The Xena Scrolls: Scroll #119: Legacy

By Brandy Seymour | Xena Scrolls | 1 Jul 2021

The Xena Scrolls

By:  Gabrielle Bard of Podedia

Scroll # 119:  Legacy

June 17 B.C.


     As I take a breath within this moment I do not know how it shall all end.  Shall the greater good and its justice take precedence over a soul that once shun with the bright light of hope and determination.  Only the sands of the hour of time shall reveal what the fate of this darkness which has inevitably come upon the once passionate burning flame to end the cycle of violence.

     This journey began on a lighter thought.  After my seemingly conquering one demon within Xena had suggested that we take a break for a while, and rest before returning to the path of our ultimate quest which has always been for the cause of the greater good.  Nothing in life has mattered so much to me than to fight for that cause alongside the warrior princess.  It has been my only reason for fighting through all of the things that I have seen, and all of the things that I have done.  But this adventure that my heart and soul seeked so long ago has come at a price greater than I could ever have imagined.

     Xena and I had meant to travel along the coast of North Africa, yet the conditions soured into a blustering sand storm in which we found ourselves lost and out of touch.  I was not happy about this.  I was tired, and I was hurting.  And so when the sands finally let up Xena and I found an abandoned bathing hole to enjoy one of the few of life’s little pleasures.  Bathing is one of the few things left which can soothe this restless soul and so a warm hot bath was just what was ordered.  And as always after this small blissful moment I felt once again refreshed within for somehow I was reminded either by the bath or by Xena’s sarcasm that fighting for the cause of the greater good holds much more beauty than can be imagined by anyone who has not taken up arms to defend it.  As I returned to suit I took one look at the abyss around us and saw a little bit of beauty in the peaceful silence of it all.

     But this peaceful quiet of the dessert did not last as it erupted into the familiar sounds of battle.  As always Xena could not resist investigating.  She lived for battle for it was her determined way in this life, and nothing in the world could ever force her to turn and look the other way.  There were times that I wished that we could just forget that we had ever heard those sounds and this time had been one of them.  But my loyalty to Xena always kept me in check of ever questioning Xena’s instincts and so we jumped upon our horses dressed in weapons ready for a fight.  Again I followed Xena into battle as I had done against my better judgment many times before.

     We approached the desolate hills and we looked down into the valley below.  What we saw reminded me of a time when we jumped in to help Ulysses against those nasty pirates in order to even the odds as Xena would always put it.  And so we rode into action immediately without a second thought.  There were two groups of nomadic people’s feuding against one other.  The thing to remember is that there is a certain a rush that one feels when one rides into battle.  It’s like your blood races through your body uncontrollably.  Like a passionate rage ready to take its prey.  We were going in for the kill, but we really knew nothing of the situation.  We took the side of the underdog as we entered into this battle.  The underdog had been surrounded by men in dark wardrobe upon horseback fighting the nomadic people in the white wardrobe.  There was almost something symbolic about it in a way.  It was the dark battling against the light.  Naturally I wanted to choose the light for it felt most natural to me, but as the battle raged on I felt myself enter into a grey area.

     This grey area had not been unknown to me for I had entered it before, but this time there was something distinctly different about it.  I had leapt off of my horse at full gallop attacking the new found rival knocking him to the ground.  I moved to my feet fighting like a passionate dancer upon the stage.  Across the battlefield was Xena my mentor.  She was lovely as always, but heavier than I.  Xena’s style was not that of a dancer, but of a charging bull.  Yet there was a sense of love with every stroke of the sword as it moved from one victim to the next.  Xena did not choose to kill anyone during this battle for her instincts did not direct it.  This battle had only been for fun and for sport.  For me it was something very different.

     I pulled my sais weapons into the defensive position.  I was in control of my motion and the timing was perfect.  Everything about me flowed.  My body, my mind, my soul, and spirit were working together to perfect the art of the warrior although I was nowhere near completely mastering it the way Xena had already done.  I was leaps and bounds behind, and just as I thought of this I felt a fast approaching physical presence from behind so I spun around to defend.  A one-on-one confrontation between me and my rival and then he began to feel a bit overpowering.  Instinctively I threw him to the ground and drew my weapon to the offensive, but just as I was about to go in for the kill something inside me pulled me from this warrior balance.  For a moment I thought to myself what if this man is not really the enemy?  What if choosing to kill him rather than to just disable him is the wrong choice?  What will the repercussions be to me beyond this moment in the heat of battle?

