Our story begins with… GET VILLAGE TODAY
PANORAMA OF GET VILLAGE
This picture shows Get Village by the river Zom, with Uths, the Dragon, and his witch dragon rider, Annindale, flying overhead.
The village is on the cusp of a major physical change. Annindale, the Goddess Temple crone, borrowed Zonjon, the leather-smith’s, new camera to take pictures of Get from the air atop Uths. The intent is to document Get village as it is today before those changes happen. All of the pictures you will see have been taken by Zonjon’s camera during the last Harvest before the winter Settling rains appear.
In this picture you are looking at most of Get Village. It is currently situated in what is called the West Valley. The West Valley is the land between the Escarpment River, that runs next to the lava escarpment, cliffs at the top of this photo, and the East River, seen through the jungle at the bottom left hand side of this picture.
You are looking at one half of the valley divided by the East River. On this side sits the Get village with its craft houses, fields, farmer’s huts and the Zom river dock. On the other side of the East River is the rest of the valley, called the East Valley. It is currently covered in thick, multi-canopied jungle.
Although the people of Get are fiercely independent pioneer stock, they are essentially a collective when it comes to supporting the village’s larger purpose and function.
After the winter “settling” rains are over, the village will start the first of its annual four harvest seasons, as normal. However, this coming year, the whole of the Get village will forgo their growing seasons’ second planting and harvest. They will use that time to collectively clear the East Valley Jungle. Then they will move most of the fields, farm buildings and horse pastures from the West Valley to the East Valley and expand them. They will also collect and move all the farming huts across the East River and create a farming/fishing village on the shores of the Zom River. The vacated land in West Valley will be used to expand the Get village into a proper town.
All of this plan for expansion has been approved by Uths and his sons, the respected lords of this realm. They are dragons and Get village is situated inside their dragon’s realm.
Since Annindale met, befriended Uths the Dragon, 50 years ago, the Get village population have acknowledged that they are abiding within the realm of Uths and have pledged their alliance to him. Although the Villagers of Get abide by the will of Uths, the Northern Continent’s King has laid claim to the whole of the Zom river basin, and the Get villagers pay their trade tax to the King’s Regent based in Port Artune, 350 miles downriver.
THE FOUNDING OF GET VILLAGE
Zom is the largest river discovered so far on this hot and steamy Southern continent. Because of its great width, depth and its massive amount of water flowing out of the jungle to the sea, Zom is assumed to be the biggest river ever discovered on the planet so far. As of now 350 miles of it has been explored up to the farming village of Get. The village sits just below the great escarpment water falls. The falls creates a physical barrier impassable to ships. No one who has gone above the falls and has come back to tell us about what lays beyond.
At the mouth of the Zom river sits a well-established seaport trade city called Port Artune. At one time, it was the furthest seaport from civilization and was more of a pirate haven than a trade city. But pirating became a more risky and dangerous business when the major sea faring countries formed a federation, and established a peace keeping flotilla force. Port Artune became a stopping off place for further exploration and trading with the more hospitable natives living in the coastal regions of the continent situated to the south of the Zom.
100 years ago, not many explorers had gone up the Zom river more than 50 miles. That is because of the deadly reception that they would receive from the natives living on its banks. When many of the native river tribes were finally vanquished or “civilized,” the explorers discovered an even deadlier reception from the animals (snakes, spiders and crocodiles) and plants (swordbush, daggerweed, acid ivy, etc.…) that awaited them further inland and upriver.
The jungle surrounding the Zom river was well known as a nasty place to attempt to traverse and it seemed to get nastier as you traveled further into its interior. Once the dragons were spotted up river, the reputation of the jungle became even deadlier. Moving any further up river meant that you were entering a dragon’s lair.
A dragon’s realm is a killing field for humans, where nearly every plant and animal had a uniquely nasty way of taking your life. The closer one got to the actual lair of a dragon, the less likely they were to return to civilization alive.
