Part 5 begins with…THE GET VILLAGE CENTER
The Center of the Village
In this picture the Get Village Center facies the Zom river and the village’s dock.
- Just up river from the dock, between the dock and the Zom river falls, is a rocky sand dune, called Sand Hill. This is where Annindale, the first dragon rider, began her order.
- The horn tower sits on top of Sand Hill, next to the newly constructed green roofed “Last Dragon Slayer” Memorial Pagoda.
- The black roofed Hogsmead Inn is directly behind the Sand Hill.
- Behind the River Dock the bright red Council House sits on a small island in a small pond.
- Next to the Council House is Axess’s big gray three story Mansion.
- The Black Woodsman’s house, and Yellow Witches Craft Houses borders the back of the Get Village Center.
- And all of what is described above is surrounded of the agricultural fields of Get.
The Get Village center is alive with activity during any of the four seasons. The harvest and trade goods, are delivered to the dock and stacked up, ready to load onto the trade ship. This is when the community becomes a commune. After the craft families have stacked their trade goods up on the dock, they close down their shops and head out into the village fields and help with the harvest until its completed. Then everyone in the village helps load the trade ship.
THE VILLAGE COUNCIL HOUSE
The Village Council House
In this picture, you can see the village council house as it sits in the middle of a fresh water pond. This pond is the only safe place where the village kids can swim. The council house is the geographical center of Get Village and is framed on it’s sides by the Mansion and the Hogsmead Inn, and in the back by the craft houses. This village center, is in turn, surrounded by the orchards, fields and farmers huts.
Big changes are planned for the village after the next Settling. To make room for the next generation of Get villagers, the village is expanding. The tobacco fields, mellon patch and orchards owned by the Gets will stay in the village center, while most of the other tillable fields and farmers huts will be moved over to West valley on the other side of the river after it has been cleared of jungle. This move will make room for the building of new craft houses, a goods store and residences to accommodate the next generation of Get villagers. Get will then become a real town. They even plan to build a school and proper crocodile proof pool for the kids.
It was first assumed that when the Get children grew into adulthood that they would leave the hard and dangerous life, surrounded by a dragon’s lair jungle to seek their fortunes elsewhere. But many of the few who did leave eventually returned to Get, saying that the world outside the jungle was to tame. The truth be told, it is livening inside the magic of a dragon’s realm that really brings them back.
LOOKING THROUGH THE COUNCIL HOUSE
A view of the town council through the council house’s entrance portals.
In this picture you are looking through both entrances of the council house at the Village Council who are waiting to receive the Regent.
The Village Council House was built for transparency. The building design included two large entrance portals. The portals were built so that any one could stand at the entrances and watch the councils proceedings.
When Villagers has issues to address they would stand on the inside step of the Zom River side.
THE COUNCIL HOUSE’S PILLARED WALLS
The council house has seats in-between it’s pillared walls
The sides of the Council House are pillars with a seat between each pillar so the villagers can sit and dangle their feet inside the building. Dont worry about stepping on the yellow flowers to get to your seat. In the magic of the Dragon’s realm, those bulbous plants sprout a new flower every other day.
LOOKING INSIDE FROM THE OUTSIDE
Looking into the council house chambers with the roof removed
The village council is made up of the village elders, who sit in a circle as equal members. There is no official council head.
THE VILLAGE ELDERS
The Village Elders
In this photo is the village elders who sit on the Get Council. From left to right are; Istell the Get Witch, Jedidia the Mayor, Juanna the Red Tent Priestess, Ganom a Woodsmen, Mrs. Brenden the leather smith’s wife, Elder Fisk the brew master and Gilda the cotton farmers wife.
The Woodsman’s house and the Hogsmead Inn are in the background.
The village doesn’t have an official election process that chooses people to sit on the village council. The processes is a more organic result of the maturation of individuals into elder-hood and their ability to represent different parts of the community. There is always one farmer on the council. The Village Witch and the Red Tent priestess are always on the council but never hold the position of mayor.
The heads of the craft guilds are usually, but not always apart of the village council. For instance Jonarue the head woodsman has been on the council three times in his long life as the head of the woodsmen craft guild. But on this council cycle Jonarue sent Ganom to be the guild’s council representative as an “Elder-In-Training,” as Jonarue is grooming Ganom to be the next head woodsman.
The village elders are waiting by the village center council house to officially meet and greet the Territorial Regent.
Mrs. Brenden has in her hand the this years village taxes to hand over to the Regent. Although they would normally be glad to greet the Territorial Regent and give him his due, on this particular visit, the council is not happy for the regents visit for a number of reasons.
This is the last harvest of the year which happens just before the yearly Winter “Settling” season. The council would rather be in the fields helping with the harvest instead waiting for the Regent to be getting his picture taken on his new horse, before they perform their ceremonial greeting.
By coming up to Get in the trade ship before the Settling, instead after it, on what is usually the last trade ship of the year, the Territorial Regent has upset the seasonal ritual of the village “Settling.”
The Settling is a day of ceremonies that marks the beginning of the wet season. This is when the heavy and long rain storms come and go at regular intervals. The river swells and the escarpment falls turn into a cascading torrent of roaring water. Soon after the rains start, the river flows so fast and rough that the trade ship is not able to come up the river for at least two to three months.
