Episode Guide Teaser Act 1 Act 2 Act 3 Act 4


ACT ONE

 

FADE IN:

 

INT. INN - EVENING

 

Xena and Gabrielle enter the local inn, which is packed to the rafters with people. Everyone is talking and laughing and having a good time, but it is standing room only. They make their way through the crowd to the bar where the INNKEEPER looks up and greets them.

 

INNKEEPER

Welcome strangers. What can

I do for you this fine night?

 

GABRIELLE

We need a room.

 

INNKEEPER

Ah yes, well with the festival taking

place I only have one room left. Itís

not the best room in the place and Iíd

feel bad about charging you for it. Why

donít you just go ahead and take it?

Third floor, last room on the left.

 

GABRIELLE

Why thank you.

Thatís very kind of you.

 

INNKEEPER

In the spirit of the festival.

 

As they walk away Xena watches everyone in the room and just shakes her head.

 

GABRIELLE

Whatís wrong?

 

XENA

These people are way too happy.

 

 

Gabrielle takes a good look around, noting that most everyone has one thing in common with everyone else there.

 

GABRIELLE

Nah, theyíre just drunk.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT.HALLWAY - EVENING

 

Finding the door to their room, Xena pushes the door open and stops dead before entering.  The scowl on her face says more than words.

 

XENA

He wasnít kidding.

 

 

GABRIELLE

What?

 

Xena steps back and Gabrielle peers into the room which is just big enough to hold the small bed with just a few inches of room around it on either side-.  It is debatable if the bed is large enough for one of them, much less both. 

 

Their belongings will have to hang from the pegs jutting from the walls, and Xena looks doubtful as to whether or not the heavy saddlebags will stay without bringing the walls down around them.

 

GABRIELLE

Okay, itís small.

 

Xena raises an eyebrow and looks at Gabrielle incredulously.

 

XENA

Small? Gabrielle, weíll have to come

out into the hall to change our minds.

 

Gabrielle laughs but tosses her bag on the bed.

 

GABRIELLE

Weíre only going to sleep in it

Xena. Itís not like weíre going

to host a festival party.

 

Xena agrees and tosses her saddlebags in before letting Gabrielle go in ahead of her.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. BEDROOM - EVENING

 

The bag and saddlebags are now hanging precariously from the wall pegs on either side of the bed. Gabrielle lies down on the bed, because with her and Xena in the same room there just isnít a lot of choice. 

 

GABRIELLE

Ugh, the mattress is lumpy.

 

 

XENA

Oh come on, how bad can it

be in this slice of Elysia?

 

Gabrielle scoots over to try and make room for Xena, discovering she canít roll off because the wall is holding her in place.  She sighs and motions to the small space left.

 

GABRIELLE

See for yourself.

 

Lying down next to her partner, Xena wiggles around in the bed a little, trying desperately to find a comfortable spot. After a minute or so she stops and smiles at Gabrielle.

 

XENA

There ya go. You only had to find

the dents left by the last occupant.

 

GABRIELLE

Tell you what. You lay on the

mattress and Iíll just lay on you.

 

Gabrielle climbs on top of Xena and smiles down at her.  She wiggles a little getting into her favorite spot, and makes herself comfortable with a sigh.

 

GABRIELLE

(contíd)

Much better.

 

XENA

Youíre welcome to stay there,

but I have to tell you, the

mattress is not that bad.

 

GABRIELLE

Thatís okay... I really

prefer *this* mattress.

 

She pats Xenaís chest.

 

Xena begins laughing so hard that Gabrielle and the bed are both shaking. Gabrielle joins in on the laughter and after a few seconds the bed collapses under them. They pause and look at each other and then break out into new gales of laughter.

 

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. INN - EVENING

 

They return to the common room to find it more crowded than before. Xena makes her way along the wall to the end of the bar where she manages to capture the innkeeperís attention.

 

She has to practically shout to be heard over the revelry.

 

XENA

Any chance of getting a hot bath?

 

INNKEEPER

Eventually, but there are about

a dozen people ahead of you.

 

XENA

A hot meal?

 

INNKEEPER

Second seating is

in about two marks.

 

He sees the dark look on Xenaís face and the rather disappointed look on Gabrielleís and makes another suggestion.

 

INNKEEPER

There are public baths two streets over

and a lot of vendors for the festival have

fine food if you donít mind eating outdoors.

 

Xena and Gabrielle exchange a wordless look.  Xena then turns to the innkeeper and nods.

 

XENA

Thanks. Thatíll do.

 

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. STREETS - EVENING

 

Walking down the street, itís clear that the festival is in full swing, even more so than it had been earlier. There are bright colors all around them, and the people are singing and dancing. Music is playing from somewhere off in the distance.

 

Vendors are selling every manner of food and drink imaginable to man, and the smells are curiously enticing.

 

GABRIELLE

This is kind of nice. We havenít

been to a real festival in a long time.

