The Xena Scrolls: Scroll# 9: Hooves and Harlots

By Brandy Seymour | Xena Scrolls | 19 Apr 2020

The Xena Scrolls

By: Gabrielle Bard of Podedia

Scroll#9: Hooves and Harlots

December, 49 BC


I sing of a warrior princess and an amazon princess who brought peace to a land in great turmoil. Their story begins upon walking through amazon territory while discovering the many uses of the walking stick. I of course thought of using it to crush bugs, but Xena had shown me that it could be used as a weapon against the enemy. Of course Xena always seemed to be able to find that any object could be used as a weapon of battle in some way. Upon ending the demonstration we continued on our journey. Xena explained that we were now deep within amazon territory. I was intrigued for I wondered if we would see an amazon along the way. And then suddenly arrows started flying through the air landing all around our feet.  Xena instructed me to use the amazon symbol for peace placing her hands joined together above her head. And so I quickly followed.
Then a group of amazons floated down from the trees and surrounded us. These amazon women wore bird masks and beautiful flowing headdress. When they had reached the ground they removed their masks as their group leader spoke with Xena. She was impressed that Xena had known the amazon ways yet she was not an amazon. And then the group leader looked to me and realized that I was most likely not an amazon either. She was amused as I tried to defend myself from being judged, but the leader was not at all displeased. The leader introduced herself as Terreis an amazon princess. I was fascinated for she was standing before me. It was just as exciting as meeting Hercules.
Then another amazon from the group whose name was Ephiny reminded the soft-hearted Terreis that Xena and I had trespassed and must be taken to the Queen of the amazons who would decide if we would receive safe passage through their lands. I again was excited for this was more than I could have imagined. As we walked back toward the amazon camp with Terreis I spoke with the princess certain that there was much I could learn from her. Terreis seemed wise, and skilled. She wasn’t like the other amazons that I had seen so far. I spoke of how as a girl I wasn’t allowed to learn of science, history, or philosophy because I had been born a girl and not a boy. Terreis laughed and spoke of how all amazon children were taught these wonderful things as their first lessons in life as an amazon.
I found myself intrigued and wishing that I had been born an amazon. But then Terreis said something very truthful about the ways of the world. She said that it was a man’s world indeed, but it wasn’t because it truly belonged to them. It was because women allowed men to take the world that made things the way they were. What she had said to me was quite profound and wise. Yet as we walked on Xena wasn’t getting along as well as I. She was with Ephiny who obviously did not trust the warrior princess. Xena threatened Ephiny for it was obvious that the warrior princess was feeling quite uncomfortable. Our journey to the amazon camp was very enlightening for me until something very tragic happened.
Suddenly more arrows came at us flying through the air. The amazons took their command from Terreis as they fled back up into the trees. It was an amazing sight how they had all floated into the air in unison. Xena quickly grabbed her sword and began to block the approaching arrows. It seemed to me that the amazons had a better cover than we did until one of them came crashing back down to the ground. It was Terreis and she had been struck down by the wrath of arrows. No one was safe. I ran quickly to her aid and shielded her with my body for I couldn’t allow this beautiful and wise amazon princess to die. My words were in an attempt to comfort her for I could feel her chest rising and falling violently beneath me.
Then the attack suddenly ceased. Xena assured me that she would make sure that the attack was truly over. Before leaving she told me not to move the injured amazon as I held Terreis in my arms. Terreis looked up to me and took my hand. Then she squeezed it tightly and was impressed by my heroic deed. She said that only an amazon sister would try to save another amazon. For that Terreis said that she wanted to give me her right of caste. I was not certain what that was and as I asked her what she meant as she began to struggle for her breaths. Her body felt the way Iolas had felt upon his close brush with death. The other amazons quickly came down from their shelter in the trees joining me by Terreis’s side. I suddenly told Terreis that I would take her right of caste if she would just stay with me. She then looked to me one last time and smiled softly. And then there was peace within her emerald-green eyes. She had gone. It was the first time that someone had actually died in my arms. I found myself in shock for I didn’t know what more I could have done to save her.
