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Re: THE ZENA SCROLLS: CHAPTER II



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girlpower - 06:20pm Jun 18, 2002 ET (#28 of 236)

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

fireside chat

Puella stands by the fire’s edge drying my hair and warming myself, when Xwpfan walks over and places her hand on my shoulder. “Are you warm enough?” she asks. With all she has been through, it amazes me how easily she opens her heart and shows her concern for me. She needs to take time to grieve, take care of herself. Instead she feels she must be strong, lead her family, her tribe until Queen Saxy’s return. Until that day comes I will be here by her side. Protecting her from all harm. Looking into her face, I nod.


"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 have gotten through losing my girls without you." Xwpfan said, then looks into the fire. I think to myself as I hear her words.

Thank you for saving me. You befriended me when I needed it the most. I was lost and had given up hope. Then you came into my life, you made me feel again. At first you made me feel pain, now you have helped me to learn love.

Xwpfan then turns her face back towards mine and says, “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.” My heart sank at the words and she could tell. She put her hand on my shoulder and said, "I am not leaving you or this tribe. I promise, I'll come back." I smile as she reassures me. I place my hand on top of hers as it lies on my shoulder. “I will be here for you, until that day…if you need anything.” I manage to say aloud.

Looking into the fire I ask, "Where do you think everyone is tonight? Do you think they're all ok?" Xwpfan 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 suppose.” I hold up my hand, “Just a moment, I need to get something.

I walk over to my bedroll and there I pick up a nice sized branch. It was a strong branch, and just the right height. I pulled it off the tree when I was hanging my tunic up to dry. I grab my knife from my saddlebag and walk back over to Xwpfan. I smile as I sit down next to her. I begin to carve into the branch and say, “We've never had a chance to just sit and talk. Now seems to be the perfect opportunity. What do you want to talk about.” I continue to carve as I ask Xwpfan questions. “So when was the first time you learned to fish?” We laughed as she began to tell me things about her life…

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EvergreenLM - 10:22pm Jun 18, 2002 ET (#29 of 236)

"To Conquer Others is to Have [sign in to see URL] Conquer Yourself is to Know the Way"

I Came, I Saw, I Did Not Buy

"Zena, just how long have we known each other,come on, tell me,just HOW long?"

"Have I EVER liked shopping?...COTTON tunics! Ye gods, Zena, I am going to thump you again!"

"EG, give it a rest will '[sign in to see URL] JUST a shirt!"

Zena was walking ahead through the crowd and looking back over her shoulder at a very out -of- sorts Evergreen.

Evergreen HATED the market place,hated the haggling Zena was so prone to do when she thought a bargain could be had for the silvery tongued bartering she performed with the finesse of Salamonueos.

Zena became aware that Evergreen had grown silent. When she again looked back, Evergreen was gone. "By [sign in to see URL] a rope! I swear I will get a rope and tie her to my waist."

Zena saw a crowd and there was Evergreen sitting and watching whatever had entranced the others.

Zena walked up behind EG to see what had captured her attention. Zena grabbed EG's shoulders,leaned in and whispered,

"WHAT is so wonderful that we are delaying clean clothes...'sniff,sniff'...and a certain BATH a certain PERSON needs?"

"Zena, hush, look!"

Zena looked up and saw what EG was so focused on. A young bard was speaking to the gathering. She was telling with great animation of an Amazon- Roman battle that had been fought just a few moons ride from this very place. The bard described the great victory of the Amazons telling of the valor,sacrifice, and the loyalty among the tribe.

"EG, she is talking about us!"

EG looked back at Zena with a confused expression.

"What?"

"She is telling OUR story", Zena excitedly whispered.

"Our [sign in to see URL] that, no,Zena,look at her [sign in to see URL] branch!"

"EG!, Get up! You are NOT going ask her for her [sign in to see URL], I have never known you to ask a woman for her [sign in to see URL], what you do to my head!"

Zena, grabbed EG by the back of her battered tunic,lifting her to her feet,knowing that only she could do that a without being on the receiving end of a trouncing. With a swift,but gentle kick to EG's backside, the two wandered back to the market aisle.

Evergreen reveled in the moments with her friend. The sun was setting,the seagulls swooped and cried out as they dipped,the air smelled like the very essence of the sea,of life.

The battle was behind, and EG savored the time of peace only disturbed by lingering thoughts of the others. Had they found the peace that Zena and EG possessed in this village by the sea? EG prayed that their Sisters had,at least,found each other.

"EG?...where did you 'go'?"

Smiling at this loyal friend, Evergreen, with deep affection said,

"Nowhere,Zena,no where."

"Cotton tunics? [sign in to see URL] you at least SCRIBE a pinebranch on it?"



---

Whoosh-ChelSierra-Muse - Twi-Saga
10/24/2011, 3:33 pm Link to this post Send Email to Joxcenia   Send PM to Joxcenia Blog
 
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Re: THE ZENA SCROLLS: CHAPTER II



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

xwpfan - 10:38pm Jun 18, 2002 ET (#30 of 236)

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

Old fish tails...

Puella walked over to her bedroll and came back with a nice sized branch and a knife. As she sat down next to me she said," We've never had a chance to just sit and talk. Now seems like the perfect opportunity. What do want to talk about?"

I looked at Puella and words failed me there was so much I had wanted to talk to Puella about..

I was grateful when she broke the silence by asking me "When was the first time you learned to fish? I laughed at the absurdity and the innocence of the question.

Puella began to carve as I started my story...

"My story of learning to fish isn't that interesting I was about 8 winters old the first time I went fishing.

I was spending the day supposedly learning how to make cisterns and pots from my grandmother but I was easily bored and very much distracted. When my grandmother and I went to the river to get fresh water for the wheel, there was a group of older girls fishing and laughing at the river's edge.I begged my grandmother to let me try to fish and like you I came home very much soaked proudly carrying a very small trout.

However,when my girls learned to fish it was a different story altogether. That was the day they captured my heart forever.. the very next day I went before the elders and asked for permission to raise them as my own...

Puella stopped her carving and asked,"How old were they?"

"Oh,let's see all the girls were young when they came to the tribe, they weren't staying with me yet so... that would make Hippolyta s about 8 winters old. Hippolyta thought she knew Everything about everything including fishing. Solaria must've been almost 7 winters old and deathly afraid of touching a slimy fish. Vasca was heading into her 6th winter and had just lost two teeth and could not even say Fish.."

Anyway Vasca got So excited when she learned we were going to go fishing,or fithing as she said it. She went running around camp telling everyone.. we're going fithing... we're going fithing!!

Hippolyta was not thrilled that the others were going.. she just kept nagging me... to just let her go fish.. alone.

Of course could not do that, but I did grow tired of hearing her beg so she called Genia over to us and asked if she minded keeping an extra eye on Hippolyta while I taught the other two to fish.

I could tell she didn't want to but she said she didn't mind. So Solaria and Vasca each took me by the hand and walked into the water.

Puella, it was the coldest water I have ever been in in my life.I was standing in hip deep Cold water with my teeth chattering and my lips turning blue. Waiting to see what my charges would do when a fish would swim by.

It wasn't long before a group of fish swam by and instead of grabbing one Vasca started yelling" Look,look at the pretty fifhs!!

Solaria was screaming "Ew one touched me, get me out of here"!!!I was laughing so hard I fell into the water.

Hippolyta was not happy with any of us. We were ruining her big fishing debut she started yelling from the shore line "Shut up you two babies,your scaring all the fish!"

I figured she might be right so I gathered Vasca and Solaria, brought them back to shore.I decided to take Hippolyta out into slightly deeper water.I told her to be patient and to not to try to catch a big fish... but she was never one to take orders,so of course she was lunging after every big fish that went by .

Hippolyta must have lunged at about a dozen fish and was completely drenched when I saw her dive in after a fish! She was completely emerged in the river,Somehow she had caught a fish by the tail and wouldn't let go... she was determined she was not going home without a fish.

