The Xena Scrolls
By: Gabrielle Bard of Podedia
Scroll #33: Warrior,Princess,Tramp…
January 28th, 47 B.C.
It seemed that word traveled fast in the land of Greece for Xena the warrior princess was needed by everyone. Her schedule was so busy and so dangerous that she had gone off to Thebes alone and without Gabrielle. Though the bard had wanted to go only close friends of King Capous had been invited to Thebes. The bard found herself in waiting for Xena had sent word to her while away at Thebes. Xena had been asked once before by King Lius of Liberia to be his daughter’s protector for Princess Diana’s life had been threatened many times before. Yet this time it was different for Princess Diana and her husband Prince Phillimond. They had a newborn child and King Lius’s health was not so well. Now it was the Princess herself whom had sent for Xena’s help. Diana was afraid of the future of the kingdom of Liberia knowing that she and Phillimond would soon be taking the place of her beloved father Lius. There were many renegade armies in waiting just outside the castle walls and beyond to take over the kingdom at the slightest hint of the king’s impending death.
Gabrielle got word of this from Xena and was instructed to meet with Xena just outside of Liberia at a local inn. As the bard sat in waiting at the inn she overheard what she thought was the horrid voice of Joxer the idiot. The bard was not certain that she had heard his voice until she heard it blurt out the names of Callisto and of Xena. She began to listen in upon Joxer’s crazy tale. He told it very well and held the crowd in the palm of his hand. He was boisterous and full of excitement yet there was one problem. He was telling the story of Callisto all wrong. Joxer called himself “Joxer the Magnificient” and declared it had been he whom had been the hero of the story of Callisto. He was telling a mistruth and the bard could no longer listen to his tale another moment.
Gabrielle stood from her chair and casually entered into the scene standing just behind the idiot as he told his tall tale. Just as he was about to explain his heroics in saving Xena from Callisto at the moment of truth he noticed Gabrielle to his left. For a moment his concentration was thrown off as the bard greeted him with irritated sarcasm. Joxer knew that he was in the frying pan and so he cowered from his moment of triumph trying to recover from his folly before the audience. If his story had not been so false he could have gone to Athens himself and beat out Homer, but Gabrielle could not ever let that happen if Xena’s reputation were to be on the line. She expressed her displeasure with Joxer’s intentional phibs reminding him that not only was the bard herself tied up, but he was tied up with her on the same post in the ground. In fact, it was Xena whom had come to save them both from the wrath of Callisto.
Joxer quickly recovered delivering the unexpected to Gabrielle. He swore that he had just seen Xena at the inn hours before and that she had asked him to join her at the castle in a few hours. Not only that, but apparently Xena had suddenly become in lust with Joxer the idiot which seemed to the bard highly unlikely. Gabrielle decided to ignore Joxer’s lies and to understand his facsination with tall tales. According to the message that Gabrielle had recieved from Xena just days before Xena was not planning to be back from Thebes until the next sun. To the bard it was just another of Joxer’s tall tales yet there was something strange about it. She decided to leave him to his crazy antics and to investigate his claim. It was highly unlikely that it was Xena that he had seen and so Gabrielle made the journey to Liberia on her own.
As the bard arrived at the king’s castle she was greeted cordially by Lius’s guards. They invited her in immediately for they had remembered the last visit from the warrior princess and the bard. Gabrielle was escorted into the castle and immediately taken to see the princess who was talking with the warrior princess. Diana was just as shocked to see Xena as Gabrielle was knowing that it was a day earlier than Xena had expected to arrive. Xena confirmed with Diana that indeed she had made very good time from Thebes. Then Xena introduced a former advisor to the king of Thebes to Diana. Apparently she had brought him along to help with the mission. Xena then asked Diana about the status of her father’s health. Diana was saddened when she answered and Xena expressed her shallow condolances yet promised that they would get through these times of hardship together. Gabrielle entered into the conversation and was instantly welcomed by the grateful Diana. The bard was pleased to see how well the princess looked and the handsome Phillimond too. Then Diana introduced the guard to Xena and instructed him that Xena was to be honored as if her orders were those of King Lius himself. Then the princess and her prince exited leaving Xena, Gabrielle, and Agus with her guard.
