The Odyssey of BARYPOS of TEGEA
The adventures in Hellenistic times of four adventurers
[set in 270bc]
———————— Part 3 ——————————-
Telamon starts to reload his bow ready for another shot, while Jason does the same much faster and the Galatians jump onto their ponies. While Telamon is still loading Jason losses another arrow this time at the middle Galatian, but with no time to aim he misses. The Galatians turn their ponies and start to move off. Jason starts to load his bow again.
Telamon losses his arrow at the departing Galatians but with little chance of success and he misses. The Galatians push their ponies into a gallop. Jason manages another very long range shot to speed them on their way.
With the Galatians driven off Jason and Telamon search the dying Galatian and look for their arrows. Telamon finds his two stuck in trees while Jason does not find the second two the first having broken on impact with the dead Galatian. They take the Dagger and two javelins from the body and head back to the caravan. Telamon walks down the road keeping pace with Jason who is working through the trees.
Meanwhile back at the caravan, Barypos and Archi hanging around at the rear of the caravan spot four mounted Galatians riding up behind them and about 60 paces away. Archi yells a warning to the rest of the caravan and moves to place himself against the right hand wheel of the wagon. Barypos does the same moving to the left hand side. The front two galloping Galatians get to 24 paces with the other two about the same behind. Archi starts to swing his sling, while Barypos sets his Dory to receive the charge. The front two riders throw javelins as they go past Archi and Barypos, Archi is lucky and the throw misses, Barypos isn’t so blessed and the javelin goes through his Thureos shield, being held against his body, and injures his left arm while getting stuck in the shield. Barypos tries to remove the javelin from his shield but it seems to stuck fast.
Archi realises his lead shot at the next rider in front of him but misses, it was after all a snap shot at a fast moving target. Barypos delays and waits to see what will happen next. The next two Galatians throw at Archi and Barypos, hitting Archi, who manages a partial parry, in his leg and impaling Barypos’s shield again. The first two Galatians grab their second javelin.
Barypos swaps his spear for a Akon while the Galatians in front take their second Javalin and the first two throw their second and last javelin at two of the drivers.
Barypos throws his Akon and impales the head of the Galatian in front of him. Killing him instantly.
Archi decides its time to take cover and dives under the wagon just as a javelin thuds into its side. Barypos takes hold of his second Akon.
Archi under the wagon tries to pull the javelin free, while Barypos turns and throws his Akon at the other Galatian, this hits its left leg and sticks into it.
He then tries a off hand attack with his dory but misses.
Archi stands back up from under the wagon drawing his dagger. Barypos readies his dory while the three remaining Galatians turn and ride off leaving their dead comrade behind. Zail gets off a shot as they depart but misses.
Archi the healer goes to help the hit drivers, he manages to remove the javelin from on of them saving his life but fails to save the other one as taking the javelin out causes massive bleeding. Meanwhile Barypos collects seven Galatian javelins and one of his own as well as one pony. Barypos then sings the Epinikia which improves the state of his left arm, he then tries with the help of Archi to bring healing to Archi’s right leg. He does not make it any worse.
As they are doing this Jason and Telamon rejoin them and they share stories of the fight as the caravan prepares to move off. Lydus takes the pony in compensation for the loss of his slave but leave the heroes with the javelins they now have nine of them and two daggers. The attack has been beaten off and they have shown their worth to Lydus. Telamon and Braypos take point again as the caravan moves forward again.
Around mid-day, the wagons arrive at the edge of the hamlet of Ayldvin., about three hours travel north of the ambush. As Telamon and Braypos round a bend in the road, and approach a bridge over a ravine, they spot the body of a villager, face down, in the roadway. Dismounting and carefully moving up to investigate while looking out for another ambush they approach the body. The body is slashed with horrific lacerations; dried blood stains the clothes, and the earth is damp where it has laid. the work of weapons, teeth and claws. Beyond the squawk of crows, there are no sounds of activity from the hamlet, and no smoke visible from chimneys except a small spiral from down near the river.
Going back to the caravan they tell Lydus and the other about what they have seen. Braypos and Telamon goes back with Archi so he can have a look at the body. He thinks the wounds where made by a spear as well as teeth and claws. Telamon looks for tracks but due to the hard ground fails to find much other than some bear fur and bloody prints. Braypos blessed by Dionysus thinks this might be the work of a chaos creature a mix of man and animal. Reporting back Lydus tells Telamon and Braypos to scout out the hamlet and go down towards the smoke by the river.
As the two of them enter the area of the hamlet it becomes clear that something horrible has occurred.
Corpses litter the place, all bearing the same ragged wounds. Some are missing limbs or heads, and appear to have been gnawed by wild animals. Bodies, of man, women and children, can also be seen outside the tight cluster of buildings and scattered in the nearby pastures. Doorways yawn open and no light is visible from within the buildings. It appears that any surviving inhabitants have either fled the town or hidden themselves well enough to escape detection. The sight is enough to make even these hardened soldiers throw up and be in a state of shock.
They make it down towards the smoke and arrive at Ayldvin.’s Charcoal house which stands beside a small stream of the Gatharis River. This house has a large oven alongside it, this is still hot and has wood which is burning in it. Wooden bins line the walls of the house some with charcoal in them, while wet logs are spread out to dry. The logs are floated down the river into the stream to be turned into charcoal.
A half-dead farmer can be found, prone, near the entrance. He bears the same vicious injuries as the corpses found throughout the hamlet. The farmer coughs raggedly as they approach, and briefly convulses. He only has time to utter “…the beast…” before expiring. This confirms that they might be dealing with some sort of chaos creature. Again they head back to the caravan and report.
After telling of what they had seen, Barypos thinks it would be good to calm their souls of the sights and prepare the others by singing the Rhapsodoi together. As he is badly effected by what he saw he calls on Dionysus to help him in his song. This works as they song clears the sight from their mind and fortifies them for the task ahead. Archi will use the wood around the charcoal house to built a byre to burn the bodies, but only after arguing with Lydus about monetary compensation for the work which he fails to get and shows Lydus that he is motivated by money rather than helping Lydus. Telamon is to direct the slaves in the collecting of the bodies while the Persians and Zail defend the caravan. Lydus wants to use the hamlets only store, which is to the left of the centre market place, to stay over night as it is likely the most secure. Telamon finds it has been the site of a serious battle. The front doors have been beaten down practically torn from their hinges and a large number of corpses can be found within. It appears that a number of the villagers fled into this structure for safety, and tried to defend themselves from the beast. Judging from the gory scene found within, they had little success. The coins and other items found are given to Lydus.
The well, at the market centre is covered, and has a bucket and winch attached to it. Telamon and Archi check it out find no bodies there and think the water will be safe to use. A few farmhouses are located close to the hamlet’s square, but most are spread out across the neighbouring countryside. They are all single-story structures built of wood with thatched roofs. The houses closer to the square are all vacated and many have corpses littered throughout. Some of the doors show signs of being forced open. While all this is going on Jason and Braypos explore north towards the temple of Zoroaster, this has with a central prayer hall, and two adjoining chambers. The central hall contains a number of low benches facing a table against the opposite wall. A brazier and a bowl sits upon the table representing the cleansing fire and the life giving water, the fire is out [something never allowed or chaos will rain]. The roof of the hall is supported by a number of evenly spaced pillars. One chamber is a storage room for various ceremonial tools. The other chamber is the modest room for the local priest. As they open the door into this chamber they recoil in shock as they see a horror, what they assume is the beast, a hybrid of man and bear, covered in patches of fur with a human head crowned with wicked, curling horns akin to those of a mountain goat, next to the stirring monster is a spear. They prepare to run……..