We were not far from the amazon camp and we rejoined Xena up ahead who continued to scout for enemies. When we reached the amazon camp it was quite an impressive sight. It was just the way I had heard it described by other traveling bards. The camp was inhabited only by women. Fierce warrior women who were just as powerful and skilled as the warrior princess. Yet I was still confident that Xena could probably win in a duel with one of them. Even the queen didn’t look like she could win against Xena although she proved within a practice duel that she was indeed skilled. She would have definitely kicked my butt.
As we stood waiting to meet with the queen the amazons took Terreis’s body to be prepared for amazon ceremonies in honor of the fallen princess. The queen honored her fallen sister breaking an arrow symbolically over the body of the victim. Then she placed the arrow upon the body as other amazons carried it into the queen’s hut. There was ceremonial music and drums. These instruments played in mourning of the beautiful Terreis. And then the queen greeted Xena and I. She introduced herself as Queen Melosa, and had granted us safe passage through her lands. Her mood was somber as she warned us that we should move through quickly for she was certain that the amazon nation would be at war soon.
Xena was now intrigued with this amazon nation for she was uncertain of why the amazons would be at war. I was just as curious and so I asked Melosa who she was going to go to war with. She flatly stated that it was a war that would take place against the Centaurs. As the queen spoke of her rival a live centaur was brought into camp. He was a beautiful creature with long flowing blond hair. His legs were strong, and he stood tall despite being brought into camp as a captive. This centaur had been discovered near the amazon territory and the amazons were certain that it was this centaur who had committed the murder against Terreis.
As Melosa began to describe her distaste for the centaurs Xena agreed that she too had not been close with the centaur nation. Yet Xena was uncertain as to why centaurs would want to start a war over land with the amazons for she remembered centaurs as a more peaceful group. The centaur who had been accused of the crime was known as Phantes. He was the son of Tyldus a great centaur leader. Xena had gone up against Tyldus in battle once, but she did not defeat him. Instead the battle between Xena’s army and the centaur army had ended at a stalemate. It appeared as if Xena had a great respect for Tyldus. She knew him well though they were still at odds. Xena decided against leaving the amazons and the centaurs to their war. Instead she chose to investigate the situation further. Xena then left me at the amazon camp certain that they would protect me in her absence.
Just after Xena left queen Melosa and Ephiny approached me. Melosa explained that Ephiny had told her about what had happened upon Terreis’s death. Ephiny had told Melosa that I had been given Terreis’s right of caste. I had almost forgotten about it until this moment. Then I was curious for I needed to know what it was that I had accepted. Melosa explained that it was something that royal amazons pass on from one generation to the next. She said that Terreis was her sister who was next in the royal line to become queen if Melosa were to pass on. Since Terreis was the first to pass on she had to pass on her royal amazon rights to another. She had chosen me and I had accepted. This was really starting to sound exciting. And then Melosa explained that since she was queen it made me an amazon princess not by blood, but by Terreis’s right of caste. I was now an amazon. As I began to contemplate this exciting event Melosa left Ephiny with me to train me to become an amazon.
First we went into the hut of the deceased amazon princess where all of her worldly possessions were kept. Her clothes, her weapons, and anything that had ever belonged to Terreis were within this hut. It was a beautiful place and there was so much to look at. There weren’t really riches of wealth, but riches of wisdom and lifelong accomplishment. I was finding myself overwhelmed yet flattered that Terreis would have chosen me rather than her good friend Ephiny to take her birth right. Ephiny had brought two other amazons along as they prepared me for my new role. First I was dressed in the princess’s royal clothing which was for ceremonial occasions. Terreis had the most wonderful jewelry. There was this particular necklace that was blue and with layers of intricate beads woven together. Her clothes included all of the protective warrior armor like Xena had worn, and even a brown leather suit.