Gabrielle instantly tore into Xena a bit disgusted by the lack of good communication between herself and the warrior princess on this mission. In fact, Xena’s message never even alluded to the fact that she would be bringing Agus into the mission. It didn’t even mention that there was anyone named Agus involved or even known the warrior princess. As far as meeting at the castle the message she had recieved never mentioned that she should meet Xena at the castle. It was back at the tavern that Gabrielle had expected Xena and not for another day. Then Gabrielle found herself intrigued as to why Joxer would remotely think that Xena was in love with him. The bard warned Xena that she needed to be more cautious about what she said to the idiot in the future. He was a crazy lunatic at best. Gabrielle continued her elaboration of her experience at the inn with Joxer who had the entire bar thinking that the warrior princess was a tramp by the time she had left him. There was something very strange to this entire scenario, but before the bard could even put her mind and emotions back in order Xena gave the order to the guard to throw Gabrielle in the dungeon.
Finding oneself in the lonely dungeon was not what Gabrielle had anticipated when arriving at the castle. She paced in her cell trying to figure out what Xena had meant when she called her a big mouth idiot just before finding herself the dungeon. The bard wasn’t sure if it was a new code or a test of her will and prowess. One thing was certain and that was the burning irritation of being left out of Xena’s plan. Moments later Gabrielle heard the door to the dungeon echo shut and then the warrior princess appeared. Gabrielle quickly tore into Xena again demanding to know what was going on. Xena explained to the bard that her being thrown into the dungeon was all part of her plan to protect Gabrielle and Princess Diana. Gabrielle’s heart sank when she heard this coming from the warrior princess after all that they had been through together. It didn’t make sense that Xena would suddenly be treating her like a kid again the way she had when they had first begun their travels together. Gabrielle felt certain that she was very able to defend herself against anyone who might attack her.
Yet Xena persisted in saying that the man they were up against had a strange method of torture in order to extract information from his victims. She said that he liked to shove burning splinters under the fingernails of his victims. When the bard was asked by the warrior princess if she had ever had this experience Gabrielle found herself confused, but certain that she could not recall that experience within her realm of memories. With that the bard was still concerned because Xena still refused to tell her what the plan was. In fact, the bard was quite certain that if this shady character was to get a hold of her he would still shove the burning splinters under her nails despite Gabrielle’s lack of knowledge. He would not know if she was telling the truth of not knowing the plan. Xena then followed up with that being the main reason that Gabrielle should stay locked up inside the dungeon. Before Gabrielle could think or respond to Xena the warrior princess was gone and out the door of the prison. Gabrielle was still confused and still irrated by this latest mood of the warrior princess. The bard had always known Xena to have mood swings, but never like the mood of this day.
As the day pressed on and the moments dragged by slower and slower the bard’s frustrations rose. If only those frustrations could have led to her escape from being locked up by her own best friend. There was seemingly no response from the outside world and so the bard finally decided to stop pacing and sit down to relax. Maybe relaxation was just what was needed to answer these burning questions about Xena’s mood. Yet just when things began to calm down within the bard the dungeon door swung upon and Joxer the magnificient idiot was thrown in face first to the ground. As Joxer tried to gather his composure he made mention of Xena’s unpredictable mood. Gabrielle couldn’t agree more with the idiot yet it was a rare occasion that the two could agree on anything at all. This lastest development sparked the bard’s curiousity. She decided that this was the closest to the outside world that she would be able to connect with so she interrogated Joxer about his most recent experience with Xena.
Joxer began again with his lustful story that he had been telling about his first encounter with Xena on the night before. Gabrielle could have spared those details and could barely believe anything Joxer spewd from the top of his fantasies. Then he recapped his run in with the bard herself earlier in the morning. Gabrielle explained what had happened upon her arrival at the castle and then Joxer picked up with his story explaining in triumphant detail how he had muscled the guards into letting him in despite their unwelcome reaction to his presence. The bard could believe that one, but was having difficulty with Joxer’s muscle. Yet he did get into the castle, but his story didn’t end there.