Before the settling, the trade ship usually floats down to Port Atrune with the last Get Village harvest of the year. It offloads the harvest and makes it’s last trip up the river Zom for the season. It is now loaded with the harvest traded goods from Port Atune, and the income for the final harvest trade for the farmers and craftsmen and women. The settling happens the day after the ship arrives and the trade goods and harvest income has be dispersed. Usually the Territorial Regent, or his representative, travels up upon that ship to collect the village taxes and return to Port Artune.
The word Settling refers to the settling of debts, grudges etc, as the Village settles down for the very wet Zom Jungle winter. During the winter season the village is isolated from the lower river inhabitants because the torrential rains make the river impassable.
In the morning of “Settling day” all village business agreements and contracts are completed, all accounts are settled amongst the villagers and all personal debts paid in full. Every one’s bar tab at the Hogsmead inn is settled and a new bar tab is started.
After a community lunch, the council receives the individual taxes from the villagers to give to the regent, or usually his subordinate, and the the trade ship leaves for the last time before the rains begin.
After the ship has leaves the dock for the last time that year, Get will be isolated for two to three months, and that is how the village likes it. The day the ship leaves and before the Settling evening celebration feast starts, there is a ceremony held where all the people of the village gather in the stable’s horse pasture. They gather in a circle and all grudges and grievances are aired out and brought to the satisfaction of everyone involved.
Every so often two people have a grievance with each other that can’t seem to be worked out with rational talk. That is when the villagers push the people in the middle of the circle and let them yell at each other while the villagers loudly sing and drum. They are singing and drumming so as not to hear what the two people are saying in the middle of the circle. The villagers will not stop singing and drumming or let the two people out of the circle until they are all satisfied that the two people in the middle have both had their say and have heard each other.
The last harvest days are the busiest days of the year. The last ship to dock in Get is called “the money boat” as it brings the financial rewards of the Get harvest about threes weeks after it takes the last harvest down to Port Atune. That is why the taxes are usually collected during the settling day.
The problem is that the Regent has come up the river before all of this has taken place. He has has arrived in the middle of the last harvest and before the settling.
The Regent has appeared during the harvest to pick up the yearly village tax. The usual prescribed time for the Regent, or his subordinate, to arrive in Get to receive the taxes is on the next boat after the last harvest of the year. He is one boat trip to early.
The council had to disrupt the harvest in order to collect the taxes from the villagers before the Regent leaves on the trade ship.
To make matters worse, the Regent also brought a large contingency of solders and an entourage with him on the ship, including his dog, his official flag bearer, his cook and mistress.
Because the trade ship caption had to make room to accommodate the Regent’s entourage, it means that the ship’s hold will not be able to take on the full Get village harvest that needs to go down to Port Atune. Some of the harvest will have to wait for the trade ship to make the return trip because the ships hold will have to accommodate the regent, his entourage plus the regent’s new horse on the trip back to port Atune.
The village is not happy.
THE GET KIDS
The Get Kids
The Get kids are on the West river bridge that leads to the new fields in what had been the “untamed” part of the valley that lies on the West side of the river. They are on a school outing. They are watching Jed harvesting some fresh river weed with his long harvest hook while, at the same time, avoiding old Ned, the crocodile, in whose hunting territory the river weed grows.
There is no school building for the kids at this time. The old timers says that the valley is their class room and holds all the lessons they need.
A high degree of child death by “jungle causes” is from being taken by crocodiles. So the children learn all of the names of the local crocodiles, where their hang outs are and what are the boundaries of their defended territories. They are also taught to note and report any new crocodiles in the area and any territorial crocodiles fights or challenges that they might observe.
In the early days of Get, the villagers tried to wipe out the crocodile population but for every crocodile they killed one or more replaced them within days.
Regardless if they are village or jungle native births, single baby births in the Get Jungle are not rare, but they do occur much less often that multiple births. Twins and triplet births are the norm. Sextuplets and Octuplets occur from time to time. All of this is the result of humans living inside a dragon’s realm, it is also for the purpose of survival of the species where one out of 5 Children die of “Jungle Causes” before the age of 7.
The mortality rate for children is not related to nutrition and diseases. Most children are born and grow up healthy unless they die of Jungle causes. Jungle causes refer to death by; venomous plants, insects, poison spiders or snake bites, crocodile, and other predator attacks. Other “Jungle Causes” are death by sword bush, spear bush or poison plants and flowers. The poison oak bush in this jungle doesn’t just give you a bad rash for a week. Unless the oil from the plant is removed instantly it will eat through your skin and attack bones and vital organs.
To avoid the crocodiles the Get village children are taught to stay away from the banks of the three rivers that border the Get Valley, and never attempt to visit the Boogieman across the West Escarpment river. They are also taught to identify the 12 spiders inhabiting the region, 8 of them poisonous, 5 of those deadly. All four snake species in this jungle are deadly poisonous.
The same mortality rate applies to the native Invisibals that live in the Zom jungle; which is very interesting, considering that the village children live within the confines of a warding protected valley community and the Invisibles are raised unprotected in the most dangerous jungle know to man.