I panicked and dove in after her,but I couldn't see her, when I came up for air there she stood proudly with the tiniest trout you ever saw in her hands. She looked at me and said," See I told you I could fish."

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

xwpfan - 10:41pm Jun 18, 2002 ET (#31 of 236)

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

old fish Tails continued..

Little Vasca was just mesmerized she watched as the fish jumped and squirmed... until it jumped near her face then she whacked it with her staff to make it stop squirming.

Solaria wanted no part of the fish, she didn't want to see it touch it or eat it.. that it was wrong to kill a living thing.

Hippolyta wanted to show it off.. she must of taken it to each and every Amazon in camp.

It was the first time since I had lost my family that I felt connected and apart of [sign in to see URL] night when it came to say good night to them I realized that I couldn't do [sign in to see URL] didn't want [sign in to see URL] knew I wanted them to come stay with [sign in to see URL]."

Tears started rolling down my cheek, "Puella I don't think I want to go through life alone."

Puella put her arms around my shoulder and said, "Xwpfan your not alone,I'm here for you."

Wipping the tears back so I can look Puella directly in the eye I cry "Puellla ,I have a very similar situation [sign in to see URL] am once again without children,I am alone in the world, save you."

Puella wiped her own tears away as she nodded in agreement.

"I don't know if I should say this, for I know I have no right to ask you to stay with our [sign in to see URL] even for stay with [sign in to see URL] I hope and pray that you will... Your presence fills my life with laughter and [sign in to see URL] think I would be very lost without you here.."

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

zena - 11:59pm Jun 18, 2002 ET (#32 of 236)

"Agere Sequitur Esse"

When in [sign in to see URL] As The Fish Do!

"Cotton tunics? [sign in to see URL] you at least SCRIBE a pinebranch on it?"

Zena stopped walking and took Evergreen by the shoulders. Looking directly into her eyes she said, "FORGET the pine branch for two seconds could you? I am not an artist. I'm an AMAZON!"

Evergreen smiled sweetly at her friend. "Xwpfan is an artist AND an Amazon."

"That's it. I've had it with you. I will not talk about this until we've found a place to stay, bathed, gotten the cotton tunics and EATEN, for the love of Zeus!" She pushed Evergreen back, threw up her hands and stalked away. Zena was growing edgey and Evergreen knew if they didn't find something to eat soon Zena would be impossible. The hungrier she got, the louder she got!

They had walked past several shops with fabrics displayed on tables and places where souvenier Olympic pottery was sold. "Ooooh", Evergreen picked up an urn in the traditional amphora shape. "I love the foot race event."

"Put THAT down. If you break it they'll make us buy it. Remember what happened in Athens last winter when we were Solstice shopping. You tossed a pot like that right into an entire shelf of genuine “blessed by the gods” statues. The shop keeper called in the Athenian troops and we barely got out with our lives, let alone our dinars. Besides, we need to save our dinars for a gift for Gabby's adoption and induction ceremony." Zena paused and looked off into the distance briefly while taking the amphora from Evergreen's hands.

Evergreen saw the look and knew Zena was wondering how her daughter was and probably growing restless to be reunited with her again. "A little distraction right now is a good thing.", Evergreen mused as she pulled her friend along the narrow street. "Zena, look! Here's a place to bathe!"

The pair had reached the actual beach of Aegina where small fishing boats were tied up to weights at the shore. A pier stretched some distance out into the turquoise water and villagers were enjoying diving from the wooden structure. Evergreen took off at a dead run for the end of the pier holding Zena firmly by the hand.

"Evergreen ..... wait ........ don't ........." Zena's voice disappeared with her head as they hit the beautiful blue sea. She struggled up to the surface and gasped, "I ..... can't ..... swim!" and went under.



---

Whoosh-ChelSierra-Muse - Twi-Saga
10/24/2011, 3:35 pm Link to this post Send Email to Joxcenia   Send PM to Joxcenia Blog
 
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Re: THE ZENA SCROLLS: CHAPTER II



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

blackwolf - 02:05am Jun 19, 2002 ET (#33 of 236)

Following Amazons

I had been following three Amazons for a couple of days now. It didn't take me long to realize they were heading for Aegina. Seeing as how they were taking the road to the city, I took a short cut through the forest. I got there a full two days before they did. It gave me enough time to scope the place out and decide where it would be the easiest to spy on them.

When they arrived at the city, there were only two of them. The younger one apparently had been left behind. My thoughts quickly turned to the surrounding area, finding a likely hiding place where they would want to keep her safe. There were a couple of likely places. I would worry about that later though.

I followed the two through the market place. I got close enough to realize they were arguing about a tunic to buy. The one who the tunic was for wanted a specific type of tunic, one with a pine branch on it. The other one was quickly getting exasperated as her friend discarded tunic after tunic. I eventually figured out that the one who wanted the tunic to replace the one she was wearing was named Evergreen, and the other one was Zena. Strange, strange people, I thought as I watched the two argue. To my mind, a tunic was a tunic, and to put any type of artistry on it was just plain weird. However, I knew where one such tunic was in the city, and I moved ahead to buy it. If she wanted such a tunic so bad, she should be willing to trade for it.

When I came back with the tunic, the two women had just finished listening to the bard tell of the battle that they had just fought. As they were looking around for a place to eat, Evergreen picked up an urn from an Olympic souvenir stand. As Zena took the urn from Evergreen before she could break it, she looked into the distance with a combination of a worried and a yearning look. When I looked in the direction that she was looking, I knew exactly where to find the missing member.

When I saw that the two women were heading down to the beach, I decided that I had had enough of following them. I decided to go pay a visit to their little friend that they had left behind. I hopped onto Lukos and headed out of town.

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

blackwolf - 03:30am Jun 20, 2002 ET (#34 of 236)

Meeting new people

She was exactly where I thought she would be. I rode up to the camp and yelled "Hello! Is anyone there?"

I hear a whoosh, and duck just in time to avoid a rock being thrown at my head. I get down off my horse and hide behind a tree, just in time to hear the thunk of another rock striking the tree to the side of me. "Whoa there, now. I mean no harm. I just want to talk."

For a minute there was silence, and then the crunching of leaves can be heard as she approached. I held up my hands and walked out from behind a tree. In front of me stood the third Amazon, holding a makeshift staff at my head. Even though she was obviously skilled with such a weapon, I could disarm her within seconds. However, I didn't want an enemy at this time, so I let her control the situation. Besides, I had a feeling that if this little one turned up missing or harmed, I would be next, and it wouldn't be pleasant.

"Hello there. I'm a weary traveler looking for a place to rest for a little while. I got lost in these stinking woods and came upon your camp by accident. Would you let me spend my resting time here? My plan wasn't working as well as I'd hoped. She might've been young, but she was definitely an Amazon. As I moved to enter the camp, she smacked me right on the nose. "Dang nab it!! What was that for?" I asked as I rubbed my nose.

"I don't trust strangers, especially ones who lie. You are no weary traveler. That sword you wear is not one that mere travelers use, and if you are supposed to be weary, than so should your horse. He however looks in prime condition. Not at all fatigued. So, you either tell me what you are really doing here, or someone will start being beat on."

I had to hand it to her, the girl had spunk. I considered again disarming her and showing her who was boss around here, but decided against it. In the long run, it would be better to be docile. I finished rubbing my now swollen nose and smiled. "Alright, you caught me. I was never very good at lying. Never suited me. I am not a weary traveler. I am a warrior who has been wanting to meet an Amazon for some time, for I wanted to see if the tales were true. I saw your two friends leave you here, and then came over when I deemed enough time had passed. I must be in luck, for I didn't find a girl like I thought you were, but a true Amazon."