He spoke of how he had been thinking of his statements to the audience back at the tavern. After talking to Gabrielle who had reminded him of what he was saying to the masses he had realized that it had truely been inappropriate for him to share his most intimate moments with a crowd of strangers. Although he was quite exhilerated and confident of himself at the time. Gabrielle had to interrupt the idiot again and pump more of the story out of him. Her impatience with Joxer led to him explaining that he looked for Xena upon entering the castle. He had wanted to apologize to the warrior princess after being advised by Gabrielle. Yet when he finally found Xena she had seemingly been irrated by Gabrielle’s intervention into their romantic esacpades. He even said that Xena called Gabrielle a big mouth idiot. Gabrielle thought about that for a moment and then remembered that Xena had called her that earlier just before being thrown back into the dungeon.
As Gabrielle began to pace again and to contemplate all of this new information Joxer continued on with the worst part of his story. He swore to Gabrielle that Xena couldn’t keep her hands off of him. Joxer must have been hallucinating. It was the best conclusion to all of his fantasy for the warrior princess would never fall for the idiot. And as Gabrielle argued this point with Joxer he explained to her that nothing had happened. Even when Xena had tried to arouse him putting her hands on his thigh he was honorable. According to Joxer he bravely left the scene despite Xena’s wild hormones for him. Gabrielle felt good about his intensions, but only until Joxer finished his story. He explained to the bard that as he was walking through the halls of the castle in manly confusion he ran into Xena yet again only this time she was wearing a beautiful red dress. Joxer again tried desparately to fight his manly urges and scolded the warrior princess for trying to swoon him with a passionate dress. But then Joxer’s manhood won out and defeated his resolve. That was when he apparently reached for Xena’s buttox and grabbed it in pleasure. That was how Joxer had ended up in the dungeon.
It was all begining to make sense to the bard now. All of it except for the part about Xena’s lust for Joxer. The reason he had been thown into the dungeon was because he had run into Princess Diana. He was unaware that the princess and Xena were one in the same when it came to their looks. Joxer began to laugh boistrerously at his mistake yet he was embarressed and suddenly shamed of himself. His shame didn’t last long though for he was excited to know that Xena was still lusting after him. Gabrielle again argued against this. It just wasn’t Xena. Joxer smiled and showed his love marks apparently given to him by the warrior princess. The bard didn’t want to see them and was becomming extermely distraught with confusion. Joxer explained that there was nothing to worry about for he would still be honorable. He was going to ask Xena to marry him. Then the last straw for Gabrielle came when Joxer told Gabrielle that she could still be a part of their lives. She could be just like their daughter. The bard went off of the edge at that point. The thought of Joxer’s fantasy possibly coming true was beyond her grasp of imagination or reality. She ran for the door and grabbed the bars desparately hoping that someone would let her out of this nightmare soon.
Her wish came true with the arrival of Diana at the dungeon. She entered explaining that she had just talked to Xena who had told her the plan. Yet when Gabrielle impatiently inquired of the plan Diana said that it was still not able to be disclosed to the bard. Then Diana looked to Joxer and explained that Xena had told him of her lust for Joxer and of how Joxer had mistaken the two. Diana was forgiving of Joxer as Joxer bowed his head down for her forgiveness. His shame lasted very shortly as Diana explained that Xena needed his help with the plan and that he would take part in it. As for Gabrielle she had to stay in the dungeon alone yet again. Joxer was high with pride because for the first time ever he was at the top of the list of Xena’s sidekicks. He was the important one and he was gloating within every moment. As Diana dragged Joxer out of the dungeon Gabrielle followed in anger feeling very upset about being shut out by all of her truest friends. The guards did not allow her to get two steps out of the dungeon before throwing her back in and slamming the door in her face. The rejection was almost unbearable.