     After this hesitation from deep inside of me I quickly turned my weapon back upon the defensive and struck him out cold.  At least I knew he would eventually wake up with nothing more than a nasty migraine.  At least I was certain that he would wake up.

     The battle ended soon after this moment of question and Xena and I felt very energized.  In fact, we were proud of what we had accomplished here.  We had helped someone as we always did and we usually made some of our closest friends this way.  And as cruel as life can be making new friends is essential order to replace those who have perished at the hands of the darker side. 

     Our rejoicing was seemingly as short lived as our new found allies for the leader was not happy with our deciding to intervene.  She scolded us for entering a battle that was not rightfully ours to fight in.  Xena and I were insulted because for the first time someone had been ungrateful for our sacrifice.  The leader of the lights explained that those who did not choose their battles wisely were certain to meet an early demise.  I remembered Xena once giving me that same advice about choosing your battles wisely.  Xena had not entered this battle in haste.  I knew this and was quick and ready to defend my friend’s actions and decision.

     As Xena and I stood before this ungrateful woman I urged Xena that we should just go.  It was obvious that our services were not needed nor appreciated.  As we turned to leave the woman again scolded Xena accusing her of being a fraud.  She had heard Xena’s name carelessly escaping from my lips.  Again I came to defend my friend.  I couldn’t believe the attitude of this person.  It was something we had never encountered before.  When I confirmed that this indeed was the “legendary Xena.”  She still didn’t believe me.  She mocked me by referring to me as the “battling bard Gabrielle.”  This was a shocking revelation for I had never heard anyone refer to me in that way before.  How did she even know about me?  Xena was self-explanatory, but me? 

     I returned her sarcasm with my own as I confirmed that I was indeed Gabrielle, and that it was a long story as to how Xena could even be walking the earth alive and well twenty-five years in passing.  This female leader still did not believe, and who really cared anyway.  It didn’t really matter except for now we had been challenged.  It was definitely a first, and I did not expect that it would be the last.  So I naturally rose to the challenge as always.  This was a battle of wits now which was something that I had always prided myself on.  Xena allowed me to do most of the talking since she had always known me to be an excellent talker.  I went with it and then the woman mocked Xena’s chackram claiming that it couldn’t be the legendary Xena that stood before her for she hadn’t even used her chakram in battle.  With pride and contempt Xena replied that it had not been necessary for her to use it in this particular battle.

     Naturally our latest rival was not buying that one either.  So I urged Xena to show her exactly how her little silver round killing thing worked.  She sprung into action whipping out the metal piece deflecting it off of a nearby dessert rock and splitting the sword of our challenger.  And then of course the chakram came back to its master as always only this time she added a little zing to its capture.  She bounced it off of her boot as it hung itself gracefully back upon her hip.  The chakram had come to rest after its dance.  Xena looked to me with a large triumphant grin knowing that the two of us had won this battle of wits as we had won the battle of brawn. 

     Once again we were sailing high upon our pride until we looked to see that our new found friends, rivals, and enemies had bowed down before us as if we were Egyptian royalty.  What an amazing unexpected turn of events this was.  The next thing we knew we found ourselves being waited on with a most gracious hospitality.  The nomads now welcomed us with open arms and excitement for we were going to be their saviors.  The leader introduced herself as Kaheena, and Xena was certain to remind me that none of their gifts was to be refused no matter how unappealing or unappetizing they may have been.  Of course we really did not know what we had gotten ourselves into, but then again we never know.  The fates weave their tangled web for us, and we just do the best that we can with their mess.

     After receiving many gifts and some strange delicacies Kaheena spoke of an enemy that Xena and I would help them defeat.  I assumed immediately that it was the nomads of the dark wardrobe, but was immediately informed that they were merely rivals and nothing more.  Instead Kaheena spoke of a more deadly challenge yet it was one that Xena and I had confronted on many past occasions.  She spoke of a people that came from across the sea and invaded their homelands only to hunt them down and destroy them.  Xena and I knew exactly who she was talking about.  The Romans were the only people that would be capable of this kind of violence, lust for power, and hunger for complete control. 

