Xean the Princess of Warriors 

David E. Milligan



In June of 2017, in a small cave at the foot of Mt. Olympus, in Greece, a party of archeologists found an old leather pouch at the very rear of the cave partially buried and covered with rocks and pebbles. The pouch was made of horse leather.

The pouch was filled with about twenty pages of parchment  which were of various qualities.  The top-most pages were of a good quality lambskin, but toward the bottom the quality was not as good.  Ironically, the better quality parchment pages actually suffered more damage than the thicker, poorer quality ones.

We have radiocarbon dated the pouch and the parchments, and they date from approximately 100 B.C. to 100 A.D.

The translation proved very difficult because of the extensive deterioration. That we were able to transcribe as much of the writings as we did was just short of miraculous. Many of the pieces had been pressed together so tightly for so long that it took months to separate the few pages we were able to without destroying the text in the process.

Rather than present here all the sentence fragments and isolated words we translated, we have included only the passages that seem to be connected, although many of them are only a few sentences with no connection. These disconnected sentences and paragraphs are separated by  double spacing.

There are only two locations named that can be documented with certainty. The first is Thrace, which is presently part of the Balkan Peninsula shared by Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria. The second is Mount Olympus, located in northern Greece.

The only name we can identify is that of Ares, the Greek god of war.  There may be a connection, since the worship of Ares is believed to have started in Thrace.

There are other names mentioned, but they are not what would be considered as "classic Greek" names.  But this may be due to influences of travelers, settlers and slaves from throughout the Mediterranean area.

The translation of the legible pages turned out to be the exploits of a woman warlord named Xean. Of course, soldiers being led by women in ancient Greece is virtually unheard of.

The spelling of her name comes from a direct substitute of Greek letters to English: Chi, Epsilon, Nu and Alpha.

The text consists of the exploits and adventures of Xean, who dictated them to her slave/scribe Gabrela. There are also the memoirs of the scribe herself. 

In some instances, there are conflicting versions. The ones Xean told to Gabrela, and the ones Gabrela has written from her point of view.

We have debated whose version is the more accurate.  Most of us believe the ones told by Gabrela to be more truthful, since she was not writing to proclaim her greatness for future generations.

So here are the two accounts, as best as we are able to present them.  


                                      PART ONE      


The Exploits of Xean the Princess of Warriors

Now understand all who look upon these parchments of the Wonders and Glory of Xean the Princess of Warriors. And you will tremble and know amazement.

My life began on a small farm near the village of   [parchment damaged and name of village unreadable]  located in Thrace.  The farm was abandoned after many attacks by raiders in search of food and horses and cattle and slaves.  My two brothers were killed defending our home.  My father and mother left the farm to live in the village. But I traveled to the west. 


At this time I took a husband, Boras. He said he loved me, yet took pleasures with the harlots he found in taverns of the villages we passed through. And he laughed at my anger.


So came the time I wearied of his debauchery, and in a rage I used his own sword against him and killed him.   To avoid being imprisoned or beheaded for my crime I stole a horse and went even farther west. And came to Mt. Olympus and climbed it to the home of the gods.

First I saw Ares, God of War. And he fell in love with me and begged me to remain and become his Princess. And I said,  Why can I not be your Queen? And he said Hera would not allow it, for she is the Queen of the Gods, standing next to Zeus, who is the King.

And so for a time I remained. But after many changes of the moon I grew tired of his jealously for my favors were greatly desired by the gods and demigods such was my beauty. And I said I desired to leave. Again he begged me to remain but I could not. And I lied to him and said I would return one day if I had but an army of fearless Warriors to lead into battle to honor the God of War.

And he gave me ten Warriors and bade them to address me as My Princess. But I was not happy and said to Ares,  Why do you only give me ten?  And he said that I was to carry the banner of Ares and soon many would desire to join with me and I would have a great army.  

So I left Mt. Olympus and with my army did travel across all of Greece and became feared and strong men trembled at the sound of my name. And women hid from my Warriors because they were strong with virility.


