29
JUN
2020

THE FINE ART OF RIDING A TRAINED GANT As Witnessed by Bach Gor'man, Chief Ant-ologist and Serial An'cher

A Short Chronicle of Human to Ant Interactions, by Dan Berison

It was Septic Blatt, the great explorer, who first tried to tame one of the Giant Desert Ants.  History tells us that Septic was an eccentric hermitic gentleman, with a great affinity for the desert and all its creatures.  He travelled everywhere, from the labyrinthine under-tunnels to the great easterly dunes, in the never-ending quest to understand the sprawling world around Achten Tan, his hometown.

During a foray into the West, he came across a small tar-pit, bubbling with thermal activity. Deep underground geothermal springs  warmed the area.  Caught inside the pit, he found a Giant Ant.  It was as big as a wolf, striped red and black.  He didn't know at the time this ant was not an adult, for he had not yet witnessed how large such arthropods could grow.  Nonetheless, its unusually large head and sharp-looking mandibles made it a ferocious-looking creature.

Legend has it that Septic spent five days by the side of the ant, watching and learning, feeding it a burrabone algae collected during his travels.  Burrabone algae is, of course, banned now for its poisonous effects, even on ants, but such things remained unknown. Nowadays we feed them more standard algae, but I digress…

During that time, he constructed a collection of small harnesses from bone and twine and managed to extricate the ant from the tar-pit.  It was a bold and crazy move, something only a man like Septic Blatt would dare do.  Yet, when it was finally free, the ant did not attack Septic, and instead sat calmly next to him.  An affinity was reached that was truly remarkable and to last the rest of their lives.

It was then the Craven warpack attacked.  Septic noticed the scout barely seconds before the rest of the pack came over the cusps of a nearby dune.  Even then, Craven were vicious and merciless creatures.  The warpack was furious and relentless in their attack, desperate to kill Septic and his newfound companion.  What we know now is that the Craven are known for crushing ants up to make their various tinctures and medical compounds and to find a giant ant was a prize worthy of risking death.

Septic and the ant fought side-by-side, each working together to defeat the Craven. The records were unclear about the fight itself, but it is believed that during that battle, Septic Blatt became the first human to sit atop an ant.  A historical moment that changed our world forever.  The remnants of the warpack fled the battle, leaving Septic gravely injured.  Somehow, the ant understood what to do.  With its keen sense of smell, the giant ant hauled Septic onto its thoracic segment and walked all the way back to Achten Tan. Nearly two days walk!

Since then, we found the various roaming grounds of these Giant Ants and have managed to bring several back to Achten Tan for use in building up our militia. They have become one of the soul protectors of the village against the very real and regular threats we face out in the desert.  We owe a great deal to Septic Blatt… and to the many ants that help defend the Boneyards.

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"An'cher with Gant" painted by Daniel Jackson @WorldofMrGrey on Twitter and YouTube at Dan Jackson Draws and World of MrGrey

An'Cher with Gant

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