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THE ZENA SCROLLS: CHAPTER II



THE ZENA SCROLLS: CHAPTER II

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The Zena Scrolls: The Re-Building of A Nation

xwpfan - 11:37pm Jun 10, 2002 ET

Puella's laughter sparked a small light of hope in my very heavy heart. I knew I would survive the crushing grief within me and I needed to make decisions about what I wanted for my life.

There has been talk of all the sisters going off together to find a new home, but in every family there are those with different ideas, different opinions.

It has been decided that each sister shall choose for herself where she will call home. Some will seek the shelter and security of mountain life, some will stay in familiar territory, not willing to uproot or face new challenges.

Of course in every tribe, in every family, there are those are plagued cursed or blessed with wanderlust and adventurous spirits;souls who willingly venture into the unknown.

I guess our weary band of warriors qualifies us as wanders. For we leave here aimlessly heading towards the sea not really knowing what lies ahead of us only what we leave behind.

We need not tarry here. For ahead of us lies the time to heal, to laugh, to play to sing,to love and to forgive, to just get back to being us. Amazons.

Fortunately, absolute victory affords the victor a choice. Many of us have no fight left in us, devoid of any desire to chase, to kill or to maim. We chose peace. We just want to be allowed to just be.

If the Fates be with us we will find our way to begin again. To forge a new tribe with a blend of old and new members. To live amongst our own with our customs, our rules, our laws... to live as we see fit. We seek simply to exist and to continue the honorable tradition of a strong Amazon Nation.

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Lucystar1 - 12:18am Jun 11, 2002 ET (#1 of 236)

What we sow in this life, we reap in our future lives. This is our karma.

LIFE'S DECISIONS or WHICH ROAD TO TAKE HOME.

Lucystar had spent the last few hours walking among her friends, offering words of support where she could. Other times it was just to hug and hold a sister while she sobbed over the loss of a loved one.

"War is tough on the soul". Xena's words haunt her as she views the scene around her. Lucystar's eyes search the area looking for her Queen, but is not able to locate Saxy. Thinking to herself, "I know she was terribly upset by all that had happened and the sisters who were lost. We were both devastated by the loss of xwpfan's adopted daughters and shocked by Hippolytas final actions." Lucystar has already spent a few moments with xwpfan expressing her's and Saxy's sorrow.

Many of the tribe are planning on traveling toward the sea fom what Lucystar can tell. She still hasn't been able to located Queen Saxy, but is not [sign in to see URL]. "It's not uncommon for Saxy to need to go off by herself and work through the bloodlust that often plagues her after a battle." When asked what her plans are Lucystar replies "I will go where my Queen goes. Until I talk to her, I will make camp here and wait." Lucystar also wonders whether those left of the tribe even want Saxy to remain their Queen, or if Saxy wants to remain their Queen. But there is plenty of time to face those questions, later.

Lucystar bids her sisters goodbye as many of them start out today. As the last one heads down the trail, she turns back, and decides first things first. "Build a fire ring, collect firewood and hunt for food. Oh wait, that's Saxy's job. Guess I'll have to give it a shot or go hungry. Maybe there's some berries around here"

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girlpower - 01:40am Jun 11, 2002 ET (#2 of 236)
Courage is not the absence of fear... but the strength to conquer it.

packing the saddlebags

I laugh as Xwpfan whistled for my horse Amica, and she actually came. She can be a stubborn one. Then again so can I. It feels good to laugh, especially when I look over to Xwpfan and she smiled. I slowly begin packing up our bedrolls and loading up the horses. I bent down and picked up my new sword. I can hardly believe that Leara had given me such a precious weapon. The sword of Madula she called it, an Amazon weapon. I must find her and ask more about this silver sword. Someday I hope our paths may cross again.

I walked up to Xwpfan and checked the bandages on her leg. Her wound is healing, but it will take a while for it to completely heal. The scar it will leave will be a never-ending reminder of the day she lost her adopted daughters: Solaria, Vasca and Hippolyta… A never-ending reminder to me of how precious life can be. I will not waste this second chance at life that I have been given. I follow my friend, my sister, my family, Xwpfan. Whatever challenges she faces along this road, I will face with her. Learning the true ways of the Amazon. I can only hope to become as true an Amazon as Solaria was…

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leara - 05:59pm Jun 11, 2002 ET (#3 of 236)

Where do I go from here?? ??

The problem with the end of a great quest is the question where to go forward to? My options are many more than I could ever imagine. In the past, the answer came easily there was always some new possibility of finding a family member or aiding the helpless but now all that seems irrelevant.

I would like to know my birth mother and how she is faring especially with the news of my father’s death. That seems such a weird thing to say I never really knew him and by all accounts that is not really a bad thing. She must be a noble woman, to give up her daughter to another to raise giving her offspring a chance at a better life.

The Amazons seem to be moving out heading for the sea I can always catch up to them there as I am a fairly good sailor. I would like to know more about the people of my mother, Madula. I would like to understand the reasons for their ways and customs. As a Roman, how can I ever even think of joining with them, I am their enemy.

I had thought about chasing down my sister Evergreen. There is so much to ask and understand. I am not sure though if she is ready to talk about it or if she will ever be. I do need to thank her for saving my life earlier when she pulled me from the Roman camp.

I should perhaps venture deeper in to the forests of the land I call home and meditate about the place in the world for me if there is one. The forests have been a place of safty and security for me, the peace and stillness there is without equal.

I guess, for now I will sit here until the notion strikes me to move. It is a hard decision to make.



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Whoosh-ChelSierra-Muse - Twi-Saga
10/23/2011, 1:21 am Link to this post Send Email to Joxcenia   Send PM to Joxcenia Blog
 
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Re: THE ZENA SCROLLS: CHAPTER II



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joxer4me - 09:40pm Jun 11, 2002 ET (#4 of 236)

Peace, love and harmony to all

(For the scrolls I "adjusted" my name)

Gazing down at the fields before her, she wondered if she should follow the band of woman warriors. Obviously they were of Amazon heritage, but would she be welcomed? With her own tribe small and disorganized, wanderlust captured her soul and made her set out for new lands. But her heart was growing weary from loneliness.

standing proud, she was J'mea, an Amazon from the north. Pulling herself from her musings, J'mea gathered her staff, bow and adjusted her quiver of arrows. Being only 5'3, she knew she might have to prove herself once again as being a strong Amazon. Pushing her long light brown hair away from her face, she squared her shoulders and started on her journey. What awaits her ahead, no one knows for sure. J'mea prays to the gods, both her own Nordic ones and the gods of the new lands, that all goes well.

Trudging along, J'mea knows that the two mile separation between herself and those ahead of her mean nothing. But as she stares out before her, she sees that there is a lonely warrior gathering wood. Should J'mea approach her or skirt around her and follow the band towards the sea? J'mea was hoping to meet the great warrior princess she had heard of through out her travels. Would she be in the band, or is she the lone warrior by the campsite? Only one way to find out.

