The Odyssey of Telamon and Friends Chapter 3 Part 9


Back to Athens

Over the next month, the month of Panamos, we get to take part in the festival of Hecatomb on the island. They arranged the holy hecatomb, the animals, all orderly round the altar of the god’s Apollo and Aphaia. They washed their hands and took up the barley-meal to sprinkle over the goat and sheep victims, while the priests lifted up their hands and prayed aloud on behalf of the followers. Jason and Telamon both take part in this part of the festival as low level priests, I made an alter to Hercules as well. When they had done praying and sprinkling the barley-meal, they drew back the heads of the victims and killed and flayed them. They cut out the thigh-bones, wrapped them round in two layers of fat, set some pieces of raw meat on the top of them, and then the priests laid them on the wood fire and poured wine over them, while the young men stood near him with five-pronged spits in their hands. When the thigh-bones were burned and they had tasted the inward meats, they cut the rest up small, put the pieces upon the spits, roasted them till they were done, and drew them off: then, when they had finished their work and the feast was ready, they ate it, and every man had his full share, so that all were satisfied. As soon as they had had enough to eat and drink, slaves filled the mixing-bowls with wine and water and handed it round, after giving every man his drink-offering. Thus all day long the young men of the island and the fleet and army worshipped the gods with song, hymning them and chanting the joyous paean, and the gods took pleasure in their voices. Jason and I please the gods with our donation of one talent towards the costs of this festival.

After the festival we give our men another talent as a bonus of a month’s wages this allows them to enjoy the after festival activities. The rest of our time till we get back to Athens is spent helping the admiral with shipping the prisoners to Salamis and Athenian troops back to Athens, then bringing over the families of the new garrison for the island. Also reflecting on our experiences and improving in the gymnasium. We are the last shipping the admiral needs to do and we are dropped back into Attica with our carts and head back to Athens within the month.

Once in Athens we update Chremonides on our successful mission to gain control of Aegina, although of course he had already heard from merchant Sthenelus his side of the story about Athens gaining control and losing it to Ptolemaic forces. He tells us that Macedonian forces have blocked off the passes to the isthmus and are moving their main force towards Megara to confront the Spartan’s.  Over the next few days Archi picks up rumours in the streets of the city that Patroclus and I took the island from Athenian units. Also we talked about how to deal with the spy ring and I ended up in a heated debate with Archi over the status of gods and their priests. How do you know the priest is doing the gods will or his or her own and if we kill one is it because the gods allow it or not. I could not keep up with his arguments and went off in a huff. [Archi went up in his passion hate the gods and I went down in my devotion, both by 1%.]

 After this Archi heads into the streets to counter the rumours spreading some drachmae to help, as the three of us do this one day going inn to inn. Suddenly the crowds around all start running past us in panic, looking we spot a rabble of 20 men armed with clubs heading our way shouting down with Telamon, let’s kill Telamon. It seems we have people out to do harm to me and my friends. We turn and start running after the crowds about 100m ahead of the rabble. [Making use of the chase rules] We get lucky and find an ally within 20m and turn into it, and then we find another and turn into that. Having made two turns before the rabble even get in sight of the first we think we have lost them and head home. I think we need to find out who was behind this attack; although we think we might know. Archi gets to work on the streets again with 1,000 drachmae to help. We find that the thugs were hired by an intermediary; his name led us back to Sthenelus, as expected.

With that info we let Chremonides know and then try to find out if Sthenelus has any enemies and any links to the rebel spy ring. His enemies include various other merchants who feel that he has overcharged them at various times and he does have links to Solon and Creon on our spy link list. So we add him to the list to deal with. While we are doing this we hear that the Macedonian army has moved on Corinth with the Spartan’s falling back in front of them. It seems that the Macedonians want Corinth back having lost it last year and the Spartan’s do not want to face them without Athenian support. They cannot afford to lose their core Spartan units which are the only force which keeps their allies together. We wonder if that means we might be able to deal with the Macedonian Attica garrison or even free their port.

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