Many villages did burn at my command and many foolish men died for they thought to fight against me.  And from one such village came the woman Kallos who dared to challenge me saying,  You have burned my village. And my father and my mother were burned to ashes as I watched. And now I will kill you.

Kallos drew her sword to strike me and I told my Warriors to stand aside for I was bored and welcomed the challenge.   But Kallos was no match for me. And many times I cut her and yet she would not surrender. And she said to me,  I will fight you until one of us is dead.  But as she spoke I did strike Kallos above the ear with the flat of my sword and she fell unconscious. 

I instructed guards to bind her and treat her wounds.  And when she awoke the next day  I offered her to ride at my side for she was a valiant opponent. And still she swore to take my life. 

So for five days did she remain bound with neither food nor drink. And on the sixth day she swore her life to me. And I said you shall be my Number Two. But hear me  do not cross nor threaten me again or you will surely die. 

And she knelt  before me and kissed my feet and kissed my hands. And she said,  By the gods I make this pledge of allegiance to you for all eternity. But only if you should promise  that you would no more burn villages and its people. And I agreed. It was a simple request. 

Kallos rode at my side for more than two years.  And she confided to me that with every lover I chose from my Warriors she anticipated that I would select a new Number Two. And I told her that I used the men for my own pleasures as Boras used the village wenches found in the taverns for his.


It was as Ares had promised. There was neither warlord nor army that could stand against my Warriors. On many occasions did we ambush legions of soldiers of Rome. For they had good weapons and horses and food.  Many times did we defeat soldiers sent against us.  And with every battle we left no soldiers alive save one to warn of the peril of waging war against Xean.


So one day I and my Warriors did come to a village to take food and clothing. But got little because it was too soon before the harvest.  And in this village was woman child named Gabrela who begged to come but I had no use of her.

But she followed and again pleaded with me saying she knew letters and numbers and would be my slave. And I thought I would have a scribe to write of my many victories in battle. So she sat beside me at the end of the day and I would tell her of my great deeds.  

But Kallos became jealous again and often would lash out at Gabrela saying she was only a slave and slaves were to be beaten. 


Often Gabrela whispered to me with sweet words and in time gained my favor.

Many evenings after a day of battle she would bring strong wine to me. And then she would fill my bath and remove my armor and leather garments and would wash the dirt and blood and pain from my body.  She would share my bath saying she could better cleanse me.

And when I was sleeping on my furs she would silently lie beside me and caress me at my crotch and arouse me until I yielded to her touch.


Then came the time when Gabrela craved a child. And she begged me to have Peridus a man of her village brought to our camp so they would wed and so impregnate her.

And I did as she asked for she was much in my favor. But on the next day Kallos did put him to death for she hated Gabrela and loathed to see her content with a husband.

And Gabrela was filled with hate and rage and begged me to chase after Kallos to take revenge.  As I rode in pursuit  the horse  of Kallos stumbled and Kallos fell into a pit of quicksand and drowned though I tried to pull her free.

And as Gabrela grieved for eight days for her dead husband  I used Calais my former Number Three  for my nightly pleasures and so named him Number Two for he also was a strong and brave Warrior and knew much about making war. 

But Peridus did not die to no purpose for Gabrela was with child.  And she was full of joy  and said that her child was my child and together we would raise a son to one day lead the Warriors to greater glory.

But her babe was not a son  and I took the female infant for I feared Gabrela would not desire to rear a daughter and might do harm to her. Such was her distress that she could not name the child.  So in my charity I gave her the name of Heope that came to me in a dream of good fortune.


And the child Heope did grow strong with my love and compassion but was a demanding child and required much of my attention. 


I detected no unrest among my Warriors. And Calais did warn me of ill feelings I did not heed until it was too late.


[This is not the end of the chronicles of Xean. Unfortunately, more than half of the pages of parchment were stuck together or were illegible and we were unable to decipher them to continue this particular narrative.]


[continued in Part Two]

 Bard's Page

Back to the Academy