Smiling to herself, J'mea looked forward to her new and hopefully last journey. To have a family and a stable home was her dream for many winters. Finally, an ending to a long journey or was it the beginning of the most awesome adventure of her life? Only the gods knew.

Let the journey begin!

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blackwolf - 03:21pm Jun 12, 2002 ET (#5 of 236)


I was enjoying a nice quiet sunset on the beach when the first Roman soldiers passed by. I quickly hid myself among the rocks. While I wouldn't have minded spilling a little Roman blood, I noticed that they were already battle worn, and I was curious as to what force would send these seasoned warriors on the run. I kept hidden in the rocks until nightfall, then, making sure my horse was securely hidden, I went after the men.

I came upon their camp a few miles down the beach. I quickly dispatched of one of their sentries, and then, donning his clothes, moved freely through the camp. I had been told from an early age that I had somewhat masculine features, and while not extremely large, my 5'7 frame packed enough muscle to pass me off as a young man. I had cut my hair short for instances such as these. It was always nice to be thought of as one of the guys, especially when you needed information.

As I walked through the camp, I was able to piece together the stories that I heard. Evidently, a group of women warriors had attacked these group of Roman soldiers and had beat them quite badly. This little group of men was all that was left of the original army. I had to smile as I continued my walk. Sounds like the Amazons were nearby. I had heard stories of these warriors, but had never met one in person. I couldn't wait to meet these women, and from the sounds of what the soldiers were saying, they were heading this way. I found this quite interesting considering that their home was in the opposite direction. Very, very interesting. I quickly slipped out of the camp, and got rid of the Roman clothes as soon as I knew it was safe. They really did stink. It's going to take some brisk scrubbing before I'll be able to feel clean again, I thought.

Later on that night when I was sure the Romans were asleep, I stole back into camp. Another little tidbit of information I heard was that this group of soldiers were on their way back to Caesar to tell him of the recent loss of territory. I knew Caesar wouldn't like that and would send more men to secure his domain. That would spell disaster for this area, and I couldn't let that happen. The forests were my home, and I didn't fancy having Rome around to destroy it. I quickly and quietly dispatched of every soldier in the camp. Like I said before, I thought as I cleaned my blade on the tunic of a soldier, I didn't mind spilling Roman blood. I then made my way back to where I had hid my horse, mounted up, and then rode into the forest nearby. Under the darkness of the trees I made camp, and then settled in to wait for the Amazons.

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leara - 09:43am Jun 13, 2002 ET (#6 of 236)


The first decision

Grrlrr Grrblgrr Well it seems that my stomach has made the first decision of this pondering session. I look around and the meadow that was the Amazon regroup point, it is all but empty now. Lucystar is relaxing under the shade of the lofty tree.

My hands and arms are the sanguine and the once white tunic is a reddish brown. I think that there may never be a time that I will see my hands again clean. The rumble in my stomach recalls the reason for the break in thought. There are always fish in the streams around here. Fishing has always a good way to relax and makes a nice meal. I hope I do not scare them with the stench of the death that clings around me like a wet blanket.

I get to my feet and make my way to the stream its waters are pristine and it seems a crime to defile them with my presence. GGRRLL the rumble is louder and it will not be ignored for much longer. The blood washes from my body and my garments the further I walk in to the pool. The waters are soothing and cleansing both mind and body, I find myself playing and enjoying the swim. I am usually alone so amusing myself has never been a problem for me. The sun is starting to decline I do not want to be sleeping in these wet clothes better get those fish and get out of here.

I walk out of the pool with fish and tunic in tow I had forgotten that I was not really alone. Well, I am just going to pretend Lucystar is not there and get on with my own business on the other side of the meadow. I swear that the next time I pack it will include at least one change of clothes. I’m not usually this uncomfortable but then I don’t run wild and free around people I don’t know very well.

The fire ring is built quickly and the fire starts easy. Thank the gods! My tunic may be dry by night fall. The fish are cleaned and frying on the rocks of the ring. I can’t remember the last meal I ate. Things had happened so quickly over the last few days and food was not that high on the priority list. The smell of the frying fish captivates my senses my mouth is watering waiting for them to finish cooking. I should offer some fish to Lucystar instead of sitting here curled up in a ball waiting for my tunic to dry. I need to have the protection my clothes afford me in the presence of a great warrior.



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Whoosh-ChelSierra-Muse - Twi-Saga
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Re: THE ZENA SCROLLS: CHAPTER II



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xwpfan - 12:21pm Jun 13, 2002 ET (#7 of 236)

There is only one [sign in to see URL] be able to spend your life in your own way...

fishing lessons

Our weary band of warriors had said their last good-byes to those staying behind and had gave well wishes to those who chose to go another path.

Our journey had begun. Actually, we had been riding for a while before the topic of where to relocate to came up. Perhaps we were all feeling a bit unsure about talking about where our new home might be.

After lengthy and sometimes heated discussion,we decided that since our little group was already heading on the direction of the Agean Sea,that somewhere in the vicinity of the seaport of Volos might be nice.

As we got further away from the camp we could see the denseness of the forest meld away, the mighty Oaks and beautiful maple tress became more sparse as we traveled onward.

As the forest gave way to fields it became obvious that there would be few things to hunt. Without dense woods there would be few bears,wild boars or wolves to hunt on this journey.

Instead,it looked as though we'd be herding wild goats,fishing and forging for berries and roots. Our life styles were changing with every hoof beat forward.

After several hours riding,we needed a break. Everyone looked extremely tired and emotionally drained. I didn't know about the others, but I felt like I could not go on any further.

We began searching for a place to camp for the night. We found an open field filled with wild flora and a trickling stream about a couple hundred yards away .

It was perfect,after we unloaded our gear, we lead our horses down to the stream to let them cool down and drink. Without saying much of anything, a couple of my sisters started gathering dry leaves and sticks to start a fire with.

Puella full of curiosity of how Amazons do things offered to go with the group going fishing. They heatedly agreed and said they'd be glad to show her how Xena the warrior princess catches fish.

I laughed as Puella excitedly waved good bye to me.

A few minutes later I could hear the sounds shrill sounds of screams and of someone splashing and thrashing around in the water,I laughed and smiled just knowing it had to be my sisters "teaching" Puella how to fish.

Still smiling I walked over to my saddle bag pulled out a clean dry tunic and laid it on her bedroll.. she was going to need it later..

None of my sisters were letting me do anything useful, they were being very attentive and understanding. but I felt the need to be us, to doing something.

I grabbed my cistern that my grandmother had made with the intent of picking some wild berries or even some wild oregano or thyme.

However,when I walked further into the field I was overcome by the beauty of the Lilies and Crocuses in full bloom. I laid down amongst the flowers and looked up to the bluest sky I had ever seen and thought this must be what the Elysian fields are like...

I closed my eyes and thought of my girls,knowing the dead can hear our thoughts; to Vasca and Solaria I sent thoughts of love and pride, to Hippolyta I sent my questions and thoughts of concern.

As the intoxicating fumes filled my nostrils I began to think happier thoughts, daydreaming about our new home and re building our nation, our tribe.

