Introduction and Disclaimers
Xena, Gabrielle and other characters featured on Xena: Warrior Princess are copyrighted to MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures.
Theres not much foul language, but there is some violence as this tale is set against the backdrop of the Trojan War. Chapters 14, 59 and 60 contain graphically but not gratuitously violent scenes. Chapters 71, 72 and 74 recount scenes on the battlefield. Chapter 19 describes a sexual assault and its aftermath. Chapters 46, 47, 48, 51, 52 and the Epilogue depict an erotic relationship between persons of the same gender. Chapter 50 describes a religious ritual with overtly sexual content.
Ive made a few alterations in the X:WP time line:
Gabrielle and Perdicas never married, nor did Perdicas have his fatal run-in with Callisto. Despite the events in Endgame, Ephiny and Solari are alive and well. Despite the events in The Quest and A Necessary Evil, Velasca has never harbored murderous feelings for Gabrielle. The Trojan War takes place some time after the fall of Caesar. Eve and the Twilight of the Gods get only a brief mention as the story was composed during the course of Season Five and completed before the release of Life Blood and Kindred Spirits.
It's asking a lot of readers to wade through a novel-length piece, so I've divided the story into byte-sized chapters whose contents are briefly summarized on this page. These summaries are mini-spoilers, but I include them, for those who might like to look at them, in the hope of giving you a feel for whether or not the story might be of interest to you.
Two Greek legends play a prominent role in the story: the tale of Hippolyte's Belt, from the Ninth Labor of Hercules, and the saga of Penthesileia, Queen of the Amazons, from Quintus Smyrnaeus' fourth century epic, The Fall of Troy. You needn't be familiar with these legends (they're referred to extensively in the text) but I want to alert you to them and to note that I've altered them somewhat for my purposes.
I've tried to render Greek words and phrases as accurately as possible, though Im afraid I cant guarantee that all of them are as correct as I would like.
Credits for copyrighted material occur at the end of the relevant chapters.
I hope you'll find this tale engaging. I appreciate the time you take to read it, and I'd be grateful for any feedback you'd care to share.
Young men from all over Greece have gone to fight the Trojan War, leaving the countryside vulnerable to attack by roving warlords. Meanwhile, at the Amazon village, the longstanding feud between Ephiny, who rules as Gabrielle's regent, and Velasca, Ephinys challenger, has come to a head. Velasca has appealed to Penthesileia, Queen of all the Amazons, to mediate the dispute. Penthesileia has agreed, but the penalty for the loser may be death. In an effort to bolster Ephiny's cause, Xena and Gabrielle have set out to retrieve Hippolytes belt, the fabled treasure of the Amazons, now in possession of Queen Admete of Tiryns. The story opens with trouble brewing as Latrinus, a local warlord, plans a raid on Poteidaia while Lila, attending to her domestic chores, dreams of a life of adventure.
Chapter 1: Basin Street
While Xena and Gabrielle are away in Tiryns, hoping to recover Hippolytes belt for the Amazons, and Poteidaias young men have gone off to the war in Troy, Lila and her friend, Alexis, doing their families laundry, despair of living a life of adventure even as they unwittingly embark upon an adventure of their own.
Chapter 2: Ale To The Chief
Lila hums a tune as she hangs out the wash, but trouble is afoot when a keg of ale arrives for Herodotus.
Chapter 3: Its Suppertime, Suppertime, Sup, Sup, Suppertime
Latrinus, a local warlord, has staged another deadly raid. This time the townsfolk vow to fight back. At supper that night, Herodotus and Hecuba, painfully aware of Gabrielle's absence, worry for Lilas safety, though Lila assures them that shes quite capable of looking out for herself.
Chapter 4: In And Out The Window
Alexis sneaks away for a late night tryst with her lover, placing Lila in an awkward position when she tries to cover for Alexis untimely disappearance.
Chapter 5: Rumps That Go Bump In The Night
Hijinx with Hecuba in the barnyard when Alexis, attempting to climb into Lila's window upon her return, topples into the bushes, startling the household. Meanwhile, Lila, gazing out the window at the vast night sky, gets to wondering if she'll ever have a Warrior Princess of her own.
Chapter 6: "She Was Made A Wonder Of Beauty "
The Felafel Man brings troubling news that Penthesileia, Queen of all the Amazons, has gone with her elite corps to fight alongside the Trojans. Lila learns a bit about Hippolyte's Belt and discovers why Gabrielle's life may be in danger as the war in Troy begins to sweep Xena, Gabrielle, Ephiny, the Macedonian Amazons -- and Lila -- into its ever widening net.