     In fact, Kaheena had said that the Romans had begun to build their roads across the dessert, and then continued her story informing us that her tribe had tried to form alliances with other nomads in the area like the ones they feuded with earlier in the day.  Yet it was  seemingly impossible without peace between these separated nomadic peoples with so many differences of opinion and custom.  After being bathed in glory and showered with gifts we were offered to lie with Kaheena’s cousins. She insisted upon this being that it was one of the many hospitable customs of her tribe. But as pleasurable as they may have been to us we had to turn them away.  In fact, I told them several more stories about the battling bard of Podedia, and Xena the legendary Warrior Princess including the customs of Amazon chastity.  This of course satisfied their customs and committed admiration.

    That night Xena and I were thoroughly flattered as we lied down to bed.  I myself could not believe that these people hundreds maybe even thousands of miles away from our home were sharing and enjoying the scrolls that I had written seemingly so long ago.  It was as if they had been talking about a different Gabrielle.  Of a girl that I no longer knew.  Kaheena had been the one who had mentioned that my scrolls had been the inspiration to them as children and now they were passing on my wonderful stories to their own children.  When I wrote those stories I had been full of wonder and of hope.  Now that power of hope had bled through my writings into the lives of these nomadic dessert people.  It was very satisfying and pleasing for me to know this. 

     As I thought of these things Xena reminded me of the situation at hand.  We were now on a new assignment.  It was one very familiar to us.  The Romans were once again on our minds as they had been in the past, but if anyone was up to this job it was Xena and I.  If anyone knew the Romans well enough to conquer them it was us.  Knowing that we would be coming into a major battle again soon I recalled my first good day in battle against the Romans.  I was reminded of the day that I watched a father perish in battle to save his wife and son’s future.  There was still a part of me that knew I could have saved Phlanagus from death, and that brought me back to my dilemma of the most recent battle earlier in the day.  I inquired of Xena about those moments of uncertainty of instinct in battle when it came to the kill.  This inquiry did not last long for Xena scolded me reminding me that hesitation was not an option.  Her answer was to go with instincts only and if that wasn’t a good enough answer to the question then pain would be the end result.  I thought of physical pain and not emotional of course.

     Early yesterday morning Xena and I awoke to more gifts and admirers.  Upon our arrival to the camp of the dark nomads we met their paternal leader Tezire.  He was uncertain of the visit at first considering the events of the previous day, but when Kaheena explained that she and her tribe had brought the legendary Warrior Princess he paused.  Tezire was not completely trusting and did not believe that Xena the warrior princess was actually found roaming the desserts of North Africa.  Xena was insulted that he did not believe just as Kaheena had not believed.  But then his younger son stepped forward.  He had been a witness to the awesome fighting power of the legendary Xena and her battling bard.  After hearing the exciting testimony of his young son we met with Tezire and Kaheena in an attempt to hopefully work out a peace treaty.  A union between these two tribes was necessary so that we might be able to defeat the Romans more efficiently and more easily. 

     As the details were being worked out between Xena, the dark, and the light I met a most peculiar young boy.  In fact, this was the young boy whom had given the testimony to his father of what he had witnessed the day before.  He was full of wonder, of life, and of light and hope.  He almost reminded me of someone from my distant past.  This moment of interaction with him was so familiar to me yet I couldn’t exactly remember why.  He was so curious about me, my scrolls, my weapons, and he complemented me to no end.  His name was Kara.  It was a beautiful name and its rhythm fluttered with the same enthusiasm as did his spirit.  Kara’s admiration of my storytelling was apparent as he doted on my understanding of the essence of battle.  He inquired if I had realized that even in my earliest work that I was aware of this.  I was flattered by this more than anything, but when I had written my scrolls I had done it for the pure adventure and enjoyment never realizing that they would come across so powerfully. Kara then hastily picked up one of my sais pleased that it was the kind of weapon that would not kill.  Of course he picked it up by the defensive side.  I gingerly took it from him showing him that it could indeed kill.  Kara asked me if I would teach him how to use these weapons.  Again I was flattered that someone would want to be my apprentice as I had been Xena’s.  In fact, Kara had referred to my style of fighting as intelligent and restrained in comparison to Xena’s strong approach. 