As I was dressed upon a pedestal I basked in all of my glory running my hands over every piece that was covering my body. I wanted to feel the entire feeling of what a warrior and true amazon felt as she prepared for battle. As I was finally dressed Ephiny then instructed me that I must choose a weapon. Now this was something I had not been prepared for. Xena had never invited me to choose a weapon and I had handled her sword once before, but this was different. As I looked over the rack of many weapons and of many choices I found myself nervous. I thought that maybe these women expected me to know how to use a real weapon and I knew that I could barely hold a sword let alone use it. Yet there were other weapons besides the sword. There were bows and arrows, sais, and knives. But none of these weapons really interested me. All of them were meant to kill. I had learned early on in my travels with the warrior princess that killing was not something I was prepared to do in battle.
Then I came across the perfect weapon for a bard like myself. It was a wooden stick with intricate decoration. As I chose my weapon Ephiny took it from me and explained that it was a staff. She then gave the weapon to Eponin and its uses were demonstrated. It kind of reminded me of what Xena had done with the walking stick before, but this weapon was much more intriguing. Upon chosing the weapon it was time for me to learn how to use it so Ephiny took me out into the camp and we practiced the art of using the staff. It was a long grueling process. Something that had looked so easy to use required a lot of concentration and coordination. I could feel that Ephiny was becoming frustrated with me for every so often I would crack myself over the knee and occasionally over the head. But for the most part I was learning the process.
As we practiced on Queen Melosa came by to check on my progress. Ephiny was truthful yet positive. I explained that I felt it was going pretty well and that I was rather enjoying my lesson. Then Ephiny demonstrated a harsh reality to me. She took the staff and went over to a horse. She showed me how a staff could be used in battle and how it could kill a centaur. First she cracked the knee at the joint which was meant to stop the centaurs at full gallop. Then she showed how to dislocate the legs so that the centaurs could not rise back up. Finally she turned to the feast behind her and smashed a melon with the head of the staff demonstrating how to kill the centaur quickly. The goal and the hope was to give one’s enemy a quick and painless death. At that moment I realized just how serious it was to be an amazon.
Later that night I had been taken to participate within the ceremonial dance that takes place on the night before the right of caste is finally passed on. At first I was a little nervous, but was welcomed by my fellow amazon sisters to join in the great festivities. Soon after the queen entered the camp. Suddenly all who danced around the fire bowed down to her honoring their brave queen. I was a little slow in realizing what was going on, but I bowed with all who surrounded me. Then Melosa took me from the ground and up to the pedestal where royalty stood over her subjects. She declared that it was now the last phase of the mourning period. Then she handed over the sword of the fallen amazon princess declaring that the one who was given her right of caste was also required to avenge her death with the sword.
For a moment I took the sword and looked it over fascinated by how petite it was, but when I heard the responsibility which came with this mighty sword I knew I was in trouble. There was no way that I was going to take someone’s life. Upon my open objection queen Melosa explained that if I did not it would be treason according to amazon law which was punishable by my own death. The death sentence upon the centaur Phantes was to be carried out upon the high sun the next day. Suddenly, I found myself within a deep responsibility that I really was unprepared for. I soon wondered where Xena had gone for I needed her now more than ever before. She would know what to do.
Xena had been gone the entire day and she did not return to me through the night for she had been investigating. Her investigation had led her to discover many details about this impending war. Xena’s first visit had been to see Tyldus. She had met up with him and his small group of elite warriors while studying the murder scene looking for clues. While there she had saved the life of one of his men as they tried to do battle before a truce was reached between Xena and Tyldus despite their jaded past. Xena had killed over half of Tyldus’s army and Tyldus was still angered over it. Upon convincing Tyldus of peace and of holding off his attack on the amazon nation Xena discovered that a man had been traveling with the group who was not a centaur. She found this quite strange, but only took a mental note of it. The man had also been carrying a very nice dagger which had a red stone within it.