Chapter 7: The Tracks Of My Shears
Lila and Alexis foil the attempted getaway of two of Latrinus' stooges, winning the mens approval and an invitation to join them at the pub for a raucous Happy Hour.
Chapter 8: Hooves And Starlets
Lila and Alexis meet up with Chiron whos recruiting for the new Warrior Training Academy staffed by the Centaurs. Chiron tells them more about the tragic tale of Hippolyte's belt and how Hercules figures into the mix.
Chapter 9: To The Pub, To The Pub, To the Pub, Pub, Pub
A health to the ladies and an imbroglio with a well-loved bar mistress after which a proud Herodotus and a doting Lila wend their way home, arm in arm, to Hecubas warm and welcoming kitchen.
Chapter 10: Who, Me? Yeah, You. Couldn't Be. Then Who?
Is it just the vain dream of a restless farm girl, Lila's flirting with the notion that she might actually enroll at the Warrior Training Academy? Before Lila can come up with a satisfactory answer that question, the mystery of Hippolytes belt and its implications for the future of the Amazons, not to mention Xena and Gabrielles future, needs some delving into.
Chapter 11: Scandal In The Wind
A visit to the sibyl brings the relationship between Hippolyte's belt, the Amazons, Penthesileia, Hercules, Xena, Gabrielle and the issues at stake in the Trojan War into clearer focus. The session concludes with a visit from the Graces who bestow a curious prophesy on Lila.
Chapter 12: Martial Hearts
While preparing to lead the adepts of Demeter in Poteidaias annual harvest festival, which commemorates Persephone's departure to the underworld, Lila does a frank self-assessment of her warrior potential and takes the bull of self-doubt by the psychological horns.
Chapter 13: Workin' On Wings To Fly
Hurt feelings and inner conflicts surface with regard to a beloved sister and a certain Warrior Princess as Lila struggles to come to grips with an emerging sense of her own identity. Meanwhile, Alexis pricks herself with a pin.
Chapter 14: Stress Rehearsal
Lila and Alexis are the belles of the harvest ball, but things go awry when Latrinus and his lackeys crash the party, take Lila and Alexis hostage and bear them away to their hideout in the hills.
Chapter 15: Sky Driver
At Chiron's behest, Bellerophon mounts Pegasus and goes soaring though the aether to bring word of Lila's plight to Xena and Gabrielle who, unsuccessful in their attempt to retrieve Hippolyte's belt from Queen Admete, set out at once for home.
Chapter 16: Ploys R Us
A trip on board the Flying Dutchmans ship hastens Xenas and Gabrielles return but not before they unmask and enlist the aid of a sneaky Autolycus whos intent upon stealing Hippolyte's belt for his own nefarious purposes.
Chapter 17: Assault And Flattery
Battered and bruised from their late night ordeal, Lila and Alexis arrive at Latrinus' camp where, in the midst of trials and tribulations, they make an unexpected friend.
Chapter 18: Partners In Slime
Lila and Alexis learn the reason for their abduction: they're to be pawns in Latrinus effort to prevent Xena and Gabrielle from interfering with his carefully contrived plot to burgle the local pottery works.
Chapter 19: Its Good To Keep A Hard Man Down
Sexually assaulted and nearly raped, Lila confronts some of the darker aspects of human nature and gleans some insight into her deeper feelings and highest priorities.
Chapter 20: My Spare Lady
In line with his larcenous scheme, Latrinus keeps Alexis but lets Lila go, whereupon Lila discovers that freedom re-gained may pose even greater risks than freedom lost.
Chapter 21: Hide And Shriek
On the heels of a painful setback, Lila discovers that though things may not always turn out as she would have liked, shes nonetheless got a heart, a mind and a will of her own.
Chapter 22: Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone
During the tense interval between the kidnapping and Xenas and Gabrielles return, frightened parents and concerned townsfolk mull over their options as Salmoneus gets tossed in the slammer for impersonating the Queen of Numibia.
Chapter 23: Morning Becomes Electric
While the men are out beating the bushes in search of Latrinus' camp, Hecuba entertains an unexpected visitor who buoys her flagging spirits.
Chapter 24: Yesterday, All My Couples Seemed So Far Away
Arriving incognito, Xena tracks Latrinus gang to their hideout while Autolycus plays a trick on a jovial haberdasher and Gabrielle reunites with a worried Herodotus and frantic Hecuba.