     He then insisted upon washing my feet for me.  At that moment I realized who he had reminded me of.  This was me when I first met Xena.  It was the same passionate fire.  This was same naive view of what being a warrior and taking up arms was all about.  It was the same haze of admiration I had once carried for Xena.  Yet it was so very eager to learn the ways and the tricks of the trade.  A huge part of me wanted to refuse him because I knew the other side.  It made me realize why Xena had tried so desperately to leave me behind.  She saw in me that same bright light which shun so brightly upon my spirit so long ago.  And then as I was about to reflect on all of this Xena summoned me to join her.  We were going to go get information from the Romans.  Naturally the two nomadic leaders wanted to be a part of this mission and so did my new shadow, but Xena was commanding and firm letting everyone know that this detail could be handled by Xena and I alone.

     And so we traveled across the dessert to pay a visit to the Roman governor.  He wasn’t far across the valleys.  It was only a few hours of travel.  During our journey Xena asked me about Kara.  She wanted to know what had happened between us back at the camp.  I explained to her that Kara had wanted me to teach him to use the sais.  Xena stroked my ego a little more by telling me that he had chosen a very good teacher.  This led me to comment on how strange it was for me to be known more as a warrior and less as a bard than I had before.  Xena wanted to know if that was a good thing for me.  A part of me was certain that indeed it was for I had strived for that kind of recognition for so long, but there was another part of me that wasn’t so certain.  That part of me wondered if maybe I had lost myself somehow, but I did not share this with Xena. 

     When we arrived at the Roman camp Xena insisted that I play the part of the slave girl while she got to be the glamorous aristocratic wife.  We entered freely with little security.  It wasn’t like in the days of Caesar and Pompeii.  Everyone of those Romans was paranoid, but not this man.  He was quite confident and cool about his situation.  He did not feel at all threatened.  Of course he did not realize that this woman standing before him was the legendary Xena.  Xena gave him a false family name and claimed to be of the fifth generation of one of Rome’s most well-known aristocratic families.  She introduced herself as a wife of the CVO family.  Xena claimed to have come to investigate investment possibilities in this new territory.  The nomad situation was brought up and it was revealed to us of how the governor was planning on remedying the situation.  He had planned on three legions to pass through the narrow valley.  It would be a surprise attack which would crush them indefinitely.  Of course I spoke a little more than my part and the governor suggested that I be punished.  Prior to that one of his officers scoffed at the idea that Xena would be alive and well to aid the nomadic peoples.  In fact, she was referred to as Caesar’s whore.  But I suppose that is how Caesar viewed her.  It was obvious that the Romans did not have their legends straight.  But this was to Xena’s advantage and she knew it well.

     On our way back to Kaheena’s camp we ran into another of those nasty dessert sand storms.  I wanted to stop for being pelted with whirling sand was very uncomfortable and it was difficult to see two steps in front of oneself.  Xena insisted that we keep trudging forward.  Our fate would be much worse if we were to stop for we would be buried alive within the cloud of sand. These were definitely some of the most unpleasant moments of being a warrior.  Playing the part was one adventure, but this was quite another hardship.  And then something beyond imagination came to pass.  I lost the reigns of my horse for a moment as I was knocked to the ground by the force of the wind.  I tried to rise back to my feet quickly, but I was very disoriented.  I was lost within a whirlwind of confusion and pain.  I tried to focus so that I could continue on this simple journey between one point and another, but I was finding it very difficult.  I heard Xena calling out for me.  That was when I realized I could not see her anymore.  She was far from me.  It was seemingly the farthest she had ever been.  I called back desperately hoping that maybe she would be able to help me find myself within this mess. 

    And then I saw a figure emerging from within the shadows of the storm.  It didn’t look like Xena.  The shadow was dark and mysterious.  I walked up closer to get a better look hoping that my mind was only playing tricks on me, but it wasn’t for Xena then appeared before my eyes calling out my name frantically.  The figure was approaching from behind her right shoulder.  She wasn’t ready and seemingly could not sense the presence.  I looked as the figure raised an arm and then I saw it glistening in the sand.  It was a blade that I had seen.  Instinctively I ran for the figure.  I couldn’t allow my friend to be slaughtered by the darkness.  She was all there was in life.  She was my reason for getting up every day to fight against evil. 

