The Xena Scrolls; Scroll #110: Anthony & Cleopatra

By Brandy Seymour | Xena Scrolls | 3 Jul 2021

The Xena Scrolls

Scroll  #110:  Anthony & Cleopatra

By:  Gabrielle of Podedia

July, 43 B.C.

I sing of a story that has already been sung, yet sung by those who may not know the real truth that I shall cast upon this scroll.  It is a battle of epic proportions for the affections of a mystical queen with a beauty that can never be described only imagined.  And so it began with a message of violence and ended with a lesson of trust, and betrayal, peace, and hate, but most of all a star-crossed love affair.

     Cleopatra arrived before Mark Anthony rolled in a rug wearing nothing, but chains.  She had been informed that two notorious leaders of Rome were after her kingdom and so she had a plan to turn them against one another.  It began with her seduction of this handsome man who walked with a confidence which surpassed that of Caesar.  His ambitions matched those of Rome’s late emperor, but he loved Rome more than he loved any other.  Upon her seductive arrival Mark Anthony was a gentlemen.  He insisted that she wrap herself up for he was not to take advantage of the beautiful creature before him. 

     Anthony was interested in dealing yes, but nothing more.  He wanted control of Cleopatra’s navy for it was the most powerful navy in all the land.  Cleopatra had shown that she could be trusted by Anthony by exploiting her vulnerability and with this seductive act Cleopatra had gained the respect of Mark Anthony.

     Back in Egypt Cleopatra’s companion Euris awaited her return only to find the identity of the second who was after Egypt’s treasures.  It was the good Roman Brutus whom many had stated to be an honest and good man.  Euris had met Brutus before and they had been friends in battle, but the lust for absolute power of Rome upon Caesar’s death had changed him.  At first Brutus did not recognize this old acquaintance who had once pardoned him saving his life, but then as he protested to see Cleopatra her eyes could not lie. 

Brutus was shocked that she had survived Caesar's crucifixion for no one had ever escaped the clutches of Caesar’s wrath before, but he was also guilty for he had not been there when she had needed him most.  They exchanged words neither truly respecting or embracing the other as Brutus then ignored her rejection to see Cleopatra pushing himself forcefully through Cleopatra’s guard.  Euris followed closely behind disappointed at his lack of respect for her and so he had changed.  He was no longer a good man.

When Brutus could not see Cleopatra he settled with delivering his urgent message to a friend of Cleopatra.  Xena took the message and made it clear that Cleopatra would most certainly receive it.  Brutus warned of Mark Anthony and of Caesar’s adopted son Octavious.  He swore that the two were out to kill Cleopatra and with that the conversation closed.

     Late that night a cloaked intruder broke into Cleopatra’s bed chambers sneaking in upon her bedside.  Just as the intruder had made his way upon the queen in her slumber fire bombs were thrown into her chambers from outside the walls below.  This awoke the queen and startled the intruder.  The cloaked one caught ablaze and screamed in terror as the flames burned his clothing.  Cleopatra and the intruder escaped the flaming attack of her chambers.  And once they were safe it was revealed that the intruder was none other than Caesar’s adopted son Octavious.  He spilled his insides with fear as Mark Anthony approached Cleopatra.  Octavious had come to deliver yet another warning to the queen of Egypt.  Brutus had warned of Anthony and Octavious, but now Octavious was here to warn of Anthony although he did not say it directly for the presence of Anthony.

     There was a mystery to unravel for it seemed that Cleopatra’s life were in eminent danger.  Cleopatra met with Mark Anthony hoping to seal the deal of his honesty for her navy.  Again she tried her hand at seducing this man, but he refused her a second time.  Cleopatra and Euris were unprepared for his rejection of Cleopatra’s advances and so they had to decide what to do next. 

     Even though Cleopatra had only intended to play a game at first Euris could see that Anthony was getting to Cleopatra’s heart and she didn’t like what was going on between them.  Mark Anthony had sent Cleopatra a flower as an invitation to join him in a night of passion later.  Euris warned Cleopatra of this rugged man with a passion for blood.  She warned Cleopatra that if she was not careful that he would win her over and that would be the end of Egypt and it would be the end of peace between two great nations.  Cleopatra swore that there were no feelings there.  It was all just business as usual.

     Euris was interested in this new development in the turn of events.  She found herself visiting the prison to investigate the character of the young Octavious.  What his real motives were and why he was a player in this game of warriors was uncertain in her mind.  And as Euris questioned the young wide eyed Octavious he stated that his only intentions for Rome were of peace and unity rather than power and war.  He seemed very hopeful for his future as Rome’s potential leader.  Octavious wanted to ensure peace something that his father Caesar before him had never been about.  This impressed Euris and it even reminded her of a girl she had once known.  A glimmer of hope embraced her heart after hearing the words of hope and peace coming from the lips of a man who was in a position to make it happen.

