The Xena Scrolls; Scroll #132: When Fates Collide

By Brandy Seymour | Xena Scrolls | 6 Jul 2021

The Xena Scrolls

By:  Gabrielle Bard of Podedia

Scroll#132:  When Fates Collide

October, 14 B.C.

     Who can define the fine line between what is reality and what is only a wild story imagined within a nightmare.  We don’t really know if we are in life or if we are within something greater than our own existence.  Gabrielle awoke in a strange new world uncertain if what she had encountered had been just another wild dream or an alternate reality.

     It began with a simple success.  The humble writings of a great playwright of the Roman theater.  Yet really it began much earlier than that.  In fact, the time was really unaware of itself for existence made little more sense the than gibberish of a young child. 

      There was the great Roman Emperor whom they called Caesar.  He was the greatest of any emperor that had come before him, and most certainly would be the greatest thereafter.  He was known as the one who conquered the barbarian nations and expanded Rome to its greatest imperial boundaries ever.  Although the great Caesar did not accomplish this alone.  There was also his wife the great empress and conqueror as well. 

      Before her encounter with Caesar she had been known across the valleys as Xena the Warrior Princess.  Yet the day would come upon her when the fates would weave within their complex tapestries a time where the two great warriors would meet and unite to conquer all of Greece, Britannia, the Norse, the African continent, and finally they would set their sights on the great eastern country of Chin.

      These two had a passionate love affair together, yet a passion greater for the Roman empire itself.  In fact, it was a well-known fact that Caesar loved Rome even greater than he did his wife The Empress.  The Empress was aware of this, but was secure in her position alongside Caesar.  Yet there was something very humble and mysterious about the great Caesar.  And the secret behind that was yet to be discovered by his faithful wife the conqueror, and a simple unsuspecting playwright who lived in a tiny villa by the sea.

     On opening night of a play titled “Fallen Angel” the playwright crossed threads with the great Xena for the first time.  It was a strange uncanny meeting.  There was something electrifying about the tall, stunningly beautiful, and powerful warrior woman.  She had the realm of darkness surrounding her yet there was a certain light that the playwright sensed within her trying to free itself.  The bard also felt a darkness within herself being lifted as she found herself conversing with the most powerful woman upon the earth.

      The woman was in awe over the playwright’s work on Fallen Angel and inquired of the bard’s great inspiration.  Gabrielle replied that she was unaware of how she received inspiration other than beyond the words that were mysteriously given to her within from a power greater than herself.  It was hardly explainable.  Yet as the bard was humble over her current success the warrior woman was very interested in the entire theme of sacrificing everything including one’s own life for the sake of  love.

      Xena brought up a specific scene in which the young man who was in love with his traveling companion sacrificed himself for the other.  During the scene the two had been crucified finding themselves within a place so beautiful that it could not be described with any human words.  It could only be performed from the soul emanating a compassionate love.  The place was called heaven though it was greater than anyone could have ever imagined the Elysian Fields to be.  In this place loving beings known as angels existed.  There were good angels and bad angels fighting the wraths of good against evil as the people of earth do. 

     Actually both men had been in love with one another for many years upon a journey of friendship they had traveled together.  It had been a difficult life journey and in death they had been violently separated by mistake.  One of them fell down into the fires of hell while the other was taken safely to heaven.  And though Xenan went to heaven he was broken hearted for he was without Gabriel for eternity.  Xenan could not have this so he sacrificed himself and descended down upon hell with the wings of a powerful angel of light to rescue Gabriel from the wrath of evil.

      And that was what had touched the Warrior Princess.  It was the fact that a man had such a powerful love for another man that he sacrificed his own eternal paradise.  It had been an unselfish act.  The most unselfish act that one could ever perform for another.  Xenan not only helped aid in the rescue of Gabriel, his eternal best friend, but he took on the pain and burden of one of his greatest enemies in life.  It was as if Xena had been breathing new life after being touched by the bard’s play.   And because she had been touched by the bard’s words she was intrigued that someone had that kind of insight to write about something that none of us upon the earth truly understand or have ever felt.  The bard felt very blessed to have been given these words by the greater force which guides the world and the souls which reside within it.