     Then it happened.  I whirled around with the enemy and drew my weapon to the offensive thrusting it into the firm chest of Xena’s attacker.  Yet as my weapon entered something about this moment didn’t feel right.  My friend’s life had been in my hands.  Xena saw the whole thing.  She saw the mistake that I had made.  This was the dilemma we had discussed the night before.  The moment of truth had come for me and my instincts had lied.  As soon as I dropped the enemy to the ground with my weapon into his body I had to see who it was that I had taken.  When I unmasked the villain tragedy struck.  This was not an enemy at all.  The life I had taken was of completely pure innocence.  I had taken a gift from the world rather than a burden.  As Kara lie dying in my arms he was shocked to see that his attacker had been the one whom he had admired most.  My name slid from his lips gracefully and confused.  His beautiful name released itself from my lips and then I felt him take his final breath.  Death washed over him quickly and in his hand he had been clutching a scroll which spoke of peace being reached between two tribes at war with one another.  Someone had blown out his candle.  I had distinguished Kara’s light with just one wrong choice.  A single thrust of my sais had been his demise.

     Xena and I returned to our abandoned bathing hole.  The place that had given me solace only a few days before was now the place in which Xena was washing blood lust from my own hands.  I could not believe that this was me who had made the terrible mistake of taking the life of an innocent.  Not only had I made a terrible mistake I had committed a crime.  I had murdered someone.  I had murdered an innocent.  Xena felt my pain and wanted to console me, but what could she have said to me?  She agreed that she never thought that she would see the day that she would be washing lustful blood from my palms, but today was that day.  Inside my heart was drowning and my soul was suffocating.  What could be done to redeem me for this crime?  Betrayal and lies are one thing.  Killing one’s own evil child, or avenging one’s murdered parents are other things, but killing for the sake of killing.  Playing God was not something that I had the authority to do, and I knew this.

     Xena then insisted that I return to Kaheena’s camp.  She would take Kara’s body back to his father and the dark camp and she would explain everything.  I wanted to be the one to tell Tezire, but Xena would not allow it.  She left me to deal with my mistake.  I was feeling very alone yet my body was still energized with the nervous energy of a fresh kill.  When Xena returned to me back at Kaheena’s came I was eager and hopeful to know what had happened with Tezire.  According to Xena it had not gone well at all, but how else should one expect the father of his slain son to react.  I was so ashamed of my action.  How could the one who once professed to end the cycle of violence expect her murderous actions to be forgiven? I argued with Xena to let me deal with Tezire, but she refused firmly reminding me that death was the penalty for my crime in the land of the dessert. 

     That was the breaking point for me.  I couldn’t hold this in.  I had to tell and I had to do it my way.  The guilt was beyond my control.  Xena revealed to me that she had lied to them to protect me by saying that it had been the Romans who had slaughtered Kara.  She had made up that story because at first Tezire had blamed Kaheena for Kara’s death.  Xena’s protective lies did not make me feel any better.  As we argued about my fate Kaheena entered our tent to discuss the battle plans with Xena.  She alerted Xena of a valley to lure the Roman army into that would trap them into a battle with us.  Kaheena was just as hungry for the blood of the killer as was Tezire.  Xena tried to downplay the situation by confirming Kaheena’s good work in locating the perfect battle position.  Kaheena was pleased to receive Xena’s approval.

     But then as Xena tried to dissolve my guilt and her lie one of Kaheena’s men suddenly entered into the tent with a Roman which had been captured by the water hole.  He had been washing off his spear when he was captured.  The spear still had blood on it and to Kaheena it was certain proof of the Roman’s guilt.  I knew in my heart that he was condemned just the way Xena had been condemned by the villagers whom she tried to save against the mysterious hooded warrior so long ago.  And now Kaheena was ready for immediate punishment of the crime in order to restore faith with her new ally Tezire.

     I stood in the background of this lie watching and listening to it grow into a nightmare.  I knew that if I did not confess I would be responsible for not one innocent death, but two for this Roman had not killed Kara.  I was the guilty one.  Xena continued with the lie trying to save the Roman from certain death knowing that if she did not stop his execution from happening that I would confess.  She scolded Kaheena for picking a Roman at random for execution just to satisfy justice and grace with a new ally.  But Kaheena would not back down.  She insisted that even if the roman didn’t commit the crime someone else just like him did.  And that was when I realized what a dirty criminal I really was.  I realized that she would just execute him for an example and that he did not deserve to be executed for my crime.

