Arthix, the hydra and the concubine

hero and concubines

The hero Arthix promised the Lord of Thambar that he would nullify a particularly troublesome seven headed hydra that dwelt in the bottom of a well and guarded a giant diamond which the Lord coveted. Hundreds of heroes had tried and failed to defeat this hydra because it was in the habit of using all seven heads to look in all directions, thus sneaking up on the hydra was impossible.  Arthix asked for the loan of seven of the Lord’s most desirable concubines. Greed for the diamond drove the king mad; he readily agreed.

Arthix took the seven concubines and chained them in a circle around the well, each one the exact same distance from the well and each one an equal distance from each other — like numbers on a dial. The hydra crawled up from the well with each head looking in a different direction as was its custom. Each head saw a writhing, shrieking, delicious concubine and each head strained to pull the beast towards that desired morsel, but each head was equally strong so the beast remained stationary as the concubines wailed and cried and each head pulled in a different direction with exactly the same force. While the hydra was preoccupied, Arthix snuck in, stole the diamond and ran off. One of the concubines managed to wriggle free of her chains, and, likewise, ran off. The head that had been eyeing her turned its attention to the next concubine in the circle… suddenly that concubine had two heads straining towards her and the hydra slowly pulled itself in her direction since the pull of the hydra’s heads was no longer equally distributed.  The hydra devoured the unlucky concubine and then devoured the other five concubines in turn.

The escaped concubine followed Arthix back to his boat and begged him to take her with him. After they escaped the island together, she chopped off his head with his sword while he slept, threw his body overboard and sailed for the mainland.

The Lord of Thambar’s soldiers arrived and saw the bloody garments of the dead concubines on the ground and that the diamond was missing as a swollen bellied Hydra crawled back into the well for a nap. They rushed back to report these finding to the Lord of Thambar. When he learned that he had lost both the diamond and seven of his concubines, the Lord of Thambar was furious. The Lord of Thambar sent out his huntsmen to all the corners of the land to find the Hero Arthix and return with his head, but since none of them thought to check the bottom of the sea and everyone assumed all seven concubines had perished, the search came to nothing.

Meanwhile, the concubine sailed her ship to the busiest port on the mainland. She changed her name and used the proceeds from the sale of the diamond to live life on her own terms rather than having to be a concubine for the totally unlikeable Lord of Thambar.

And she lived happily ever after.