After discovering a dragon’s realm, the woodsmen and explorers put “Here Be Dragons” on their maps and decided to continue their explorations elsewhere. Today there are still many such places on the maps.
Discovering a dragon’s realm up the Zom river had stopped every other explorer except for Get, the founder of the Get village. Get was a pioneer and woodsmen, who spent half his live exploring the upper tributaries of the great Zom river. We don’t really know if Get was his first or last name. All of his male offspring have the same name, and they won’t tell you either if Get is their first or last.
We know that Get was not much of a talker, he would never use a sentence when one word would do. He did not take very kindly to social company or small talk. If someone wanted to talk to him about how to harvest river weed, and began the conversation talking about the weather, Get would interrupt them and get straight to the point with “The secret to harvesting river weed is…,” as if he were reading their mind. And in a way he was. He had a highly intuitive sixth sense that served him well as explorer and it seemed to work as well with animals as it did with humans. He always made the correct decisions in life or death situations and had an uncanny ability to learn the native languages quickly with just a few encounters.
The Zom river aboriginals also were not big talkers ether and that may be one of the reasons Get survived all his first contact encounters. Get befriended more of the different tribes of river natives than any other explorers. The people in the Port Artune, who were developing the river trade, called him “the point man’ as he was usually the first contact that did not get killed, or captured for ransom. The explorers and settlers who were captured alive while coming up the river from the port were the first trading commodities of the river aboriginals. Even so, all preachers and priests were killed on sight. They were considered “spirit contaminators” by the natives and had no value.
“Give us a ransom and you can have your skinless back.” ‘Skinless’ was the dark skinned Zom natives name for the white settlers, as the dark skinned natives first believed that the white settlers were people without proper skin covering.
As Get spent more time with the natives and less time in Port Artune he took on the clothing, and characteristics of the aboriginals. When you saw him walking down the street in the port, your first impression might be to assume that he was a Zom jungle native.
The village of Get was founded 100 years ago when Get encountered the “Invisibals” at the foot of the escarpment Falls. He fell in love with their culture, philosophy, their innocence and one of their women. He had long ago fallen love with the Zom River and its living, breathing entity we call a jungle.
UTHS THE ELDER DRAGON
Dragon Rider Flying Over Village Of Get
In this picture Annindale, the Goddess Temple crone, and the first dragon rider, is flying over the Village of Get on Uths, the Elder Dragon. This fly over is a gesture to pay homage to the Territorial Regent who is on one of his rare visits to what is called the “End of the Map.” In days past, the sight of a dragon flying over Get Village was a cause for a panicked scramble for safety. Now, it is a cause for celebration and wonder.
Annindel is Uth’s first Rider, and this Dragon will have many more before he passes to the other realm. At 900 years he is considered 2/3 through his life span. Below them you see Annindel and Uths flying over the back of agricultural village of Get.
- To the far left is the black ceremonial gate. It opens to the warding path that leads 75 miles into the jungle to the Dragon Riders Goddess Temple and almost to the Dragons liar itself. There is a delegation of wise men about to be allowed through the gate and escorted through the jungle, by woodsmen and Goddess Temple witches, to the Temple to meet the dragon.
- At the bottom of the picture is the red and black roof of the horse stable. At first they tried to raise cattle in the village but the local dragons could not resist eating them, so the Get villagers now raise the finest horses on the planet. Horses are too boney for all, but the hungriest dragon.
- In the upper left hand corner you can see the red molten lava that is flowing down the side of the volcano. At the base of the Volcano you can also see the black lava field from previous eruptions.
- Sitting next to the black lava field, Top center, and just below the Escarpment River, is the Red Tent. The Red Tent is the Get women’s sanctuary for their “moon time” ceremonies and the original training site for the Dragon Riders Initiates before the Goddess Temple was built next to the dragon’s lair mountain.
- Next to the Red Tent is the temporary Geologists’ camp. They are here to study the erupting Volcano.