     During this entire scene I had agonized.  I had wanted to tell the truth.  I could not lie about this, not even for Xena.  My guilt for killing Kara was enough.  I would not accept guilt for this man’s death if I could save him with my own life.  It was the moment of truth and just as they were about to take him out of the tent I stepped forward gravely and confessed to Kaheena that I was the murderer.  Xena looked to me knowing that I would confess, and she was concerned for the events to follow were beyond even the will of the warrior princess.  And because of Xena’s lie to save me Kaheena and Tezire were on their own once again to face the Roman army for Kaheena no longer trusted the legendary warrior princess.

     I was immediately taken to Tezire’s camp where I was shackled and imprisoned with the body of the murdered.  The room was lit with the candles and with the light of Kara’s eternal spirit.  His innocence permeated the tent as the pure white candles burned around his body.  I couldn’t help but see his face.  The look on his face when I had taken his life was frozen in my mind and every time I looked to the lifeless body before me I was haunted within.  For hours I was left with my guilt for killing him.  The shackles upon my wrists were as heavy as my heart.  It was as if my own heart were the shackles of eternal torture. 

     In the early morning hours while the darkness was still upon me Tezire entered the tent to honor his slain son.  He bowed down next to me and mourned his son quietly.  Then he turned to me unexpectedly and asked me how I felt.  At first I didn’t understand his question, but then he asked me how it felt to kill an innocent.  The only word I could find to describe it to him was unbearable, but it was beyond that for me.  When I tried to pour my heart out to him and to explain my mistake to him he did not want to listen.  But why should he listen.  Tezire’s face was full of vengeance as he threw his hand across mine.  He wanted revenge just as I had wanted revenge for my family only weeks before when my niece Sarah had been taken by the slaver Gurhkan.  Tezire said that if he had realized that I was a snake before he would have taken my life before I could have taken that of Kara.  He was firmly serious.  And then I realized that he was right.  I was a snake.  Then he left me to be alone with my heavy unbearable guilt. 

     I began to go over in my mind how I had gone from being the healing light to the dark slimy snake who could kill an innocent.  My path had begun with such excitement.  I had yearned to be a warrior like the one that had saved me and my village from the warlord Draco.  I recalled telling my sister Lila that I was leaving to join Xena, and then I remembered my journey to Amphipolis to join Xena.  My first adventurous encounter had been with a blind cyclops and I had told him a false story about hunting to kill the warrior princess in order to escape his wrath.  I recalled the first time Xena pulled me upon her horse Argo to join her on the path of the warrior, and then the time that I had played the part of Xena to save a village when I had almost lost her to a poison dart.  I thought of the time that Xena and I had helped stop a war and we had saved many lives.  In fact, I had almost died that day.  A part of me now wished that I had because in those days I was commended for my gifts of healing the soul and passion for saving innocent lives. 

     My first weapon had been one of defense only.  It had been the staff that Ephiny had given me when we had created peace between the Amazons and the Centaurs.  And then my thoughts went to my first painful loss along this path.  It had been my husband Perdicas.  I recalled what it felt like to have my heart ripped out by evil though recently my heart had been numb of this kind of pain for some time.  Callisto had been the evil in those days.  At the time I had thought that the only way to heal that pain was through blood.  And then I recalled that I had not drawn her blood though I had wanted revenge.  That time I had survived the cycle of violence and I lived with its pain.  But then I recalled my second test of which I had miserably failed.  I recalled my first kill when the evil Dahok had tricked me and taken my blood innocence giving me my child Hope.  My hand could still feel the knife and I could still see the blood dripping all over the blade down to my once pure innocent hands.  That kill had confused me.  It had led me to try to go against being a warrior.  I thought of my spiritual journey in India as a result of that experience and many others soon after it.  That was when I had met Eli the prophet who had given me a chance to choose the alternative life path of peace and of love.  That was when I had given up my first weapon the staff.

     Xena had not been pleased with that decision, but it was one she had to live with for a while.  My path of loving with a pure heart did not last long though.  I had once been the one who begged Xena not to become a monster if something had happened to me.  Instead I was put to that test when Xena had been paralyzed by her own chakram as evil triumphed over me again.  The monster within emerged as I had slaughtered several Romans trying to save my best friend.  In the end we were led to Caesar’s crosses.  All of that bloodshed at the end of my sword had been for nothing.