I smiled as my memory replayed how brave and how noble each had been in battle. and suddenly I had no fear of what the future may hold..

As I laid their in the first moment of contentment I had known in days two feathers came floating down from the sky on to my chest. I opened my eyes to find the feather of a hawk and a dove. I looked but there was not a bird in the sky, these feathers were gifts from someone,be it from the Gods or my girls who knew.

As I stared at the feathers a voice from deep within told me to save these feathers to make Puella's ceremonial mask.

Tears rolled down my face, I had not even attempted to make a since that horrible day when I had lost my family.. I wasn't sure I'd remember how.

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xwpfan - 12:43pm Jun 13, 2002 ET (#8 of 236)

There is only one [sign in to see URL] be able to spend your life in your own way...

fishing lessons continued

I closed my eyes and in my minds eyes I could see the mask that I was to make.. it was going to be an all white mask, save one. It was going to be made with the whitest of dove feathers-symbolizing peace, white Sea gull feathers to represent our new seashore home and one lone Hawk feather to represent that although we seek peace we are not afraid of battle or to go to war.

I was smiling and lost in my own thoughts of how I would like to do something special for Little Gabby and Puella at their induction ceremonies when who stood before me but Puella, soaking wet and grinning from ear to ear- holding on to a slimy Eel for dear life.

"Look Xwpfan, she said breathlessly, I caught an Eel with my bare hands!"

I laughed and said."Puella, are you sure it didn't catch you? Look at you, your soaking wet! Seriously, you did a great job! Well done! By the way, I left you a dry tunic over there" pointing to her bedroll.

Puella looked at me and said," You knew I'd come back soaked, and you didn't bother warn me?"

I laughed and said, No I didn't want to ruin anybody's fun!"

Puella screamed, "Ooooh some friend you turned out to be!" and threw the slimy eel right at my face.. I managed to catch it and started to roar with laughter as it squirmed in my hands.

I could hear laughter all around me, some of the other sisters had come to see Puella soaking wet but also saw her throw the eel at me which started everyone laughing. In that moment I couldn't help but think I am going to like this new life.

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Lucystar1 - 10:09pm Jun 13, 2002 ET (#9 of 236)

What we sow in this life, we reap in our future lives. This is our karma.

COMPANY?

While Lucystar waited for Queen Saxy to return, she had built her firering and gathered enough wood to last easily through the night. Her one draw back was the hunting part. Having always been a great animal lover, and at one time, even a horse trainer, she often found it hard to hunt the small woodland creatures. Especially little bunnies. That's why whenever Lucystar was out with the tribe, she often brought plenty of food from the Inn so they didn't have to hunt. Laughing to herself "I don't think anyone really knew why I always supplied the food. I think they thought I was being considerate of how hard everyone worked. And it WAS nice to already have the meal's meat ready to fix having brought smoked and dried meat that could be prepared several ways. That way no one had to go hunting for their meals when they were tired or it was dark." Lucystar knew that if THEY knew it was because she hated to see the little animals killed and skinned, they'd tease her unmercifully. Now, if it came down to hunt or starve, of course self-survival always came first, but as long as other means could be provided, the bunnies would be safe.

However, today there were no prepared meals and with all the fighting going on earlier, no animals were around to hunt, even if Lucystar wanted to, which she didn't. So in her search for firewood, she happened upon a berry patch. Now sitting under the large tree with the large leaf full of berries, Lucystar had time to reflect on all that was happening with the tribe and to wonder where the next part of her journey with Saxy would take them. She also wondered were her queen was, but still was not worried. She had seen Saxy take days to work through some very difficult times. For the Queen was not one to show her emotions easily.

Then suddenly Lucystar's eyes popped open. "Do I smell fish cooking on a fire?" Slowly she lets her eyes scan the surrounding area. There, a ways off, Lucystar could make out a campfire. "I wonder who that is? Who has stayed behind?" The she askes herself "I wonder if it would be rude to invite myself to dinner? What if it's not a friend?" With a shrug and a grin, Lucystar gets up, then slowly and carefully she makes her way toward the fire she's seen across the glen.



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Whoosh-ChelSierra-Muse - Twi-Saga
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Re: THE ZENA SCROLLS: CHAPTER II



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blackwolf - 04:40pm Jun 14, 2002 ET (#10 of 236)

Usually I am a very patient person, but for some reason, waiting for the Amazons was becoming quite unbearable. I knew it would take them a while to reach the beach seeing as how the Romans probably had a good day or two head start on them. During the morning hours as I waited, I went fishing and then did my normal rounds to make sure everything was as it should be. I headed back to the roman camp and decided to clean the place up a little bit. I had just left the soldiers where I had killed them, planning on leaving it as a warning to all who passed by to be careful where they tread. As I surveyed my handiwork, I decided that just seeing the camp, even though I knew no living thing walked among the tents, really made the beach look disgusting. So, I decided to set fire to everything there. I took the weapons and what little food they had and stashed the weapons away in a hiding place among the rocks lining the beach. There was only one way to get to this hiding place, and so far I was the only one crazy enough to get use it. The food I took back to my camp. Can't let food go to waste, even if it is Roman food.

Next, I found two large pieces of driftwood, taller than a man when standing on end. I placed this driftwood into holes that I had dug in the sand. I then tied two of the corpses to the posts that I had made. I still wanted to get my point of warning across and figured that this was the best way to do it. Even though I heard that the Amazons were great women, I wasn't taking any chances.

I then went back, and deciding there was nothing else I needed, set fire to every tent. I stayed there for the rest of the day, watching everything burn. I had always liked fire. There was something wild and untamed about it that had always reached out to me. I had the same feeling when I watched a pack of wolves, my most favorite animals in the whole world.

By nighttime, the fire had died down until only a few small fires burned. Satisfied that these wouldn't spread anywhere, even with the sea breeze, I headed back to camp. As I settled down for the night, I went over in my mind the events of the past couple of days. As I sat there thinking, I suddenly had a premonition that my life was going to change dramatically within the next few days. Whether for good or bad I did not know, but I knew it was tied to the Amazons.

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girlpower - 06:35pm Jun 14, 2002 ET (#11 of 236)

Courage is not the absence of fear... but the strength to conquer it.

Puella learns to fish

Puella helps set up the camp with Xwpfan. We need to rest, looking over at my friend, I see the weariness in her movements and on her face. These past few days have been hard for her, yet she goes on and does not complain. A group of Amazons have made a fishing party, they approach us and ask me if I want to go with them and catch this evening’s meal. I can not hide the excitement in my eyes. Fishing for my dinner is something I have never done and would love to learn. Xwpfan saw the expression and told me to go ahead with them, “I’ll be fine here.” I was a little reluctant to leave her there, but the impulse to fish won out. Xwpfan will be fine. Besides, I can’t have the Queen find out I can’t fish. I need to learn this. I place my hand on Xwpfan’s shoulder and give a little squeeze as I walk away to join the others down at the stream.

