The Odyssey of BARYPOS of TEGEA
The adventures in Hellenistic times of four adventurers
[set in 270bc] Other chapters here
After working on Telamon Archi stands onto the plinth again and using his oratory calls on the savages left in the area to Praise Telamon and denounce Oora, as well as asking for help. The savages talk his call badly and continue to leave the area. So Jason takes the stage and calls on them, bribing them with sling shot and javelins, he is more successful and nine locals stay around however only five are fit and able males and females the others are two old or young to be of much help. Now with some local help Archi looks around for materials to make a litter for Telamon, he also pads out his arm and hand to protect it. Barypos talks to the remaining locals about the scorpions, and finds they are normally out at night and hunt by detecting motion as well as seeing. He also gets them to give them a guided tour of the rest of the temple.
He is taken first behind the hangings to the north Oora’s living area, there he finds a main chamber where he is told her personal attendants spent there time. It is littered with hides, crude cushions, utensil, dishes and scraps of food. There are also the drums which where used at the ceremony around a raised platform which Oora used during the day. Beyond that is Oora’s bedchamber, a dark, cave-like recess, it contains a bed made of rushes, leaves and more hides, plus the skulls of every priestess of Adrestia going all the way back to the first people who came back to Iaxos. The skulls are placed in niches around the walls and stare down, leering and grinning, as Oora sleeps. There is also a wicker basket near to her bed and Barypos spots a small box beneath the very smelly bed. Barypos calls Archi to check it out before touching it.
Archi comes and looks at the box and says he will check it better tomorrow once he is more rested as all the work on Telamon has tired him out. The two of them are then guided to the area behind the plinth. They come first to a big cave room which is a communal hall used by all the savages in the temple. They sleep on a raised ledge to the side of the area. The area is full of domestic things and rubbish non of which are of any interest to the companions. They are then lead to a area in the back of the cave which is covered by a hide curtain, a narrow twisting passage leads to a small cave. As they get closer the stench gets worse, a vile sweet rotting smell which turns their stomachs but they hold their food down. In the small cave are a bunch of human bodies hung up and butchered. They are informed that these are the old or faithless. Barypos and Archi beat a hasty retreat glad they did not eat any meat while here.
Barypos asks about the area at the front with the damaged elephant statues, however the locals refuse to speak of it or go there. The companions decide to rest and see what the morning brings, the nine locals stay and bring fruit to them. Before setting down for the night they remember to look for Oora, but she seems to have gone, taken by the savages by the look of the blood trail. Food! With Archi taking first watch the others go to sleep with some fish oil candles giving a little light. After a while Archi turns watch over to Barypos and then Jason.
Next morning comes with the sun breaking through the darkness of the cave. After breaking their night fast Archi goes to inspect the box in Oora’s bedchamber. He borrows a Akon to pull the box out without touching it. Having got it out he inspects it carefully, lifting the lid with the akon and scatters the contents on the floor. He then calls Jason and Barypos, the floor has various sliver coins and jewellery on it and Jason picks it all up and puts it back into the box and carries it to the main area and the light. Meanwhile Barypos and Archi inspect the wicker basket, they listen and hear nothing and then Barypos lifts the lid carefully. Inside he sees a black rope i the bottom of the basket. Archi comes to look at says its not rope but sleeping snakes head to tail, ‘lets leave them alone’. That done they return the lid and go to see what Jason has got in the box.
Jason has been counting and examining the treasure and thinks they have 50 drachmae and 210 obols of Tyras along with jewellry worth about 34 drachmae. A fair haul and obviously from when the rebels came here from Tyras.
They now decide what to do with the remains of Telamon the Gold, Jason thinks boiling the flesh of his bones would be the best idea. The others think this is a bad idea in a area of cannibals. In the end they bind the broken Telamon the Gold in furs etc to make them safe and stop the smell. The locals then show them a better way down to the cove and carry Telamon while Archi and another local carry the buddle which is Telamon the Gold. So a difficult downhill journey brings then back to the shore and there they can see the Iris bobbing around on the waves. The locals all collapse tired as the sun starts to go down.