- Between the Red Tent and the Dragon are some of the farmer’s huts.
- Surrounding the farmers huts are the fields of dwarf palm nut trees and tobacco, (center top), sword bush, flowers, herbs and date nut trees, (left of the dragon).
- Below the Dragon’s head is the red toped roof of the Get Reds Sisters’ house, as well as some of the craft guild houses, including the yellow witch’s house and the black woodsmen’s house.
- In front of the dragon is the village center, including the Council House that sits in the center of the pond next to the Hogsmead Inn.
The Dragon Riders of the Goddess Temple don’t and can’t ride a Dragon like a horse. It has to be by mutual agreement. The relationship between a man and his horse is nothing like the relationship between a woman and her dragon. No man has ever ridden a dragon and lived to tell about it. With a dragon, there is no master and beast relationship, but a respectful collaboration between two species. The Dragon and rider bond for life. Or more precisely, they bond for the life of the rider, as a dragons life spans centuries; the Dragon will have many rider companions if they choose to.
Uths is a 900 year old Elder Dragon and a member of the Dragon Council. He was befriended by the second Get witch, named Annindale, who became the first dragon rider and founded the order of the Dragon Riders Goddess Temple. In Annindale’s witch apprentice studies, she had discovered a powerful “Mother Tongue” language embedded in the secret languages of the brotherhoods and sisterhoods of the world’s Wizards, Magus and Witches. Annindale was suspicious that the mother tongue just might be Dragon language but she would not know for sure until she found a way to talk to a dragon without being eaten or burned to death.
Annindale got herself hired as the witch of Get village, the only village situated within a dragon’s magic realm at the very edge of civilization. Her primary job was to maintain the Dragon wardings placed around the village for protection, and she used those wardings as communication devices to start a dialog with the local dragon, Uths. This first historic collaboration between witch and dragon is a fascinating story to tell and will be told soon enough.
Keeping Watch From The Horn Tower
In this picture you see a boy in the crow’s nest of the horn tower. His body partially obscures the horn that is attached to the crow’s nest railing. Next to the escarpment river on the Get village side is the Get hill (above the melon patch) with some of the native Invisibles visiting the grandson of Get.
To the right of the picture is an island in the river bend. It is full of river weed ready for harvest.
In this view you can see the “Boogie Man” statue that sits atop of the temple entrance to a volcano cave in the escarpment. (Don’t cross the escarpment river and stay away from the Boogie Man!)
The horn tower stands on Sand Hill near the river dock and is made from a mast and old ships sail rigging. In the old days a young boy was assigned the scary task to man the tower during the day to maintain vigilance over the village and watch the surrounding skies for dragons. When a dragon was spotted, the boy would blow the horn 3 times, descend the tower as fast as possible and run for shelter with the rest of the villagers. In reality most dragons would not harm a human that did not intend to harm them. Now days, boys and girls compete for the honor of being the Horn Blower. The tower is the best spot for viewing the dragons and their riders as they fly by the village.
- Three quick horn blasts brings everything to a halt as the villagers stop what they are doing to see a dragon fly by.
- Two horn blasts means that the person in the tower can see is some sort of emergency in the village that needs attending to.
- One short blast is to warn that a crocodile is in the village – an all too common occurrence.
• One long horn blast means that the person in the Horn Tower can see that a ship is coming up river and approaching the Village dock.
- Three long horn blasts calls every one to the Hogsmead Inn for an emergency village meeting.
THE GET WITCH REFRESHING A WARDING SPELL
Get Witch Refreshing WardingSpell
The Get witch, is refreshing one of the “warding spells” that surround the village. These magical wardings protect the village from the fiercest jungle animals. The wardings were once originally Dragon warding spells used to protect the village from marauding dragons.
In fact the dragons were not marauding at all. They were just having lunch, and they only paid as much attention to the running screaming humans as we would pay attention to a few ants at a picnic. Dragons only attacked humans when the humans attacked them first. And most of them don’t like to eat humans as we are too boney.