     Cleopatra and Anthony met up that night in a secluded quiet place.  Mark Anthony once again refused Cleopatra, but it wasn’t her advances that he refused.  Anthony had professed his undying love for this radiant flower.  He now wanted her love more than even her navy.  He confessed to Cleopatra that he was once told by another man that the beauty of a woman such as she would bring a man to his knees.  Anthony stated that a woman as Cleopatra could make a man surrender a nation and so it was that Anthony would surrender his best battle plan refusing to accept her navy.  For Anthony believed that if he were to accept Cleopatra’s navy that she would never believe that his love for her was true.

     And now there was just one problem with the plans of Cleopatra and her companion Euris.  The problem was one that no one could have ever predicted and it was the most powerful of all the forces involved.  It was love.  For it was just that simple, yet something as simple as love can make a battle between nations complex.  There was honor at stake here, friendship, and a promise.  The question was which was most important?

     During their romantic interlude the two lovers were attacked by some men loyal to Brutus.  Cleopatra stood back and watched as Anthony fought off six Roman soldiers killing every one of them with a passion for their blood.  He killed all six in his heart, yet Cleopatra had spared the last man.  She convinced Anthony that he could be of use and so the last man had been spared.  And then a message for Brutus was sent.  Cleopatra knew that she could not save Mark Anthony from his fury for blood and war.  It was a reminder of someone she had once known.  Someone that she never wanted to meet again.  There would be no escape if she should surrender and let her love for Mark Anthony take precedence over the promise of friendship.

     Cleopatra met with Euris and they compared notes upon the two men with Octavious’s youthful dream to Anthony’s strategic force of destruction and blood.  And then there was Brutus more of a pawn than he could ever have imagined.  Cleopatra confessed to Euris of her love for Mark Anthony.  And Euris understood.  Could his death be avoided by an alliance with young Octavious going against Brutus?

     Upon the next sunrise Cleopatra sat on her court with Euris by her side.  The power hungry Brutus entered her court hoping to make a deal with her regarding her navy.  As Brutus approached the great queen of Egypt his eyes could barely believe what it was they were telling him.  This was clearly not the mystically beautiful Cleopatra before him.  This was none other than the great warrior princess.  Xena sat upon the throne of the queen and it was all clear to him now.  He had indeed succeeded in murdering the queen with a violently urgent message between two serpents.  Brutus was angered to realize the trick which had been played out flawlessly by Xena and her longtime friend.  Gabrielle demanded of Brutus what could possibly constitute the murder of yet another of her most valued friends.  His answer to her was simple.  It was all for the good of Rome.  Gabrielle could not accept this answer.  Murder for a nation was not justified in her mind.  She, Xena, and now Cleopatra had all perished at the hands of Roman leaders.  Yet Brutus argued with pride that he had been the one who had taken down the ambitious bloodthirsty Caesar with his own hand.

     Each of these men, Mark Anthony and Brutus, had professed their undying love for the nation of Rome and its people.  In reality they only loved themselves as did Caesar before them, and the blood that they would shed to gain the power of being Emperor of Rome would flow longer than the Nile.  It was clear what was to be done.  Xena then commanded Brutus to go to the mouth of the great Nile where she had caught word that Mark Anthony was about to set an attack on Egypt.  She promised Brutus that she would send Cleopatra’s navy to reinforce his victory over the powerful Mark Anthony.  Brutus refused the offer.  He did not trust Xena.  But then Gabrielle spoke.  She would join Brutus as a signature to contract this deal.  Brutus had known Gabrielle.  After all she had saved him from the amazon laws which had condemned him to death.  She had once intended to unite the Amazon nation with the Roman nation in peace.  Brutus reminded of these things agreed to the deal.  To him with Gabrielle the deal was as solid as a victory.

     And so the battle on the Nile was about to begin with Octavious in command of the Egyptian navy about to discover his destiny, Cleopatra identity unknown to Mark Anthony, and then Gabrielle alongside Brutus her once old friend.  Gabrielle was angry at Brutus for not being the honorable man that he had once been.  She was angry that he had allowed a thirst for power to take his conviction from him.  And most of all Gabrielle was angry that Brutus had not stood by her when she had most needed him as he had allowed Caesar to crucify her.  Yet Brutus was not phased by her harsh words for he had harsh words of his own.  He had no mercy in his heart and it was laid out very clearly to the young warrior.  Brutus reminded Gabrielle that people change and that she too had changed.  He reminded her of a time when she had been a champion of peace.  Now she was a warrior.  His point was taken by Gabrielle as if he had taken his sword and plunged it through her stomach.  There was no remorse and only one thing left to do.

     Suddenly, the battle on the Nile raged into action.  Roman soldiers of Anthony’s vessel leaped onto Brutus’s fortress upon the water as it rammed into Anthony’s lead vessel.  Swords clashed.  Men screamed in anguish as the weapons of the enemy were thrust through their chests and slashed across their faces.  It was a bloody affair.  As the Egyptian navy approached the battle both sides were about to boast of their secret alliances with Cleopatra and Xena.  But Cleopatra and Xena were one in the same.  This was known to Brutus, but not to Anthony and soon the Egyptian navy began attacking both armies from behind. 