 

XENA

I think a break is in order. Weíve

been through a lot this year.

 

GABRIELLE

Iím all for that. So whatís

first, food or bath?

 

XENA

Food. Definitely food.

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. VILLAGE - EVENING

 

Torches are being lit all around the village and the party shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. Xena and Gabrielle are sitting at a table eating from plates piled high with different types of food.

 

GABRIELLE

Well, you certainly get your

moneyís worth in this village.

 

XENA

And the food is good too.

Thatís a switch.

 

 

As they eat, they notice a man dressed in armor take the makeshift stage that has been set up nearby.  They watch as a crowd gathers around him. He has a staff in his hand and invites them to listen to him.

 

They turn their attention to listen as well, wondering if the man is some sort of bard.

 

MAN

Ladies and gentlemen, His Majesty, King

Nessos of Argos, hopes all of you enjoy

the festival.  For those of you who are

willing, King Nessos extends an invitation

to join in the hunt for the Ring of Zeus.

 

There is an excited buzz at this pronouncement and the crowd becomes a bit more animated.

 

Xena and Gabrielle look at each other without speaking a word, then they rise from the table and move to where the man is standing.  Others who have been listening to him file over to a table where two more guards are taking down names.

 

GABRIELLE

Excuse me?

 

MAN

Yes?

 

GABRIELLE

What is this about a ring?

 

MAN

Youíre not from around

here, are you?

 

XENA

Does that matter?

 

MAN

Not at all. Iím Ithlas, the

Kingís Chief Guard.

 

GABRIELLE

How do you do, Ithlas? Iím

Gabrielle and this is Xena.

 

His eyes widen and a smile comes across his face.

 

ITHLAS

THE Xena and Gabrielle?

From the legends?

 

XENA

The only ones we know of.

 

ITHLAS

King Nessos would be delighted if you

two would join in the hunt this year.

If you could find the Ring of Zeus,

you would be rewarded well.

 

XENA

Tell us more about this ring.

 

 

ITHLAS

Actually, why donít you accompany

me to the castle? Iím sure that King Nessos

would be happy to tell you more about it.

 

Xenaís raises one brow as she considerers the request.

 

XENA

Can we get a bath?

 

ITHLAS

Absolutely.  The king would be delighted

to have two heroes such as you as

guests for this yearís festival.

 

Xena and Gabrielle look at one another for a long moment before reaching a wordless decision.  There is something almost comical in their expressions, and Ithlas watches them in fascination.

 

GABRIELLE

Weíll have to go back to

the inn to get our....

 

ITHLAS

Nonsense! Iíll be happy to send

a page to fetch your belongings.

Please come with me.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. CASTLE Ė NIGHT

 

Ithlas leads Xena and Gabrielle into a large, well appointed throne room. He gestures to a table and chairs.

 

ITHLAS

Please wait here. Iíll let the

King know youíre here.

 

Ithlas leaves and Xena starts snooping around the room. Sheís peeking around statues and looking at the weapons and the tapestries hanging on the walls.

 

Gabrielle takes a seat and drums her fingers on the table, making her own assessment of the room.  It is comfortable without being ostentatious, and show signs of loving care and use.

 

Xena drops into a chair next to Gabrielle and props her head on her fist.

 

GABRIELLE

So, do you think thereís

a ring of Zeus?

 

XENA

Iím sure there is.

Zeus was a show off.

 

GABRIELLE

Thereís an understatement. But how

do you suppose it ended up here?

 

 

Xena rises and walks back towards the window, crossing her arms over her chest as she considers the question.

 

XENA

Actually we donít even know there is

a ring. I overheard conversations in

the square that Nessos has been

holding this scavenger hunt for

years and no one has found it.

 

NESSOS

But there is a ring.

 

They both turn to face the King who has entered without them noticing.  He traverses the room with arms extended in greeting.

 

NESSOS

Welcome to Argos. It is a

pleasure to have you here.

 

GABRIELLE

Thank you, Sire.

 

The King moves to his throne and takes a seat.  He studies them for a moment, then gestures to Xena to resume her seat.  She does so with a bit of reluctance.

 

Gabrielle folds her hand on the table and leans forward in a listening position.  Xena crosses her long legs at the ankles, and folds her arms across her chest, effecting an air of bored indifference.

 

NESSOS

I assure you Xena, there is a ring

and it is here, somewhere. When the

Gods were in fear of the twilight....

 

He pauses and waits for a reaction from Xena and Gabrielle that never comes. They both continue to watch and wait for him to continue.

 

NESSOS

(contíd)

As they prepared for the end,

various Gods spread their treasure

around the known world. The

Ring of Zeus was left here.

 

XENA

And youíre sure of this why?

 

NESSOS

Because I have seen it.

 

Xenaís eyebrow arches, but that is the sole indication that she heard the Kingís words.

 

XENA

So why donít you go get it?

 

NESSOS

I canít.