Down at the stream Admete and Dictynna, begin showing me how to stand and where to look for certain types of fish. I decided that I should try for the biggest thing I could catch, so I would have a better chance at keeping a hold of it. Dictynna said, that I should try for eel then. All right, sounds good to me. I stand thigh deep in the stream, under the shade of a tree. The water is a little cool, reminding me of the creek Joxcenia threw me into my first night with the Amazons. I shiver at the thought. I place my hands under the water, near the stones at the bottom. Something brushed up against my hand and I grabbed it fast as I could. It was strong and slimy reminding me of a big leech, yuck. I screamed out as I fought with the eel. I fell back into the water but wouldn’t let go. “You’re mine you slimy thing.” I then stood up and let out a laugh looking at the other Amazons. I proudly walked ashore to go show Xwpfan my handy work.

I found her lying in the field amongst the flowers. I held the eel tightly. "Look Xwpfan, I caught an eel with my bare hands!" “Puella, are you sure it didn't catch you? Look at you, you’re soaking wet! Seriously, you did a great job! Well done! By the way, I left you a dry tunic over there." Xwpfan said as she pointed to my bedroll. How thoughtful she is. I raise my eyebrows and smile saying, "You knew I'd come back soaked, and you didn't bother to warn me?" She laughs and says, “I didn't want to ruin anybody's fun!” “Oh really, then have yourself an eel.” I tease and throw the eel straight at her face. She caught it as the rest of the fishing party walk up and laugh at the sight.

I need to get out of these wet clothes. I walk over to my bedroll and change into my dry tunic, then hang the wet one on a limb to dry. Running my fingers through my short flame red hair, I walked back next to Xwpfan and ask, “So how do you prepare eel?” I take the eel back from her hands and help her up. We walk to the fire and begin to prepare our meal. Talking of a spiced eel recipe. As I look over towards my new family, I smile and think. Now this is the life…

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joxer4me - 08:09pm Jun 14, 2002 ET (#12 of 236)

Peace, love and harmony to all

As J'mea moved along her new path towards adventure, she noticed someone around a ringfire, but with no thing cooking. The faint odor of cooking fish drifted along the breeze though and J'mea realized that they were not the only ones around. Gathering up her courage, she made her way towards the lone figure at the firering. "Will I be welcomed or will I be told to go away" was the thought that crossed J'mea's mind as she made her way.

Approaching the campsite, she gave voice to warn the stranger. " I am J'mea, Amazon of a Northern tribe. Be you friend or foe?"

Patiently she waited. Which side of a flipped coin will present itself?



Last edited by Joxcenia, 10/24/2011, 3:20 pm


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Whoosh-ChelSierra-Muse - Twi-Saga
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Re: THE ZENA SCROLLS: CHAPTER II



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bhenrudha - 12:47am Jun 16, 2002 ET (#13 of 236)

I am the Red Woman.

Running

((Author's Note: I hope I'm not being too forward with this post. I had such a good time reading up on some of the group's adventures that I wanted to play too!))

It was not enough that she had escaped, and had been free for almost a moon now. The nightmares plagued her still . . . heavy, cloying with his smell and weight, forcing her awake with a scream echoing in her ears.

She was dirty. She was hungry. She was alone.

Even during the day the smell filled her nose, his rancid breath mixed with the tang of blood. With eyes opened or closed she could see the crimson on her hands, could feel it sticky between her fingers. The voices of coursing hounds drove her feet forward, though she could no longer tell if they were real or imagined.

She was hunted. She was afraid. She was diminished.

The mirror shard had cut her as it had cut him, and sometimes in the vaugeness that came before waking, she felt that his lifeblood had tainted hers, trapping her forever underneath his gluttony . . . his karnal addiction. When night forced her to cling to a tree for what safety she imagined it afforded her, she would pick at the slice across her palm, hoping to bleed him out of her.

She was desperate.

Her body had escaped, but inside she was still back in that room, shackled, waiting. She no longer felt the slap of the chain attached to her collar, the skin down the middle of her chest too bruised to complain. A nail ripped half off her finger had stopped her from trying to claw the solid ring from her throat.

She was dying.

She wondered why she continued. Memory older than her slavery surged forward then . . . the Raven's wings, the stand of Acorns . . . her death did not belong to her, it belonged the Goddess. But the Goddess was too far away, She could not hear a wayward daughter whose voice had grown small.

A sharp pain pierced her middle, the memory of a handful of mushrooms a crescent moon distant. Blurry eyes searched the darkening sky, found the moon nearly half. She would need food. Maybe she was far enough away to ask for help. For now night was as good as day for walking . . . she would continue.

* * *

Midnight found her huddled within a thicket. She had stumbled, fallen, and crawled into the meager shelter. The remainder of her rags had done nothing to protect her from the thorns, but she was far past caring. Sleep had teased her this night with visions of green hills, fields of sheep and cattle, the collar at her throat a twisted torc of copper instead of a slave's locked iron decoration.

Dawn found her weeping.

When she had been wrung dry, she crawled out of the thicket, and picked a direction. Mere hours later found her following the faint scent of smoke. The vestiges of caution drove her into the thick trees, moving with all the silence she could remember.

A voice filled ears grown used to her own cackling words, "I am J'mea, Amazon of a Northern tribe. Be you friend or foe?"

Panic filled her trembling limbs as she searched her mind for the steps of translation. Northern . . . tribe . . . friend . . . foe . . . Tuaisceartach . . . treibh . . . cara . . . namhaid . . . Only those few words did she manage to pull from behind the wall of exhaustion induced delusion. While she was trying to decide whether or not this was enough to warrant coming down from her tree, her body decided for her, sending her falling, unconscious before she hit the ground.

----------------------------------------

leara - 01:29am Jun 16, 2002 ET (#14 of 236)


Guess who is coming to dinner?

What to do the dilemma never seems to end. I really should offer to share my catch with Lucystar as we seem alone here in the meadow waiting for the next step. My people skills in groups are somewhat malapropos. One on one, I have a better chance of keeping my composure and behavior in check.

I am so uneasy about everything lately. I’m sure it is because of this identity crisis, I used to know who I was and took great pride in being Leara. Now I am not sure who or what I am supposed to be. I would be less apprehensive if I were fully clothed. The only things in sight are my bed roll and the wild natural flora.

I suppose, it will be the bed roll fashioned into makeshift covering of sorts. I wind it around my body like a sari but it is not really long enough. It will have to do, it is all I have. It covers enough of me that I do not feel so exposed.

I call out, “Who is there? Lucystar, is that you? Why don’t you come and join me for dinner? I am no great chef but I have some fresh fish they are cooking on the stones of the fire ring. Please approach without fear and join me I’d have plenty enough to share if that is your wish.”

There is a rustle in the bushes my hand has a firm grasp on my sword, if the rustle is not friendly it will find itself on the fast track to Hades.



---

Whoosh-ChelSierra-Muse - Twi-Saga
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Re: THE ZENA SCROLLS: CHAPTER II



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Lucystar1 - 02:06am Jun 16, 2002 ET (#15 of 236)

What we sow in this life, we reap in our future lives. This is our karma.