Suddenly all of the anger within the bard unleashed itself in fury. Gabrielle began to go insane as she punched and kicked an old sack of wheat lying on the floor of the dungeon. The bard was envisioning what she would do to Xena once Xena came back for her. This was too much for Gabrielle to handle. Not knowng the plan, being called a big mouth, being thrown in a dungeon, and being thrown aside in favor of Joxer were more than Gabrielle could take. A true friend did not treat someone like this. All of the rage turned into pain as the bard kicked the bag so hard that her foot hurt. As she tried to calm down for a moment and gather her composure the door to the dungeon opened again. It was Xena and Gabrielle could do nothing, but yell and scream out all of her frustrations. Gabrielle was certain that Xena’s real plan was to drive her insane for the day. For a moment Gabrielle expected Xena to retailate against this accusation and emotional outburst demonstrated, but instead Xena coldy invited the bard to her freedom outside of the dungeon. Joxer laughed at the bard still gleefully exstatic about his new status in Xena’s life, but Gabrielle didn’t allow his pride to last too long as she nailed him in the stomach on the way out.
Gabrielle had a million questions for the warrior princess as they walked down the hall. She could barely contain herself or her loud rising voice. The warrior princess tried to explain all that had been happening through the day starting with her own experience back at the tavern. She began by stating she found it strange when almost every man at the inn wanted to take her to bed. The warrior princess found it very irritating and filthy for them to all be trying to get her in the sack. It seemed that everyone wanted to get their hands on the warrior princess. Finding herself trying to ignore the scumb in the tavern she asked the bar keep if he had seen Gabrielle. The bar keep explained that the bard had left for the castle earlier in the morning. Not long after Xena had received that information she found herself in the middle of a bar fight with some warlords passing through who seemed to be targeting her specifically. The warrior princess defeated them with one of her favorite techninques. She used alchohol and a torch setting fire to the place. This was to accomplish two things. It only accomplished one for the warrior princess was still being hit on even after she had terrorized several warlords.
When Xena had entered the castle she seeked to find Diana who seemed to be overly emotional about her father. The warrior princess was hoping to discuss plans for securing the castle with Diana, but Diana insisted that she be left alone. Xena had decided that maybe King Lius’s health was more serious than Diana had stated in her message. Xena then decided to investigate the castle and check out what was going on for herself. That was when she ran into Joxer who had just been let out by Diana. At this point in Xena’s story Joxer chimed in with great confidence and manly pride as he told his tale of how Diana’s plans for him had begun with a passionate kiss. This was very dificult to calculate or to believe. Yet it explained why Xena was acting so strangely because it wasn’t really her. It also explained why Xena had arrived at the tavern a day early. It wasn’t Xena it was Diana. Gabrielle had remembered Diana to be exhuberant about dressing up and pretending to be the warrior princess before, but Joxer again did not seem to fit her type. Xena’s story was missing something important.
As Gabrielle thought outloud about the entire scenario presented by Xena Joxer again prided himself on being a cunning sex symbol for all women. Gabrielle punched the idiot in the stomach for he hadn’t heard a single word the warrior princess had said. Then Joxer defended himself explaining that he did. Xena interrupted the squabble between Joxer and Gabrielle when she continued with her own version of the story. She had seen Joxer admiring himself in the mirror and when she confronted him he couldn’t keep his hands off of her. Naturally she had to put Joxer in his place and remind him that he wasn’t really her type. She explained to Joxer that it wasn’t she who lusted after him, but someone else. At the time Joxer was certain that if it hadn’t been Xena then Diana definately was in love with him and very cunning about it.
With all of this confusion within the castle the warrior princess was desparately looking for the bard. She was certain that Gabrielle would be able to help her put together the pieces to this mysterious puzzle of princess’s Diana’s emontional state which had seemingly led her into the arms of Joxer the idiot. When Xena confessed to Joxer that she couldn’t find Gabrielle Joxer explained impatiently that Gabrielle had been in the dungeon where Xena had left her. Joxer had obviously found himself agreeing again with Gabrielle’s observation of Xena’ s mood swings. It seemed that everyone involved was in a state of mass confusion.
As soon as Xena was aware that Diana had thrown Gabrielle into the dungeon she took Joxer with her to retrieve the bard. It was on that journey to the dungeon that they ran into the third Xena. This was the answer to all of Xena’s questions and those of everyone else involved as well. Meg was her name and she was well-known, but only within her profession which was discovered to be that of the local tramp. Xena and Joxer listened behind the tapestry as Meg spoke of how much of a man Joxer was. Joxer of course was loving this part of the story. Then Xena continued stating that she was with a warlord named Agus. Gabrielle began to put the pieces within the puzzle together in her mind. Agus must have been the advisor from Thebes that Gabrielle had seen upon her own arrival to the castle. Only this person wasn’t an advisor or a friend. Agus was the enemy that was trying to take control of Lius’s castle. He was using Meg to pose as Xena and Diana so that he could make his move upon the castle using some insiders he had planted in the guard force.
