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Main » 2014 » January » 17 » Off we go
Off we go

A History of The Expedition

by Diabetes of Praxis

3. The Expedition sets out.

Preparations were complete. Fresh water barrels and food had been loaded into the hold. A course had been set and the sail unfurled. The crowd on the jetty watched in expectation. The sail hung limply from the rigging, barely moving in the still air.

"This will never do,” said Xenon. "The people are expecting a spectacle.”

"Why don’t you try calling on Neptune for a wind?”  Cassius put in.

"Neptune? Oh, you mean Poseidon. I keep forgetting your roots are in Italy.

Anyway we’ve only just started. It seems a bit presumptuous to call on the gods so soon.”

"What’s the worst that could happen?” Ajax said.

"We could get sent to Hades for interrupting his tea break. You know what the gods can be like.”

"Yeah, but think of the kudos if you show you’ve got a direct line to the god of the sea? The crew will be very impressed.”

Xenon smiled ruefully "Why not?” and with that he fell to his knees, raised his hands and shouted;

"Oh great Poseidon, lord of the sea, grant us a favourable wind so we may set out on our journey. We dedicate our ship to you and we will sacrifice in your temple on our return.”

A hush fell over both the crew and the watching crowd. Still the sail hung like a useless rag. Disappointment filled everyone’s heart. After some minutes Xenon lifted his head and felt a slight breeze on his face. He began to grin, as did others of his crew and a cheer went up from the crowd. The sail filled with air and the ship left the harbour. The crowd watched until the ship disappeared over the horizon and all their best wishes and hopes went with it and its crew.


As the ship’s crew lost sight of their city they turned their gaze in the direction they were heading. They were greeted by a seemingly endless vista of open sea. Nothing enlivened the monotonous scene of water. They felt lost, some wondering if they had done the right thing by enlisting for the voyage. This state of affairs continued for a number of days until at last the lookout pointed towards the horizon. A mist obscured the view. Despite the wind, the mist appeared motionless. This was obviously the reason for their city’s isolation but why was it there and by whose hand? The gods playing a game? Had the City offended one of them? More questions and no answers.

"How do we get through this then?” said Orestes.

"Sail straight through. Always confront things head on I say,” added Orpheus.

"No!” said Ajax. "I will try and call on Poseidon.”

"What?” Xenon interjected. "He’s already helped once, he won’t be too happy if we disturb him again so soon.”

"Nothing ventured, nothing gained,” said Ajax confidently.

Like Xenon earlier, he knelt down, raised his hands and offered up a prayer to the sea god.

The vessel began to sway as the sea swell grew. Soon it was as if they were in the midst of a storm as the waves washed over the ship. The crew feared for their lives. The sea boiled and a mighty figure emerged from the deep, the water spilling all around. To a man the heroes averted their eyes, for this was none other than Poseidon himself. The god turned towards the mist and pointed. Then he pursed his lips and blew. A strong gust of wind hit the mist and it cleared as if it had never existed. Poseidon then sank beneath the waves causing a maelstrom almost sucking the ship under after him. Eventually all was calm and the Expedition continued.

Category: Praxis | Views: 1066 | Added by: Che | Rating: 5.0/1
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