A proud look passed over her face for a second before being replaced by the warrior look she was trying so hard to scare me with. Ah, so she had pride. That can be used to my advantage. "Say, I heard a bard tell a story in a village not to far from here about Romans and Amazons fighting close by. Is that true, and were you part of the fight?"

Without taking her eyes off of me for one second, she answered "Yes to both questions. The fight occured a few days ago, and I was there, fighting alongside my sisters."

"Ah, I see. So, is it also true that the Romans beat you badly, scattering your tribe to the four winds?" This had just the effect i wanted.

Staring at me in outrage, she smacked me in the nose again. "WHAT?!! Where did you hear an outrageous lie like that?!"

Rubbing my nose again, I say "Hey, don't take it out on me. That was just how the bard told the story. So, you're saying that what she said isn't true?"

She finally lowered her staff, planted it by her side, and nodded.

I sighed as if in relief. "Good. I was afraid that all of the stories that I'd heard about the Amazons were just fairy tales. I grew up listening to them, and I would've hated to find out they were just myth." I sat down next to a tree, leaned back against it and made myself comfortable. "So little Amazon, tell me what really happened, and don't leave anything out." I could tell that she still didn't trust me, but she had to defend her people. She therefore launched into the story of what really happened.

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

girlpower - 04:43pm Jun 20, 2002 ET (#35 of 236)

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

heart to heart

Puella sits and smiles as she listens to Xwpfan talk of her girls. Raising my eyes from my carving to look over at her now and again, to see the expressions on her face. Her emotions were right there for everyone to see. You would never doubt her love for them and how badly she is suffering their loss. My mind wanders back to the day that they died. The look in Solaria’s eyes when the arrow hit, the look on Xwpfan’s face when she learned of their fate. I must be strong, I inhale returning to the present. I begin carving this soon to be staff.

I have a talent for carving. Each stroke of the knife against the wood is an extension of my thoughts and feelings. I don’t know where I learned this skill, but it is an instinct from deep within me. Something I could always do. It gave me great solace in the bitter times in my life. Though I have never had such a nice piece of wood before to work with. This one speaks to me. I can see what it is to become. My hand and the knife and the staff become one. As the image of a sun and moon can be seen. The lights that shine on the world, bringing forth new hope.

Xwpfan became quiet as she thought of her girls. I place the soon to be staff and the knife at my feet, and turn to her. As tears roll down her cheek she speaks, "Puella I don't think I want to go through life alone." I can see the fear in her eyes. I place my hand on her shoulder and say, “You are not alone, I’m here for you.” She wipes her face and looks me in the eye. I can’t help but stare into her eyes, into her soul. “Puella, I have a very similar situation [sign in to see URL] am once again without children, I am alone in the world, save you." The seriousness of her words causes me to hold my breath, my eyes to shed a tear. She continues on, "I don't know if I should say this, for I know I have no right to ask you to stay with our tribe.... Or even for you to stay with [sign in to see URL] I hope and pray that you will... Your presence fills my life with laughter and [sign in to see URL] think I would be very lost without you here."

Her words echo in my ears along with the sound of my heartbeat. I place my hand on her cheek and wipe away the remaining tears. “Xwpfan you are my actis, my ray of light, in the storm that is my life. You have offered me a friend and a family in which to belong. It is I who would be lost without you.” I open my arms to her and she leans in, resting her head upon my shoulder. Holding her near I begin to relax. I smile and look into her face. Come on now let us talk more of your life ...



---

Whoosh-ChelSierra-Muse - Twi-Saga
10/24/2011, 3:37 pm Link to this post Send Email to Joxcenia   Send PM to Joxcenia Blog
 
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Re: THE ZENA SCROLLS: CHAPTER II



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

EvergreenLM - 08:05pm Jun 20, 2002 ET (#36 of 236)

"To Conquer Others is to Have [sign in to see URL] Conquer Yourself is to Know the Way"

Down INTO to the Sea with Ships

Evergreen ..... wait ........ don't ........." Zena's voice disappeared with her head as they hit the beautiful blue sea. She struggled up to the surface and gasped, "I ..... can't ..... swim!", and went under.

Evergreen laughed as she stroked backwards,loving every moment, the feel of the warm water,the coolness on her face when the wind blew across her soaked hair,the laughter from the the children diving off the wooden platform,she loved the whole of it. The sun was slowly setting and the water reflected and shimmered with wondrous colors. Evergreen focused on the birds flying above [sign in to see URL]?

The children had grouped in a circle and were watching a area where a great splashing and foaming water was being displayed. A hand broke to the surface grasping at the air and as quickly as it appeared was gone.

"I ..... can't ..... swim!" The words finally registered with Evergreen, and what was thought to be screamed in jest,became all too real.

Evergreen had been swimming for as long as she could remember. It was natural,done without thought. With deliberate and strong strokes she swam to the spot where the hand went down. Like a Heron diving for its meal,Evergreen broke out of the water and came head down silently parting the blue and went under.

A hand slapped up against Evergreen's face and she instantly grabbed on as she kicked upward. They both broke the water with Evergreen grabbing a fighting Zena around the waist, and pulling her with one armed strokes, swam to the edge of the platform.

"Grab on Zena!"

Somehow the message penetrated Zena's very soggy brain and her hands became one with the round beam of the platform support.

Zena shook her wet hair,sputtered, and managed to focus her eyes seeing a very worried friend treading water an arm's length away.

Evergreen broke into a broad smile with white teeth gleeming,treading water, spitting water ... "BY- THE- gods! An -AMAZON- that- CAN"T-Swim!"

Zena began to softly cry.

"Hey!, its alright... really you are okay. Come on,lets go find that room and some dry clothes."

Zena was bound to the post. They were one with the universe.

"Zena! You HAVE to let go of the frigonian post!"

"Here, take my hand- and DON'T pull us both under!"

Zena reluctantly released her death grip,grabbed Evergreen's hand, allowed herself to be pulled to a rope ladder,and climbed out of the sea. Her body went flat out on the platform. She said nothing and stared at the sky above.

Evergreen joined her. Looking up at the darkening horizon with the last rays of the sun dancing like silhouetted fingers,Evergreen sighed.

"Hasn't this been a great day?"

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

zena - 10:25pm Jun 20, 2002 ET (#37 of 236)

"Agere Sequitur Esse"

Siren's Song

The setting Grecian sun glistened off the tranquil sea and the soggy Amazon. Zena lay flat on her back on the wooden platform until she felt her leather pants and tunic growing stiff as it dried. When she finally attempted to sit up she was stuck to the wood and her garments cracked as she hauled herself to a sitting position. There was seaweed entwined in her short dark curls and her boots sluiced water as she shifted. Somewhere in the back of her mind she entertained the idea that a fish had swum down her tunic and was still there, flopping around. She stared at Evergreen who had smoothed her wet auburn hair back and was dancing with her shadow in the last light of day at the end of the pier.

"Hasn't this been a great day?" Evergreen sighed. She was totally unaware that behind her Zena was working hard not to explode.

“Evergreen?”

“Yes, Zena? Get up! You’ll miss this light!” She stretched her arms wide to capture the whole orange sky.

“Evergreen, please come here.” Zena crooked one finger at Evergreen and patted the wood next to her, indicating that she wished her to sit next to her.

When Evergreen had thrown herself down beside Zena, Zena laid one hand gently on her friend’s shoulder. She leaned down and whispered softly but deliberately into her ear. “You know I would give my life for you. I nearly have on many occasions. You are my only family, but I want you to know that at this moment I could easily trade you in for a Bacchae and think myself blessed in the bargain.”

Evergreen leaned back stunned that they could see the day so differently.

Zena continued, “I swear I’ll put the pinch on you......” Evergreen interrupted, “You don’t know the pinch!....Do you?”

