Chapter 15 - Reunion At Tanaroa

Back at Tanaroa, Ornrik and the Olman warriors were the first to arrive. As such, tales of the battle against “Scarface,” as Saris had taken to calling the T-Rex at the tar pits, had spread throughout the village by the time Viselys and Lefty returned. These tales, coupled with the suddenly calm volcano, was more than sufficient to garner praise and adoration. By the time Saris and Urol returned from the Phanaton village, Viselys was well into a meal with Matlalihuitl (the leader of the Tiger Clan who had first greeted them on their initial arrival at Tanoroa), J'kal (the chieftain matron whom they had more recently met) and a new figure who was introduced to them as Mvembi, zombie
master and a sort of witch doctor of the village.

Mvembi was somewhat gaunt, though not unhealthily so. His head was completely bald, and he wore ceremonial white makeup on his face. He seemed quite and dark in demeanor, but quite polite and friendly when addressed. He explained, over the continued repast, that he was an advisor to J’kal and Matlalihuitl, and that he was responsible for caring for overseeing the honored “walking ancestors.”

“Walking ancestors?” Saris asked. The term ‘zombie master’ wasn’t sitting too well with him, either.

“A necessary evil,” J’kal explained. “And a great honor, both for our ancestors and for us.”

“It’s considered an honor,” Urol explained, “When an Olman warrior is on his deathbed, whether due to injury, illness, or old age, he vows to defend the village – even after death. It is seen as an ultimate service to put aside their rightful rest to continue to defend the village. Also, it is a way that the living can feel that they are still connected to their ancestors.”

“And, as we understand it, the safety of all the Olman people is tied to the survival of the Farshore village,” Matlalijuitl added.

J’kal nodded in agreement, “Which is why all the villages will send warriors and walking ancestors when the time comes.”

“There could be no greater honor for than to fight beside the Tepozihiyotl,” Mvembi added, looking at Viselys, “as was foretold in the Cezazanilli.”

Uncomfortable with the adoration as their mythic messiah, Viselys expressed his appreciation, but made it known that they would have to return to Farshore as soon as possible to prepare for the coming battle. With much fanfare and accolades, they were off.

On the voyage back, Urol and Saris shared about their time with the Phanatons, including the promise of Phanaton warriors for the battle against the Crimson Fleet.

“Isn’t that great?” Saris asked, sarcastically, “We’re going to have a band of squirrels to throw rocks at the pirates.”

“Every effort will help,” Viselys noted.

“And we now have a map to the Temple of the Jaguar,” Urol added. “They were able to confirm the stories of weapons cashes.”

“Good,” Viselys nodded, “I will travel there when the rest of you set off to get the Nixie repaired.

Continue to Chapter 16...

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