Chapter 25: I've Just Cut Off The Flow Of Blood To Your Um
A hit man who unwisely tries to ambush Xena merely facilitates her discovery of Latrinus base of operations.
Chapter 26: Heist Capades
While playing his part in the plan to foil Latrinus scheme, Autolycus blows his cover and gets tossed in the jug where, to his chagrin, he finds himself sharing a cell with an irate Salmoneus whom Autolycus has lately double crossed.
Chapter 27: Adventures In The Kin Trade
Xena joins Gabrielle, Herodotus and Hecuba at the cottage for a dinner that brings some happily unanticipated results as Herodotus and Hecuba, rising to the occasion, ask Xenas forgiveness for past suspicions and indiscretions, enabling Xena to confess that shes always admired them and would cherish their acceptance.
Chapter 28: I Only Have Spies For You
Xena and Gabrielle arrive at Latrinus hideout for a late night confrontation and, taken in by his deception, nearly agree to his demands when a mysterious intruder quietly alerts them that all is not what it seems.
Chapter 29: Pot Holders
Xena and Gabrielle bust Autolycus and Salmoneus out of the pokey and put them to work in furtherance of their plan designed to hoist Latrinus by his own petard. Afterwards, alone under the stars, amid reflections on Hope, Solon and the bonds of love and shed blood that bind each woman to the other, X and G turn their attention to more intimate matters.
Chapter 30: So Many Warlords, So Little Time
Sisters joyfully reunite as Xena, Autolycus and Salmoneus prepares to spring a trap on an unsuspecting warlord.
Chapter 31: Girls Just Wanna Have Guns
With the townsfolk joyfully pitching in, Xena, Gabrielle, Lila, Autolycus and Salmoneus put the kibosh on Latrinus and his gang while rescuing Alexis, only to be commandeered, in the next instant, by a troupe of contentious Amazons, led by a quarreling Ephiny and Velasca, who bruit Xena, Gabrielle and Lila off to Troy for a fateful encounter with Penthesileia.
Chapter 32: Gear And Clothing On The Tampon Trail
While Gabrielle, Ephiny and Velasca open lines of communication, Xena ponders the lessons she's learned from Lao Ma, and Lila begins to experience some of the challenges of life on the road.
Chapter 33: Water Weal
The ladies crew for a salty sea captain in return for passage to the island of Tenedos, a staging area for the war on Troy. Lila and Gabrielle have a long-awaited heart-to-heart, and Xena, in a gesture of friendship, takes Lila under her wing.
Chapter 34: Is There A Sister In The House
Rowing by the hour, singing sea shanties, the Amazons tell Lila about their lore and history: how Penthesileia came to be Queen of Amazon queens and why she's determined to oppose Achilles on the battlefield.
Chapter 35: The Trojan Whore
Arriving on Tenedos, Xena, Gabrielle, Lila and the Amazons stick out like sore thumbs amid the frenetic activity of the Argive army that's massing for the final invasion of the war. Lila sees some disturbing graffiti on the wall and has a strange sense of foreboding as the travelers swipe a boat and light out for Troy.
Chapter 36: Duel Identity
On their way from the Phrygian coast to the massive walls of Troy, Xena, Gabrielle, Lila and the Amazons are apprehended by friends or foes they hardly know which as Velasca begins to show her truer and better colors.
Chapter 37: In The Amazone
Rest and recuperation follow their arduous journey as Xena, Gabrielle, Lila and the Amazons attend a dinner party given by King Priam to honor the memory of his son and heir, Hector, recently slain by Achilles in battle. The King, who turns out to be an old friend of Xenas, has some fond words for Gabrielle.
Chapter 38: The Eyes Have It
Macedonian and Anatolian Amazons meet and mingle under Trojan auspices, Xena sheds her brass and leather for silks and satins, and Lila beholds Queen Penthesileia who rises to offer a toast in Hector's honor.
Chapter 39: A Knight To Remember
After the feast, in the comfort of their guest quarters, Lila and Gabrielle reminisce about Gabrielle's early days with Xena who's gone to pay a midnight call on her old acquaintance, Diomedes, one of Agammemnons generals, as the Argive grip on Troy begins to tighten.
Chapter 40: Palace In Wonderland
Xena meets with King Priam to discuss practical considerations regarding the defense of Troy but first they share some matters of the heart and contemplate the future of Penthesileia and the Amazons. Xena at last meets a king whom she can respect and a king encounters a Warrior Princess whom he can embrace as a friend.