     Brutus realized that it was all over.  His dreams of becoming emperor of Rome were about to be destroyed.  He had been betrayed by the one he was most certain would not commit such a sin.  As he turned to find her in the spoils of battle he screamed violently with hatred in his voice and in his eyes.  Gabrielle heard his cries against her as she turned to face him with a moment of regret touching her heart.  She hurt for him inside knowing that if the situation had been reversed that there could be no forgiveness for what she had done.  Part of her wanted to ask for his mercy.  But mercy was not an option for Brutus.  And as she looked upon him he charged forward raising his sword.  Gabrielle fought weakly not wanting to battle Brutus for friends did not kill one another.  She only defended herself.  One thrust, two, and then Brutus struck her in the face forcefully.  She could feel the pain of battle.  This was real.  He was not a friend, but a vessel for evil. 

     Now her survival was at stake.  Brutus kept thrusting his sword forward and back across the young warrior’s face knocking the breath from her lungs as if drowning her under the Nile.  She fell to the deck wrenched with physical pain throughout her body.  It was almost as if a part of her felt that she deserved to feel this pain for the choices that she had made.  They were the wrong choices.  The choices which she had always vowed never to make.  And then she hoped for his mercy once more as she turned to look him in the eye, but he could see nothing.  There was only the blood of a new sworn enemy as he kicked her face with his boot and then raised his weapon above his head preparing to thrust it into her chest.  Death was on the deck waiting to take someone this night and the young warrior had decided that it would not be her.  She would not allow evil to take her life a second time. 

     The warrior reached for her sword lying beside her battered bones and then looked evil directly in the eye.  Hatred boiled up inside her for all that evil had taken from her spirit and her soul.  It was at that single moment that she realized that Brutus was the one who had stolen away her soul's innocence, and it was all in the name of Rome!  The warrior’s sword thrust forward.  Vengeance and rage commanded it.  Forward, through the skin, across and through the mortal neck of the enemy it went.  Her hands gripped it tightly and her muscles tense as the weapon slide through its victim.  The enemy fell to the deck and with his last words he revealed to all the identity of Xena.  And then emptiness set in.  Death had taken its victim.  Another dark soul had been eliminated.  Inside of the warrior’s heart was rage dissolving into hollow illness.  And then it passed as relief set in.  She had survived death in battle.  It was a good day on this night.

     And just as she rose to her feet she gazed upon the bow.  There stood Xena before her lover Mark Anthony.  She too had betrayed him in the name of battle and for the cause of a promise of her friendship to the late Cleopatra.  Anthony was unforgiving of this betrayal and Xena knew that there was no way to repair the damage.  She knew what she must do.  Anthony thrust forward as his passionate love for Cleopatra turned to blackness like the night sea.  He was empty and lonely inside yet blood thirsty for someone to pay for his heart’s pain.  Betrayal had robbed him of any ounce of goodness that may have resided within Anthony’s heart.  Though he was raging out of control swinging his sword wildly Xena handled his advance with an almost graceful touch.  She was gentle as she fought him.  She fought him with love though he would die at the end of her sword.  His hate and ambition were no match for graceful love.  And so as if she were tucking in her lover she gently poked her sword through the body of Mark Anthony looking him in the eye hoping only that he could read the message her own eyes contained within. 

     By morning there was joy across the land of Egypt for they had been spared of Rome's wrath and instead made an alliance with Rome’s new victorious young leader Octavious.  Xena spoke to the Egyptian people and to Octavious.  She reminded them all of what their union meant.  Xena reminded them of Cleopatra’s own sacrifice made and asked them to respect that her death should not be in vain.  Finally, Xena left it at that.  The battle was over, but inside the loss of her lover still tormented her.  She had sacrificed for Cleopatra the one who had sacrificed more than love for her nation.  And though Xena was torn apart inside Gabrielle loved her friend for the choice she had made more than she had enjoyed thrusting her own sword into hate itself.

How do you rate this article?


Brandy Seymour
Brandy Seymour

I enjoy politics and finance and filmmaking topics.

Xena Scrolls
Xena Scrolls

Xenaverse Timeline A Brief Overview In 1940 Dr. Janice Covington and Melinda Pappas the daughter of the late Mel Pappas joined forces on an archeological dig in Macedonia. What they uncovered were the first of over 100 ancient scrolls written by a bard from the ancient village of Podedia located in ancient Thrace. In the words of the late Dr. Covington, “These scrolls will revolutionize the way we look at the ancient world.”

Send a $0.01 microtip in crypto to the author, and earn yourself as you read!

20% to author / 80% to me.
We pay the tips from our rewards pool.