Annindale, the second Get witch and the first Dragon Rider, changed the village’s relationship with dragons after she learned how to speak dragon tongue, and had a conversation with one.
The rest is history and a great story to be told.
THE POISON SPITTER FROG
The translucent frog in the foreground is a poison spitting frog.
The translucent frogs in the Zom jungle are poison spitting frogs that can spit in your eyes and make you blind if they are threatened. Not to worry, the frog and the witch are psychic friends. In fact the whole poison spitting frog family that lives in the dragon’s realm are the eyes and ears of the dragon, the Goddess Temple witches and the Budoka warriors of the Dragon Riders Goddess Temple.
Nothing happens in this jungle that the dragon and witches of the Goddess Temple do not see through those frogs.
THE TERRITORIAL REGENT
In this picture the Regent is getting his picture taken on his new horse, surrounded by his military entourage. The dog in the picture is the Regent’s.
The Territorial Regent governs from the city of Port Artune at the mouth of the great Zom River, 350 miles downriver from Get village. The regent usually sends subordinates to collect the village taxes two weeks after the last harvest of the year on what is usually the last trade ship od the season. But he surprised the village by appearing on the trade ship that had come to collect that last harvest. He said that he had come on official business to collect the yearly village trade taxes and observe the Get volcano that was erupting close to the village. The fact is that, these were his excuses to really come up river to buy a horse.
There is betting going on amongst the villagers, as to how long the regent’s dog will survive until the jungle gets him, and as to how will he meet his demise. The Regent’s dog actually lasted three days before he ran into a crocodile’s open mouth. No one in the village bet the dog would last more than four days, but the variety of jungle causes that could cause the dog’s projected demise were enormous; making the betting more fun. Sara, the village smithy, won the village betting pool, guessing that the dog would last “3 days” and die by “crocodile.”
THE GET REDS’ HOUSE
In this picture you can see the ‘Get Red’s House’ owned by Djona and Simone Reddish. You can see their well-kept flower and produce fields behind it.
As you know, Get village is situated deep inside a Dragon’s realm. The closer you get to a dragons lair, the more you can see how its earth magic creates abundance around it. The wild fruit trees are more numerous with much larger more succulent fruits. Anything a farmer plants will grow fast and yield four harvests per season instead of one. The magic in the dragon’s realm also creates larger animals that mature faster, mate sooner and have much larger litters than in other parts of the Jungle. The villagers of Get are also not immune to the effects of this earth magic. When the villagers have children, they come in large litters as well. The children also mature faster, and for some unknown reason, many more girls are born in Get than boys. But when boys are born, most of the time they also come in litters.
As a result, Djona and Simone have berthed three sets of triplet girls in 5 years. All the girls have bright red hair. Since their last names are Reddish, and most of them still live in their father’s red roofed home, the Get Reds, or the Red sisters, is an appropriate nom deplume. The Reddish parents have been trying for a boy, but the birthing pattern for them has obviously been influenced by the dragon’s magic realm that encompasses them. With their 9 girls now fully grown and fending well for themselves, the parents have left the house to the girls and moved 350 miles down the mouth of the great Zom River to Port Artune. Djona and Simone’s hope is that they have moved far enough away from “The magic of the Realm” to try one more time for a boy, and hopefully not three.
THE VILLAGE SMITHY
Mending A Wagon Wheel
Smithy In Front Of Forge
In this picture, Sara is repairing a wagon wheel in front of the smithy craft house forge. The forge is well used and open so you see the fire inside.
Sara is one of the Get Reds. She is the wife of Jedidia the blacksmith, the first male Mayor of Get. As a little girl who liked to “tinker with things” she apprenticed with Jed as a smithy and eventually married him. As Jedidia’s duties as mayor expanded, Sara has slowly taken over the job of being the village smithy. She is a good one too. She designed and installed the village’s new mill-forge that sits behind the pasture on the back of the East River that borders the village.