Zena began again, “I swear I’ll put the pinch on you if you don’t get up and get us a room at the Inn, with two soft feather beds and large plates of food. I am going now to bargain for clothing......” She put her hand up to stop the inevitable pine branch conversation, stood up stiffly and began to squish her way down the pier. Evergreen shook her head and followed her until they parted at the street.

Cyrus the shopkeeper was folding shirts and hurrying to close so that he might avoid a visit from the crazy Amazon women who were in town when he saw a goddess from the sea at his door. She was tall and dark with seaweed as a crown in her hair. He dropped to his knees in supplication and saw that water ran from her clothing and boots. Later he would tell his neighbors that she must have been a Siren in human form for her voice was commanding. He gave her the cotton tunics she requested, begging her to take them as a gift, an offering, to Neptune. She gave him a small sea bass that she miraculously produced from under her tunic and which he salted and put on display for all to see. And so that is how he gave away two tunics with fine embroidery that day: one with olive branches and the other with little fish.



---

Whoosh-ChelSierra-Muse - Twi-Saga
10/24/2011, 3:39 pm Link to this post Send Email to Joxcenia   Send PM to Joxcenia Blog
 
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Re: THE ZENA SCROLLS: CHAPTER II



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

xwpfan - 06:14pm Jun 21, 2002 ET (#38 of 236)

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

Xendra

Puella had gotten me to talk about my girls,I hadn't realized how many warm memories I and locked away within me. From time to time I would look up to make sure I wasn't boring her, instead she would be intently watching me as her hands nimbly carved the branch.

I sighed contently, for the first time in a long time I felt happy and at ease despite all that had happened in my life of late. I certainly wasn't used to opening up or sharing but with Puella it was different, like a mirror reflection, a kindred spirit of sorts.

As we sat by the fire I found myself smiling especially when she said she would be lost without me .I discovered that my world was getting bigger not smaller .I had become so accustom to lose that I could barely believe that I had found a friend in which to share my laughter and divide my burdens with. A friend that liked me just as I am...

with her head resting on my shoulder she said"Come on now, let's talk more of your life. I smiled and said," Puella I'm not really that interesting... Puella shot me a look , I laughed and continued, "I'm really not that interesting .. at least to myself laughingly I said," Ok, ok what would you like to know?

Puella simply said" Anything you want to tell me."

I took a deep breath and said,"Ok my given name is Xendra...

"Xwpfan is not your real name?" Puella asked raising her head off my shoulder.

I laughed and said, "Oh, by the Gods No!" Let me explain. After my mother's and grandmothers brutal deaths I added their given names to my name along with the first three letters of my great-grandmothers last name to honor them ,but it got too long to actual use so we just use the initials as my name .

"Puella, you can call me Xendra or anything else.".. looking at her smirking face I said, "Within reason.. ok?"

Puella laughed and nodded.. I knew I was in trouble there would soon be some nickname added to me, of that I was sure.

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

girlpower - 06:16pm Jun 22, 2002 ET (#39 of 236)

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

Puella pulls her head from Xwpfan’s shoulder and looks into her face, as she tells me her given name is Xendra. What a beautiful name, I think. She tells me how she came to be known as Xwpfan. I can not help to smile at her words. Knowing how difficult it is to share such personal information. I long for the chance to learn of such things about myself. What is my name, my given name? I can only hope that one day I will be able to talk to her of my life. So much of it is painful to remember. Yet looking into her face I can see that I would not hesitate to talk to her, of such things when I am ready to do so. When I can face them myself.

"Puella, you can call me Xendra or anything else.” A smirk crosses my face, she quickly continued, "Within reason... ok?" I laughed, raised my eyebrows and nodded. I can not help but ponder the ideas in my mind. “How about the brander.” I laugh, as Xendra’s face grew serious until she sees I am just joking with her. I sway to the side, nudging her with my shoulder then I pick up the staff and knife from the ground, and begin my work again.

As I carve Xendra asks, “Is that for Gabbyfan?” I smile and look at her. “Well she did lose her staff in the battle. Every warrior needs a staff, and Gabbyfan has proved to me that she is a warrior.” Xendra smiles and nods in agreement. I can not tell her that this is for her, not yet, not until it is done. Until I can place it in her hands. The sun has gone down and the sounds of all the night’s creatures can be heard. Such a peaceful feeling enveloped me as the sounds the company and the staff and knife in hand, overcomes me. I sit here able to appreciate the here and now, not worrying about the past. My hands make fast work of this staff. I look at it closely and see that I should be finished with it by the night’s end.

“I wonder how the Queen and her Second are faring this night. I have not seen either since we left the battlegrounds.” I say to Xendra. The look on Queen Saxy’s face was disheartening, full of pain. The look of Lucystar as she knows she must let her best friend work through her feelings. I hated to leave them behind, but I know that will surely rejoin the group, once we settle. She looks at me as I continue my thought aloud. “I feel the need to approach her and ask permission to stay here with her tribe. To tell her how much I have learned from her, the other sisters and you. To pledge my allegiance to her, the tribe and Artemis.”

Xendra nods her head, as she knows I am expressing a concern I would only think to myself, up to now. Sharing this concern with her. “I am sure that Queen Saxy and Lucystar both see how you have changed. I know that I have.”

With one last scrape of the knife, I place it in the ground. Grab the staff between both my hands. Running them up and down the work, being sure there are no splinters on uneven places. Satisfied with my work I stand and excuse myself from Xendra’s side. “I will be right back. Think of another story you would like to tell me while I am gone.” I walk with staff in hand to my bedroll and cover it. Now to find another branch, I walk towards the place I found this one. As I run my hands across each piece of wood I find.

After a dozen branches are felt and tossed back down to the ground, I had about given up, but then I see one. The light of the moon is reflecting off of it. I walk over, pick it up and run my hands from top to bottom. This one speaks to me. I look up to the moon and say “Thank You,” aloud. With any luck, Xendra will think I am working on the same one.

I walk back to the campfire, branch in hand. “So you got your story ready yet, Xendra?” She looks up at me at me as I sit, hearing her given name spoken causes her to pause. I wink at her, and smile. I then raise my head to the night sky. Eyeing the stars. “You have any stories of the stars?" ...



---

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



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xwpfan - 01:17pm Jun 23, 2002 ET (#40 of 236)

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

Tell Me A Story..

I inched closer to the fire as day as turned to night and for the first time I felt a bit chilled. As the fire warmed me I became aware that the only sounds were that of the crackling fire and those of the night creatures stirring about.

I looked over at Puella and was in disbelief at how easily I shared my innermost private thoughts and pains with her. How had we gone from mortal enemy to friend in such a short expanse of time... lost in my thoughts I was taking a back when she kiddingly called me The [sign in to see URL] that what she thinks of me, I wondered then I heard the laughter in her voice as she said she was just [sign in to see URL] gently nudged me with her shoulder and I blushed with embarrassment at how sensitive I was being.

Puella picked up her branch and began to carefully work on carving a branch, she had such concentration on her face as her hand quickly worked over the piece of wood. This was not a piece of distraction but rather a creation in progress.

I decided to ask about the staff in progress, "Is that for Gabby fan?" Puella shifted and smiled nervously and said,"Well she did loose her staff in battle and every warrior needs a staff. Gabby fan proved to me that she's a warrior."

I tried my best to smile and nod, but inside I wince with pain as the vision of Little Gabby fan having to shoot Hippolyta with an arrow once again darkens my memory. am washed over by memories barely aware of Puella's work on the staff or her words until I heard her mention Queen Saxy and Lucystar.

Puella was in mid sentence when I become aware and hear "I wonder how the Queen and her second are faring tonight?"

I secretly smile for their absence had been of concern to me as well, but knowing our Queen she had worked things through and was enjoying some much needed and much deserved one on one time with her friend Lucystar.

As Puella continued she expressed her desire to ask permission to stay with the tribe and to pledge allegiance to the Amazon nation. I couldn't contain my happiness at her words, I believe I may have even let out a small childish giggle.I quickly composed myself as I told her I thought Queen Saxy and Lucystar will be sure to see how much she has grown and changed.I myself have seen and experienced monumentual changes within Puella.