The bard was finally able to put all of the pieces together. It had been Meg who had thrown Gabrielle into the dungeon fearing that she would blow open Agus’s plan before it ever got off of the ground. It had been Meg whom had been calling her a big mouth idiot. Suddenly Gabrielle didn’t feel so rejected or ignored. It all made sense now. Every bit of the story and every part of her day. Meg was lusting after Joxer and Meg was the one who didn’t respect Gabrielle. It wasn’t Xena at all. There was much relief within the bard as the three entered into the castle courtyard outside. But the relief faded quickly when Gabrielle realized that she might not be with the real Xena. This entire story could have been a fabrication. The bard demanded some identification from Xena as did Joxer. Xena’s reaction was to grab her chackram and toss it across the courtyard. It deflected off of a guard’s shield and then the castle walls. The chackram busted opon the side of a bucket, then deflected off the walls again slicing through four standing spears. Finally it circled back around deflecting off of another hanging shield which fell off of the wall, then it scraped across an urn setting fire to it, knocked over a piece of orange pottery as it rounded back toward Gabrielle. Gabrielle’s eyes followed it all the way across the courtyard as it hurled back toward her face with great speed and velocity. The bard began to fear that she may have just asked for her death until in the last moment Xena tamed the chackram and put it safely back into her belt.
It was a sudden relief to know that it was really Xena and not Diana or Meg. Now that everyone was straight on the plan and on what was really going on within the castle walls Xena suggested that the three of them split up to find Diana. When Joxer asked how he would know which one was the real Diana Xena reminded him that the one who lusted after him was the bad one. Joxer contemplated this for a moment,but quickly determined that despite Meg’s bad image it would be worth the suffering he would have to endure.
The grueling day wore on as this mission became more complicated. It was tangled with look alikes that all resembled the heroin. After an hour of walking through the castle Gabrielle ran into Xena again back at the courtyard. Joxer’s point of confusion was well taken, but Gabrielle knew Xena well. Especially now that she had met the best and the worst of Xena’s look alikes. Xena had come up with a new idea for the plan to find Diana. The warrior princess was certain that Agus’s men would know where Diana was. Diana had been captured and they weren’t keeping her within the castle. Xena decided to pose as Meg dressed as Diana. She took Gabrielle outside the castle walls. The two tracked down the camp of the enemy and then set up a rendez-vous point just outside of there.
The warrior princess called out to one of the men who were guarding the outskirts of the camp hoping to get his attention. Her attempt worked as she concealed Gabrielle behind a rock where they waited. When the guard approached Xena played Meg and said that she had found Gabrielle snooping around outside the castle walls. Now that there was a prisinor Meg begged the guard to take her to the place where they had taken Diana so that Gabrielle could be locked away with the princess. The guard was smarter than Xena had anticipated and he drew his sword from his belt preparing to strike down Xena. Yet Xena did not move or even try to block the striking blow. She held her cool and the man stopped short of loping off Meg’s head. Once the guard was convinced that Xena was really Meg the plan went smoothly.
Soon both Xena and Gabrielle were inside the dungeon where they were keeping Diana. Diana was terrified as Gabrielle had expected. She sat on the dirty dungeon floor with her arms chained above her head. Xena played up her part as Meg almost too well as she dragged the helpless bard around making the sale that much better. Gabrielle was tied to the wall alongside Diana who was complaining of her dire situation. The bard ‘s heart chuckled as she recalled her last experience with the princess. Gabrielle reminded Diana that despite her situation it was not the worst thing that could befall the princess. Then Xena went into full action. As Meg she suggested that she and the guards toy with their new prisnor. The guards were delighted at this idea as they rose from their gambling and approached Gabrielle. Of course Xena wasn’t about to allow the guards their way. Instead she grabbed hold of one of their swords cutting the bard free as the battle in the dungeon began.