A DINNER INVITATION

I've made my way across the glen having seen the campfire and smelled the cooking fish. I still have in my hands the leaf basket I made to hold the berries I picked. I also have over my shoulder my day pack, which, besides an extra tunic, is full of nuts I had also found in my foraging trips.

Leara calls out to me. Apparently she must have seen me earlier today out hunting for food. Now she's invited me to share her meal, for which I am grateful. Not so much because I am hungary, but for the company. I have been alone all day wting for Saxy to return to me.

The path I took to the campfire walked me right into some bushes. As I shove my way through them I come face to face with Leara with her sword in her hand.

"Whoa, there, I'm a friend, not foe. You remember me don't you leara?" Leara gives me a grin and puts her sword away. And I let out a big sigh. "Hey, thanks for the invite. Didn't know you were still around. I would have thought you'd ave left already, Leara?"

With that she motions me to a log by the fire as she turns back and checks on the fish cooking on the rock in the fire ring. "Gods, that smells good. Hey,Leara, I know it's not much but here are some berries I picked and I've got some nuts in my day pack. I've seen Saxy put some of each in fish she's cooked and it gives them a little extra flavor. Not that what you've cooked doesn't smell great, mind you."

Lucystar now notices that leara's "clothes" consist of her bedroll wrapped around her and kind of covering her body. Reaching into her pack she dumps out the nuts on the ground and then pulls out the extra tunic. She offers it to Leara saying" Here you might be a little more comfortable in this and I know you'll need your blanket later to sleep one." Leara looks at her, but doesn't say a word. "Look, I always carry an extra tunic in case I fall in a creek when I'm trying to help Saxy fish. My guess is your clothes got soaked while you were fishing and they're not dry yet." With that she drapes the tunic over Leara's arm and turns to check on the fish. "Go over there and change. I promise not to look." Lucystar laughs to herself as she sits back on the log. "Looks like to fish will be ready soon. Thanks again for the invitation, Leara"

----------------------------------------

joxer4me - 11:35am Jun 16, 2002 ET (#16 of 236)

Peace, love and harmony to all

A lost soul

Realizing a little late that she missed the lone warrior, J'mea ponder her next move. Before taking a step on the decided path, she heard branches breaking and a small whoosh. Cautiously she made her way to the noise. There beneath a mighty oak, laid a battered body. Moving slowly lest it be a Roman, J'mea inched closer. Seeing that indeed the person was unconscious, J'mea poceeded to check for vital signs. With growing horror, she came to the realization that this poor soul was a woman, bruised and batter, but not from the war. This damaged was done by another type of war.

Not knowing what injuries had been sustained, J'mea quickly gathered her healing herbs and some bandages from her sack. Cleaning and binding the more noticeable wounds, J'mea could only spectulate the nature of the older wounds.

With no other answer to her call, J'mea surmised she was safe for the time being. Gathering some of the broken branches, she started her own ringfire to keep the chill away from them both. J'mea jumped when she heard some mumbling from her fallen charge. Leaning closer, she still could not understand much. Only the words Northern and tribe could she pick out from the mumblings. By the gods, could this soul be from her long ago lost tribe?

Covering the girl with her only cloak, J'mea brewed more herbs in a broth. In time the wounds would heal. But what of the ones that went more than skin deep? Only the gods knew that answer.

As J'mea secured the small perimeter, she kept her weapons in close contact and settled down for the long vigil that laid ahead. "May the gods bless you and help you, for I have done all that I can". With that small prayer offered, J'mea leaned her back against the tree and stared out into the growing darkness.



---

Whoosh-ChelSierra-Muse - Twi-Saga
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Re: THE ZENA SCROLLS: CHAPTER II



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bhenrudha - 05:23pm Jun 16, 2002 ET (#17 of 236)

I am the Red Woman.

Dreaming

Gentle J'mea had her hands full with the lost soul she had found in the grass. The runaway was tall, perhaps as tall as Xena herself, though far too thin by any stretch of the imagination. The matted rat's nest of hair had once been a deep, coppery auburn, framing a face that was too sunburnt and dirtstreaked to be the clear ivory it once was.

Looking over the battered body, J'mea found a plentitude of cuts and scrapes down the long limbs and across the runaway's back. The filthy rags barely hid the mass of bruises that ran down the thin chest, product of the length of chain still attached to a locked iron collar.

While cleaning and bandaging the battered woman, the Amazon noted that she was curiously free of whip scars, her mind shying away from what other tortures might have been visited upon the runaway instead.

On her back J'mea had found a large tattoo, a shield of some kind . . . the profile of triple ravens knotted together in the Celtic style. They were black, one had an amber eye, one a red eye and the last a black eye.

At the end of her legs were two collections of bruises and blisters, cracked nails and dried blood. The runaway's feet had taken the brunt of the damage from being out in the wilderness virtually naked. Luckily the weather was warm enough, and there was no frostbite, though the black of some of the bruises had made J'mea double-check.

Her most serious wound was a slice across the right palm, crusted over and, by some miracle, not septic yet. The woman had twitched and groaned while J'mea poulticed and wrapped the hand, going limp so suddenly the Amazon had checked for a pulse to reassure herself that her charge was still alive.

J'mea mused on the symbology of the tattoo while preparing her fire and broth for the runaway, somehow knowing that there was a story behind the design and why it had not been whipped into obscurity. She hoped that the woman would be able to tell her story when she woke.

Settling back against a tree, the Amazon checked her weapons and whispered to the woman, "May the gods bless you and help you, for I have done all that I can"

* * *

She was beginning to feel warmer. It was a sensation that she was nearly unfamiliar with. It felt . . . not good, but better. The warmth sent the roiling sludge of him into hiding. She wanted to open the cut on her hand and let the warmth burn him out.

Her hands twitched, but she could not bring them together. There was something holding her hands apart. He had never shackled her hands. Desolation swarmed her . . . for she knew that she had been caught again.

She could not know that she was in the hands of an ally, even a friend . . . these were concepts that had been choked out of her, pulled from her by a length of chain.

Into the desperate blackness of oblivion a lance of red pain sliced, setting fire to her blood. It had started at her hand, she realized, like she had been cut again with her mirror shard. Confusion snared her . . . she had lost her shard, it had drowned in the rising pool of crimson.

The fire took no notice of her state of mind. It coursed through her, agonizing in its speed, leaving her raw, but clean. Dark joy welled up within her with the knowledge that the blaze would find him, turn him to ash within her. She surrendered to the fire, letting it have its way with her and turned, falling deeper into her mind.

----------------------------------------

bhenrudha - 07:36pm Jun 16, 2002 ET (#18 of 236)

I am the Red Woman.

Internal Voyage I

Behind the wall of unconsciousness she waited. This time she was shackled in her room, without her mirror shard, knowing that he would be coming soon. The room was lavish, with silken sheets and expensive rugs, large enough that she could not claim claustrophobia as her madness. Her chain was anchored high on the wall, allowing her the freedom of the room till she got near the door.

