The Captain called out commands to the warriors and other men in the area. He wanted them to secure the women and children. Then he called out to a few of his closest men that he trusted the most to follow him to the stream bank. He walked slowly, keeping his hands slightly raised and visible, and called out a greeting to the Pale Ones across the stream. They looked as frightened as the Captain felt, talking to themselves quickly and in hushed voices in a language that the Captain and his men found incomprehensible. Well, to most of them. One of this men, who had been his navigator on the voyage across the Great Sea, approached.
"Captain, I recognize some of the words that these men are using. It sounds like the tongue used by the Priests from that strange sect in some of the towns in the Eastern Nations. I travelled there while I was a student at the Ten Nations School in the Capital."
"How could they possibly speak the same tongue as those back in our land?"
"The Priests in the Eastern Nations, they claim that some of their rites and rituals come from the Pale Ones that visited our shores centuries ago, and that they continued their legacy through their faith. The religion of the Eastern Nations is somewhat different from our own, and it could be because of the influence of these long ago Pale Ones that maybe came from this land?"
It was a crazy notion, but all the Captain had to go on.
"How much of this religious tongue to you know?"
"Some, enough maybe to make basic communication with these people."
That was enough for the Captain. He told his navigator to come with him as he stepped forward closer to the stream's edge. He told the man to translate for him, and began to call out to the Pale Ones. In short, concise sentences, he told natives that he and his people did not come to harm them, that they were peaceful settlers from across the Great Sea. The navigator struggled to make find the right words, but was able to get the point across.
"Captain, they say that they want no fight with us, that they only came to see what was going on here. They come from a village not too far away. They want to know if you are our leader and if you would be interested in meeting with theirs, apparently some sort of Priest-Chief."
"Tell them yes I am, and yes I would, so long as I can bring some of my men with me."
The Pale Ones agreed. The Captain went back to the settlement to make some arrangements and to calm the people who were still hiding in the not-quite completed buildings. Then, the Captain, the navigator, the engineer, two warriors and one of the Priest's disciples crossed the stream and met up with the Pale Ones.
The party of Settlers and Pale Ones walked through the woods for a time, before coming to an old, partially overgrown dirt road that wrapped through the forrest. The Pale Ones motioned for the Settlers to follow them down this path. After an hour or so, the woods thinned out, and the Settlers looked out across green fields patched with woodlands, the landscape rolling gently up and down in small hills. in the distance, over the crest of a hill, the party could make out a plum of smoke rising into the sky.
"That is where their village is." the navigator said after the Pale Ones spoke to him. The Captain nodded, then asked, "See if you can find out what they call their village." After some back and forth between the navigator and the main Pale One who seemed to speak for the group, the navigator said, "They say their village is called 'Noopleamot.' They say it is the largest settlement in the region, with several hundred people." The Priest's disciple wrote down the information in a small deer-lether bound journal. All the temple workers were keeping a record of their experiences here, and the Priest himself had started a sacred record of the new settlement. The navigator continued. "They want to know what we have named our new settlement. Shall I tell them?" "Yes of course," the captain said. The navigator looked back at the Pale Ones and said, "New Mannhatta."
After another hour of traveling along the old road, the party approached Noopleamot. There was a low palisade wall of wood and stone surrounding the small town. The Pale Ones in the party called out to their fellow villagers who stood on small towers on either side of the gate. The men on the inside opened up the gate and the party entered inside.
The people of the village stopped what they were doing as they saw the Settlers walk by. The men were mostly dressed in some sort of heavy cloth shirt, and some sort of cloth or leather full length leg coverings that seemed very strange to Settlers. The women mostly were in full length skirts that were of strange cuts and again seemed foreign to the Settlers. The buildings themselves were mostly single floor dwellings that were a mix of wood and stone. Some looked sturdy. Others looked dilapidated and thrown together very haphazard. Most of the roofs were of some sort of thatched grass, and many had little shoots of stone sticking out for smoke to escape. As they walked to the center of town, a large stone building loomed ahead, with a tower in front and a larger hall in the back. The navigator explained that the men said it was some sort of religious temple, and that the Chief-Priest ruled the village from there. As the villagers looked on, the men led the Captain and his men were ushered into the temple through a large wooden door.
Entering the main temple, there were rows of long benches on either side of a main aisle, and at the far end there was a podium and some sort of alter in front of that. Behind the podium, on the wall, there was what the Captain assumed to be an image of the local’s deity, a man that appeared to be in pain and somehow attached to two crossed timbers. It seemed very strange to the Captain. The navigator, when he saw the image, stopped and stared.
“What is it?” the captain asked, when he noticed his companion’s reaction.
“I’ve seen something like this before, at a temple back in the Eastern Nations. It looks a lot like one of the spirits that some of the Easterners worship. I can’t recall what they call it though. He’s supposed to be the son of the Great Spirit who came to Earth to purify people.”
“Well, maybe the legends of from the East are true, that some Pale Ones did come and settle amongst the Eastern tribes and joined them after no other Pale Ones followed to settle.” As the Captain pondered all this, he followed their guides through a door on the left side of the main hall that led into the private rooms of the Priest-Chief. Standing in the main room was a man of what the Settlers thought of as average height, with bright orange hair, long and flowing just like his beard, which was going gray in places. He was dressed in strange looking green and yellow robes decorated with what the Captain could only assume was religious symbols. The Pale men bowed in reverence to the Priest-Chief, and then began to converse. The navigator informed the Captain that they were introducing the Settlers and explaining that they had set up a village a few hours from Noopleamot and that they’d come from across the Great Sea. Then the Chief-Priest began to talk to the navigator, who then translated for the Captain.
“He says welcome in the name of his god and of the people of Noopleamot. He asks if it is true that we have legends of Pale Ones coming to our shores. He says that according to their own legends and scrolls that a party of Pale Ones did set off into the sunset hundreds of years ago from the place where their ancestors lived by the Sea. I told him that we did. He seems very excited and interested in this. He want to know what our intentions are.”
“Tell him that we have traveled here to make a new start, that we are at odds with the people in charge of our homeland and have been granted permission to start a new settlement in a new land in peace instead of being punished at home. We come here with peaceful intentions as our Prophet calls for, and wish to coexist with the people here.”
After talking with the Cheif-Priest for a few minutes, the navigator turned to the Captain and said, “He says that we are welcome, and that he hopes to have peace with our people. He asks us to stay tonight as his guests and return to our village tomorrow.”
“Give him our thanks.” Said the Captain.
“Sir, may I volunteer to stay behind for a time?” asked the Navigator.
“Stay behind? Why?”
“I want to stay behind and learn more of their language and culture. I think it will benefit our people if someone does this soon, to avoid any misunderstandings between ourselves and the Pale Ones.”
“I think that’s a good idea Captain. I’d like to stay as well.” said the Priest’s disciple.
“This does sound like a wise decision. If the Pale Ones will allow it I agree with your request.”