     Xena and Gabrielle spent several minutes chatting.  In fact, Gabrielle had explained to Xena where she had started.  She had been from a little village in Greece called Podedia, and there had been a time when her life had been less than successful.  Gabrielle described her days as a slave to warlords, and she spoke of how the day finally came when she had been freed by a great peaceful leader from the east known as Lao Ma.  Gabrielle explained how Lao Ma had seen her light and helped  her restore it after many years of being battered and torn apart.  The bard had been free for only a few short years and in those few short years she had made a name for herself in the Roman theater.  She revealed to Xena that she would be forever indebted to Lao Ma. 

     Xena realized that it was her touching stories performed for all to experience which had allowed the young playwright to succeed beyond her beginnings and hardships.  The empress only wished that she had crossed paths with this playwright sooner for she could have rescued her from all of the unnecessary hardships that Gabrielle had faced on her path to the great Roman theater.  Xena also had come to another realization at that moment.  She realized that her plans with Caesar to betray Chin were not right.  For the first time Xena realized that to conquer all was not the right path.  She had spent her entire life in search of external power to fill her voids within, but it was this playwright that filled them just by being there before her.

     And just as Xena’s excitement made itself known Caesar stepped in to interrupt the two women reminding her of the reality of her duties to him.  Earlier that morning Caesar had ordered Lao-Ma’s peace messengers to be assassinated.  They had been executed by the great shamaness Alti who possessed powers beyond those known to anyone.  She had the ability to see into peoples futures, their pasts, and beyond.  It was a gift yet Caesar had been warned by Xena that Alti was quite an ambitious ally.  However, Caesar took Xena’s warnings too lightly.

     Later that night after the play Caesar wanted to lie with Xena, but Xena refused for she had been touched inside and could think of nothing other than her encounter with the playwright.  Caesar could see that Xena recognized Gabrielle from some other time and place.  He became slightly jealous, but tried desperately not to show it.  Caesar then excused himself from their bed chambers to attend to the business he and his loyal servant Brutus had planned for Chin. 

     As Xena watched Caesar leave she caught sight of someone across the way through the open window.  Her interest was sparked as she put her hair brush down onto the table and walked across to the window.  The night air was soft like the words of the playwright.  And there standing upon the balcony was the young playwright in deep contemplation.  The bard was still feeling touched by the chance meeting she had had with The Empress.  She had felt something that she didn’t understand.  It was a strong force that drew her to the presence of The Empress as if she had known her for a lifetime.  As Gabrielle stood upon her balcony of thought Xena watched her and wondered what the bard was thinking.  She wondered if the bard was feeling as strange as she was feeling inside.  The bard felt that wonderful glowing presence once more as she thought about it.  She felt it so strongly as if it were right before her like in the theater earlier that night.  And as she looked out across the balcony her eyes met those of the presence which she had sensed.  Fear grabbed her inside realizing that what she felt earlier that night had been real, but what kind of real she did not know.

     At first she gazed back in awe of Xena, but soon stepped back and away realizing that she was unworthy by class to be fantasizing about a friendship with the empress.  And just as Gabrielle cowered away Xena was about to speak out to her, but was interrupted by a dark force.  It was the force of the shamaness Alti.  She had taken the warrior by surprise.  Alti had grabbed Xena by the neck and lifted her into the air.  She was intending to kill the empress to take her place upon Caesar’s throne.  Neither woman was worthy of Caesar for neither loved Rome the way Caesar did.  Xena loved Rome only for the bloodlust it fed for her losses in life, and Alti loved Rome only for the sake of having all the power of the world in the palm of her evil hand.

     Alti was at the height of her glory as she revealed to Xena what she had already known.  She revealed to The Empress a lifetime of experiences that were supposed to happen, but never did.  Alti did not know why the tapestry of fate had been woven wrongly, but she knew what the tapestries were supposed to have patterned for Xena and the playwright.  And though Xena was at the brink of her own assassination she was intrigued by what Alti had revealed to her.  All of those feelings toward the playwright were beginning to make sense to her though she would not be able to share them. 