Xena suspected that there was a third-party involved in the situation and she had to figure out who it was. The warrior princess was certain that the third-party had wanted to ensure war between the centaurs and amazons for personal gain. When she left Tyldus’s camp she found herself following the man whom had been carrying the impressive knife. He led her into another camp. It was the camp of the warlord known as Krykus. Things were beginning to come together for the warrior princess for now she had a third-party. Krykus had everything to gain by allowing the amazons and the centaurs to fight. Xena followed Krykus back to the amazon camp and overheard his meeting with queen Melosa. He was candid with the queen in mourning for he wanted to make certain that she would go to war with Tyldus. Melosa was indeed ready for war no matter the cost for she was certain that Phantes was the murderer. With the war certain to happen all Krykus had to do was sit back and wait.
It was then that Xena realized that she needed to find proof that the warlord was responsible for the death of Terreis. She went back to the murder scene to discover that there were a few substantial clues, but not enough to convince a queen in mourning of her sister. While studying the scene Xena was attacked in the darkness by an amazon. It was Ephiny who had suspected that maybe the warrior princess had something to do with Terreis’s murder. Ephiny fought against Xena though Xena had warned against it. Of course Xena defeated the amazon only to find that a centaur was about to strike.
As the helpless defeated Ephiny laid upon the ground a centaur rose his sword above her preparing to strike. Xena jumped down out of the trees to save Ephiny from the centaur, but Ephiny then took her bow from the ground and tried to shoot the centaur through the chest. Xena caught the arrow with her bare hand and saved him too. Quickly she and Ephiny escaped back into the trees as Xena explained the Ephiny the truth of Terreis’s murder. She also showed the evidence, but wanted to find more. Ephiny and Xena then traveled to Krykus’s camp together. It was certain that as long as no centaur or amazon had killed another that the war could be prevented with the right information. Xena sent Ephiny to look for weapons while Xena dropped in to visit the warlord. She wanted him to know that she was onto him and hoped that there was something there that would allow her to prove his guilt.
He was confident at first certain that the warrior princess couldn’t stop his war, but then she took notice of his maps. They had shown him as the ruler of the land. The amazons and centaurs were not shown upon his map. And as Krykus tried to argue his way out of that Xena noticed that his knife looked just like the one that the man had earlier. Krykus was not the killer, but he had the motive. And so Xena and Ephiny traveled back toward the amazon camp hoping to reach it before noon when Tyldus would start the war to save his son’s life.
Noon came quickly as I stood upon the podium holding the sword of the deceased amazon princess. The powerful amazon queen was standing next to me pressing for me to take the life of this honorable centaur. Something in my heart spoke strongly against this act. When Phantes was asked to give his last words he declined at first until he looked into my eyes. He could see that I knew in my heart that he couldn’t possibly be a killer. And so he professed his sorrow for Melosa and the amazon nation for their loss. It was clear that Phantes was sincere. Melosa was beyond sincere for she wanted her vengeance. It was just like the villagers who had sentenced Xena despite her innocence. It seemed that people were unable to think clearly when their loved ones had been taken from them. No matter how wise or how tender-hearted a person was vengeance would always win over truth.
I prepared to kill this beautiful centaur for if I did not it would be my own death. My hands shook with nervous tension as I pressed the sharp blade to his chest. Several moments passed by, but I could not bring myself to push it through his heart as he looked at me. There was so much regret within his eyes. It was unbearable. Yet I couldn’t face death for myself so I had to choose. And just as I was about to make that horrible choice Xena and Ephiny returned to camp. They proclaimed that they indeed have evidence which would exonerate the accused. I was so relieved that I thanked the gods for intervening. Xena handed over a leather pouch to me. I opened it and investigated its soft moist contents. The warrior princess explained that hoof prints were found which showed that the killer had ridden in on horseback and not been a centaur. Also Xena explained that centaurs did not eat hay like the horse that had left behind the contents within the pouch.