She remembered her first weeks here, struggling against her bond toward the door, passing out when the collar had cut off her air too long. She knew better now. Arranged artfully among the pillows of her bed shaped grave, she resigned herself to another taste of death.

The lock clicked. The door opened with the faint jangle of keys. Fear stole another portion of her soul. She closed her eyes.

Bootsteps muffled by the rugs . . . he never wore boots in here . . . her eyes flew open.

Standing before her was a woman, tall and muscular, garbed in the warrior way of her people. Thick, midnight hair waterfalled its way past her waist, framing brilliant amber eyes. In her hands she held a set of sodden clothes.

She groaned, rolling forward and pressing her face into the bed sheet. "I am reduced to less than nothing. No longer fit to wear your mark . . . take your Raven, Lady and leave me to die." The amber eyed Raven, settled on the right side of her back, burned with intense heat, making her gasp and look up.

The Woman stood quietly, holding the wet clothes out to her, liquid dripping to stain the rug. She followed the falling trail . . . of water . . . her clothes, in those Hands, dripping water. She was alive . . .

Do not presume to know My thoughts daughter. My Sisters and I are far from finished with you. Stand, I would not speak to the back of your head.

No actual words came to her, instant understanding bombarded her instead. Trembling, she rose, the clank of her chain a loud desecration, a shame filled reminder that she was unworthy of the grace she was receiving. She stepped down from the bed and stood before the Woman.

She wanted to speak, but her throat constricted, choking off her first attempt. Gazing into the serene countenance, she was able to find her voice. "Blessed Lady, Seer Through the Haze, Mystical Sister," she spoke three titles as she was taught and felt the Raven with the amber eye settle, warming her back with a more gentle heat, "direct me as you would, for this daughter remains devoted to you."

Take those rags off, they are beneath you.

It took but moments to unwrap the length of cloth that had barely covered her body. She dropped it to the floor where it burnt to ash and gone. Naked she tried to draw herself up straight before the Woman, but the weight of her collar forced her shoulders to hunch. The Woman frowned lightly, and turned to set the wet clothes down in the doorway.

Garb yourself.

With knees shaking, she took a shuddering breath, "But Lady, I cannot reach so far."

Impatience colored the knowledge she received, That is only true were you still a slave. I see no chain fettering you.

Looking back over her shoulder, she saw that the chain did indeed reach to its anchor on the wall. She felt that she should recognize the test for what it was, but pain and fear had made her stupid. "I am in my tomb, chained to the subtle demise designed for me by him. It is fitting that I remain naked, Blessed Lady, for I have given up on freedom and deserve no defense."

Look again foolish daughter, and See where you truly lie.



---

Whoosh-ChelSierra-Muse - Twi-Saga
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Re: THE ZENA SCROLLS: CHAPTER II



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bhenrudha - 07:43pm Jun 16, 2002 ET (#19 of 236)

I am the Red Woman.

Internal Voyage I (continued)

Look again foolish daughter, and See where you truly lie.

She turned back, not sure what to expect. The First Sister was the Prophetess, the one who would tell a warrior if they were to live or die, this was not the first time she had seen Her. She hoped that it would not be the last.

Before she could look at the Woman, she looked to the soggy pile on the floor. There was water pooling from her clothes, that meant she was not to die . . . but why live chained to a wall?

She lifted her gaze to see the Woman make a circle with her arms, the space between filling with water. She stepped as close as she could and peered into the liquid mirror called forth from nothing. An image slowly formed . . . a tree, a lone woman, a fire and a shape on the ground covered with a cloak. She leaned closer, the collar pressing on her throat, to try and see the shape more closely.

It was barely recognizable, but above the cloak it was there, her face. She was asleep. She looked up at the Woman with awe shining in her eyes. The chain fell from its anchor to clank loudly on the floor.

The Woman opened her arms and the water fell back into nothing, She nodded, You understand now.

She did. She was on Immrama, The Internal Voyage, and should she fail, she would never wake up. With heavy steps that dragged the chain across the floor, she reached her clothes and bent to pick them up. Water sluiced from them, leaving them dry before she had straitened. She turned to the Woman and bowed her head, "Thank you Lady Morgan, you grace me."

Cool lips brushed her forehead. Do not thank Me yet. You have my Sisters yet to meet, and They can be far less kind. Before she could respond, the Woman vanished, was simply gone between one instant and the next.

With a heart that felt lighter than it had in years, she dressed herself . . . tunic, trews, belt and boots. Finished, she felt stronger, enough to drag the chain that still fell behind her. She stepped into the corridor and away from the room, never to return.

* * *


A day and night had passed since first J'mea had found the battered woman in the grass. She took the broth and water that was given, but did not stir at all. She had not moved, had not made a noise, had been so still that the Amazon regularly checked her pulse, just to be sure.

As the waxing half-moon rose, J'mea heard the flutter of wings. A large raven landed on the ground near the runaway's head, cawing lightly. The bird looked up at J'mea, revealing luminous amber eyes. What the portent meant, the Amazon could not have said.

----------------------------------------

joxer4me - 12:17am Jun 17, 2002 ET (#20 of 236)

Peace, love and harmony to all

A Lost Soul, Part II

A day and night had pass since J'mea had found the girl. Cleansing the wounds and scrapes took time, so dirty and crusted over with dry blood, she did not want to further put the girl in pain. Regularly check the pulse, J'mea was relieved that she was there to help. For too long she felt useless, by herself only the wildlife to be her companions.

A soft, inaudible murmur would escape through healing cracked lips. J'mea would rest her hand reassuringly on the girl's shoulder to calm her. With luck, the sleep that overcame the girl would be deep and healing.

Settling back once again against the tree, J'mea ponder the vicious wounds she had treated and was extremely curious about the raven tattoo. Tattoos were not uncommon in any Amazon tribe but after cleaning the lost soul's hair and skin, she did not look to be from any Amazon tribe J'mea knew of. Red hair moved more freely without the debris cluttering it. Skin not damaged from abuse was a shade or two lighter then that which was constantly exposed to the sun. Were those a light sprinkle of freckles going across the bridge of the nose?

J'mea knew for certain that she was treating a slave girl, a runaway. How long did the runaway suffer? How could anyone be so cruel? She looked no older than twenty winters, but looks can be deceiving. J'mea offered a quick prayer of thanks to the gods for leading her on this new path. She would do all in her power to help and save this girl,her friend.

----------------------------------------

joxer4me - 12:36am Jun 17, 2002 ET (#21 of 236)

Peace, love and harmony to all

The Past

Done with what needed to be done to her new companion, J'mea let her thoughts drift back to her own past. Leaning back, she closed her eyes and began to dream.

The North. How beautiful and serene it was. Snow capped mountains and forests thick with trees, the land was surely blessed by the gods. Nordic pride swelled within her heart. Truly no other land could be so beautiful. Yet with beauty comes ugliness. Men fighting in the name of Odin and Thor wanted more land to call their own. It did not matter that Amazons lived there for as long as one could remember. The quarrels erupted into fighting and then escalated into war. But death comes in war and too many deaths were Amazon. Defeated they left, searching for a new land to call home.