     Just before Xena was to take her last breath of life Caesar entered the bed chamber and caught Alti in her act of betrayal.  She was taken by surprise and under the custody of Caesar saving Xena’s life.  Alti dropped her power over Xena who was barely able to breathe.  Not only had Xena known the playwright, but she had also known Alti, and Alti began to realize her true connection to The Empress.  Caesar held a weapon to Alti demanding of her a plea of pardon for her actions against Xena, but Xena stepped in suggesting that the reason Caesar could not kill Alti was because she wanted to be the avenger of her attempted assassin.  It was ordered by Xena to be a public display for the next sun.  And thus Alti was taken by the prison guard to be prepared for crucifixion.

     When Xena awoke the next morning she was full of joy and excitement for she wanted to meet up with the playwright again.  And while Xena was fluttering with excitement for her new discovery Gabrielle was being fearfully escorted to the Roman prison for execution later that evening.  She had been arrested and implicated in the assassination attempt upon The Empress though she had no knowledge of the attempt upon Xena the night before. 

      As Gabrielle begged and pleaded with the Roman guard Xena was speaking with her husband about the wonderful playwright she had met the night before.  Caesar was diligently at work on his plot against Lao Ma and Chin as Xena spoke with great excitement and passion.  He knew something that she did not know as he did agree that the playwright had been talented.  And that was what stopped everything for Xena.  It was when she heard Caesar refer to Gabrielle in the past tense.  She looked upon her husband with alarm as he nonchalantly brushed over the subject.  He stated that he had hoped that Xena had not grown too fond of the playwright for her involvement with Chin and the plot against Rome. 

     Xena then knew what it was that Caesar meant.  He was going to crucify her along with Alti.  As Xena turned away from Caesar she felt betrayed for a moment only to catch herself realizing that it must have been a mistake.  It must have been Alti who had implicated Gabrielle within her plot because Alti had been marked for death by Xena.  And after all that Xena had seen within Alti’s visions of her life that was meant to be with Gabrielle.  Xena’s heart sank deep into her stomach.  There had to be something she could do.

     First she went to Alti in the Roman prison to confront her upon the accusations which had been mistakenly bestowed upon Gabrielle.  Alti was clever yet because Xena knew in her heart that she would do anything in her power to protect the playwright even if it meant that she had to allow Alti to go free.  When she entered into Alti’s cell Alti appeared amused and hardly surprised at Xena’s visit.  Xena demanded of Alti angrily why she had accused the innocent playwright.  Alti was confused for a moment as if without knowledge of her action, but then her confusion came into a slight grinning laughter.  She had been amused by this situation.

     Then Alti responded to Xena’s accusations against her and stated that it was not she who had told the tale of the playwright, but her loyal husband the great Caesar.  Xena was in disbelief of this at first confident that her husband would never betray her in such a way, but Alti pressed the issue.  Alti knew the truth and told Xena that she could show her the life she and Caesar should have had together that never was.  Xena was deeply tempted by this for she wanted to know much more of the life that never was. 

     She thought about this trying to figure out how she could use Alti to save Gabrielle.  But Alti came forward and took Xena again to the place where Caesar had once betrayed her.  It had been along his journey toward becoming Emperor of Rome.  The betrayal had taken place early in their courtship.  It was the one betrayal that never happened in her current life for if it had happened Xena would have taken the other
path.  It had included self destruction and many other hardships, yet it had also been the event which sent her toward the path alongside Gabrielle. 

      Anger and frustration began to build within Xena as Alti released her grip.  Then Alti declared her freedom from Xena and Caesar for she had held up her end of the bargain.  She had shown Xena the truth of who she was meant to become.  But Xena did not allow Alti to go free after seeing these visions for they made her realize just how much of a threat Alti had been to Caesar, herself, and to Rome. 

      As Xena left Alti for death Gabrielle was being prepared for crucifixion.  Her beautiful golden locks were cut from her head.  They dropped to the ground remorsefully as the young playwright prepared herself for her collision with fate.  It all felt so wrong to her.  She felt like her breath would be taken prematurely for there was so much left undone.  Gabrielle had for the first time been touched deeply within her soul and now death was about to steal that from her.