Melosa’s vengeance still won out as she took the sword herself and prepared to have Eponin execute the innocent centaur. Just before the execution was to take place Xena suddenly demanded a royal challenge against Queen Melosa.  Melosa confronted the warrior princess for her challenge against her. Amazon law stated that only an amazon of royal blood could demand this royal challenge. Then Xena looked to me. For a moment I wasn’t certain of what I should do and then I realized that I could demand the royal challenge for I was now of royal amazon blood. Queen Melosa turned to face me and smirked. She was amused that I had demanded this of her. Melosa then explained that demanding a royal challenge meant a fight to the death. It meant that I would have to fight Queen Melosa to the death which was something that I didn’t actually want to do. Then Ephiny spoke up stating that I had to go through with the challenge since I had demanded it. Ephiny told me that I must choose my weapon or choose my champion.
This did not make sense to me. I knew that I didn’t want to choose a weapon, but what did she mean by champion. I looked to her for answers, but she did not speak another word. Instead Ephiny’s eyes moved toward the warrior princess who waited patiently for me to choose my champion. Suddenly, I realized what it all had meant. With relief I chose Xena to be my champion for I knew that she would indeed defeat the Queen. Queen Melosa found herself deeply wounded that one of her own would go against her. Melosa stated that if she were to win the challenge that not only would Xena die, but so would Ephiny and I. This indeed sounded quite serious.
So Xena was asked to choose the weapon for the battle. Xena pulled out her sword and chackram and looked them over carefully. She was seemingly dissatisfied, but then her face lit up. The warrior princess chose choeboes. Choeboes were a pair of small thin wooden sticks. It was a weapon that would be difficult to kill with, but not impossible if one were skilled. Queen Melosa’s face showed a look of surprise yet interest at the warrior prinecess’s choice. As the two women prepared for their deul Ephiny instructed Xena on how to fight against Melosa. She warned that Melosa was indeed quick, but that she had a blind spot on her right side. Xena took the information and prepared to defeat Melosa.
The battle started quickly and the sticks clashed together making the most interesting sounds like the beat of the amazon drums. Queen Melosa was confident that she would defeat this warrior princess who had been an intruder upon her lands. She had brought with her someone who was not prepared to accept responsibility. As I watched the two warriors battle and flip around one another I realized that I was truly not an amazon of responsibility. I wondered if I would ever understand that responsibility. Melosa was quite determined to uphold Amazon law and to prove her Queen hood. But Xena was just as determined to prevent two nations from going into an unnecessary war. Fortunately, Xena won the battle and took mercy upon the Queen for she did not really want to take Melosa’s life. She told Melosa that she needed her to help in defeating the warlord Krykus.
Then Xena rose and helped the Queen to her feat. Melosa was defeated and in shame that she had not been able to prove her skill as Queen. Yet there was little time to mope for the centaur army appeared within the amazon camp with Tyldus at the head. They were with weapons drawn ready to go to war against the amazon nation. Tyldus demanded to see the leader of the amazon nation and then Xena moved to the head of the amazons. He was not surprised that she had come to command the amazons, but Xena declared that the war was over. She declared that Tyldus had already won by showing her what choosing one’s battles wisely meant. The warrior princess and her amazons had chosen not to fight this battle on this days. She declared that the centaurs had indeed won. And then she threw down her sword. The amazon sisters followed their new queen and threw down their weapons as well. Finally Melosa the true queen followed reluctantly for she was still not certain that Krykus was responsible.
Then Xena explained to all who were witness that the true enemy was Krykus the warlord for though he did not actually kill Terreis he had everything to win. When Melosa questioned this Xena then revealed who the true murderer was. She pulled out the large dagger with the red-eye. The lone man alongside the centaur army reached for his belt revealing himself to all. Xena had succeeded in getting her confession when she declared that she had stolen her dagger from Krykus. The warlord had given these daggers as gifts and so all had been solved. The cowardly murderer ran as Tyldus was prepared to capture him. But Xena advised against it. Instead she suggested that the centaur nation and amazon nation unite as one to go up against Krykus.