Puella then excused herself saying she'd be right back and to think of a story.I watch her go over to her bedroll and then walk a ways off..

I am thankful to Artmeis for a moment alone. I quickly untie my bandages, there is a vast amount of bruising,and something is leaking and oozing from my wound. I try to clean it with a leaf but it extermely senstive to the touch. It is obvious the wound is infected.

I hear Puella heading back I quickly retie the bandage and pray to Artmeis that I'll be able to ride, for there should be a healer in the next town.

Puella walks back to camp with a new branch in her hand, but I do not let on.. for she has the same goofy smile on her face that my girls would get when they were trying to surprise me.

I close my eyes and Puella asked me" Xendra, are you ready with your story yet?"

Xendra, a name I have not heard in many winters. My memory drifts to a much earlier time ..my girls begging to hear a story.."Please can you tell me a story Xendra... please tell us one more story."

I look up to Puella with a tear in my eye and she winks at me."Do you have any stories of the stars?"

I nod as we both look up at a blanket of stars above us. I am wanting to share so much but I am growing tired, so I whispered,"Come here lay beside me. Puella someday, when my leg is healed I will give you the best view of the stars. I will teach you how to walk amongst the trees. We will view the stars from the highest tree tops.I will tell you of my girls and of the stars shinning above of us."

Why don't you tell me a story? Don't be mad if I fall asleep, I am feeling very tired..."

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

gabbyfan4ever - 05:46pm Jun 23, 2002 ET (#41 of 236)

As gabbyfan quietly snuck away from her campsite in the dead of night, she thought of her encounter with the warrior woman.

The little warrior smiled at the thought of the wack on the nose she had given the stranger as punishment for her words about the Amazon nation. However gabby counted herself lucky that the warrior had not retaliated. The little warrior was tired from the battle, and did not want to get into a fight with this rather intimidating woman.

Earlier that day, Gabby had asked her mother if she could stay behind to be alone for a while, while her and Evergreen went on to the village. Gabbyfan needed to cope with everything that had happened, and she figured Zena and Evergreen should have time alone too. They reluctantly had agreed under the condition she stay hidden.

Gabbyfan had spoken with the warrior woman about what really happened at the Amazon/Roman battle, and did not find anything particularly threatening about her. However she had learned not to trust anybody that soon, and would feel more secure with her mother Zena and Evergreen. She felt she would meet this woman again.



---

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



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EvergreenLM - 10:31pm Jun 23, 2002 ET (#42 of 236)
"To Conquer Others is to Have [sign in to see URL] Conquer Yourself is to Know the Way"

Down This Complicated Road

{the following contains lyrics used without permission from the author. no intent for profit is intended}

Evergreen parted from Zena at the middle of the village and walked towards the direction of the Inn. The Inn was small and reminded Evergreen of Cyrene's. How long ago that seems now. All the Sisters sharing good times,a warm fire, and a sense of belonging one to another.

Evergreen entered the low framed door of the Inn. She stepped in finding a quite group of people sitting around tables and listening to beautiful young woman with hair the color of ripe wheat,and doe like eyes as green as emeralds. She was singing while sitting straddled across a chair turned backwards. Her arms crossed at her wrist and were placed atop the back of the chair. Her voice was was low,honey-like, and mesmerizing. She reminded Evergreen of another bard so dearly loved,but who could not hold a note in papayrus sack!

Evergreen did not move from the entrance,but stood silently watching,and listening. The song touched something long buried deep within Evergreen's core of being that she had long ago raven-locked as tight as Grindle's gate.

As the young woman sang, she glanced at the doorway meeting Evergreen's eyes. Embarrassed, Evergreen quickly looked away.

"As we turn our lives Down this complicated road ~

If you need a hand to hold I promise you ~

I will be your friend Through whatever life may send

And I know that you will be there too ~

If I should lose my way Along the road we share

Please bring me home,come-what-may If I should lose my way ~

When the wild wind blows And the rain begins to fall

I will find you through it all And comfort you ~

But as we move on Should you turn and find me gone

Then just rest awhile,I'll be along If I should lose my way ~

Day after day, never let the sun go down 'Till love is found once more ~

If I should lose my way Along this road we share

Please come look for me,come-what-may If I should lose my way ~

Please look for me... If I should lose my way."

After the singing stopped, the Inn remained quiet. No one moved captured by the lingering spell of the young bard.

Evergreen broke from her thoughts, stepped down into the room, and moved to the serving area to approach the owner about paying for a room for the night. It was easily done and Evergreen also asked for a tray of bread,cheese,fruit,and warm chamolmile tea, be sent to the room. To her delight, the hot bath came with the price of the room. Evergreen,however, would tell Zena that she "bargained" for this hard fought pleasure.

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

EvergreenLM - 10:52pm Jun 23, 2002 ET (#43 of 236)
"To Conquer Others is to Have [sign in to see URL] Conquer Yourself is to Know the Way"

Down This Complicated Road (Part 2)

Evergreen climbed the stairs leading to the room. She opened the door,stood and surveyed what was within. The small,but adequate room contained two rough hewn timbered rope beds with feather mattresses, and a small table with a lit [sign in to see URL] stationed over the mantle like shelf on the wall,gave a soft yellow glow to the room, highlighting a large tub,a small fur rug, and a chamber pot. A window with two shutters opened overlooking the bay. The water could be heard lapping the shore while the sea breeze flapped the cotton curtains.

Evergreen,using thigh muscles hardened from too many treks across the countryside, quickly made the decision to push her bed under the open window. *Too bad my friend*, she thought. *Besides*, she thought,*Zena probably would not take comfort hearing the sea so close by considering the events of the day.*

Removing her boots still wet from the romp in the sea, Evergreen tossed them aside and took a backwards lunge at her bed by the window. She closed her eyes listening to the sea,hearing footfalls below the window mixed with a woman laughing at perhaps some lovers comment to her ear. The mattress felt soft and comforting. Evergreen thinking about the bard and the song, relaxed,and quickly fell asleep never hearing Zena enter the room.

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

phalon - 11:31pm Jun 23, 2002 ET (#44 of 236)

Family Ties

Phalon went home. After leaving the scene of the battle between the Romans and Amazons, she went back to her family. More then twenty years had past since she left them, a lifetime ago. How would she be received? She was but seventeen when she left, still a young girl, but with all the naivety and innocence of youth destroyed the day she “saw” her beloved slaughtered at the hands of inhumanity. Now she was a grown woman who had seen and done things her family would never understand. They could not understand.

She needn’t have worried. She was accepted with open arms and unconditional love.

Her mother, always a wisp of woman, had aged at bit. But, looks could be deceiving. She was the same bundle of raw energy, with the flash of Greek Fire in her eye that Phalon remembered in those early years. She never seemed to stay in one place and it made Phalon tired just watching her bustle around the shop or the rooms that were their living quarters behind the store.

Her younger brother, just a lanky boy in his sixteenth year the last time Phalon saw him, was now a grown man, married, and with nine children of his own. His wife was a rather large woman, who seemed to be bursting at the seams with love and pride for her family.

During the day, Phalon helped in the shop, which had not changed much since she had left, or helped her mother around the house. Rather, she would TRY to help her mother. “Phalon, did you never learn to cook after all these years? Here, don’t use that. Use this instead”, waving some kind of flat slatted spoon at her. “Have you ever even used cooking utensils before?”

Phalon would grin sheepishly, “Well, [sign in to see URL]’m pretty good with a sword.”

Her mother would then give her a sideways stare with raised eyebrow and end up throwing up her arms and shooing Phalon to sit at the table where she would then continue to cook and clean all the while regaling Phalon with tales of her childhood friends, and who was doing what and where and who was married to whom and how many children they had and so forth.