The warrior princess fought against the three guards as Gabrielle freed Diana from her binds. Then Gabrielle picked up a large round weapon and used it in the battle assiting Xena in the defeat of the guards. The warrior princess finished the battle with one of her favorite moves as she ran up the side of a wall and flipped back down into the pursuit of battle. Her battle cry could be heard echoing through the dungeon as Diana found herself unable to resist taking a punch and a kick at one of the guards herself. The battle was a quick one and it seemed to Gabrielle that she and Xena were becoming a more solid team with each passing adventure. Despite this minor celebration there was a new issue at hand. Agus’s first in command had gotten away and he was certain to return to the castle to give Agus the new word.
Though Xena, Gabrielle, and Diana rushed back to the castle they were too late for the baby had been kidknapped by Agus. Xena had decided that it was no longer safe for Diana and Phillimond now that Agus was certain to know of Xena’s plans. He would be certain to assasinate both Diana and Phillimond if given the chance. Xena asked if Diana knew of a safe place within the castle. Diana spoke of the royal chamber known only to those within the royal family. The warrior princess felt that it would be perfect to hide the prince and princess there until she and Gabrielle could find Meg and save the baby. Yet Phillimond was against sitting by and waiting while his child was in danger. Xena had to remind him that he too was in just as much danger if not more than the child. She asked Phillimond to trust in her and then she said no more.
Xena was off to find Agus leaving Gabrielle to search for Meg. For Gabrielle it would be simple to find Meg for wherever Joxer was Meg would most certainly be there with him. Gabrielle went to Joxer’s chambers in the castle and sure enough she found Meg although Joxer was not there. As the bard stood in the doorway she watched Meg primping herself dressed as princess Diana. Moments later as Meg peered into the mirror at herself she saw Gabrielle’s reflection in the doorway behind her. Meg turned to face the enemy ready to take her down. Yet Gabrielle was not afraid of a dirty tramp. Meg demanded that she get out of her way, but Gabrielle proclaimed that it would be death before she would allow Meg to continued her dirty deeds.
Meg held a pair of sissors certain that she would win this battle of witts and braun, but Gabrielle was poised for action. This tramp had damaged Xena’s reputation with Joxer just by looking like Xena and she had disrespected Gabrielle. Meg was the reason for Gabrielle’s dismally confusing day. She had to be stopped no matter the cost. Gabrielle enguaged in battle with Meg who threated to cut the bard with her golden scissors. The bard moved quickly using a kick to disarm Meg who then lunged forward grabbing Gabrielle by the back of her hair shoving her face first into the fruit on the table by the bed. Then she slammed the bard face first into a large vase which led to a painful headache. As the bard tried to regain her strength and control Meg stepped upon her boots.
Suddenly Gabrielle found her second wind. She lept forward tackling Meg as the two rolled on the ground in a stalemate. The two pulled hair and poked eyes as they screamed within their struggle of wills. Meg soon had the advantage as she tried to strangle the bard, but then she grabbed a lock of Gabrielle’s hair ripping it from its roots. The pain sent shocks of agony through Gabrielle’s body which turned to rage against the enemy. Meg seemed surprised that she had been able to rip a handful of hair out of someone’s head. Her hesitation gave Gabrielle a chance to take control of the battle as she tried to strangle Meg. Instead of killing her Gabrielle raised her fist ready to rearrange Meg’s face. Meg’s eyes were wide with fear as she panted and begged for mercy. Then the tramp began to cry, but the bard felt no sympathy for the tramp.
Gabrielle wanted to hit Meg, but something inside her could not do it. Maybe it was because Meg looked so much like Xena. Gabrielle wasn’t certain. Then Meg spoke after the moment of silence and it was clear that she was in shame. The tramp was accustomed to being on the bottom in every way. Gabrielle rose from the floor and helped the tramp up as they moved to sit down and relax their furies. Meg expressed her pain as Gabrielle listened. Strangely the bard began to feel sorry for the tramp despite Meg’s recent actions. Although Gabrielle couldn’t forgive Meg for everything she wanted to give her a chance to defend her actions. And so Meg continued explaining to Gabrielle why she went along with Agus’s plan to overthrow the kingdom of Liberia. She was afraid for her life and Agus had played on the emotional weakness within Meg. The tramp seemingly despised Gabrielle for being a good girl and doing the right thing when she herself could never make that choice.
