The Odyssey of BARYPOS of TEGEA
The adventures in Hellenistic times of four adventurers
[set in 270bc]
——————– Part 2 ——————————————
A while later, the late afternoon, they are approached by a young woman. She acts furtively and takes some time to pluck up the courage to approach their table. She is, perhaps, 14 or 15, very pretty, and calls herself Dalla. “You are travelling to Ayldvin and I would go with you,” she says in bad Koine. “I have money to pay for my passage, and I can cook, clean and sew.” ‘Why’ Barypos asks, but gets no answer. Archi talks to the taverns wife about general things including recipes, with a bit of flattery and then speaks to the slaves looking for information on Dalla giving them 2 Obols. He finds this out about Dalla, her father plans to marry her to Brok. He is a good swineherd who will inherit twenty sows, Dalla, it transpires, loves another. A young man from Ayldvin who passed through Thordvin a year ago on his way to Mazaca for the city’s Great Market. A woodcarver and musician, he swept the impressionable Dalla off her pretty little feet and her yearning has grown daily.
Barypos picks up his lyre and with a few bad notes plays and then sings along, his voice and the songs bring the old man to tears. Dalla confirms what Archi has found out about her “but I do not wish to marry him.” She sighs and dabs at a tear gathering in the corner of one eye. “Wait and we ask Lydus” they say and she sits at the tables with them, helping herself to nibbles and drink.
A short while later while Barypos is still singing, Zai runs into the tavern. He grabs there shoulders and makes signs for them to follow him along with fighting signs. Grabbing their weapons they follow him back to Lydus’s wagons. They arrive to see that eight men are beating up on Lydus and his people. Lydus bears a bloody mouth and visible bruises, and one of his men is prone on the ground. Barypos realises they are all locals as Archi says, “What’s going on?”. “None of your business says Marquat the seeming leader of the locals. Lydus shouts, “he is a disgruntled trader, who thinks I swindled him”. Archi seeing that this needs careful handling if they are not to upset the entire town uses his skill in oratory to try to claim tensions. He convinces Marguat that these things happen in business, you sell something and then a merchant comes along who would have paid more, it happens both ways. It takes a few minutes but eventually Archi claims both sides down and all of them call it quits, Marguat and his men walk off. Jason wants to take revenge but Archi says that that is not a good idea as they will have to come back this way at some point. One of the slaves has a broken arm, which Archi using his healing skill stabilises and puts into a sling. Lydus thanks Archi for his skill in stopping the fight and his healing ability and gives him 1 drachmae.
Lydus says that they might as well call a end to trading for the day as no one else is around, they had all left when the fight broke out. Ordering Myrzah & Navied to get the slaves to pack up and secure the wagons for the night he and Zai accompany them back to the tavern. As they go they explain to Lydus about Dalla, he does not want her to come as it will cause more local upsets which will impact his trade here. Once in the tavern Barypos tells Dalla that she can not come with them and warns her of dangers of leaving home on a quest like this. There are slavers, rapists and all sorts who will prey on a young woman he tells her. She runs off in tears.
BAck in the tavern Lydus sorts out rooms for them all, the slaves will sleep on the wagons. Following a good wash and then supper they settle down in the tavern for the evening. As they share stories in the tavern with each other and the locals they hear a group of locals talking about Lump Hefting. This turns out to be a drunken game of rolling a pig called lump across its pen and back a few times. Today Navid is boasting he can do this without breaking into a sweat. Navid the Blacksmith: a massive figure of a man, his muscles are like boulders and his fingers the size of small crowbars. He wagers 1 Obol that he can topple Lump and roll him across the pen there and back three times without breaking a sweat. A group of six or so locals are betting he breaks into a sweat after the first trip, each betting 1 Obol. Lump belongs to Old Mehrak and is the biggest porker for miles around. Lump is almost the size of a small pony, can barely move, and spends its days munching.
Jason feels this is not fair to the pig and wishes to stop it, Archi tries to argue him out of this idea but fails. Jason is very passionate about this. Jason resorts to oratory on the drunks but all they do is laugh at him for being such a silly Greek.. Archi and Barypos only manage to hold Jason back till the men leave the tavern, Jason then wanders off to his room. Once there Jason does a private divination on the encounter of the men and lump. He sees that the laugh will be on the men in the end as Navid will fall in the muck to great laughter. Jason grins.
Jason joins the others in the morning and hears about the fall of Navid, he grins and thanks Apollo for saving the pig. Barypos takes his potion but throws up, Jason says that what’s happens when you drink on a empty stomach. Archi hearing about Navid decides that the potion gave Jason the luck so things turned out right, after all he does not believe in gods and therefore divination. After breaking their fast Jason gets Lydus and all the men except Archi together to do a divination for the journeys encounters. The result is that they will get a warning of hostile encounter, by a circling of birds. With all ready they leave Thordvin at first light.
