The Xena Scrolls: Scroll #98: Seeds of Faith

By Brandy Seymour | Xena Scrolls | 3 Jul 2021

The Xena Scrolls

By:  Gabrielle Bard of Podedia

Scroll  #98  :  Seeds of Faith

May, 44 B.C.

     I reveal to you a story of truth and of tragedy.  It is the heart breaking story of the courage of those who have chosen to follow the way of love and peace for all of the world.  This story begins in the village of Pilos where followers of a great teacher were courageously led in the ways of love and peace, but were challenged by those who were not certain of its meaning.  Xena and Gabrielle listened quietly as they entered the tavern to investigate what all of the excitement was about.  One man wasn’t so convinced of the teachings of this new leader of peace.  He threatened to shed the blood of the one who spoke of the word of peace.  As he raised his scythe for the kill, but Xena’s chakram dissolved the conflict with grace.  Xena inquired of the problem and the speaker of the word of peace stated that it was just a small disagreement.

     Peace only lasted momentarily for a brawl broke out within the tavern as Gabrielle moved to stop another who had reached for a concealed weapon.  Xena’s hope of being able to stop violence with words was struck down by this new conflict.  It was a short battle as Xena and Gabrielle once again took control after a few moments of swords clashing.  Then Xena discovered that the man whom Gabrielle had struck for his weapon had only been reaching for his handkerchief.  Xena was not amused that Gabrielle had drawn her weapons mistakenly.  It had been a foolish move.  Xena scolded her friend for making a bad decision.  The leader of the group of peace lovers expressed his own discontent with Gabrielle’s move.

     Suddenly Ares appeared before them seemingly surprised to see that Xena was carrying a child.  He snickered and asked who the father was.  Xena expressed that Gabrielle would be taking the place of an absent and unknown father.  Ares was amused at this.  Xena was curious as to why Ares had shown himself at a small village squabble for it wasn’t like the god of war to waste his time with such small matters when there were wars to tend to in the field.  Ares did not answer Xena’s question and then Xena knew what it was that he had come to do.  He had come to stop the twilight of the gods from taking place.  Ares was afraid that these followers of a new peace would interfere with the order of the gods.  Of course it was only myth and legend, but to Ares this was a real threat to his own reign as a god of Mount Olympus. 

     Once Xena had figured out Ares’s angle Ares was angered as he warned Xena to stay out of it.  He reminded her that the choices she made were not only affecting her, but her child as well.  Ares threatened to take Xena’s life and the life of her child if she found herself to close.  And with that he vanished in af flash of light with in standard god style. 

     Xena and Gabrielle offered to accompany the leader of these followers of the tavern to his own mentor for they had caused so much trouble.  As they walked toward the other end of Pilos Xena again expressed to Gabrielle that it was not like her to be the first to draw a weapon when words had always been her strong point.  Gabrielle was not phased by this.  She reminded Xena of the many times that she had saved Xena from making the choice to kill many times before.  Xena backed down realizing that Gabrielle was right and she apologized for thinking as a mother rather than as a warrior.  Gabrielle reminded Xena that she was able to handle tough situations and that she was no longer the young naive wide-eyed child that Xena had once met in the small village of Podedia many years before. 

     Xena was curious as to who this wonderful teacher was which everyone had seemed to follow so enthusiastically.  The leader from the tavern spoke of a man called Eli.  Xena and Gabrielle were surprised yet impressed that Eli had done so much since they had last met.  They approached Eli as Gabrielle was excited to see her friend once again.  She tapped him on the shoulder as he turned around he too was surprised to see an old friend.  Eli was very excited to share of his teachings with his friends and they were eager to listen for Eli seemed to be on the right path whereas Xena and Gabrielle still felt confusion inside.  Eli was brave as he preached to his followers and he spoke of not needing scared daggers, but only love to win the battle.

     Gabrielle was warm inside feeling the power of Eli’s love and confidence.  She joined him privately as they caught up with one another in time.  Eli’s confidence in his work puzzled Gabrielle who was now a warrior.  She had once followed him with such eagerness and now she felt shame for the choice she had made to take up arms.  Eli sensed this and questioned her about it. Gabrielle denied feeling as though she had made the wrong choice, but she couldn’t see herself having stayed with Eli for her eyes had seen so much pain yet her heart yearned for something more.  Eli did not look down upon his friend for choosing the way of the warrior over the way of peace.  He assured Gabrielle that no matter what she did she would never be able to disappoint him.

     And then Ares interrupted the reunion between two friends.  He had come to make a deal with Eli and it was very simple.  Ares demanded that Eli give up on his teachings of love and peace in order to save the lives of many including his own.  But Eli was not afraid.  Eli refused to back down as he questioned Ares about his current breath of life.  Ares warned Eli that he had spared his life because there were always multiple ways to accomplish a win in the strategy of battle for which he had had much experience and expertise being the god of war.  And then Ares disappeared again in standard god style.  Gabrielle worried about her friend wanting to stand up to Ares on the premise of love and peace for she had seen before how neither were strong enough to escape the death and destruction of war.