With the sun going down they signal to the Iris and uncover the boat and there goods. Archi and Jason trie to row the boat with the injured Telamon lying in it. They reach the Iris after half an hour of rowing often in the wrong direction, by now Archi is tired. The crew lower rope and Achi boards making sure that the crew know there is a sick man aboard the boat as it is slowly raised up to the ship. Telamon is carefully removed and placed in shelter and the boat re-lowered with two crew and Jason to take it back to the beach to collect Barypos and Telamon the Gold. That is done quicker than the companions can row and soon as the sun disappears they are all back upon the Iris.
The crew now seeing that their employer is dead argue with the companions over who owns the Iris now. Archi pulls rank on the helmsman to take control of the argument. The crew want to sail to Tyras sell the goods and then return to their homes after selling the ship, dividing the sliver between them all. Archi having a care for Telamons family wants to make sure they get their father and sliver back. After a while jason sees that this disagreement is going nowhere and makes a offer. They go to Tyras and sell the cargo keeping 50% for the family and the over 50% divided up between them With the companions and the helmsman getting triple shares. This is agreed and so they now need to see if they can find Tyras. Braypos knows of Tyras and where it is and how to get there from the island, it will take about two days. Tyras is a walled city on the north coast of the Euxine it was founded by colonists from Miletus, probably about 400 years ago. The city i situated some two leagues from the mouth of the Tyras River on its right bank, the river freezes in winter leaving the city cut off from the sea. The surrounding barbarian tribe are called Tyragetae.
So with all settled they set off, reaching Tyras with no problem even sailing up the river. They see that the City has a dock side which can hold 4 ships as well as a beach near by which others can pull up on. It also has sheltered huts for its war galleys with ramps to the water. Rowing into the dock they tie up and Barypos, Archi and the helmsman go ashore to the gymnasium, introduce themselves with Archi taking the lead and getting the procedures right. They find out that the City under lose siege by local Getae, around 1,000 warriors under Duras, who want more sliver or goods for their grain and fur, they are stopping trade coming in. They get 6 Obol per amphora [30lt] of grain and 5 Obol per good fur hide. They want to double this. One senate faction the Marcion’s have dug in and refuse to pay more they have the support of archons Keteus and Iros. The Hippon’s along with Myrto and Otus are happy to give a small increase. Also the city galleys are old and worn and the city needs a couple of new ones at least. It will pay a 5% commission to any group who brings or buys some for the city. They need to be in good order and fully equipped.
They find out that the city is governed by a Citizen assembly which votes annually for the Senate of 50 who then choice the 5 Archons from among them.
The Senate tends to be of the same families, also those who control the temples, who can buy the votes of the Assembly, it is divided into two main factions, the Marcion’s & the Hippon’s linked by family ties. The other 10 senators are independent and tend to change each year thereby giving the main factions most control.
The Archons are the Register [civil leader] Eryx [Marcion], the Strategos Autocrator [military commander] Keteus [Hippon], the Strategos Hippas Iros [Hippon], the Strategos Hoplite Myrto [Marcion], the Strategos Galley Otus.
They then find a merchant prepared to buy their cargo, they get 52,500 drachmae and have to pay 525 in tax. This leaves 656 drachmae for the crew and 1968 for the helmsman and companions. Although the merchant says he will need about a month to get all the sliver, however he can give some now enough to keep the crew happy. The companions decide that they will stay the winter here as it will be to late to sail after waiting a month. This gives them time to rest, Telamon to recover and them all to train, as well as the crew to spend some of their sliver. The first thing they do however is to make sure Telamon the Gold has the proper funeral rites. This is done at the temple of Poseidon and they get the priest to give them a written record for his family. They pay for this lavish funeral from the families share of the sale.