The Odyssey of Telamon and Friends Chapter 3 Part 11



Jason along with me and Archi go to look for this spring between the Long Walls Archi has told us about. Jason and I find it in the weedy undergrowth; it has a covering grill over it and the tunnel running underground from it. Without some light we can’t see far into it but what we can see looks like a 2’ diameter tunnel lined with tiles heading downwards and presumably towards the port. Having found the spring tunnel we head home and then, with four hippies escorting us, to the gymnasium. The Hippies are going to use the baths and we are going to spend some time practicing our martial abilities, except Archi who is going to try to find out more about the port areas from talking to various groups of people around the gymnasium.

Archi picks up the story

I Archi continue the story as you will find out Telamon can’t. I will write this part of the story in the order I have experienced or heard it. I was chatting to a small group of elders about the Port of Athens and not getting anywhere when I saw from the corner of my eyes two slaves, who must have been with one of the participants, start to draw daggers and move towards me from both sides. I shout out a warning and draw my dagger. Then use my oratory’s voice to calmly call upon the others around to help by joining in. I then prepare to defend myself from this double attack. As the slaves attack the first one would have hit me had I not deftly used my dagger to flick his from his hand and fling it away from him, if looks could kill, I do not think he expected much resistance. The second slave was nudged by a bystander as he attacked and so missed me.

I continue to defend as the first slave moves to retrieve his dagger and is tackled by the other people around as they responded to my call. The second slave I manage to parry as he cut at me. I decide I need to attack but all I manage is to get my dagger knocked from my hand by the slave’s skilful parry.

The slave then counter attacks and cuts my left arm rendering it useless for now, and follows up with a cut to my left leg. As I fall I see the others having subdued the first slave pull this one down as well. By the time I have managed to use my healing skills on myself the crowd has kicked the two slaves to death, so no information from them, I cannot object as who wants revolting slaves not to be punished.

While this is happening Jason finds me, he has a similar story to tell of being attacked while at archery practice. As he was heading to the butts to collect his arrows something made him look back past the two slaves collecting the arrows of two other archers. The slaves seemed to be moving sideways and looking back he sees the archers aiming at him. Jason starts to ready his bow with an arrow while breaking into a run towards the butts to get some cover. Both archers let loose at him but miss due to his running. Now it’s a race as to who can ready and release quickest for the next shot as they also break into a run to keep the distance at around 50m.

Jason wins that race and let’s loose an arrow which takes one of the archers in his shoulder nearly ripping his left arm from his shoulder, the other archer misses Jason with his arrow. So another race starts. Again Jason wins the race and puts his arrow into the eye of the archer killing him outright.

Jason and I go to find Telamon, we find him with a crowd around him. He is dead. It seems that two pankration experts attacked him while they were practicing. One grappled him while the other used his fist plus cestus on his head, this broke his neck. The attackers then ran off leaving Telamon dead on the ground.

With Telamon dead we need to arrange a funeral before hunting down the attackers, because they are going to pay for this. Firsthis body was prepared; at our residence, by the hired women, so it could be laid out for viewing on the second day, and the gold coin put in his mouth, to pay the ferryman who will take him across the river. As we had no kinswomen, we hired mourners who wrapped in dark robes, stood round the bier, the chief mourner, normally mother or wife but in this case a priestess from the temple of Athena was at the head, and others behind. The women led the mourning by chanting dirges, tearing at their hair and clothing, and striking their torso, particularly their breasts.  Before dawn on the third day, the funeral procession formed to carry the body to its resting place. Jason and I will bury him with his Hippeis carrying his body to the Athenian place of burial.  We are accompanied by the rest of our men and Chremonides and other nobles who support him and some philosophers I have become acquainted with.  

At this time, we made the offerings to the deceased; we have bought him a shield to bury with him and his sword and armour. The chief mourner first dedicated a lock of hair, along with libations of honey, milk, water, wine, perfumes, and oils mixed in varying amounts, poured at the grave. A prayer then followed these libations. Then came the enagismata, which were offerings to the dead that included milk, honey, water, wine, celery, pelanon (a mixture of meal, honey, and oil), and kollyba (the first fruits of the crops and dried fresh fruits). A funeral oration, made by Chremonides was made, shaming the Macedonian scum who use assassins to kill good men. The mourners led a Threnoi song to the departed Telamon. Once the burial was complete, the house and household objects were thoroughly cleansed with seawater and hyssop, and the women took part in the ritual washing in clean water.

Afterwards, there was a funeral feast called the peridinin. The dead man was the host, and this feast was a sign of gratitude towards those who took part in burying him. We spent 1,000dr on this feast to give our beloved Telamon a good sent off to the afterlife we invited all our men and the notables of Athens.

Even I who do not believe in the gods wanted him to have a good send off as all Greeks believed that after death, a soul went on a journey to the Underworld, a place called Hades.  Then, Thanatos, the God of Death, would reach down and cut a lock of hair from your head, as you died. I do not believe any of the god stuff but most do. Then, Hermes, the messenger of the gods, leads you to the River Styx. If your body had been buried then, Charon, the ferryman, transported you across the river. On the bank of the river, you would encounter Cerberus, the three-headed dog who guarded the Underworld. His job was to stop people from leaving and returning to the world of the living. After crossing the river, you would leave the ferry and walk on to a place called the Asphodel Fields, where people forget all memories of their former life. Then, at a fork in the road three judges would decide where to send souls: good people were allowed to go onwards to Elysium (a comfortable place where the sun always shone), but those who needed to be punished were sent to Tartarus. Sometimes, when the judges could not decide, souls would be sent back to the Asphodel Fields. In Tartarus, people who had upset the Gods would receive terrible punishments. Tartarus was a dark place, imagined to be as far below the Earth as the Earth is from the sky. Such a lot of tosh but Telamon believed and so I hope he was right, it would be nice to think he has peace now, I just want to make the best of my only life and die in peace.

With the rites of funeral done we arrange to send a message to Admiral Patroclus and onward to the Ptolemaic empire of this loss. Then we set out to investigate and find out who is to blame for this assault, at least we can now go armed if we want thanks to Chremonides giving us that honour. With me leading the quest and Jason helping and keeping an eye out for trouble we hit the dusty streets of Athens. We have our own idea who is behind this but do need some proof so as not to get into trouble. The first day, was hard going and we draw a blank but the next day wisdom smiles on me.  We find out that it was our spy ring and Sthenelus behind the attacks. We also are told that it was to get us out of the way before a rebellion due tomorrow; we rush back to the place to warn Chremonides and raze the alarm. Will we be in time?

[Effect of the Threnoi – all gained 2 POW which will last 3 more days]

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