     Xena returned from her scouting to report that Ares had set up an army just a half day away on its way to sack Eli and his followers of Pilos.  Eli was not phased by this as he continued on with his teachings.  Xena urged him to pack up with his followers and move on, but Eli again refused.  Eli would not be swayed by threats from the god of war for war had no power in his eyes.  This frustrated Xena.  She could not allow the death of a dear friend for his naive ways of love and peace.  Xena could not allow many innocent people to be slaughtered over these teachings.  Though she as did Gabrielle wanted to believe in them they knew better.  Xena went on ahead and left Gabrielle behind to protect Eli.  It was a big responsibility, but Gabrielle was up for the challenge.  This was another tough situation which she was confident in handling.   

     A night went by as Xena and Gabrielle anticipated the arrival of the wrath of Ares.  Both were ready and both were prepared to do battle in the name of the greater good.  And though Eli was confident of his teachings and his purpose in the world he too held fear within, but was comforted and reassured by the angels of heaven.  Eli knew what it was that he had to do and so early the next morning he awoke to face his ultimate life’s challenge for there was no other way.  Eli preached with even more passion than before as he rallied the powerful energy of his followers.  Ares appeared once again before Eli flattered that Eli would do all of this in the name of challenging him.

     Eli was not amused, but serious for he knew what was on the horizon.  Gabrielle stood ready to protect the champion of love and peace as she drew her sais.  Ares once again demanded that Eli drop his teachings as he declared to the people that Eli’s words were lies.  He swore to the people that Eli was leading them to their deaths.  Ares declared his godhood commandingly looking to regain the respect of the people of Pilos.  He was giving Eli one last chance.  But Eli would not back down.  Eli rose to Ares’s challenge and assured Ares that this was indeed his own last chance.  The people themselves were the ones who determined their own fates. 

    Ares glared back at this defiance and raised his sword for the kill, but Gabrielle shielded Eli blocking the first thrust.  Eli asked Gabrielle not to save his life with violence for it was wrong and it would harm the future of the world.  Gabrielle struggled with this.  Her heart wanted to listen, but her mind could not surrender what it knew of the ways of the world.  Ares struck again and again Gabrielle shielded her friend with her sais from death at war’s hands.  Eli took his student and once again pleaded with her not to save his life with violence and this time he looked into her eyes deeply.  He reached into her soul and asked for its faith.  Gabrielle’s mind finally surrendered to the will of her spirit and she lowered her weapons defenseless.  She turned away for a moment as Ares lifted his sword for one last thrust.

     The sword was clean as it went through the chest of Eli and then out again.  Life’s breath had been taken from Eli by war’s desires as Gabrielle turned to see the nightmare before her.  Eli’s body fell into her arms as he did not answer her as she called his name.  The god of war stood before them triumphantly yet he was alone for no one cheered.  All was quiet as all who witnessed the death of Eli at the hand of war were robbed of any words or emotion.  Ares watched as Gabrielle fell with Eli’s body to the ground and disbelief had set in.  She then looked upon Ares as the god of war disappeared from the scene.

     Gabrielle could not believe that she had listened to Eli.  She could not believe that she had allowed him to die at Ares’s hand when she had known all along that love would not triumph.  Gabrielle wept in agony for her loss as angels took Eli from the world.  Soon after Xena had returned from defeating Ares’s small army of death to find her friend clutching Eli’s body in mourning.  Xena inquired of Gabrielle who tried to regain her composure for warriors did not cry on a good day.  She was at loss for words.  The crowd began to shout out betrayal as Xena questioned Gabrielle.  Gabrielle would not have it.  She rose from Eli’s lifeless body and challenged Xena who was disappointed that Gabrielle had chosen to listen to the teacher of love and peace.  Gabrielle was intensely confused and angry.  She had only done what she had thought was right.  But now who knew what was right?  Was Ares truly right?  Was the world only shaped by warriors and the blood that their swords would shed?

    The two friends were once again torn over a common theme.  The warrior way or the way of peace and love had divided them yet again.  Gabrielle mourned alone in the wasteland of the dessert practicing with her weapons once more.  She punished herself for not doing what she had to do.  Not only was she divided from Xena, but she was also deeply divided within.  And then Ares appeared before the dead white oak as Gabrielle turned to face him.  The anger boiled within as she threw one of her weapons at his chest in fury.  Ares smiled as he caught it short of its mark.  He commented on the skills that Gabrielle had acquired since the first time they had met many moons before.  Gabrielle was not humored by this.  She threw another weapon at his forehead only to watch him effortlessly stop its forward thrust as well. 