     As the demons left her side Xena came in to visit the playwright.  It was for a moment comforting to know that she was not alone for her soul would be with Xena one last time.  The Empress came in dressed with much status and power.  She looked to the peasant playwright and saw the disappointment and the sadness illuminating from her being yet she also saw something more.  It was that connection.  And then Xena spoke.  She wanted to know what had really happened as she sat down beside the condemned soul.  She wanted to know if the playwright truly was an assassin. 

     The bard answered with the purity of her own truth, but knew that it would never be enough to gather a pardon from The Empress.  She rose from her place in frustration turning away from the Empress and then turned back to face her.  Who would believe her anyway?  But just as her head sank down into despair Xena gently touched her face and looked into the bard’s eyes and said softly to the bard that she believed in her words.  Once again Gabrielle was touched by this magnificent person of whom she did not understand. 

     Then she knew that it was time for her to confess her feelings toward The Empress for she realized that she may not ever have another moment in life to express them.  She sat down beside The Empress once again and looked into her eyes.  Gabrielle stated that though she was a successful playwright and lived a humble simple life by the sea she had never felt full filled within.  She had always felt a void inside despite what she had accomplished and overcome in her life.  But then she told The Empress that whenever she had been in the presence of her new found friend she had felt a wonderful love inside.  It was like no other and like the love that she had always written so passionately about.

     Xena smiled softly and confessed that she too felt that power within during her recent encounters with the bard.  As the two felt embraced by each other’s presence the sound of crosses being built echoed just beyond the prison walls outside.  Gabrielle’s comfort turned once again to the fear which gripped her bright spirit.  Xena realized the seriousness of the situation as she quoted Caesar in confirming that Gabrielle had been correct about the observation of crosses being built.  Xena had seen many of Caesar’s crucifixions carried out and knew that she could not allow Gabrielle to suffer the same fate.  She then said good-bye to the playwright promising to do what she could to help her new friend.  Gabrielle watched as she knew in her heart that this would be the last moment that she would ever feel the comfort of The Empress in life.  She was saddened as Xena disappeared down into the darkness of the dungeon corridors. 

     Xena was determined to save Gabrielle and she knew that time was very short.  She seeked out Caesar in an attempt to get his pardon, but could not find him.  Then she went back to find Alti again, but the guard told her that she had been released.  He also stated that the young blonde that had been held earlier was also taken and released from the prison to face her crucifixion.  The Empress realized that the loyal Roman guard was giving up confidential information for the benefit of her friend and herself.  She realized that it was Caesar and not Alti who had implicated Gabrielle and that there would be no pardon by him.

     Xena then rushed to the public square hoping that she would arrive there in time to rescue Gabrielle.  She knew that her sacrifice was a great risk to her marriage and her own safety now, but that didn’t matter for she remembered the story of the Fallen Angel.  Upon Xena’s arrival to the public square Gabrielle was being dragged out into the middle of the public square dressed in only two simple white clothes wrapped around her body.  She struggled with the Roman guard, but was unable to obtain their mercy.  They were just following their orders from The Great Caesar.

     Xena watched as they threw her down onto the cross and tied her wrists and ankles to the wooden cross.  She watched the bard’s chest rise and fall frantically and the fear gripping her within.  Xena pleaded with Caesar one last time as she saw him upon her arrival, but Caesar had no mercy.  Then Xena went against her husband as she saw the Roman soldiers prepare to put the first nail through Gabrielle’s right hand.  She screamed out for them to stop everything and Xena ran to Gabrielle’s side.  Every man stopped in his action as they had never heard The Empress speak out a command above that of her husband though she had the same power and commanded their respect greater than did Caesar.

     Xena was pushing the troops away from their next victim as she rescued the playwright from her fate.  Nothing else in life mattered to her anymore though she knew that she could never be with Gabrielle.  As the crowd dispersed she urged Gabrielle to leave Rome for it was no longer safe for her.  Gabrielle thanked Xena for saving her life.  She did not want to leave Xena, but Xena insisted that she go on without her.  And reluctantly the bard left Xena behind in Rome.