That time came when J'mea was sixteen winters. No longer a girl but not yet a woman, she went off with her small band of sisters. Through the years, depression and sickness would make the band smaller. The day came when the few that were left decided to go their separate ways. "Together or apart we will survive. We need to find others like ourselves." Thus spoke Hilda, our leader, our queen. By then J'mea was twenty two winters and had honed her skills with weapons and more imporantly, with the healing arts.

Jerking upwards from her dream, J'mea leaned towards the slave girl to check her pulse and breathing. Changing the dressings on the more severe wounds, J'mea wondered what had gave her such a start. Adding small branches to the ringfire, J'mea once again leaned back and drifted towards sleep and her past.



---

Whoosh-ChelSierra-Muse - Twi-Saga
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Re: THE ZENA SCROLLS: CHAPTER II



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leara - 08:10am Jun 17, 2002 ET (#22 of 236)

Company of One

I feel foolish dressed in my bedroll but, it beats the alternative. LS comes through the bushes I am partly releived and now more nervous than ever. I put my sword away, no need of a weapon among friends. She is quick to offer to help with the frying fish as she has some seasonings in her pouch.

"I said I was no chef. That you will find was no lie, please by all means do me the honor. I usually cook for just me and do just enough not to starve or waste any meat. I am sure that when you are finished they will taste better." I hand over the stick I have carved into a flat turner of sorts. It will be easier to manipulate the fish with my new tool.

LS dumped her pack and at the bottom is a clean dry tunic. She offers it to me. Must be showing a little more flesh than appropriate but then I hear the explanation. I still feel embarassed about my current clothing and accepting the tunic from LS. She exercises great compassion in my case, draping the tunic over my arm and promising not to look. Thus she preserves what shreds of dignity I have left, I make quick work getting changed. The trip back is not speedy as tears well up in my eyes. It has been so long since someone actually cared for me or my needs. I shake it off and return to the fire and the soon to be meal.

I sit down by the fire and try to speak clearly and keep my voice steady "LS thank you for the tunic. I will return it when mine finally dries."

LS is right the fish are much better with the seasonings. I offer my compliments, "You are the chef. I am so glad that you decided to join me. This is the best fish I have had in a while."

We sit and talk the time away. I feel the nervous apprehension I had been feeling begin to fade slowly into oblivion. LS was a great warrior no doubt but she was more than that. The conversation was light, easy and honest. Honesty is not one of my best suits of course that is to be expected when you live a lie more than the truth. I make the attempt to be extra careful not to lie to LS.

----------------------------------------

bhenrudha - 05:01pm Jun 17, 2002 ET (#23 of 236)

I am the Red Woman.

Internal Voyage II

She had been a slave for four long years, and in that time she had been taken from her room half a dozen times, maybe less. So it was little wonder that the corridors that stretched before her were meaningless in their design.

But she was not wholly lost. Part of the haze that had infested her life had lifted with Morgan's kiss, so when she felt her soul tugged faintly in one direction, she did not hesitate. She leaned against the weight of the chain and forced her feet to step in front of the other.

It was not long before she reached his audience chamber. This place she remembered. It had been here that the collar had closed around her neck. Hatred for the man built within her, fresh and hot as it had been years earlier. Fear and time had stolen her hatred, had left her hollow and ineffectual.

She took a deep breath, reveling in the burning emotion that radiated through her. It seemed that in a moment she would burst into flames, taking all of the building with her. She should have felt lighter, closer to free. But the chain seemed to weigh more heavily, and when she turned, saw that it stretched further away.

The test was recognized quicker this time, though she was at a loss as to how she could win through. She scanned the room and noted that his seat was shrouded in shadow. What rested within that shadow was important, she understood that without thinking. Casting about for a means for light, she spied torches hanging on the wall.

There had been a time that a thought would have set the torches to alight. Those days had been ground to dust by the men who had captured her. But this was Immrama, other things were possible. She centered herself and, for the first time since she had left Eriu, breathed a word . . . Solas . . . Light. The torches flared and settled to burning. The flush of her success was short lived however, once she spied who it was sitting in the center chair.

It was him.

In all his corpulent glory he spread out in his seat, watching her with avarice eyes. She went numb with horror and tried to take a step backwards. Strong hands on her shoulders stopped her and she twisted around.

A Woman stood behind her, clad for war, with angry red hair pulled back from Her face in intricate braids. Calm crimson eyes regarded her for a moment before she fell to her knees. Shame twisted her guts and she gasped out to the before her, "Lady, I . . . I am no longer worthy of your Raven . . ."

To your feet little warrior.

A voice this time, thunderous, the clash of a hundred swords that came at her from all directions at once. She could do nothing but obey. Again she tried to square her shoulders, and again the gravity of her collar and chain made it impossible.

What makes you afraid?

----------------------------------------

bhenrudha - 05:13pm Jun 17, 2002 ET (#24 of 236)

I am the Red Woman.

Internal Voyage II (continued)

What makes you afraid?

The Woman's crimson eyes bored into her, demanding an answer. She swallowed several times before she had the breath to respond, "Bright Lady, She Whose Sword is Ever Keen, Battle Sister, I am afraid of the man who sits over there."

But he is dead, no?

Memory assaulted her . . . a mirror shard, a slash, the warm gush of blood from them both. She had killed him and escaped after unlocking her chain from the wall anchor. Blinking, she turned to stare at the figure in the chair. He was not moving. "But why is he here, Lady?"

You need to finish killing him.

The only part she understood was that she had to get close to him again. She sagged as her knees threatened to buckle, a moan escaping her. "Lady, I cannot," she spoke the words like a death knell.

As long as he is here, you too shall remain.

There was no compassion in the crashing voice, only fact, and that made her afraid for a very different reason. She had passed Morgan's test, realized that she was alive . . . she wanted to wake up. Struggling with her fear of him and that of remaining within Immrama forever, she straightened and looked her Goddess in the eye. "If it is to be so, then Lady, I would have a weapon."

Perhaps a trace of pride sparkled in the Woman's eyes as she said, I neither keep one from your hand, nor can I give one to you. But should you call, I would answer.

Understanding blossomed, and she held out her hand. The word sat easily on her tongue as she demanded . . . Tua . . . Axe. It coalesced out of the air and her fingers curled around the smooth, familiar handle, her wrist tightening automatically against the balance. A handaxe, a weapon much beloved by her people. She had never felt something so welcome in her hand.

With a clank of chain, she turned and made to step toward his chair. The collar tightened against her throat, unwilling to move forward. Here was the test, to kill him so that she believed, that her soul believed . . . a step towards free.

She took a deep breath, filling her lungs as deeply as she could and shoved. The iron collar pressed against her throat, cutting off her breathing. She had expected this, and only shoved again. A few steps she made, leaving only a handful more before her destination. Her lungs started to burn, but she could suck in no breath, let alone release what was trapped within her.

