After the ten year war at troy, I faced many hardships trying to get home. I know that you and Telemachus were probably worried sick, wondering where I had been for 20 years. Now that I'm back, I'm going to give you a brief breakdown of my voyages at sea and beyond...
My beautiful home, Ithaca.
My first delay in my trip home was the traveling to the and of the Cicones. There kingdom was located not far away from Troy, so it was a perfect stop to gather some men and supplies for the journey home. What should have been months took years because Poseidon was very displeased with me and threw my men and I off-course.
After we were thrown off-course by the ravenous ocean, we arrived at the land of the lotus eaters. A lotus is a small plant that causes hallucinations, and makes the brain lose its sense of time. What seems like minutes, can be hours, weeks, even years! I was fortunate enough to only be stuck there for nine days, but others weren't so lucky.
After we escaped the lotus eaters, we landed on a small island that we had the intentions of raiding. We were curious of the inhabitants of the island so we went to explore. My men had found a cave with cheese so we invited ourselves in as custom in Greece. To our surprise, a gigantic one eyed cyclops entered the cave and sealed it off with a huge boulder. I used my great intelligence to get us out of the cave, but my crew had lost a lot of men.
Ancient pot filled with cheese that we stole from Polyphemus.
After we escaped Polyphemus' Wrath, we set sail for Aeolia to meet the god of the wind. When I first arrived on the island, I was startled when I could not collect any water. The water was moving to get out of my way! I was of course startled by this and then a strange face appeared to me in the water. It was the god of the wind, and he gave me a bag of winds that-that if unopened- would sail me straight to Ithaca. We were so close to home, and then my defiant men opened the bag and we found ourselves with the Laestrygonians.
The ravenous ocean leading my men off course.
We arrived on an island filled with man-eating beasts called laestrygonians. They chased my men and I off of their island quite quickly, but not before making some of my finest men into their suppers.
Tired, desperate, losing hope fast, I had to come up with a plan before my crew just gave up. We arrived on an island and some of my men went off to find food. They never came back so I went to go look for them. Hermes the messenger god visited me and told me to eat this strange herb to protect me from the poison Circe was destined to give me. Of course I was skeptical, but I listened anyways and ate the garlic. When I reached the top of the mountain, I saw a palace with domesticated animals. I went inside, and was greeted by a witch. Her name was Circe. She cursed my men and turned them into hogs, so I had to sleep with her before she reverted the curse. Now I know what you're thinking, but I had to too save my men and return home to you. This witch tricked me into staying with her for many many seasons.
My first mate before the spell was reverted.
In order to come home, I had to go to the land of the dead to visit Teiresias. Teiresias was prophesied to show me the way home. In the hall of souls I saw all of my lost companions and comrades. Achilles and my Mother were just two of the souls that haunted me down there. Teiresias foretold of a monster named Scylla, but he said I would arrive to Ithaca alive.
We passed the Sirens, who tried to lure us into our doom. They sang the sweetest songs, and I nearly lost my mind. I had my crew tie me up so that I could listen to their sweet songs. This was merely a speed bump in my journey home and it took no real time.
We were finally on our way again when something went wrong. A current, too strong to resist. A whirlpool began to form in the distance. The monster Charybdis was hungry, but I didn't plan on sailing down in his direction. We steered for the shore, for I knew Charybdis would kill us all if we didn't. In that action, I sealed the fate of 6 of my men. Rather 6 people than my entire crew...
Charybdis, the sea monster
Because of my decision, we were destined to run into the abomination Scylla. It had six heads, each with razor sharp teeth. Each head ate one man, 6 in total. Scylla ravished my fleet, and left us in shreds. Esteem was at an all time low. We saw yet another island in the distance, so we hoisted the sails...
The island that we sailed to in fact belonged to the god Helios. I'm sure that you know of Helios' sacred cattle. I warned my men not to eat them, for Helios would punish us; but they did not listen. The god Zeus put me to sleep in the hour of mischief, and my men killed one of Helios' beloved cows. When I woke from a slumber, I noticed the smell of barbequed meat and immediately knew that my men were doomed. I lashed out at my men for their actions and we were on our way again. I knew we would be punished, but I was not sure how. Of course, just like clock work, a wicked bolt of lightning struck my ship and my entire crew drowned.
After I lost my men and my ship, I began to lose hope. But I did not stop, my love. I swam to land and came across a beautiful goddess named Calypso. She saved me and took me into her home. She was very kind and beautiful, but I lusted for you Penelope. I had to stay with that woman for 7 years! With no escape, I sat on the desolate beach. I cried every night and weeped every day. I would have never escaped Penelope if it weren't for Athena. She convinced Zeus to have me freed, and I was given a vessel to sail home...
I sailed to Phaeacia -the first island to have friendly inhabitants on it- and was greeted by Alcinous and his court. They greeted me kindly and fed me as is the tradition in Greece. I told him of my Odyssey, and Alcinous sent me on my way equipped with a swift ship and enough provisions to make it to Ithaca.
At last I had reached Ithaca. I had waited 20 years for that moment. I had arrived but I could not yet be with my family. Your suitors would have likely tried to kill me if I had declared myself openly. It had to be done in secret. I met Telemachus for the first time since birth and we cried in each others arms all night long. I went to you claiming to know the whereabouts of Odysseus and you took the bait. Now hear we are. Together at last...