 

Gabrielleís face creases in a frown.

 

GABRIELLE

Why not?

 

 

NESSOS

I tried, but despite my best efforts,

I donít know where it is.  Every

time I think I have it figured

out, well, itís not there.

 

Xena looks at Gabrielle and then to Nessos.  Not surprisingly, the more they learn, the less understandable it is becoming.

 

XENA

Then how did you see it?

 

NESSOS

As a boy, my education was conducted

under the tutorship of Zeusí priests.  I

was in the temple the day he left the

ring and instructions with his high

priest Emanus.  I only caught a

glimpse, but I know it is real.

 

GABRIELLE

Why do you want it?

 

NESSOS

Because with the Ring of Zeus

will give me the power to be

a great king. A king of kings.

 

XENA

I need to talk to my

partner for a moment.

 

 

NESSOS

Of course. Take your time.

 

Xena gestures to Gabrielle, and they move to the other side of the room for a more private conversation.  Gabrielle leans her head in toward Xena to whisper softly.

 

GABRIELLE

What do you think?

 

XENA

I think we need to find this ring before

he does. Nobody needs that much

power, especially if they want it.

 

GABRIELLE

I canít argue with that logic.  Besides,

there is something almost... familiar

about this ring story... something

important. I guess weíre in?

 

XENA

Yeah, I think so.

 

They both turn back to Nessos and smile.

 

XENA

It sounds... intriguing.

 

NESSOS

Excellent. Please allow me to offer

you the hospitality of my home.

Chambers have been prepared and

your things are waiting for you.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT

 

The room is cozy.  The bed is large and soft, and takes up the better part of one wall.  Aside from the table with two chairs, there is also a low-slung couch in front of the fireplace.  The bathing chamber is off to one side, emitting the delicate scent of jasmine.  The sound of running water comes from that direction.

 

Gabrielle is seated at a table, peeling an apple with a small knife. Xena is tending to the fire, poking it and carefully putting on another log.

 

GABRIELLE

I need to do some research.  I am

sure there is more to this than just

being able to become a king of kings.

Zeus would never have made it possible

for a mortal to become so powerful

without some sort of catch.

 

XENA

Agreed.  We were a little too busy at the

time of the twilight to pay attention to all

the stories and rumors floating around then.

 

GABRIELLE

Youíre really worried about this ring

thing arenít you?  That it might be true.

 

 

XENA

Yeah, the gods themselves were bad

enough. Can you imagine what the

world would come to if mortals

possess the things that hold that power?

(beat)

Can you imagine what the world would

have been like if *I* had had that

kind of power before I met you?

 

GABRIELLE

You really think the world would

be that much different?

 

XENA

So much so that if the ring does exist

and we find it... Iím going to destroy it.

 

GABRIELLE

Try to destroy it, you mean. If it

really is the Ring of Zeus,

destroying it may not be possible.

 

XENA

This is true, but if I canít destroy it, I

can certainly put it someplace no one

will ever find it. Thereís still an active

lava flow near the old Amazon village.

 

A knock on the door stops further conversation. Xena strolls over and pulls it open to find a small man who looks like he is about to have a nervous breakdown. He is holding an arm full of parchments.

 

Xena motions him in and he steps over the threshold... barely.  She doesnít have room to close the door.

 

She looks at Gabrielle who shrugs in return.

 

MAN

Good evening Madam. I am Laramont,

the Kingís Chief Advisor. I have brought

you the map and the list for the hunt.

 

XENA

List?

 

 

LARAMONT

The scavenger hunt?  The king indicated

you had agreed to participate. People find

different items that have a point value and

the person with the most points get a prize.

 

XENA

Oh, right.  The hunt... Iíd

forgotten about the list.

 

He looks at her strangely for a moment, then pulls two pieces of parchment from the stack and a sealed envelope from the King and gives them to Xena.

 

LARAMONT

Good luck.

 

Closing the door, Xena turns and holds up the papers.  Gabrielle holds out her hand for them.  Xena obliges and gives them to her, looking over her shoulder as Gabrielle opens them and begins to study them.

 

XENA

No wonder no one can find the ring.

He treats it like a party. No focus.

 

GABRIELLE

Xena, I think his focus is on his people

and not really the ring. When was the

last time we were in a village where

EVERYONE loved their king?

 

XENA

Good point.

 

GABRIELLE

So while everyone else is looking

for all the other stuff, weíre

going to be finding the ring.

 

XENA

You know me so well.

 

GABRIELLE

(grinning)

After all these years? I should.

 

 

Xenaís attention shifts to the still running bath water then back to Gabrielle.  She smiles invitingly.

 

XENA

Now, since weíre not doing

anything tonight, how about

that bath? Weíre both overdue.

 

GABRIELLE

I thought youíd never ask.

Maybe I can remember what

the stories said about that ring.

 

FADE OUT.

 

END OF ACT ONE

ACT TWO