She shoved, moved a pace or two. The weight grew, almost as if it were trying to pull her backwards. Spots danced before her eyes and the pain in her lungs grew. She shoved and fell forward a pace, a red haze obscuring her vision. Her hands touched the floor, the axe slipping from her grip. She could no longer see, and was beginning to have trouble thinking. She was so close, but could not force her body to rise. Lady . . . I . . . her thought fell away as black replaced the red and her face hit the floor.

It was in that moment, when she had resigned herself to final oblivion that the red eyed raven on her back began to burn. It pushed away the black, gave her a lungful of air. It burned bright and pure, the Raven that sat on the side where her heart resided.

Strength poured through her, filling her bones, guiding her muscles. She picked up her axe and with a last step brought the blade down, with all her will, upon the fat man's head. The keen edge split his skull easily and when she pulled the weapon away there was no blood. Instead there was sand. It poured from the gap in his head and in moments there was nothing but sand. She stared down at it and the chain attached to her collar dropped to the floor.

Your soul believes. He will live no longer.



---

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Re: THE ZENA SCROLLS: CHAPTER II



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bhenrudha - 05:17pm Jun 17, 2002 ET (#25 of 236)

I am the Red Woman.

Internal Voyage II (continued)

Your soul believes. He will live no longer.

"May the Hounds of Arawn feast on him for eternity," she spat the words, then turned and walked back to the Woman. She stood before the Second Sister, the Warrior, She who gave the battle madness as a gift, and felt the fire from the red eyed Raven settle into her heart. She had been too long without it. She would die before she lost it again.

Silence grew between them for a long moment, then she said, "Thank you Lady Macha, you grace me."

A second set of lips brushed her forehead, Do not thank Me yet. You have My Sister yet to meet, and she is far less kind. Then She was gone.

She tucked the axe into her belt and strode out of the room, never to return.

* * *


The waxing moon had risen again when a second raven landed. This one had eyes the color of blood, bright in the firelight. It touched the runaway lightly with its beak, then the amber eyed raven, and finally settled down to its own vigil.

A second day and night had passed since J'mea had discovered the runaway. In that time she had reaffirmed her faith in the Amazon way, found it in the drifting mists of her past. There was so much she did not know about the sleeping woman, but felt that a friend rested beneath her cloak. It was strange, and not in the same breath.

Before sundown the woman had flushed with color, the uninjured skin acquiring a rosy hue. This gave J'mea hope. Hope was a very good thing, the Amazon mused as she prepared more broth for her charge.

((Author's Note: Macha is pronounced MAAX-ah. FYI. :-) ))

----------------------------------------

xwpfan - 06:26pm Jun 17, 2002 ET (#26 of 236)

There is only one [sign in to see URL] be able to spend your life in your own way...

Where are they now?

I was lost in my own thoughts as Puella went to change her tunic. My heart grew heavy and concerned as night was beginning to fall on our weary little band. There were many faces and voices I had not heard from since our battle with the Romans. How had they all fared and more importantly where were they now?

As my mind drifted I realized that I had not heard at all from Queen Saxy or her second Lucystar. Under extraordinary circumstances such as these the leadership of the tribe would've fallen to me. I Had done the best I could, but between my injured leg and a heart that is too heavy and too broken to do the things a leader must do.

As the smell of fire and fish filled the night air I couldn't help but wonder if any of my sisters were without food, warm clothes or company. We were in unfamiliar territory camped out in a large expanse. Intimidating for those who had only experienced camp life, with a community of sisters sharing chores and tasks.

Being out amongst the stars with just bedrolls and a few days supplies was much closer to how the Amazons of old lived.

In my youth and inexperienced days I had often secretly longed for this kind of adventure and now it was laid out before me and for the first time I was unsure as to what part I would play. was no longer the youthful warrior and I was not yet a wise old sage... all I knew was that within my heart and mind I could hear the voices of our Ancestors beckoning us forward to build a new nation.

I looked over at Puella as my thoughts returned to the present. I smiled as I watched Puella trying to dry her hair and warm herself by the fire's edge. I braced myself with a stick and made my way over to her. I placed my hand on her shoulder and said, "Are you warm enough?"

Puella nodded.

" Puella,I want to thank you for keeping me company and for bringing laughter back so quickly into my life. I don't know if I could of gotten through losing my girls without you."

I don't want to alarm you but I think many moons from now when the tribe is more settled I will go off by myself for awhile and properly grieve for my girls, but for now I am needed here.

A momentary look of fear and apprehension flashed across Puella's face. I put my hand on her shoulder and said "I am not leaving you or this tribe.I promise,I'll come back."

Puella smiled and with a sigh of relief said,"Where do you think everyone is tonight? Do you think they're all ok?"

I laughed and said, "You and I think so much alike.. come sit and talk to me awhile . I feel we have so much to learn about each other and from each other I suspose."

Puella smiled and said, I'd like that,you know through all that's happened we've never had a chance to just sit and talk..."

----------------------------------------

zena - 08:02am Jun 18, 2002 ET (#27 of 236)

"Agere Sequitur Esse"

Amazon Shopping Trip

“What about this one?”, Zena asked.

“No.”

“This?”

“No.”

“By the gods, Evergreen, you are the most stubborn woman I’ve ever met.” The pile of rejected shirts on the merchant’s table was now as high as her head.

“You promised to replace my favorite shirt”, Evergreen scowled at her friend, “and I want an EXACT replacement.” Evergreen put her hands on her hips and surveyed the stack. Zena did likewise but surveyed Evergreen, standing there in the shirt with the big hole over her heart that they had hastily mended with big rough stitches. She felt a little ashamed that her sewing skills were so lacking although she did fairly well in closing wounds.

“But there isn’t one with a pine branch design. This is Aegina on the sea. They like fish. They paint fish. They embroider fish. They eat fish. Could you think FISH?” Zena put her hands to her temples. “You are making my head hurt.”

“Don’t go there with the ‘keep your fist off my head’ thing. You got your sight back didn’t you?” Evergreen grinned at her friend and put a comforting hand on her arm. “Somebody in one of these shops has got to have a simple leather tunic with a beautifully stitched pine branch down the front. We just have to find it. And NO fish.”

Zena peeked around the shirts and apologetically told the shopkeeper that they would not be making a purchase. The man shrugged his shoulders and began putting his shop back in order. “Amazons!”, he grumbled.

They stepped out into the street with it’s fresh sea air and sparkling white buildings. Although the little seaport was filled with travelers from many cultures, Evergreen and Zena stood out amongst the colorful garb and people stared as they went by. Zena poked Evergreen and gesturing to her own torn and bloodied clothing said, “Listen, let’s settle for a couple of cotton tunics for now and blend in a little better. I want a bath, I’m hungry and I think we are scaring these people. When in [sign in to see URL], sorry.” Evergreen nodded and laughed at the Roman reference, “Come on friend, let’s go find an Inn.”

“Cassius.”

“No, try again.”



---

Whoosh-ChelSierra-Muse - Twi-Saga
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