Notice the tool barrel next to her smithy tool rack. You will find these barrels placed throughout out the fields and village. Where ever they are, the proper tools are placed in them to be used for the job or field work at hand. But as you can see, there are more than just tools sticking out of the barrels. In most of these barrels you will also find the favorite weapons of the workers who use that particular barrel. The weapons are for protection against the crocodiles that wander across the village from East river to the escarpment river that borders the village from East to West. The crocodiles are the only jungle predator that is not repelled or effected by the predator wardings placed around and through the village by the village witch.
This is the last year that Jedidia will be the village Mayor. After the completion of the harvest and the Settling ceremonies, a new mayor will be chosen amongst the elders. Then Jedidia and Sara will move into their new home that they built on top of the Mill Forge and work together as the village smithies while they raise a family.
SOME MORE GET REDS
Middle Reds Harvesting Flowers
In this picture are some of Sara’s sisters. They have tamed some of the wild flowers and herbs of the Jungle. With the help of the woodsmen and the Get Witch, the second set of triplet Reds, (called the middle Reds by the villagers), have gathered up many of the exotic herbs and flowers from the surrounding jungle and were able to tame and raise them in captivity, producing many good and useful things (medicines, spices, etc.)
HARVESTING SWORD BUSH
Jetti, The Innovator Of Sword Bush Leaf Utilization
Jetti is standing with her long handled scythe that she designed for safely cutting down the dangerous sword bush. Next to her is a ready to harvest crop of fully mature sword bush. They are super sharp so stay back!
Jetti is the eldest, by 5 minutes, of the 9 “Get Reds.” She was the first of the first set of triplets to come out of Simone’s womb. She figured out how to raise, harvest and use the most deadly plant in the most deadly jungle on the planet, sword bush.
The edges of the sword bushes leaves are razor sharp. So sharp that by laying a light gossamer silk handkerchief on the leaf edge, the cloth will cut itself in half by its own weight while being pulled to the ground.
It was hard to for Jetti to convince the village council to allow her to grow the plant in the valley agricultural fields, but she showed them that she was capable of safely harvesting them. To harvest the plant, Jetti does the cutting and pruning, while others remove the sharp edges of the leaf for use as knives and razors. They crush the soft center of the leaf unto a pulp to be processed into a healing ointment for cuts and bruises. That healing ointment has become an important trading commodity for the village and is now used throughout the known world.
TRIMMING THE SWORD BUSH LEAF
Chink cutting the super sharp edges off of the sword bushes leaves. Notice the traditional farmers hut, belonging to Seth in the background with the mini-warding spells on its roof.
Chink is Farmer Seth’s youngest daughter. She carefully cuts the super sharp edges off of the soft inner core of the sword bushes leaves. Thoes edges are converted into the sharpest of knives, razors and swords. Sharper than steel, the sward leaf swords are coveted by the finest warriors throughout the world.
HEALING SALVE PRODUCTION
The frizzy red haired Malloy twins are filling the bottles with the salve and hauling them to the dock to load on the trade ship.
After harvesting and trimming, the soft core of the sword bush leaf is crushed into pulp and its medicinal properties are extracted by cooking and made into the famous Get healing salve. The boys doing the crushing are the grandsons of the first Get woodsman and are called, as a group, “The Johnson Litter.” They are five of the boys of the set of sextuplets that the Johnson’s had. The youngest boy was lost to a spider bite while climbing up a coconut palm tree. A hard lesson for the boys in jungle survival. The 1/5 child mortality rate in the village is not from disease, or accidents, but because they got to close to the jungle or became careless. The term “died by jungle causes,” is used frequently, and nothing else needs to be said. Anyone who has lived past the age of 7 or 8 has usually learned the jungle survival lessons needed to live to a ripe old age in Get. This goes for the aboriginal jungle children as well as the Get village kids. part 2