The Argonauts met women who killed all their male relatives in one island, a kind king, and killer giants from Bear Mountain.
They lost their greatest hero, Heracles, because his servant Hylas was abducted by Naiads. Driven mad with grief, Heracles continued to search in vain. The rest of the Argonauts made the decision to leave without him.
Back at sea, recovering from accidently murdering the king of the Doliones. They gave him a funeral, but they did not stay long. This is where we left off.
"Are we ther-"
"No Castor! Stop trying to be like Heracles, he's gone!"
After a brief journey, they landed on the Thrace side of the strait and found that there was a nearby island by the city called Salmydessus. (Just before this, Pollux killed the king of the Bebryces in a boxing match) On this tiny island, there was this old and blind man who lived in constant pain and hunger. His name was Phineas and he was being punished by Zeus.
Phineas was once the king of Salmydessus and was married to Cleopatra. (Not the famous lover of Iulius and Anthony mind you) They had two sons, Plexippus and Pandion, who were then mistreated by Phineas' new wife Idaea after Cleo died.
Phineas was a son of Poseidon (Or Phoenix) and had the gift of seeing the future. Despite the fact that many mortals had this ability, Zeus felt he was revealing too much of the god's plans. Therefore, he needed to be horribly punished.
My food!!!! No!
Zeus had the king struck blind and then dropped off a deserted island with a buffet of food. However, despite there being a 24/7 buffet before him, he would not be able to eat it and remain starving.
The harpies, ugly half hag half bird (Appropriately a vulture bird) abominations would swoop in anytime that the king tried to eat and eat it themselves. (These beasts were never full and always hungry, they would do this every time.)
When the Argo landed, Jason and his Argonauts found the court of Phineas and found the frail and starving king shaking in fear thinking the Harpies had come for his food. Jason took pity on the king. Phineas said he would be grateful and tell them how they could make it to Colchis to find the golden fleece.
Oh you think you're the only humanoids with wings? Eat our swords bitches!!!
Jason looked at his crew and tried to find the perfect men to help them drive away the harpies. The Boreads (Calias and Zetes) stepped up and offered themselves to the cause. They had wings to meet the harpies on an even playing field.
An ambush was set and as Phineas tried to get some food from the buffet; the harpies swooped down to steal his food, but were in for a rude surprise waiting.
The sons of the North Wind flew and attacked the harpies in air to air combat. Talons were no match for their armor, while the heroes' swords easily sliced the harpies. The rest of the Argonauts got in the fray and the harpies were beaten never to return. Finally, Phineas could eat that drumstick!
Grateful, Phineas did as he promised and told the crew important information of how to get to Colchis. Especially important was the advice he gave them how to cross the Symplegades aka "The Clashing Rocks". Jason thanked the king for all his help as the Argo set sail for the Clashing Rocks. (In the modern day Bosphorus Strait)
Must go faster... must go faster!
The Symplegades (god that's a mouthful, I'll just use Clashing Rocks now) were, as their name suggests, two rocks that would clash against each other at random intervals. Anything that was in between them when they clashed would be crushed to a pulp.
The advice of Phineas aiding them by telling them to release a dove after reaching the rocks. If it was able to make it through, they were told to row with all their might and they would make it through with little trouble. However, if it was crushed by the rocks, they would be doomed to fail.
With nothing to lose Jason released the Dove and it went flying straight to the other side of the strait. The rocks started to move as the bird flew as fast it could as the rocks loomed. The dove was able to escape, though it lost a couple of it's tail feathers, and immediately the Argo was charging through.
They rowed strongly as the rocks parted and then began to contract again, but Jason was not afraid since they had done just as Phineas told them. However, it didn't mean the ride wasn't stressful despite Orpheus playing encouraging tunes on his lyre. Take it a way Ian:
God I love you Jeff Goldblum
They made it through and like the dove, only the tail end of the stern was ripped apart by the rocks. The Clashing Rocks then separated and would never clash again, making travel and trade from the Black Sea and Aegean infinitely easier.
Next week we discuss the Argonauts finally making it to Colchis and taking the Golden Fleece, all the while Jason gets a girlfriend. Hope that you continue reading and remember to comment and critique!
Have a nice day!