Scroll II

Dear Lila,

How are you and Sarah? I heard from the Amazons that you sent a scroll to the Chalcidian tribe, but it hasn’t caught up to me yet. I have asked them to always read the scrolls from you and alert me if there is an emergency. Thankfully, they say you are well. I look forward to reading it myself and, even more, to greeting you both myself.

Surprise! I now have two daughters. Wait..wait… I can explain. In the last scroll, I mentioned that I went to attend the Amazon Queens Council. It was wonderful to see my "sisters" again, each a queen of her own tribe. It was sad too, seeing the new faces that replaced the queens killed in the Helicon battle. Fully three quarters of all the warriors died there, all to keep Belleraphon from wiping us out. It was a heavy price and a sorrow that I will always carry in my heart. What a waste of lives.

Heh. I know, I know.."what about the two daughters?" Lila, you are SO impatient; you always have been. Anyway, at the council meeting we decided that the tribes needed two leaders; one as the queen in peacetime, the leader chosen by the tribe not by combat, but by vote. This queen will rule as before, with an advisory council of elders. Hopefully she will be chosen for wisdom, justice and mercy and a good dose of common sense.

The other leader is the war queen, selected the old way, by challenge of arms. She will lead in times of war; in times of peace she is the weapons-master of the tribe and commander of the warriors. She also sits on the advisory council.

I was asked to meet with the various tribes to explain these changes. We expect a fair amount of resistance. After all, Amazons have ruled by right of arms for centuries. But times have changed and we must learn to live peacefully with our neighbors. I don’t mind the task as I’m not ready to settle in one place yet. This way I can see new places, tell my stories of Xena, help where I can and visit old friends and family…even you, Lila.

The problem is that the queens could not countenance one of their own traveling alone and without an honor guard (gasp!). And so those schemers assigned two companions, each from a different tribe, to accompany me in my travels. "So they could learn from an experienced warrior and bard", so they said. Hah! I now have a 17 summer girl from the southern tribe and a 15 summer girl from the Steppes tribe tagging along. Thank the gods they can forage and cook. I am NOT going to hunt food for them.

Mist, the older one from the southern tribe, is a novice scout. Well trained, a bit brash and just a hair shorter than me. But Kutik, the other, is still young and impressionable. Always asking questions. "What’s this?…what’s that?…how come?…why?" Arrgh! Was I ever that clueless? (Don’t answer that, Lila) But then, she IS from the Steppes and Greece is both strange and exciting to her, I’m sure.

Have faith, Gabrielle. Somehow I will survive all this.

Tomorrow we travel northward. Hopefully we will pass through Poteidaia sometime soon. I am so looking forward to seeing you again, Lila. You have remained one of the few constants in my life.

Later on, I’ll stop at Amphipolis. I will leave Xena’s ashes at her family’s tomb. She always wanted to be with her mother, Cyrene and brother, Lyceus. I'll find Toris and fill him in on Xena’s last moments. It will be hard for both of us.

I am sending this scroll by Amazon runner to a merchant ship sailing to Poteidaia at week’s end. Hopefully you will receive it soon Be well, my sister; know that I keep you in my heart and thoughts always.

Your loving sister, Gabrielle