Gabrielle still didn’t quite understand what Meg had to be angry about. She didn’t understand why Meg would torment herself with the lifestyle of a tramp. It was so disrespectful to oneself to life that kind of life. But then Meg explained with sadness that she had been taking care of herself since the age of ten. Gabrielle listened to Meg’s story for it was beginging to sound interesting until Meg said that her father had died in childbirth. This sounded a lot like one of Joxer’s tall tales until Meg continued by stating her father had been so drunk on the day she was born that he had fallen off of a roof to his death. Meg looked to Gabrielle with envy knowing that because her father hadn’t been there she had grown up to be a tramp. She had longed for a father her entire life. Meg went onto express her envy more assuming that Gabrielle probably had a good father. Gabrielle couldn’t deny that her father had been good to her as a child, but it still didn’t explain the other half. Gabrielle inquired of Meg’s mother.
Meg explained that her mother had not been a very good one. She had loved her mother dearly, but her mother had kept bringing home bad men. These bad men would beat her and her mother. Meg was defenseless against it until one day she decided to run away from it all. She never turned back until a year later when she had caught word that her mother had died one day. Meg expressed her regret in not going home to say good-by to her mother. She regretted not telling her mother that she had loved her despite the abuse she endured with her for all of those years. Meg began to remenice in her heart the fun times she held closest within. Suddenly Gabrielle began to feel Meg’s pain and she began to understand. Meg was a lost child who was afraid and made the wrong choices because she had no where to turn. Meg needed guidance and seeked it desparately. Just when the two were begining to connect Meg stood up from the bedside and scolded herself for getting emotional in front of a stranger. Yet Gabrielle was glad that Meg had shared that intimate story with her. She was able to forgive Meg for her mistakes and hoped that Meg would be able to learn from them.
Gabrielle decided that they should find the king now that she had rounded up the tramp. The two went to his bedchambers to find that he wasn’t there. They waited for his return or the return of the warrior princess. The ill king had been walking about the castle looking for his beloved Diana. He had returned to find her waiting for him with Gabrielle. Lius then sat down beside his lovely daughter scolding her for not visiting him. Meg played the part of his daughter knowing that it was another lie yet she longed in her heart for a father like Lius. Of course Meg did not have the answer to Diana’s abscence. All she knew was that she was part of the reason Diana had been missing from her father’s life for the past day. Lius seemed pleased that he was with Diana again. Despite his illness it gave him strength to see her beautiful face. Gabrielle watched as the king put his fatherly arms around Meg and cuddled with his daughter. For the first time ever Meg was feeling a real father in her heart. Gabrielle did not wish to interrupt this moment of bliss, but it was not up to her.
After several moments of taming the wild heart Agus and his guards entered into the king’s bedchamgers. Immediately Gabrielle was restrained as Agus took control. Knives were pulled upon the king and Gabrielle as Agus handed the last knife over to Meg. He gave the order for her to kill the king seeking to take advantage of her confused innocence as he had done for an entire day. Meg took the knife in fear yet there was great reluctance within her eyes. She held the knife to the king’s throat, but her hands shook with uncertainty. Agus urged her to make the kill as he beat her down with disrespectful comments. Although Meg was a tramp there was a pure heart within. It didn’t deserve to be abused any longer. Meg finally decided to stand up and defend herself against the abuse for the first time. She turned upon Agus and held the knife upon him. Determined to protect the king Meg held steady just in time for the warrior princess to arrive with Joxer. Xena entered with a battle cry and a warning to those who dared to defy her. Sword in hand dressed as the princess Xena began kicking through Agus’s men. Gabrielle used the oppritunity to escape from her capture and join in the battle alongside Xena and Joxer. She grabbed her resting staff and put it into action as Meg took the king to safety away from the battle. The battle in the king’s chambers ended just as quickly as the battle in the dungeon to save Diana.
