Another of the advances brought to the highland tribes by the sea captain was the practice of aging plasticizer in wooden barrels which had been exposed to sea plastic. The captain had discovered this vast improvement in flavor when plasticizer was carried on shipboard for long journeys, and noticed that it always occurred only in barrels closest to the sea plastic. He brought with him a number of barrels thoroughly steeped in sea plastic, along with his cache of cannons. The highlanders enthusiastically adopted this practice, making it one of their major exports. In fact, in later times someone would write a ballad with the line "And when the gale comes up, I fill my cup with the plasticizer of the highlands . . ." [Author's Note: Apologies to Gordon Lightfoot]. When it was first introduced, of course, the shamans declared it sacred fluid and restricted its use to clan chiefs and shamans. It was often imbibed in the village with much joyous dancing.

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The tribe captured some quadrupeds specifically for the purpose of making highland plasticizer and the young men herded them, mostly to keep them from dashing through the village and out into the desert. Why anything would dash away from its food source and into a howling desert is unknown, but quadrupeds are contrary as has been noted earlier.

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The fortification, shown here in cutaway, was a sturdy building with two fireplaces for warmth in the desert night. True to their word the bandits never entered the village after the fortification was built, but the converse was not true. These strange men were a natural source of fascination for the tribe's women, and the captain in particular. After all, if a man has a wooden leg and a hook hand, a girl's gotta find out for herself.

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The fortification is shown here complete with cannons. The men on duty are trying to ignore the sounds of revelry from within. From their facial expressions they are having little success.

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