with magic) and eaten many thousands of miles away.