Then came the evenings. Phalon enjoyed them the most. After dinner was eaten and put away, she would sit by the hearth with all the children gathered around her, the youngest in her lap, and tell stories. The children sat entranced as she told tales of her adventures with the Amazons, embellishing a bit here, and leaving out some of the details too gruesome for young ears there. “Tell us more, Auntie Phalon. Tell us more”, they would beg after she finished. And so she would begin again…“This is the tale of how Little Gabbyfan and Phalon entered the Roman camp disguised as gypsies….”

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

phalon - 11:39pm Jun 23, 2002 ET (#45 of 236)

Family Ties (Part II)

One evening, as she was finishing her tale of Joxcenia, Puella and the leeches, the baby in her lap began to play with the necklace ever present around Phalon’s neck. She looked up at Phalon and said, “Pretty. Pretty cow.”

“Yes it is pretty”, Phalon replied, looking down at the smiling child. Then, staring as if she saw something far in the distance, she said, “I got it from a friend of mine.” For the first time since returning home, Phalon felt the same sadness she had after the battle begin to wash over her. She wondered how her friends were faring? Where her friends were? Here, in a room full of people she loved dearly, she began to feel lonely.

She quickly pushed these thoughts out of her mind and continued, “Actually, it’s not a cow, but a bull. The Bull. Tauros. Legend has it that Zeus took the shape of a beautiful white bull so that Princess Europa, whom he was deeply in love with, would take notice of him. She became so enamored with his beauty that she climbed onto the white bull’s back and was carried off to Crete.”

“Tell us what happened then.” “What became of the Princess?” “Did Zeus ever change back?” “Did he change her into a cow?” The questions flew at Phalon. “We’ll save that tale for another night”, Phalon replied. Feigning sternness, she added, “Now off to bed with you. The morning sun comes very early these days.” Then she laughed, chasing them around the room, “Better hurry, or I’m going to send Xwpfan after you. And you’ve all heard what she can do when she gets angry!”

Phalon was content. She was happy. But into her happiness, crept a small, but nagging feeling of sorrow. What became of the Amazons? Her friends. The circle of women that she considered family.



---

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



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blackwolf - 02:52am Jun 24, 2002 ET (#46 of 236)

The little warrior that I had found, whose name I later learned was Gabbyfan, told quite an amazing story. She held me enthralled throughout the entire tale of her families passing, her joining up with the Amazons, and how she'd come to be in the battle. Not many bards could hold my attention for long, but I wasn't even aware that night had fallen when Gabbyfan finally finished her story. I looked at this little warrior in a new light, for I knew now that she really was a warrior. She had gone through so much in the last few days that I was surprised she hadn't found a quiet hole to crawl into in order to forget about the world. There was an immense amount of strength in her, I could tell. If she knew of it or not was the mystery.

Later that night, she snuck out of camp. Probably to go find her new mother, I thought. I didn't blame her. Even though I had offered no threat, I was still a stranger, and from what she'd told me, Amazons didn't hold very kindly to strangers. They didn't trust anyone unknown to them until that person proved themselves somehow.

When I was certain she was far enough away, I also left the camp and followed her. I didn't know why, but I wanted to make sure she got to her mother safely. Even though she was a little warrior, there was no telling what kind of trouble she could get herself into, especially in the dead of night.

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

bhenrudha - 08:58am Jun 24, 2002 ET (#47 of 236)

I am the Red Woman.

Internal Voyage III

As she walked through the halls towards the front entrance of the house, she turned the handaxe in her hand. It was a nervous gesture, she knew, but the heft and shifting balance of the newly acquired weapon comforted her.

She felt, not good, but better, closer to woman she had been before. The woman who had walked the green fields of Eriu, fierce and free. The woman who had been a Bandroi an Cogadh . . . a Priestess of War, chosen of the Morrigu, the Triple Ravens, with the ink outlining and illuminating the brand on her back still fresh.

She had wielded a pair of specially crafted tua, full moon blades shining bronze, placed into her hands by her sister Bandroi. With them she had struck fear into the unjust and danced in the fires of battle. Her soul had soared on raven?s wings . . .

And then War had indeed come, and with it betrayal. She had not yet found her own trio of ravens that acted as eyes and ears, so had been caught unaware. Bound and beaten within a sack, sipped off like so much grain, she had been sold and slowly destroyed over four agonizing years.

No, the Bandroi was gone, she could no longer channel the pure rage of the Morrigu. It did not matter that her heart once again beat with a warrior?s fire, the collar of iron remained to reveal her desecration. Perhaps there was another way, the path of the a mercenary, eventually earn her way back to Eriu . . .

She stopped cold . . . home . . . how could she return to the farm life of her clan after all she had been through? The weight of her collar pushed her shoulders down and loosened her grip on her handaxe. The distance between then and now became a chasm that she did not believe she was surmountable. The first step, in any case, was to place one foot in front of the other.

Her steps and thoughts finally led her to the antechamber of the place. She knew that this was the final piece of her Immrama, that stepping out the door meant stepping back into her body. Memory of Morgan?s vision in water showed her the woman who watched over her unconscious self came, and she hesitated.

She was afraid.

Was she to be healed and made into a different slave? Her newly reawakened warrior?s heart told her that the Goddess could not mean such a fate for her. But still . . . she reached up and touched the heavy iron around her throat. So unworthy.

Her fist tightened around her axe and she walked resolutely towards the door. A deep breath, another, and she tugged on the door handle.

It did not budge.

~ No slave has ever left this house. ~

The voice was the cold, Northern wind that sliced over the moors in winter. It sent her spinning around, axe lifted to strike. In the hallway behind her stood a figure draped in black robes that obscured the form and hid everything but age worn hands and the end of a long, grey streaked white braid.

She dropped, knees cracking against the floor, ready to plant herself face first if that was what was necessary. Before she could speak, frozen words snapped at her face, making her shiver.

~ Get up. No Daughter of Mine needs kneel! ~

"Aged Lady, She of the Cauldron of Life, Wise Sister I merely meant to show that I remain devoted to you." She rose to her feet, concentrating on keeping the trembling from her voice. Ice formed in her lungs, and she recognized that her time was starting to grow short. When in Immrama the soul was away from the body. If the soul stayed away too long . . .

~ Only a slave kneels. Are you a slave still? ~

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

bhenrudha - 09:06am Jun 24, 2002 ET (#48 of 236)

I am the Red Woman.

Internal Voyage III (continued)

~ Only a slave kneels. Are you a slave still? ~

* * *


It was nearing sundown on the third day since she had made this camp and J'mea caught the shiver that wracked the unconscious woman out of the corner of her eye. The amber eyed raven snapped its beak at her, as if to say, "Do something." She tried to ignore it, as it, and its blood eyed companion, made her uneasy. Old tales of Hungin . . . Thought . . . and Munin . . . Memory . . . whirled in her mind and she tried not to imagine Odin Allfather watching her from his castle atop Yggdrasil . . . the World Tree.

The Amazon shook her head to dismiss the foolishness and walked to the fire. She had already noticed that her charge had been growing steadily colder as the day progressed and had been heating rocks. Using a pair of sticks as tongs, she levered the double fist sized stones onto the edges of the cloak that covered the woman. Once she had placed half a dozen she put more into the fire to heat.

Worry was sneaking up on J'mea, and she was forcing herself to be contented with the fact that she was doing everything she knew how to help.

* * *


~ Only a slave kneels. Are you a slave still? ~

She wanted to say no. Was desperate to declare it so. But the she could not lie to the Woman. A hand lifted again to the collar and she whispered, "Yes."

~ No slave has ever left this house. ~

The words were repeated, and she felt the internal ice frost her stomach. She sucked a deep breath, hoping the nature of the test would come soon. "What must I do Lady? The collar remains," she said, hating the words as they left her lips. There had been a time when she need not ask, for she would have already known.