     Yet the story does not end here for Caesar was to have the last word.  He was disappointed that Xena was so infatuated with the playwright that she would go against his own power.  Caesar was threatened by this and Alti knew it.  Xena spit upon Caesar’s face as she left the square declaring that he would always betray her no matter what life it was.  Caesar stopped Xena as she prepared to leave the square and confessed to her that it was he who had rearranged the loom of the fates when he realized that his betrayal of Xena the first time was what led to his own demise.  She was not amused by this.  At that moment Xena had made a choice.  She would leave her life as the Empress to Rome and with Caesar to seek out a humble life with the playwright.

     Caesar realized that she did not appreciate his second chance for their love affair and success.  He was jealous of Gabrielle for he was the only man on earth who knew the entire truth of their fates colliding.  Alti read this within Caesar and had her own plan of action.  Her ambitions would dictate how the end would result in the lives of many.  She convinced Caesar to pursue Gabrielle’s life once more for that would not be the end of Xena’s obsessions.  Caesar knew this to be true, but realized that Gabrielle would never be a threat to him in this life.  Instead of seeking out Gabrielle he sent out his Roman guard to seek out and find Xena.

      Alti was not satisfied with Caesar’s decision though she had won his heart and loyalties in becoming the new Roman Empress.  She herself went to seek out and find Gabrielle.  It did not take long for her to find her prey out along the countryside alone.  When she approached the playwright she promised her the gift of visions that would satisfy her personal curiosities.  Gabrielle could not resist this putting her misguided trust into Alti.  Alti took advantage of the unsuspecting bard and showed her many visions.  There were good visions of her life that had been meant for Xena, yet there were also the visions of pain, of agony, and of despair.  Gabrielle’s life was on the brink of it’s end when her crucifixion came upon her through Alti’s visions, but Xena caught sight of this.

     She saw that Alti was about to take the one who meant the most to her in life and she rode down into the valley vengefully.  Xena pulled out her bow to shoot Alti, but missed.  When Alti saw Xena approaching she could not resist the power she felt within.  It was not Gabrielle who could give her strength, but the Great Warrior Princess.  She threw down the useless victim and charged forward for Xena.  Alti possessed supernatural abilities and used them in battle against Xena.  She was too quick for Xena to approach.  Alti would not allow Xena to fight her in hand to hand combat knowing that the warrior princess was much more skilled.  Instead she battled it out with the powers of a shamaness. 

     Xena quickly ran to the aid of Gabrielle who could barely breath.  Yet she was still intrigued by her visions.  She looked to Xena who looked into her eyes and saw the confusion.  Xena assured Gabrielle that she was her friend and that was the truth of their lives together.  Suddenly the Roman army was approaching them down across the hill.  Xena was still fighting Alti, but then Alti disappeared into the distance leaving Xena to fight 500 men alone.  Gabrielle was too weak to fight alongside Xena as she watched helplessly.  Xena was hit by several arrows in the chest and in the legs.  She fell to the ground in defeat knowing that her betrayal of Caesar meant her death as well.  The Roman guard took her to Caesar alive, but badly wounded.

     Gabrielle was taken with her, but upon their arrival was released by Caesar.  The Roman guard cleaned up the warrior princess for crucifixion and Gabrielle was mercifully allowed by Caesar to see Xena one last time before she was to be crucified.  This time the two knew that they would never be together again for Gabrielle could not battle evil with words alone, and Xena was the warrior in need.  But just when Gabrielle thought that she could do nothing to stop this final fate of her best friend Xena revealed to her that it was Caesar who had changed their fates. 

    She explained the revelation to Gabrielle of how in their other life they had destroyed the Olympic gods therefore carelessly leaving the halls of Tartarus without Hades to keep them safe.  Caesar had been killed by his loyal comrade Brutus, whom had befriended Gabrielle, and he never made it to his destiny of the Great Emperor to Rome.  Caesar was bitter about his fate and escaped from Tartarus to visit the fates themselves.  He had changed one event between himself and Xena vowing to himself never to betray the warrior princess.  But some fates never change no matter how we try to tamper with them.