Chapter 41: Queen's Rook
Lila and Penthesileia meet under unusual circumstances, Gabrielle has an accident at the training grounds and Velasca seeks Penthesileia's help in coming to grips with unresolved guilt feelings on account of Melosas death.
Chapter 42: Boarder Patrol
Lila begins to act strangely as Xena and Gabrielle investigate suspicious goings on outside the city walls while Ephiny gets a much needed boost from an admiring Penthesileia.
Chapter 43: A Horse Is A Horse, Of Course, Of Course
Gabrielle and Velasca reach out to each other in an effort to resolve old hurts as Ephiny envisions a promising future for the Macedonian Amazons. Meanwhile, spying on the Argive fortifications, Xena makes a startling discovery.
Chapter 44: Takin' A Stance On Love
In a letter to Alexis, Lila shares her hopes for, excitement about and fears of her first real adventure, then goes to have tea with a queen only to find that the flower of romance has a way of blooming in the most unexpected places.
Chapter 45: The Soft Edge Of Steel
While Lila goes shopping for a gift and King Priam summons his war council at which Penthesileia reveals a shocking plan after which Xena confers with Aeneas on a matter of grave importance to the defense of the city.
Chapter 46: Sais And Whispers
Lila and Penthesileia have an intimate visit and partake of some afternoon delight as they get more intimately acquainted and Lila learns a good deal more about the ins and outs of the public and private sides of Amazon life.
Chapter 47: Silk Stalkings
Xena and Gabrielle meet with Penthesileia to discuss Gabrielles vocation, or lack thereof, to be an Amazon queen and the role that Xena might play, as Gabrielles partner, if Gabrielle were to serve as an Amazon queen. Then Xena and Gabrielle enlist Aphrodite's help in getting a message to the one person whom Xena believes may be able to foil the upcoming Argive assault on Troy. (Hint: it's a certain warrior who roams through the countryside and never needs a place to hide )
Chapter 48: World Ceres
The Corybantes arrive to celebrate the autumnal rites of Cybele, the Phrygian counterpart of the Greek Demeter. While watching them rehearse, Lila has a startling realization about her relationship with Herodotus and Hecuba in light of her insight into the soul of the Amazon queen who's begun to win her heart.
Chapter 49: Suite Inspiration
Aeneas consults with Cassandra on a matter of the utmost importance for the future of Troy, Xena, Gabrielle, Lila and the Amazons. But will he believe what she has to tell him?
Chapter 50: Civil Rites
The Corybantes perform their sacred rites as Lila, waiting for Penthesileia to arrive, begins to question her vocation as an adept of Demeter.
Chapter 51: Drastic, Fantastic Lover
Lila and Penthesileia meet at the celebration to dance and delight in each others company after which they adjourn to Penthesileias quarters to enjoy a night of bliss in one anothers arms.
Chapter 52: Throne For A Loop
The morning after: Lila and Penthesileia share their joys and fears as Lila learns an important truth about herself and Gabrielle and the bond that binds them.
Chapter 53: Bardian Angel
Xena, Penthesileia and Aeneas plan the Trojan counter-offensive, then Xena and Gabrielle contemplate a possible future with the Amazons when the war comes to an end.
Chapter 54: Men In Sync
After many trials and tribulations, Joxer, responding to a message from Xena, delivered by Aphrodite, arrives at Troy, bringing the ingredients for the black powder.
Chapter 55: Two Girls And A Maybe
Guided by Penthesileia's wise and patient counsel, Velasca reconciles with Gabrielle and Ephiny as the three of them decide that the Amazons will try to govern themselves by consensus without a queen.
Chapter 56: The Hiss Of The Burn That Brands Me
Penthesileia bids Lila a tearful farewell as the Amazon queen prepares to make the ultimate sacrifice by squaring off against Achilles in battle.
Chapter 57: Broadband
A pleasant surprise is in store for Velasca when the Amazons reach out to her with love and acceptance. Meanwhile, Xena and Joxer sneak out on a spy mission while Gabrielle comforts a hurting Lila.
Chapter 58: Nocturnal Instincts
Xena and Diomedes meet secretly and make a deal, but even the best laid plans of military commanders and warrior princesses can find ways of going tragically awry.