     And then Gabrielle confronted him directly.  She blamed him for Eli’s death.  If it hadn’t been for Ares’s selfish ways Eli might not have perished at his hand.  Ares felt Gabrielle’s pain and a part of him seemingly cared showing a slight compassion for the suffering warrior.  He approached Gabrielle promising to show her what it would feel like if she only had the power to change the world.  Ares stepped before the young warrior easing the pain into a blissful triumphant feeling.  For just a moment Ares had released the young warrior from her anguish inside.  It was amazing to Gabrielle that the god of war could so easily take away her pain.  It was a pain that he had brought to her and now he was easing it. 

     Gabrielle did not understand.  And Ares knew that he had her in the palm of his hand.  Ares promised that Gabrielle had done the right thing.  He vowed that might was the right choice even when it was wrong.  And as Ares disappeared leaving Gabrielle with that thought she was seriously considering joining Ares hoping that there would be some resolution or something that could be learned from the Gods of the order of Olympus.

     When Gabrielle finally returned to the village Xena was lighting a funeral fire in honor of the fallen soldier of peace.  She sang her trademark funeral processional for yet another of her many friends who had fallen victim to the violence of our world.  As Xena’s voice faded into the sound of the burning flames Gabrielle again mourned alone.  Xena could see the confusion and the pain within her friend’s heart and she knew that she could not allow it to go unpunished.  She decided that she would go after Ares, and she knew just who to confront with this task.

     That night Gabrielle spoke to Eli’s spirit in the darkness of the village.  She confessed to him how she had spoken with Ares and had considered learning from him, but she also asked of Eli what he had asked of her.  She asked him to have faith in her and the choices that she would have to make as Eli had asked of her. 

     And on the next morning as Ares preached to the people of Pilos in an attempt to regain their faith in his own reign they refused him.  Though their leader Eli had been slain they still believed in his message.  The people of Pilos chanted the name of Eli with passion and in glory.  Ares was displeased that the death of Eli had not drawn the fear that he had expected.  Fear had always been his weapon of control against the people and now Eli’s courageous death had instilled the same courage within his followers.  Just as Ares was about to slay another victim Gabrielle interrupted ready to fight for what it was she believed in.  Ares shrugged her off not realizing that she had come to stand against him rather than with him.

     Gabrielle had come to Ares with a lesson of her own as he had done the day before.  The lesson she had learned was from Xena and it was one that she had always known since they had traveled together.  Peace was worth fighting for no matter what the consequences.  Ares was not amused and so he engaged in battle with the young warrior.  Gabrielle attacked her enemy with passion and determination.  He defended himself smoothly as he brushed her aside like an insect.  But Gabrielle refused to allow Ares to win this battle.  She again threw her weapons against Ares who once again dodged them effortlessly.  But he was angered at her challenge.  As he approached, the young warrior Gabrielle took Ares's sword from the place it rested in the ground and prepared to finish what Ares had started.  She moved forward upon him with a thrust of the sword, but Ares directed the sword into another within the crowd.  He then threw Gabrielle to the ground and stole a sword from another member of the crowd.  Ares prepared to kill this champion of a greater good, and she prepared to take her death with pride.  But just before he thrust the sword into his victim Xena’s chakram interrupted the blood fest.

     Xena had come with her own weapon as Ares was caught off guard.  It was a dagger.  Ares was not afraid.  He couldn’t believe that Xena would come into battle so unprepared.  Ares laughed at this display of bravery until Xena revealed that the dagger was not just an ordinary dagger.  It was the dagger of Helios which was said to have the power to kill even the gods.  Ares took a deep breath as Xena held the dagger to his throat about to take his life to pay for Eli’s.  And as Xena moved for the kill she stopped.  Suddenly it was all clear to her.  Eli’s death was what would set in motion the twilight of the gods.  She didn’t have to kill Ares.  Ares had sealed his own fate by playing into Eli’s hands.  Ares had been the fool.  Xena told Ares that she was going to spare his life so that Eli’s death would not be in vain.

     She threw down the dagger of Helios and turned to walk away.  For Ares the battle was not over.  He grabbed the dagger and then held it to Xena’s throat.  Ares was going to win this battle one way or another.  Someone was going to die.  Xena took his threat bravely.  She reminded him that if he took her life it would only make Eli’s cause that much more powerful.  Xena knew that Ares would back down.  And Ares did, but not without reminding Xena that it wasn’t over.  They would settle this later. 

     As the god of war vanished from the crowd Xena and Gabrielle reunited their friendship in strength and with understanding.  Forgiveness of each other’s faults and their love for one another most of all.  And then it happened.  The most spectacular thing.  There before the two friends appeared the spirit of Eli and of Callisto.  Eli was pleased to see that the faith between two friends was strong with one another.  He thanked Xena for making the right choice in keeping his cause alive so that his death was not in vain.  And then Callisto revealed that it was ordained that she return to earth to start a new mortal life.  At that moment it was known that Callisto’s purified spirit had been the one who had given Xena a fresh start.  So it was all about forgiveness of past sins, faith of loving friends, and knowing that fighting for one’s beliefs was not in vain.  Standing up and fighting for love and peace was right even if it felt wrong.

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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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