    But then later I had run into Eli again when he had resurrected us though the power of God.  And when I tried to rationalize his way to the way of the warrior I was put to the test by Eli himself.  That test I had failed as well for I had let the god of war Ares kill him.  After that all I could do was fight because there were no other answers to my burning questions within.

     My most recent test had been to resist blood vengeance at my own hand upon the man who had been responsible for the deaths of my mother and father.  I had come very close to thrusting that knife into the body of the evil Gurkhan, but instead I just beat him.  But even that wasn’t commendable.  I thought that if I killed him I would become him, but instead I killed an innocent.  Kara’s death rushed through my mind like an arrow through the shoulder.  The pain of knowing my grave mistake ached like a fresh battle wound being sown up carelessly only to be reopened.  My true mistake had not been killing an innocent.  My true mistake had been my choice to leave my path to end violence for that of a warrior who must embrace it.  And then I prayed that Xena’s prayer prayed so long ago for me, and my light to shine would be answered though my heavy burden had dissolved my own hopes as the last drops of wax fell from my candle. My heart had decided that it would be best that someone dissolve what little of me was left before any more damage could be done.

     As the sun rose early I was taken out to the execution grounds.  Inside I was already dead.  My captures led me to the grave which had been dug for me in the sand.  It was a deep grave and it looked lonely.  I was sluggish as I approached it dragging my feet for I didn’t have the strength in my heart to make the journey to my death.  Suddenly, we had reached the point of no return.  I looked down into the pit before me and then I was thrown into it.  They buried me within and I did not struggle for I deserved this death no matter how gruesome it may be.  At least death would free me from my guilt for all of the things I had done in my life.  Then I was left buried in the sand for several hours.  I looked around the dessert.  It was just as empty as I felt inside. 

     Finally the moment came.  Men came upon horse back with weapons which were meant to strike their criminals in the head.  My death would be by blunt objects to the head.  The more I envisioned this death the more fear rose within me.  There was still just a little part of me that did not want to die though I had committed this horrible crime.  I thought of Xena and of how my path had been to follow her.  As my executioners prepared to charge forward I realized that it was time to prepare to face my crime.  I had to die now.  They galloped toward me at full speed as the sand kicked up behind the hooves.  The men swung their weapons triumphantly above their heads as Tezire gave the command for execution. 

     There were the cries of death all around me as they beat the empty skulls and charged forward to take my life.  I did not close my eyes.  I faced my doom knowing that I must accept my sentence completely and with dignity.  Just before the execution squad reached me upon their horses something very miraculous happened.  The sound of the chakram approaching informed me that though I had lost hope for myself someone else still had hope for me.  Xena’s chakram sliced through the weapons of the execution squad protecting the last flicker of light from being blown out by the continuing cycle of violence. 

     And then after that another miraculous event occurred.  The warning horn blew informing the nomads that the Romans were just over the valley approaching for battle.  Immediately the nomadic people dropped the spectacle of my execution and retreated to regroup for the battle of their lives.  As soon as they dispersed Xena rode up on her horse and released me from the binds of my sandy grave.  A part of me was relieved that Xena still had hope for me, but a larger part of my heart still felt the heavy burden of Kara’s blood on my hands.

     Later that day we looked upon the valley where the nomads prepared for battle.  They were obviously not prepared to handle the Romans and had little inclination of the battle they would be engaging in.  Xena and I had experience on our side.  As we stood there we contemplated rejoining the nomads and leading them to victory.  But I wasn’t certain that I would be accepted by them after what I had done.  Xena had only lied, but I had killed one of their loved ones.  Xena tried to comfort me knowing what it was like to feel like giving up.  She had once felt that way and when I asked what changed things for her the legacy was revealed.  Xena said that it had been me, Gabrielle, who had been what changed things and turned life around for her.  Then she encouraged me and said that if anything my mistake would make me a stronger person, but I wasn’t so certain of it.

     Now here again was a chance for me to attempt to redeem myself for my mistakes.  So Xena and I rode into the nomadic army offering to help lead them against the Romans.  When Kaheena and Tezire tried to refuse us Xena reminded them that they didn’t have much of a choice considering the odds, the stakes, and the fact that without Xena there was little chance of survival against the approaching Roman legions.  Kaheena thought of this and she knew that Xena was right.  And so Xena was in command of yet another army.  She always seemed to revel in the roll of commander of the army.  But then again she was a talented seasoned warrior.  Who wouldn’t want Xena to lead them to victory?  As we prepared for battle we waited for the sandstorm to hit because Xena wanted to use that to our advantage.  The Romans were unfamiliar with this phenomenon of the dessert, but the nomads existed harmoniously with it.

