Letter of Appeal, from a powerful man to a powerful man (Aly Oxales)
I, a slaves trader and master, am drowning in the blood of these pitiful slaves. With their sweat, I make my living. I have no use for rotting slaves. The sphinx had no taste for these pitiful slaves of mine, so then I was able to make my living. Their putrid stench has seeped into the recesses of my home. My iron fist, my whip and my tongue capable of piercing a man’s soul have no use on dead slaves. When they die laboring on fields, who will move their corpses? Certainly not I! I will neither give this task to my slaves that still breathe for they are of more use to me tending to my property. This plague, gives me no hope. I ask your highness, who is solver of riddles, to find the answer to this plague. I have no care for the lives of these slaves. I only care for my profit. What use is my business then when Atropos’s fingers is swift in cutting the lives of this land? Oedipus, slayer of the Sphinx, uphold the fame of Thebes. Do not allow this city to crumble in your hands. I want to be able to sustain my power. I am sure that you also feel this power hunger that I have. You cannot keep hold of your position with great integrity when you command a kingdom weakened by a plague.
My slaves reach the ends of our land and news comes along with them. Some of these are false gossip and some are actually reliable. There’s one recent rumor that captured my attention. This rumor spreading amongst my slaves says that the plague is caused by the anger of a god. Some say that the cause of this god’s anger is because of a son engaging in coitus with his mother on his father’s marriage bed. Some say that a murder of a king was the cause. I have no way of knowing if these are actually true. But, since I am desperate, I am willing to hear any rumor about this plague. As I am trying to find a way, I pray to the gods that you will gain wisdom in finding a solution.
From, Dypus son of Maximus