Chapter 59: Heavy Mettle
Before embarking on a mission of mercy, Lila seeks assistance from Cassandra, then leaves Troy with Ephiny and the Amazons who've been granted safe passage home. But tragedy strikes and a major character sacrifices her life so that Lila and the others might escape unharmed.
Chapter 60: There Is Nothin' Meana' Than An Aggravated Xena
As Lila, Ephiny and the Amazons wing their way to safety, Xena, Gabrielle and Penthesileia, remaining behind to fight for the defense of Troy, bid a painful farewell to a fallen friend
Chapter 61: Gently Down The Scream
On the heels of a painful loss, Ephiny and the Amazons, with Lila's help, find the courage to forge ahead as they leave Troy and head for home.
Chapter 62: Queen Of The Silver Dinar
Posing as a rising Country and Western star at the Grand Ol' Acropolis, Lila engages an admirer whom she relieves of his dinars, thereby providing her with the funds she'll need to complete her mission. Over Ephinys objections on account of her fear for Lilas safety but ultimately with Ephinys blessing, Lila parts company with the Amazons who, overcoming additional obstacles, return safely to their village.
Chapter 63: The Wait Of The World
Back at Troy, with events coming to a head, Xena and Gabrielle concoct a plan designed to aid the Trojan resistance while Joxer attracts the amorous attention of a questionable young lady.
Chapter 64: The Lady's Not For Spurning
Lila journeys to Tiryns in the hope of convincing Queen Admete to return Hippolyte's Belt to Penthesileia and the Amazons while Xena and Gabrielle pay a midnight visit to Diomedes and make a crucial proposition.
Chapter 65: Made Of Honor
Lila pleads her case to Queen Admete with surprising results.
Chapter 66: All Messed Up And Nowhere To Go
Xena shares Lao Ma's wisdom with Penthesileia, who readies herself to face death on the battlefield, then pays a call on Cassandra while Gabrielle balks at having to undertake an unpleasant task as Joxers head spins with romance.
Chapter 67: When The Bow Breaks
On her way back to Troy after completing her mission, Lila has a chance encounter which will tip the scales of the war.
Chapter 68: Hold Our Hearts In Violet
On the eve of the battle that will determine the outcome of the war, Lila says a poignant farewell to a loved one.
Chapter 69: Peace Work
As Trojans and Argives ready, though the long and tense night, for their fateful clash at the morning light, Xena and Gabrielle keep a doleful date with a dreadful horse.
Chapter 70: An Offer You Can't Re-Fuse
The day of the great battle dawns, bringing a lover's farewell, a sisters' reunion and, for Xena and Joxer, who set off on a life or death mission, a new way to skin an old cat.
Chapter 71: Boomboxes and Battlefields
The battle is joined and the Trojans, inspired by Xena and Gabrielles success against heavy odds, draw first blood as Penthesileia and the Amazons, heavily outnumbered, lead the assault on the Argive forces.
Chapter 72: Come All You Bare And Slender Ladies
The Trojans put up a valiant fight as a great hero falls and Xena confronts an old adversary who rises to meet a difficult occasion with honor.
Chapter 73: Light My Pyre
Xena and Gabrielle break some difficult news to Lila who then risks her life in a brave action undertaken for the sake of duty and love.
Chapter 74: Flee Market
Troy falls in blood and fire. Xena, Gabrielle, Lila and Joxer lead the survivors into the wilderness, Cassandra having afforded Xena a deeper insight into the meaning of the unfolding drama and the role that she and her companions are destined to play in it.
Chapter 75: Pilgrims And Strangers
With the aid of Otere and Yakut's Amazons, the refugees begin a new life in the Anatolian wilderness as Joxer bids a sad farewell to a lady of whom he's grown fond and Lila is comforted in her loss by Xena's warmth and Gabrielle's affection.
Chapter 76: Love Among The Runes
Assisted by Joxer, Autolycus and Salmoneus, Xena, Gabrielle and Lila begin the trek home, detouring along the way to keep a promise to a fallen queen and to put a vain, egotistical god in his place. Among other tidbits, Lila learns how Xena got her name.
Chapter 77: Home Bodies
Home from the war, Lila, Gabrielle and Xena receive a hero's welcome.
Chapter 78: All's Swell That Ends Swell
Lila re-connects with family and friends and then, with Xena and Gabrielle at her side, she attends the homecoming banquet as the guest of honor.
Some years later, while entertaining Queen Admete with whom shes become intimate, Lila affirms the lesson that life has painfully taught her: that hope springs eternal and that those who love are never lost.