     Just moments before the battle Kaheena was feeling uncertain of allowing Xena to lead.  She questioned the odds and doubted that victory was certain.  I once again came to Xena’s defense asking the ungrateful nomadic woman what more could she need if she had Xena on her side?  Then she looked to me and questioned the convenience of the arrival of the roman army just in time to save my skin.  She mocked me for writing such legendary stories about a warrior who could defeat entire legions single handedly.  It cut through me like a knife, but all of these stories had been true as Kaheena and Tesire were about to find out. 

     When the sun was in position the winds began to stir the sands of the dessert creating a cloud of blindness.  We could hear the Roman legions approaching.  They had taken the bait and were about to fall right into our trap.  Xena commanded everyone to bury themselves in the sand.  Quickly all warriors followed orders preparing for the legendary battle of their lives.  The Roman’s came blindly into the valley and the call to attack came from our strong leader.  The nomadic warriors popped out from beneath the sands and appeared within the cloud of darkness to attack the intruders.  Swords clashed against metal, as Roman warriors fell quickly to the wrath of the storm.  They were totally unsuspecting of this and their blood ran thick through the dessert across the sands.  During this battle I had chosen to fight it with a staff for I knew that there would be no chance of my killing anyone and it freed me of having to choose life or death for my opponent.  The ebb and flow of the blood through my warrior veins charged me with the savage energy needed to survive a battle against our familiar Roman foes.  Xena was graceful as she moved smoothly from one end of the battlefield to the other tearing through soldier after soldier.  Her warrior cries were like music playing and it set the tone for the rest of the instruments within this well-orchestrated song of the warrior.  There was something strangely harmonious about it all. 

     But then suddenly there was a break in the song.  Across the battlefield I caught sight of Tezire.  He was involved in hand-to-hand combat with the enemy.  Tezire was winning, but just behind him I caught sight of death approaching.  Another Roman soldier was advancing with his sword raised about to go in for the kill.  I could see it clearly in his eyes and then I was reminded of the day I could have saved another warrior, but instead I froze in battle.  This time I didn’t freeze.  I reacted quickly using my staff to take out the approaching enemy.  Tezire never felt the presence of death coming from behind and in that moment of action realized that he had been saved by the one who had taken his precious son.  There was a long moment of time in which we were frozen.  It was like nothing else around us was happening.  It was just me and Tezire.  We shared a mutual moment of relief.  My relief of knowing that maybe I was redeemed and forgiven and his moment of contemplating forgiveness for the murder.  But this moment snapped back into battle when I realized that we had to stand up continuing to fight.  I urged Tezire to come along with me as I reached out to him.  He took my hand and we charged in together to finish a battle that we had begun together.

      Xena’s plan played out perfectly as we swiftly defeated the Roman legions.  And later that night we had returned to camp with the nomadic peoples.  As Xena and I sat by the warm fire I admitted to her that I didn’t think that the day was going to end so well, but instead it had turned out to be just another good day in battle.  She agreed with me.  Then I asked her why she came back for me going against the will of the greater good.  Xena explained to me that sometimes there are circumstances in a warrior’s life that go beyond the call of the greater good.  She confessed that I was the one thing that she had always put before that cause no matter what the stakes.  Then I asked her if she would have saved me if it had been my choice instead of hers.  Xena confirmed that even if it had been my choice to allow my execution that she would have gone against it.  She could never let me die if there was something within her power that she could do to spare me.

     Tezire had approached us and I knew that he had heard every moment of our conversation.  He came to thank me for saving his life and tried to comfort me from my heavy guilt.  Tezire said that we were now even for my deed to him.  Because of my swift reaction I had saved his life and that was how he had come to understand why I had killed Kara.  I had been protecting my friend.  But I knew in my heart that though I had spared his life we would never be even for my mistake did not allow me to bring Kara back to him, and so did Tezire.  Yet Tezire must have seen something that I could not see within myself for he told me that Kara would have been a great warrior just like me. And so there in lies my own legacy yet it is a legacy that I still do not fully understand.   

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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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