The Odyssey of BARYPOS of TEGEA
The adventures in Hellenistic times of four adventurers [set in 270bc]
Chapter 3 [Part 4] to Byzantium – Earlier parts of the story here
They decide to give Mucatra’s weapons and armour to gods at Byzantium, talking to the captives they find a slave who speaks Thrachian and Koine so Archi talks with him. His name is Mardonius and he is a Persian, Archi wants to know about the number of ships Mucatra had. Only the one Mardonius says and nearly all the warriors are here so only women and slaves left in the camp. Fifteen of us slaves where brought along to hide the fact that Mucatra had landed some before dawn to surprise them. I, Brypos, make an alter to Dionysus and make a sacrifice of thanks. Later in the day Telamon the Gold and the Iris returns with the villagers, a runner having given them the news of the victory. A meal is organised to celebrate the dead and the victory and salvation of the village. Archi, Telamon, Jason and I are treated as the heroes we are, as stories are shared and the village men are praised. The talk is about what to do with the Thracian captive and the galley. Will they take it on with them crewed by a few sailors and the Thracians and slaves? Telamon the Gold says that he will not risk his crew with the Thracians nor be slowed or delayed by bringing the galley with them. So in the end they decide that the Galley will be drawn up on the beach and left here for collecting later and the captives sold as they pass Byzantium except Mardonius who they will keep to help them and he will be freed if he helps well on their journey. As one of the four remaining slaves is a Greek they will free him at Byzantium as well. Jason pays 75D to the village elder to maintain and repair the galley after a hard bit of bartering.
Next morning the 16th since setting out the Iris slips back into the sea under its oars then the sail is put up and the ship heads W before a steady wind. It is a fine summer day with a few clouds and a calm sea and the Iris moves easily through the gentle waves. It will take a couple of days to reach Byzantium, although Telamon the Gold would rather have gone NW for a straight run to Iaxos. The next two days and one night go fine with a steady wind and gentle seas as well as a easy beach to camp on.
Day 18 they arrive at Byzantium around mid afternoon, Telamon the Gold refuses to allow the crew to leave the wharf but does send fresh food and drink to the ship. Brypos and Archi head off with the 15 captives, having released the Greek, to sell them at the dockside. They get a quick sail of 100D each in sliver. Brypos and Jason then head to the temple to donate the arms and armour as they promised. They then look around the Agora and replace a few sling shot and arrows. As they go around Archi feels a hand on his purse and trips the man and stamps on him as he walks on.
Next morning day 19, The Iris slips away from the wharf and heads out to sea again, this time going north with the wind from the east they can use the sail. After a few hours Telamon reveals the destination to the rest of the crew. Iaxos. They are deeply troubled: Iaxos is considered a bad omen for all seafarers and a few of them make their displeasure known. However they have seen the bravery of the companions and T/G makes it clear that the crew will not need to go onto the island and will stay with the Iris. T/G decides that they will sail out of sight of the Thracian coast and not stop at night.Archi see this as a chance to see more stars but complains of light pollution as he finds it hard to see what he is looking for. He also realises that with T/G being the navigator it would be good to have a backup and he starts to learn from T/G. The next two days and nights go well with a light but steady east wind pushing them along during the day and night. They keep watch but see nothing on the open sea, except distant rain clouds. The Iris creaks and groans as she moves under her sails day and night The rest of the crew take turns to work so all can get some rest. Again the heroes help out as they learn more about handling a galley.
Day 21, as the ship carries on her way around midmorning those distant rain clouds start to get closer. The clouds boil in dark and angry, behind them a wall of rain can be seen and the tops of the white waves. As the galley starts to roll more Brypos and Telamon start to throw up as seasickness gets to them again. The sailors hurry to get the sail down before it is ripped apart in the rising wind. As the storm hits the ship rolls badly as the helmsman tries to turn it into the wind. Archi and Jason rush to help man the helm and drag the galley into the wind. As the calm of the eye of the storm covers them Archi spots a pair of winged females swoop towards them from the clouds. Archi recognises them as mythical Hapies and they are 60m of the starboard bow. In the next 30 seconds the harpies dive in to attack while Archi readies his sling and Jason heads off to get his bow from his locker. As they close the harpies shriek insults to T/G about his quest for redemption. One of the harpies rakes its claw across T/G face taking out his right eye while the other rakes his back. As the harpies fly out to turn around and come back Archi lets fly with his sling hitting one of the in its middle and dropping it into the sea. The other harpy fly’s away back into the clouds as the storm subsides and a stiff wind picks up from the SE. Archi gets his healing kit out and tends to the stricken T/G as the Iris moves on. The crew put the sail back up and the wind drivs them towards Iaxos and who knows what next. They all decide that one armed companion must be near to T/G at all times from now on. On the morning of the next day, [day 22] the look-out calls that land is sighted. In the distance the characters can see a high, rocky island pushing-up through the waves. IAXOS awaits them