Chapter 14 - Visiting The Phanatons

“The Phanaton tar-gatherers are among the bravest of their kind,” Urol explained, apparently translating the chattering-sounding Olman dialect the Phanatons spoke.

“Well, they’re humble!” Saris replied snidely.

“Remind you of anyone?” Urol quipped sarcastically.

Without a moments pause, Saris responded, “Yeah, Avner,” in a conspiratorial tone.

Urol rolled his eyes, but Saris didn't notice, “They keep thanking us for coming to their aid and praising us for our skill and bravery in dispatching Ternauhti-tecuani. He has been the bane of the Phanatons for some time.”

“Well, if they're so blasted grateful, tell them to keep their paws off my stuff,” Saris growled as he shooed several of the little furry beings who were grabbing at his belt pouch, sword and other items.

“They are naturally curious,” Urol noted, “Their resembles to a raccoon or squirrel is likely not a coincidence”

Saris huffed loudly but decided he would have to endure this indignity.

The Phanaton Village was about ten miles north of the tar pits. It was clear that the village architectural planning was dictated by the need to stay up and out of reach of such creatures as the scarfaced T-Rex they referred to as Ternauhti-tecuani. A complex tapestry of huts and arboreal platforms in the treetops were interlinked by suspension bridges, spiral stairways and ladders. This setup was uniquely appropriate for beings who could glide from one structure to another.


Word of the triumph over Temauhti-tecuani spread through the village quickly. The Phanaton chief, Teketek, ordered a feast to be prepared in honor of the human heroes. This feast was compriesed of fruits and unusually tasty fried insects. Even Saris found them enjoyable, once he got past the mental barrier of 'eating bugs.'

Urol, who was excited to begin with by the opportunity to interact with a new species native to the Isle of Dread, spent the next hour or so narrating the story of their journey from Sasserine, the pirate attack at Farshore, and then the battle with Ternauhti-tecuani.

Although Saris didn't understand the Olamn language that Urol was speaking in, and he certainly didn't understand the chirpy, clicking dialect of the same language that the Phanatons were using to communicate to Urol, but he knew the basic narrative. He also recognized when Urol was talking about him because the little eyes all turned and looked at him . Never one to pass up an opportunity and some grandstanding, Saris drew his sword, rolled into an open space, and proceeded to act out the battle.

Urol found himself in a position, because of Saris' grandstanding, that he had to emphasize Saris' roll in the most recent battle. So, he did somewhat build up Saris as the hero, giving the Phanatons a focus for their gratitude and admiration. By the time the story was over, Chief Teketek was quite receptive to the request for aid in the coming battle with the Crimson Fleet. Urol informed Saris that the Chief had named them Friends of the Tribe and promised to send a group of their strongest hunters south to Farshore to do what they could to aid in the colony's defense.

The Phanatons also knew quite a bit about the Isle of Dread, and were quick to share about the Temple of the Jaguar, explaining that the "cat people" who once lived there were very warlike. They were gone now, hut their weapons might remain hidden in the ruins of their village somewhere. One of their scouts said he could tell them exactly where the temple was, and Urol asked if he could point it out on his map. The little, dark furred Phanaton looked at the map and pointed to a spot about 25 to 30 miles north of the village.

The chief insisted that they stay the night, which was fortunate as it was probably not safe to hike back to Tanaroa in the dark – probably not a very safe thing on the Isle of Dread. The next morning, though, after a throng of accolades and cheers, they packed up and headed back to meet up with Ornrik, Viselys and Lefty.

Continue to Chapter 15...

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