~ Don not be a slave. ~

The answer stung her cheeks and she bowed her head. "Lady, I would cast this collar from me if I could. I want nothing more than to return to the service of You."

~ I cannot take you back. ~

Wind was sucked from her lungs by the cold, and the ice claimed her womb. She felt the shreds of hope she had carried turn brittle and shatter. She thought back to the moment that had sealed her doom, the moment when she had lay back and let him . . . "It is because I gave in Lady? Please, tell me. I would know my sin."

~ I cannot take back, who has not left. ~

Jolted from her misery, she felt the ice devour her hips. She closed her eyes against the pain of it for a moment before trying to speak. "I do not understand, Aged Lady."

~ You mistake survival for betrayal. It does not become you. ~ As the frost of the Woman's words whirled around her, She stepped silently forward and placed a time withered hand over her heart.

~ Yesterday you became a slave, so you would live. Today, you have to become not a slave, so you will live. ~

Tears pricked her eyes, and were frozen to her lashes. The kind words of the Goddess warred with the destructive belief that she would wear the collar forever, even were the iron to be taken off. The fire in her heart managed to stave off the ice, but it just found other places instead, freezing her shoulders and working farther down her legs.

The Woman stepped away and with a hand, pushed back her cowl. Moonless black eyes burned cold in a face seamed and bleached by age. Copper flashed in Her hand and she held up a heavy torc.

~ When you can wear this, you will find your freedom, ~ She said as She placed the neck piece into her hand.



---

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



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

xwpfan - 09:11am Jun 24, 2002 ET (#49 of 236)

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

Suspended state

Puella had begun a story but I didn't hear more than a few words when I fell off to sleep. Suddenly I was awaken by an excruciating throbbing pain in my leg and I was drenched with sweat, my body was on fire. I laid there not wanting to wake Puella from her slumber, she looked so content.

I tried to slip out of the bedroll but my legs couldn't support me, I grimaced at the realization that I had to get to a healer, my leg was getting worse it might be too late by morning.

Finally I whispered to Puella," Puella come here I need your help." Puella woke up startled and dazed but was quickly by my side. I told her, "Puella I need you to help me to get to the next town.. my leg is turning bad."

Puella looked at me and said,"By the gods Xendra you're on fire.. why didn't you say something earlier?"

I meekly smiled,"I didn't want you to worry."

Puella shook her head in frustration and said "I'll go get the horses."

Puella came back with the horses and was ready to help mount me on Solaria when I asked her to please get me my cistern and my bedroll. She looked at me funny and said,"You're not planning coming back here are you?"

Tears filled my eyes as I said,"I may not be able to if this leg gets any worse."..

With that Puella mounted me on to Solaria and was riding next to me on Amica.

We had ridden for awhile when the fever increased ,I could barely see and was beginning to slip in and out . I remember the feel of the leather binds that Puella put around my hands to keep me from falling off but other than that the trip to town was a blur..

I must of passed out at some point because the next thing I knew I was lying in a big feather bed with Puella, Zena and Evergreen looking down on me.. for a second I thought perhaps I had died.

I focused my eyes a bit and I could see tears of relief on Puella's face as she said, "Welcome back you've been out for awhile." I smiled and shut my eyes and was back to the suspended state ..the same unconcious limbo I had been in...

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

bhenrudha - 09:11am Jun 24, 2002 ET (#50 of 236)

I am the Red Woman.

Internal Voyage III (continued)

~ When you can wear this, you will find your freedom, ~ She said as She placed the neck piece into her hand.

Bringing the torc to eye level, she saw that it was as finely made as any she had ever seen. Three thick strands of copper had been twisted together, capped on either side by a wolf and a flower. The design confused her, so much that she barely noticed that her knees had locked themselves with the ice that crawled through her.

A wolf and a flower. A Wolf. There was winter within the metal cast eyes. A Flower. She saw the first flush of spring on the unfurling petals. They were symbols of the great cycle. It was as if she held the Wheel of the Year in her stiffening fingers and understanding dawned like a winter morning.

* * *


As the sky washed angry with scarlet and brilliant orange, J'mea saw a third raven, larger, older, with eyes dense and black, land on a low tree branch near by. It cawed and the other two lifted themselves to share the perch, settling to watch the runaway intently.

J'mea resisted the urge to throw rocks at the carrion feeders, some instinct telling her to keep still and be ready. Her charge's breathing had grown shallow, and she was steeping some aromatic herbs to try and reverse the trend. She stared at the pale face, willing it to flush with life and the eyes to open. She did not want to admit that she was afraid and instead offered a prayer to Gods of the North to help this friend of hers.

* * *


The past four years had been a winter for her, and in her hands she held her spring, if she had the bravery to take it. Eyes lifted to the Woman, reverence shining in her half frozen gaze. She tried to lift the torc, to place it about her throat, but the ice had claimed too much of her. Panic seized her throat, "Lady . . . I would . . . cannot move . . ."

In response, the black eyed Raven that stretched across her spine flared painfully, as if it were being imprinted anew. A freezing heat swept through her limbs, and with slush in her muscles she was able to stretch the torc and bow her head to settle it.

With a horrid tearing sound the collar opened and fell to the ground with a great thunder. There was freedom in the silence that came after.

"Thank you Lady Bobd, you grace me."

Weathered lips stretched in a smile. ~ I will take your thanks. Now return, that Our Raven is not lost in the Shadowlands. ~ And the third and final Sister, the guardian of the Cauldron of Life and Rebirth, was gone.

Trembling with the effort, she turned and opened the heavy door. As the light from beyond the door enveloped her she heard the triple voice of the Morrigu say, ~Tomorrow you may return to the slave's ways out of habit. But today, Daughter, you are free.~

The light was blinding. She stepped into it, never to return.

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

bhenrudha - 09:20am Jun 24, 2002 ET (#51 of 236)

I am the Red Woman.

Voyage End

J'mea was leaning down to check that her charge was still breathing when several things happened at once. First the ravens on their branch started making a terrible racket, all flapping wings and screeching. Next the runaway's eyes opened and she arched her back as a soundless scream tore her mouth open. The Amazon fell backwards in surprise, then immediately threw herself forward atop the woman to keep her from hurting herself.

Several breathless minutes passed before she felt the woman go limp beneath her. Swiftly she pushed herself onto her knees, anxiousness keeping her gasping lightly. She stared down into vivid green flecked amber eyes. It had taken three days for her to see them.

"Please . . . I be needin' . . ." a thick tongue sluggishly tried to wet lips still recovering, ". . . anathin' hot. I be . . . freezin'."

It took a moment for J'mea to understand the whispered, heavily accented Greek words, especially with the trio of ravens making so much noise. She was about to yell at them when the woman spoke again.

"Cailleach . . . Laoch . . . Baintreach . . . is leor sin." The words meant nothing to the Amazon, but they quieted the ravens, so she was not about to complain.

Instead she poured a bowl of broth and propped the woman up enough to sip it. Some of the hot liquid spilled down the woman's chin, going unnoticed by them both. The woman drank what she could hold, then leaned her head back against J'mea's hand. Taking the cue, she lowered the red haired woman back down. The green amber eyes flickered, but there seemed to be a smile pushing at the corners of still swollen lips. She tried to say something, and the Amazon had to lean closer to hear.

"'Tis well . . . I be needin' true sleep now. Be properly thankin' . . . ye on tha morrow." And before J'mea could say anything, the woman's eyes closed and her breath evened out into sleep.

After three long days of waiting, J'mea was left shaking her head at the events that had happened within the space of half a hour. She busied herself with stoking the fire, wondering what tomorrow would bring, but looking forward to meeting the woman who had fallen, literally, into her life.