     This made sense to Gabrielle.  And Xena continued by explaining to Gabrielle that all she had to do was go to their loom and replace the thread which Caesar had taken and misplaced.  Gabrielle’s hope for love had been restored as Xena told her what she must do to carry out their plan.  And then it was time as Brutus himself was the one to escort Gabrielle out of the prison.  As they walked through Caesar’s palace Caesar stopped them asking of Brutus a moment of his time.  Caesar was very sly and obviously up to something.  Gabrielle warned Brutus, but Brutus had full trust and loyalty in Caesar.

     Caesar excused Gabrielle for this private moment and assured her that he would take her safely to the gates of Rome.  Gabrielle knew that this was yet another betrayal and as she listened in the room beyond she heard the two men conversing.  Caesar had asked Brutus his feelings of Xena’s crucifixion.  He was testing the loyalties of his right hand man.  Brutus stated to Caesar that he had the utmost respect for Xena as did the Roman army despite Caesar’s command to put her to death.  Caesar paused a moment before his response.  The response was shocking yet gruesome.  Gabrielle heard him pull a knife from a sheath and then heard it go into the flesh of another man.  Then she heard Caesar chuckle for a moment realizing that it was Brutus that had been betrayed in this reality. 

     She escaped the walls of Rome swiftly upon a horse as she took the money given to her by Brutus just before his demise.  He had been very loyal to Caesar, but more loyal to Xena.  That was why he had to die.  It wasn’t right and Gabrielle knew it.  She was the only one who could save the fates of everyone upon the earth.  She rode quickly to the temple of the fates traveling mostly by night to avoid being caught by the Roman guard for once Caesar found out about Xena’s plan against him he would most certainly come for Gabrielle.

     On the day of Xena’s death Gabrielle had arrived at the fates.  And on that same day Caesar was betrayed by another close to him.  While Xena took nails to the cross, Caesar was stabbed to death upon making love to the great and powerful Shamaness Alti who had the last laugh in all of this mess.  She was now in control of the entire world for she had become the Caesar.  Alti watched as Xena suffered, but though Xena suffered Xena thought of Gabrielle knowing that everything would be all right.  She sent out words of love to Gabrielle as she took her last breath upon the cross.

     When Gabrielle finally arrived at the fates' temple she found it in ruins.  She looked upon the tapestries they had woven to find that they had been destroyed as they were reduced to a pile of disjointed threads on the floor and nothing more.  Gabrielle was angry for the fates had not kept their tapestry it in tact.  But they were unable to for Caesar had chained them together for eternity to insure his fate as conqueror of Rome and of the world.  He had gone to so much trouble to reach his own destiny only to in the end reach the same result.  Only this time the world was left in shambles beyond repair.

     Gabrielle was angry for she could not carry out her mission.  She was unable to fix the loom which had gone awry.  It was a mess beyond repair and she was thrust into her own despair.  She knew that Xena was gone, and that Rome was under the power of a beast much worse than Caesar could have ever been.  Gabrielle screamed in anger at the fates for allowing this to happen and they could see her sadness for the life that she missed and the good lives that were lost.

     Then Gabrielle realized that she wished that she had never existed.  She felt that life was futile and there was no real purpose to live it.  The world was all a lie and nothing more than a tapestry.  If that was all it was to be then it was not meant to be.  Gabrielle took a torch and lit it with fire.  The fates begged her not to do it, but she did not listen to their pleas.  Gabrielle approached the broken tapestry boldly and threw the torch upon it burning existence into nothingness.  She was satisfied as the flames engulfed the entire universe.  And then suddenly it didn’t feel right.  All around her things started to change and then everything that was...It was no more. 

     I awoke with a strange feeling like no other.  Then I saw Xena riding upon a horse approaching me as if she had known all along what I had known.  I told her that I liked this reality much better, and she didn’t disagree.  She invited me upon her horse and I accepted her invitation gratefully knowing that when fates collide who’s to say where the fine line is between what is reality and only a story within an imagined nightmare?

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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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