The Xena Scrolls: Scroll #111: Looking Death in the Eye

By Brandy Seymour | Xena Scrolls | 4 Jul 2021

The Xena Scrolls

By:   Gabrielle Bard of Podedia

Scroll  # 111:  Looking Death In The Eye

August, 43 B.C.

    Her celebrations at Thebes and Egypt were cut short because Xena the mighty warrior princess fought both night and day for the life of her newborn child as she continued to sing the rage of her Olympian foes.  The ceaseless battles finally drove her to the fates in search of answers.  There in the temple of the fates it was made known to Xena that because her child was to bring upon the twilight of the gods Xena must die in order to calm the storm of battle.  Their prophecy wasn’t completely understood at first.  Xena demanded of them a time that this was to happen, but the fates stated that there was no set time or day for this event. 

     As I entered the temple to join Xena I overheard these prophecies that the fates had revealed to Xena.  And when I looked into Xena’s eyes I could see that she was willing to give her life for her child if it would bring peace to Eve’s life.  But there had to be another way.  Xena’s death couldn’t possibly be the only way to resolve this conflict with the gods.  I aruged with Xena reminding her that she had always believed that we held our own fates within and that only we could determine what our own ultimate fate would be.  Xena did not disagree because she had figured out the true prophecy that the fates had revealed to her.  Xena did not have to die.  She only had to appear as if death had taken her.

     As we left the temple of the fates we set off toward Rome.  On our way there we were attacked by the gods once again.  They revealed themselves as their power ravaged the forest around us.  Burning flames shot through the air narrowly missing Xena’s child.  And then all was quiet as Xena knelt down and reached for her chakram.  She listened and suddenly she made her move.  The chakram bounced off of an invisible entity revealing to us that Hades was present.  He had sneaked up on us using the helmet of invisibility. 

     And then Athena appeared with her own army of followers.  Xena announced that Hades had been found, but Athena was not laughing.  Everyone standing there in the forest knew exactly who the real target was.  Eve was in mortal danger and the gods were passionately determined to bring death upon her.  And so the battle raged on as Xena took on Athena and I fought Hades.  Yet even the skill of a mighty warrior princess and her friend were no match for the power of the gods.  And just when it seemed that we would not survive this battle Xena had an idea.  We decided to return their helmet to them and so as I tossed it in the air Xena’s chakram destroyed it sending the power of the gods back upon them.

     After narrowly escaping with our lives we took shelter for the night in the company of Octavious the new leader of the Roman army and a new ally unknown to the gods.  As Xena and I treated our wounds from the battle I inquired her of something that Athena had said in battle.  She had suggested that Xena did not trust her friend with her child’s life and this bothered me.  But Xena denied that there was a lack of trust within reassuring me that it didn’t matter which of us had been protecting Eve.  We just got lucky this time.  However, Xena did have a plan to escape death though it seemed inevitable.  Her plan was simple, but first we had to pay a visit to the god of arts and crafts. 

     Upon entering his dark temple he was working on crafting a new helmet to replace the one that had been destroyed by Xena’s chakram in their most recent confrontation.  Xena entered quietly, but as he turned around he caught sight of her.  He was surprised to see her, but realized that this was his chance to get to Eve for if mother were here child couldn’t be too far away.  Xena taunted him into a battle.  He did not resist the temptation proclaiming that his hobby was to kill the mother and her precious child for the will of his brothers and sisters.  The fight between the two was intense as he picked up a large ax.  Xena blocked his first thrust with her sword, but he caught her on the recovery as she fell to the ground. 

     He narrowly missed her head as she dodged his next move.  Xena used her sword to rob him of his weapon and then returned masterfully to her feet.  He then grabbed for a large heavy chain knocking Xena across the temple into a pillar.  It was a mortally wounding blow and Xena’s body was wracked with pain.  As he approached to finish her off he asked her how it felt to be in the presence of death.  Xena responded by revealing to him that she had hoped death would come for her.  And then the beautiful Celesta appeared with her candle shining brightly.  She floated toward Xena gracefully.  And then it was my turn.  I captured Celesta with my own chain and then I was attacked by her brother the god of arts and crafts Hepheastus. 

     Our battle was short for his power was overwhelming as he knocked me to the ground.  He had his ax and was about to make his move on me when Xena stepped in the join our battle.  She was badly injured and could not heal for death had now been captured.  And though Xena suffered she fought with great strength as we were side by side.  Together two friends defeated the wrath of one god sending him down into a bottomless fiery pit.  After defeating Hepheastus we took our prize in hiding. 