---

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



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

zena - 09:56pm Jun 24, 2002 ET (#52 of 236)
"Agere Sequitur Esse"

Warrior.... [sign in to see URL].... Part I

It was dark by the time Zena had dripped her way to Cyrus' shop and as she stepped over his grovelling form she hoped Evergreen had for once done as she asked. Cyrus quickly got to his knees and followed her at an appropriate distance, making her a little uneasy as they wound through the now quiet bazaar. Looking backward every few steps and picking her way over the uneven stones in the narrow street she stumbled into two travelers under an arch in the darkness. One was slumped forward on a horse that the other was leading and the other was talking to her companion, or to her own horsewhich she held by it's reigns.

"Oh, I'm sorry. It's dark and the [sign in to see URL]? Is that you????" Zena nearly dropped the clothes she was carrying as Puella flung her arms around her. This was not the hardened slave that she had left a few days earlier.

"I got her this far but I wasn't sure where to go, she's on fire, her leg is in terrible shape and by the gods are you wearing seaweed in your hair?" Puella looked up at Zena's hair in fascination, suddenly forgetting the dire situation she was living.

Zena pulled back and said, "Leave it! It would take to long to explain, even if I understood it! Who's on the horse?" Zena reached up and touched the familiar tunic feeling the heat coming from the body beneath. "Xendra! Did you do this to her?" Zena turned on Puella with a scowl.

Puella began to cry, "No, I swear. I'm trying to help her. We came looking for a healer, I can't lose her now!" She looked so sincere through her tears that Zena, even though she was astounded, chose to believe her.

"Cyrus!"

The shopkeeper ran forward. "Yes, oh holy one, oh patronness of fishing, oh mother of all the oceans, oh...."

"Cyrus, stop it! Go and find the town healer and bring him to Pandora's Tavern. Quickly!"

As the little man left walking backward and bowing he could be heard still praising the goddess as he left. Puella laughed a little in spite of her tears and Zena led both the horses down to the tavern.

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

zena - 10:17pm Jun 24, 2002 ET (#53 of 236)

"Agere Sequitur Esse"

Warrior.... [sign in to see URL].... Part II

In the early morning hours the door to the room opened and Zena slipped in. It took a moment before she could see in the dim candle light but then she saw the two beds and the figure stretched full length on the one by the window. The little table still held the plate of food that Zena longed for, but there wasn't time now.

She sat softly on the edge of Evergreen's bed and looked down on the face of her sleeping friend with affection and remorse. "I don't treat you the way I should my friend. I'm harsh with you when I should be grateful. If it was you in that bed across the hall, my heart would break."

Zena gently placed her hand on Evergreen's shoulder and lightly shook her, ready for the blow that she knew would follow. She ducked and grabbed Evergreen's wrist as she swung and they struggled for a moment, equal in strength, until Zena's voice reached her friend.

"Stop. It's me. Relax."

"Zena! Is it morning so soon?"

"No. I have news and I'm sorry to wake you but it won't wait. Xendra is across the hall with Puella."

"Are they killing each other?" Evergreen was waking up fully.

Zena explained the situation and told Evergreen that she had helped Puella wash Xendra with a solution the healer said would lower her fever. Puella was sitting with her now and putting cold cloths on Xendra's forehead.

"We will have to change her bandages and it will take all of us to hold her. She is really out of her head", Zena told Evergreen. "Before you get up, I just want to tell you something else." Evergreen's eyes grew fearful, what else could be wrong?

"Evergreen, I'm sorry I said those things to you about the Bacchae. I don't mean it, sometimes I just get so..........."

"Aww, Zee." Evergreen threw an arm around Zena's neck pulling her head down to her shoulder. "It's ok. Really."

They hugged for a moment and then Zena gave Evergreen her tunic, sandals and belt. "Get dressed", she said and stood up.

"Where are my boots?"

"I threw them out. They stunk. Put on the sandals and follow me."

They went into the room across the hall and as Xendra woke briefly it seemed that two Greek goddesses in pure white tunics had come to take her to the Elysian fields.

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

gabbyfan4ever - 12:51am Jun 25, 2002 ET (#54 of 236)

Though gabby was walking in the dead of night, she had a sense of security as she traveled into town. She wondered about the warrior ,who had called herself Blackwolf, that she had talked to earlier. Her commanding demeaner reflected a confidence that demanded respect, and gabbyfan hoped inside they would meet again. She wanted to know more of the woman, and wondered what she would do in the morning when she found the young warrior missing.

Gabby asked a shopkeeper where the town inn was, and headed off to find her mother and Evergreen. When gabbyfan entered the room that her family had gotten for the night she found it empty, and her heart felt like it went into her throat. The young girl left the room in a near panic and saw the room across the hall had it's door open. Not taking time to think this could be anyone's room, Gabby burst in the door to find one of her sisters injured on the bed. Zena, Evergreen, and Puella were standing around her.

Gabbyfan offered a quick silent prayer of thanks that her family was ok, and shook her head at the sight of another injured sister. The carnage of the war was still fresh on her mind, and this was not a welcome sight.

Getting her wits about her gabbyfan headed over to the bed to be of what service she could. She was completely unaware that the warrior stranger had followed her, and telling her mother about the encounter had completely left her mind. The warriors next move was yet to be decided.

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

EvergreenLM - 08:18pm Jun 25, 2002 ET (#55 of 236)
"To Conquer Others is to Have [sign in to see URL] Conquer Yourself is to Know the Way"

Give Me Das Boot (s)

"Where are my boots?"

"I threw them out. They stunk. Put on the sandals and follow me."

"Zena! I HATE sandals,and I look like some hopeless,spineless, weak apparition in this tunic."

"I WANT my boots, I WANT a shirt, and I WANT leather pants. My boots for the gods sake... they are a part of me ... I want to lie with them forev..."

Zena quickly clamps a hand reeking of fish over Evergreen's mouth.

"Enough for Discord's [sign in to see URL] enough already."

"Your boots are at the end of the hallway.

"At least let them live *outdoors* for awhile."

A slightly awake Evergreen is pushed into the room directly across from her own. Her mind is fully alert at seeing a very panicked Puella standing over Xendra who looks remotely like she may be on her way to the Ellysian Fields forever.

"What is going on here?" There is no humor in Evergreen's voice as she immediately falls into the warrior mentality of hypervigilance.

With a voice breaking from the emotion, Puella describes he events of the day and how it came to be the Xendra was so very ill.

Xendra was motionless. Her face drained of any color with the exception of her fiery red cheeks. She altered between shivering, with teeth chattering, and trying to kick away the blankets tucked in around her. She mumbled unintelligible words while thrashing about.

.*This can't be good*, thought Evergreen.

Zena informed Evergreen that a Healer had been summoned. And,no sooner than the words had been spoken, the Healer arrived accompanied by the shopkeeper from the stall where just this very day, Zena had piled up all of the shirts to be found for Evergreen to see and disliked.

Evergreen wondered, though, about the shopkeeper and why he kept looking at Zena in a manner of fear,awe, and reverence. So strange...

Evergreen leaned over to the shopkeeper and whispered menacingly,

"Just what IS your problem, little man?"

"If you don't stop staring at my friend that way, your eyes are going to be seeing the world through the laces in the front of your britches."

As if the bones in his legs had suddenly dissolved, the shopkeeper fell to the floor and ask Zena for protection from the warrior threatening to alter his male essence.

Evergreen just laughed at the sight. But nothing could prepare her for what unfolded next.

Zena touched the man's shoulder, thanked him for his help in bringing the healer,took a piece of seaweed from her hair,circled his head twice saying he was now "blessed" and protected from all harm. Zena then dismissed him from her presence. He rose,kissed her hand, and was gone.

"Zena!"

"WHAT was that all about?"

Zena just smiled saying,"Later, Evergreen, later..."



---

Whoosh-ChelSierra-Muse - Twi-Saga
10/24/2011, 3:49 pm Link to this post Send Email to Joxcenia   Send PM to Joxcenia Blog
 
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