As they travel Archi stops to collect some herbs from spots Zoona had pointed out to him. He then has to ride hard to catch up each time, improving his riding in the process. Again the road is winding and in places step as they continue into the mountains. While the sun is high in the sky, Barypos and Telamon ranging ahead of the caravan spot some trouble. A rockslide has shifted earth and large stones across their path, covering it in raised mounds of debris. Two trees lean precariously in the direction of the roadway, their root structures weakened by the shifting soil. It is apparent that this is a natural occurrence; weather has weakened an earth embankment close to the roadway. Horses can easily navigate through the obstacle, but the wagons will risk damage if they are driven through it. Telamon and Barypos ride through and ahead a little to check for further trouble then they check along the sides as well into the tree and rocks. With no sign of trouble they head back to warn the wagons. Archi comes up and uses his engineering skill to apprise the situation, he works out how they can secure the trees to stop them falling onto the road. Putting Jason and Zai on watch the rest of the caravan get busy moving rocks, after 15 minutes they take a break but Archi has got to tired to recover in a short break. They finish off the work and now all dirty and sweaty remount and the wagons head off again.
A few hours after they stop for a late lunch, as they repack the wagons Archi spots Dalla hiding in one. He tells Lydus and they ask Dalla what’s she is up to. It turns out she snuck on to a wagon when the stopped at the rock slide. She had left home early this morning anyway and had wondered if she would catch up the slow caravan at some point. Lydus and Archi decide that the best course of action, to avoid being held responsible for her abduction, is to hand her over to the headman at Ayldvin and have a message sent to her father from there. Again Dalla is not happy about this and starts to cry. With her on a wagon and everything else ready they move off again.
A while later Jason sees a large flock of birds circling in a strange way ahead, he remembers his divination. Stopping the wagons Jason, Telamon and Barypos scout across country, having arranged to flash Archi with a mirror Lydus had in the wagons, when they want him to charge in on his horse. As they move forward they come across six horses. They then come to a point where they can see a man in the road and four large younger men hiding around the edge of the road. The men look like the discription of Dalla’s brothers so this could be her dad and brothers come to find her. Barypos takes three of the horses back to Lydus and the wagons and then says that they think this is Dalla’s family come for her. Dalla bursts into tears, as she realises her quest for her love is about to be stopped again. Zai picks her up and they carry her down the road to her father Rorke. When he sees her he asks for her back and Barypos says that was what they were doing as they had only found her stowed away in a wagon a few hours back. Barypos also gives them there horses back. With loads wails and screams Dalla is reunited with her family and they head off with her.
As dusk approaches, it becomes clear that the caravan will not reach the hamlet of Ayldvin that evening. So Lydus directs the characters to advance on horseback and look for a suitable site for a camp, a widening of the road, or a clearing that can be navigated by the wagons. It doesn’t take long to find a suitable spot. In 5 Stades, the road widens significantly, providing an adequate spot to pull the wagons off the main thoroughfare. Once the wagons are situated, campfires are lit, tents are assembled, and a meal, with the herbs Archi found, is prepared. Afterwards, Lydus assigns watches to the players; Lydus and his men do not participate in watches. Telmaon goes first followed by Jason, Barypos and Archi. As night deepens, Jason hear the howling of wolves in the vicinity. Checks on the oxen and horses and ignores the beasts as they are unlikely to attack a large camp.
After breaking their fast, early, they are loaded up just after dawn. Again Archi looks out for herbs but this time does not see any near the roadway. A few hours after dawn as Telamon and Barypos check yet another side road they hear the neighing of horses. Taking care they round the bend and see four Galatians sat upon ponies, armed with javelins. Telamon and Barypos quickly turn and ride away, causing their horses to sweat in the hurry. Once back at the caravan they shout to stop and prepare. Quickly the wagons are brought to a halt, horses tied to them and weapons readied. Lydus asks, “what’s the matter?” and Barypos answers “Galatians four of them”. They discus why there are only four of them and what they are waiting for, but with no clear idea after all with the four of them the two Persians and Zai they have four archers and a slinger as well as two javelin throwers, more than enough to deal with four barbarians.
After waiting awhile they send Telamon and Jason as foot scouts across country along the side track to check on the barbarians but see nothing they have gone. Having done that they sneak ahead of the convoy to check the way forward. A short way ahead they spot three Galatians in the road ahead, about 120 paces, holding their ponies by one hand with a javelin ready in their right. Having not been seen themselves Telamon and Jason draw their bows and take aim, they take the left and right barbarians and loose their arrows. Telamon misses, he is not much of an archer, but Jason hits his target in the chest. The arrow goes right in and breaks off the barbarian falls clutching at the hole in his chest. Jason speedily starts to prepare another arrow [used marksman to move a arm hit to the chest then took max damage and rapid reload].