     Xena’s plan was a simple one.  We had to capture the essence of death from Celesta’s tears, but gathering that essence was not a simple task.  Late in the night in camp as I sang to Eve Xena challenged Celesta.  Celesta could not understand why two people who had once saved her life were now going to take it.  She was seemingly disappointed in the current actions which we had partaken.  Xena realized that if she did not act soon Celesta might figure out the implications of our plan so she set up an argument with Death.  Xena told Celesta that motherhood had made her harder.  Celesta was still not convinced that giving birth to a child would constitute such a dark change within Xena  who had been known for fighting on the good side.  Death did not realize that she was only a pawn within a much larger scheme. 

     Celesta continued to plead with Xena reminding her that death should not be feared, but embraced for it’s purpose was to relieve the suffering of mortals, and to only take them when it was their rightful time.  Xena suddenly became angered at Celesta’s weak plea for release.  She shot back at Celesta reminding her that her son Solan was taken by the hands of death.  One could feel Xena’s emotional pain as she recalled the loss of her son at my daughter’s hand.  Hope had been the one who had decided that it was Solan’s rightful time.  This memory was a painful reminder of the suffering that death had caused in both of our lives.  Xena continued as she brought up the death of Marcus her lover, and of Lyceus her beloved brother.  She spoke of how much Lyceus had meant to her.  Our game of pain against the wrath of death had turned into an emotional waterfall of anguish. 

     I tried to interrupt Xena reminding her that it may not be possible for an immortal like Celesta to understand the pain of suffering because indeed suffering ended for those who were taken from us, but for those left behind it had only just begun.  Xena refused to let up.  She was determined to make Celesta realize what the pain of loss felt like for if she did not succeed in obtaining death’s tears then her plan to save Eve would not be possible and Xena knew that she could not bare the pain of losing another child.  Xena tried another angle.  She used Celesta’s brother Hades asking Celesta to imagine what it would be like without him.  Celesta was getting closer to understanding the pain of loss within the lives of mortals, yet she still would not shed a tear.  Xena tried one more angle.  She asked Celesta to imagine what it would be like for Hades to lose her.  And then it happened.  The essence of death trickled down from Celesta’s shimmering eyes. 

     Xena gently collected the tears from the face of Death for safe keeping.  But our plan was still incomplete.  I reminded Xena that though we may become immortal as Death’s candle burned out, the other gods would be certain to inflict eternal pain and suffering to all.  No one would be able to heal.  Then Xena realized that they would start with those most vulnerable and so she sent me to defend.  Xena sent me to find Joxer.  I ran into him at a local tavern and as always he was drinking and telling stories to all of the patrons.  When he noticed that I had come in he greeted me immediately, but our reunion did not last long for Athena’s army had followed me.  Joxer was unaware of the danger he was facing flirting with the warrior women.  I played along knowing what it was that I had to do.

     Suddenly Athena and Hades appeared before us.  I drew my weapons and thrust forward ready to battle them.  Athena swiftly moved toward me with a boot to the face.  For a brief moment there was a strange pain and then I realized that if I fought to the death that I would not die, but suffer an agonizing physical pain.  Athena then went for Joxer certain to get the information she desired about Xena and her child.  Joxer bravely stood up to her though he quickly asked for mercy.  I then revealed to Athena and Hades that Xena was planning to take Eve to the ocean.  The information was not enough for Hades as he prepared to deal me my own mortal pain to suffer.  But Athena warned him that his infliction upon me would be no good to them.  They needed a healthy bargaining chip. 

     I was taken back to camp where Xena had been expecting my arrival with Athena and the other gods.  She mocked them with little fear reminding them that Celesta’s time was just about to expire as the candle of death was about to burn itself out.  Xena was sarcastically gleeful as she invited them to join her in a celebration of immortality.  But then Athena reminded Xena that though she and Eve would be immortal as Celesta’s existence was fading the gods would hunt them down for eternity.  They were playing right into our hands.  I spoke up asking Xena to let the candle burn, but Xena insisted that I be released with the release of Death.  I joined Celesta upon the parked cart upon which Death had been perched sitting still bound by her restraints.  Upon Celesta's release Ares the god of war suddenly appeared upon the cart sitting next to Xena.  He asked Athena for a head start in the race against Eve, but Athena refused.  Xena flipped onto the parked cart grabbing the reins of the horses and we were off.  As we sped through the forest in the hours of the early morning Ares again as he had many times before asked Xena for her love, but as always Xena refused him coldly.  Ares was disappointed yet again at her rejection of him and then he quickly vanished from the cart accompanied by love's frustration.

     Xena coaxed the horses again as we gained more speed.  We were being followed by Athena’s army of gods from all sides.  It was almost time to complete our mission as we approached the edge of the land.  There standing before us was the presence of Hades as we prepared to do battle against the raging foe.  Xena and I now found ourselves looking death in the eye.  Suddenly there was blast of power streaming through the air narrowly missing the head of Xena ; 6 @ ……. .. . . … ..       

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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.”

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