And so the two nations were new allies as the amazons rode into Krykus’s camp upon chariots pulled by the centaurs. This was my first battle and so my heart was racing with excitement. I hoped that my training had been enough to get me through. The sound of a battle is a strange one. It’s like a roar of chaos. The chaos of voices and weapons clashing and men screaming to their deaths. It’s a rush like no other, but there is a great comerodery there between soldiers. This feeling for me could be described as the new sisterhood and brotherhood that had united as one.
Upon reaching the enemy camp they charged forward toward us. We charged ahead into their camp. Krykus’s army was not extremely large. It was maybe an army of 75 men at best. I had heard of armies of a much greater size from other bards. There was a sense of victory in the air and it made sense now why Krykus had attempted to turn the amazons against the centaurs for he could not have won a battle against one nation or the other one on one.
Though the strategy of the warlord had been a good one the warrior princess’s interference saved two great nations from total destruction. As I fought men face to face it was like no other experience I’d had before. They had swords and I only had a staff, but indeed Ephiny had prepared me to fight like a true amazon princess. I blocked their thrusting swords from in front of me and then behind. I used my own weapon to knock them over their heads or across the chest. At first my confidence had been uncertain, but I was finding that I was a much better fighter than I had anticipated I could be. After defeating a few scum I turned around to see that Ephiny was in trouble. I ran behind her attacker and knocked him down to rescue my amazon friend.
Queen Melosa had her own battle to fight. She immediately seeked out Krykus and fought him in a hand to hand combat with the choeboes. It was obvious that Melosa was much more skilled that the warlord. Krykus laughed with contempt as he swung his weapon confident that he would defeat the Amazon Queen. He had forgotten that Melosa was driven by her vengeance for the justice she seeked in the name of her sister. And so Melosa gracefully took down the warlord with her choeboes ready to kill. Then Xena stepped in to remind Melosa that he must be taken for trial before he could be sentenced by amazon law. And though Xena prevented Melosa from having vengeance Xena found herself seeking the true murderer.
The coward had fled the battle and the camp thinking that he would escape the wrath of the warrior princess for he had seen her in action. She followed him into the woods and through the valley. Then the warrior princess climbed into the trees above to head off the enemy. There she waited for him to come by as she stood next to a tree up ahead of him. When he approached he had not expected to see her before him. His eyes were fearful as he shook in his boots. The warrior princess smiled before she took out her whip. Then the enemy tried to escape as the warrior princess used her whip and swung back up into the trees to kick him to the ground. He fell and as he got up he knew that he had to fight her. There was no other choice. And so as the warrior princess wrapped up her whip to return it to her nitch he drew his red-eyed dagger preparing to strike her from behind.
Indeed this man had been a coward for he would not fight a warrior princess hand to hand, but he would stab her in the back. That was the flaw in Krykus’s plan. He had chosen a coward to do a coward’s bidding. And so Xena then drew her sword from behind as she felt the enemy approaching and thrust it vengefully into his stomach. There the coward fell and took his last breath for the warrior princess had sentenced him to death.
Upon ending the battle the centaurs and the amazons rejoined back at the amazon camp. They began discussing peace and of how to reach common views that could be accepted by both nations. Ephiny’s friend Terreis had once said that centaurs were noble and honorable creatures. Phantees had proven to Ephiny and all other Amazons that Terreis had been right. Terreis would have made a wonderful Amazon Queen. If Xena had not come and she had not been killed Terreis most certainly would have united the two nations without the threat of war.
And so I realized after all of this a few things about myself. I realized that being a warrior and an amazon was not an easy role. That war was not as great as bards had told it to be and that I too had a place. My place was alongside Xena and to help her fight against the darkness. Yet I had to do more than that. I had to be sure that all knew of our wonderful adventures and journeys.  And so it all began with a warrior princess and an amazon princess.  Fighting alongside one another for the goodwill of all humanity.

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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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