There was just one person left to save from the wrath of Agus and his men. It was the baby and the young heir who would be there for Phillimond the way Diana was there for Lius. Gabrielle suggested to Xena that they allow Meg to stay with the king. The bard was certain that she would protect Lius for his kindness to her. Meg had demonstrated her strength when she saved him from Agus. Xena agreed with Gabrielle that Meg could help them. In fact she was certain Meg would be more helpful than Joxer for it was Joxer that had blown her cover. When Xena had found Agus she pretended to be Meg again. She tricked Agus into bringing the baby to her, but then Joxer walked in just before Xena was able to get the baby safe in her arms. He mistook Xena for Diana as he tried to be brave and save the baby from its captures. As always it didn’t work out and he bumbled away another golden oppritunity. Yet who could blame the kindness of a heart so desparate for heroism.
It was this spirit of heroism that seemed to strike the hearts of almost everyone involved. Xena had taken Gabrielle and Joxer to rejoin Diana and Phillimond at the royal chamber. The two could wait no longer for their child was in great danger. Xena decided that everyone should split up again and search the entire castle for the baby. Xena traveled with Diana, and Gabrielle searched the castle with Phillimond while Joxer went on a search of his own. After scouring the castle Xena and Phillmond ran into the nursemaid down in the dungeon. She spoke of how the baby was taken from her care just moments before by Agus himself. And so it all came down to one single battle in the castle. It began with the arrival of Diana who tried, but failed to play the part of Xena. She had everyone going until she had forgotten what Xena’s most important weaopon was. Diana called it a round killing thing.
Just as Agus and his men were about to string the baby up in a basket above the burning alter a second Xena came rushing in. This time it was Meg whose chackram broke as she called it a shamrock. Her effort was good, but moments later the real warrior princess came leaping into the battle still dressed as Diana. She smiled and then charged into battle against Agus and his men. Joxer entered still confused despite all of the explanations. Everyone including Gabrielle, and Phillimond were fighting to save the life of the baby who hung above the burning alter. Swords clashed visciously, but it seemed that no one was winning the battle. Finally in an attempt to end the struggle the true hero of the story stepped into action. Diana grabbed the rope and pulled it as hard as she could sending the baby catapulting out of the basket and through the air. As everyone watched in horror and gasped with surprise the baby fell safely into a tapestry held by the princess herself. And with that the battle was won as those fighting for the baby’s life had defeated enemy.
For a moment everyone was relieved until Meg spoke of Lius. He wasn’t doing so well and she hoped that Diana’s presence would be able to help him. Meg spoke of the king’s surprise in finding that his daughter had two look alikes. And just as the tramp was getting to know the king his breaths became a struggled silence. All rushed back to the king’s bed chambers hoping that he had not yet passed. Indeed the king was alive only resting within all of the confusion. It was a lot to handle that there were three women who looked alike. One was a warrior, another a princess, and the third a tramp. It was a highly unlikely scenario. As all was well again in the castle and everyone was safe it was because of the three women working together. They used their skills in battle in their own unique ways.
Gabrielle spoke again to Meg who was still concerned for the king. Lius was going to be fine as Gabrielle tried to reassure Meg. The tramp had adopted him as her father even though she would never be his daughter. Meg spoke of writing him from jail, but then realized that she had never learned to write. Gabrielle assured Meg that she wouldn’t be going to jail for her crimes for she and Xena had already decided that Meg derserved the chance to change. Just then the king summoned Meg into his bed chambers and offered her a job within the castle. Though Meg tried to refuse his hospitality for all of the wrongs she had committed the king would not accept those feelings for he trusted in her heart. She had made the right choice when it counted despite being mixed up within Agus’s plot. The king understood why Meg had been lost and decided that he would be the one to give her that second chance. He declared that no one should talk bad about his personal cook. With great surprise Meg found herself delighted that he was inviting her into his heart and into his home. She was determined not to disappoint him.
And so the story ended with Xena, Gabrielle, and Joxer leaving the castle together. They were about to embark on a new journey together yet not to the delight of the warrior and the bard. As Meg waived good-bye to her flame he left the castle vowing to return. Despite Meg’s attempting to reform she still could not resist the sword of Joxer the Mighty. He was mighty for Meg, but for the world he had a long way to go. His heart was courageous, but he still had much to learn. As did the tramp who looked just like a princess, and the warrior princess.