Xean the Princess of Warriors - Part Three
One day Calaius came to Xean and said she was becoming as a common village woman and she was neglecting her Warriors for the infant. And the men tired of searching only for food. And she was no more their Princess. And Xean grew angry and challenged Calaius but outside her tent all the men were gathered and she could not stand against them all.
We were given one horse and saddle and food and water and furs and we were told to leave this camp. And Xean said she had many enemies and without Warriors we would be tracked and killed. And Calaius said in return for the many years she had led with courage and fearlessness he would send runners to all parts of the land saying that Xean had died in battle with her sword drenched in the blood of her enemies lying at her feet.
And we left. I did not ride well so we used the horse to carry our goods. And many days did we walk. We had no destination that I could tell. And soon Heope did become a burden to Xean. And she said, Take the child, for I cannot hunt nor ride to scout the land.
For a half year have we traveled. Often we would stop at a village to work for food and clothing. And they did not know she was Xean for Calaius did fulfill his promise and all the land did think Xean was dead.
It was in the winter that Xean did begin to think that Heope had evil in her. For three times Heope did become ill with cough and fever and loose bowels and also Xean. And I did not. And Xean grew wary of Heope and said, Keep your evil child from me that she may not put her illness in me. And I said, In my village all infants become ill often. She is not evil but a normal child.
And Xean did not believe I spoke truthfully. And in late winter again Heope became deathly ill with great fever and coughing and sneezing and runny eyes and nose and bowels. And again Xean did fall to the same illness for many weeks. And she said to me, Your child has evil in her heart for me. And you will put her to death or I will slay her myself.
And I was in great fear and did not know what to do for I knew my child was NOT evil. And it came to me a plan. I would give my child a sleeping potion to make Xean believe I fed her poison and when she awoke I would claim it was a sign from the gods that she was not evil and they would not let her die.
So in a town I sought out a healer who said, I have such a potion and I will give it to you. And in exchange you will lie down and spad your legs for me that I shall have my pleasure with you. And I did as he directed for the protection of my child was my most in my mind.
And when it was over he did give me the potion and I showed it to Xean saying, Look here I do have a poison to kill the child you say is evil. And I did give it and she did fall into a deep sleep. And she did sleep for three days and three nights as the healer had said but on the fourth day she did NOT awaken and she was dead.
And I did go away from Xean with my child to bury her so Xean would believe she could no more cast her evil ways upon Xean. And when she was in the ground I did rage and cry and curse the name of the healer. And flogged myself with a Willow branch until my back and shoulders did run with blood. And I cried until I slept upon the grave of my daughter who I did love and did murder.
For many days I was filled with remorse and sorrow and anger. And Xean could not understand my pain and suffering. But I dare not mention the name of Olan to remind her of her past loss.
And still did I carry the pouch with the parchment pieces with the writings Xean had dictated to me. Also were the pieces with my own truths written out. And on the day we were turned out by Calaius Xean did say, Write no more for my story has ended.
And when she did see me writing my own truths she grabbed my hair and said, You write when I said no more. And I answered, The story of the evil child Heope is to be a warning to all who possess such an abomination.
And Xean said, Yes, you are of good judgment that others shall be advised and counseled. You will continue.
And then when I had stopped my writing Xean did say, Take out the first and read it to me that I may recall my Deeds. And through out the night I did read to her the many pieces of parchment. And she was pleased at her glory and excellence.
It has now been many years that I have not written for the times grew hard and parchments hard to obtain. And Roman legions were throughout the land and Xean said that we should hide in the forests and hills from them lest they discover she is Xean the Princess of Warriors. For she did make war upon the Romans as she did helpless villages.
The winters were colder and food was scarce and so came the time that my Mistress had no choice but to slay our horse so that we would have food to eat. As she cut the meat into strips it did freeze and so we did eat more than roots and berries and herbs into early spring of one year.
Spring and summer were no easier because of the illnesses of Xean. Many times did she curse the name of Heope saying, Your evil child has left an evil spirit within my body that causes me much suffering and pain. Why has she left her hated mark against me, for I loved her and held her and protected her. But I had no answer.
To pass the nights many times did she say to read her exploits. I feared she may wish to learn to read them for herself and discover my own parchments so when I read of her I did with much animation and excitement and she was greatly pleased.
My beloved Mistress, Xean has died. For more than a year did she suffer from bloody coughs and fever and her furs would be soaked with her sweat and urine by morning. But I was no hunter and could only catch fish or dig roots and she did lose much weight and did become exceedingly weak.
Xean would not let me seek medicines for her cough and fever. For as the years passed her fear of assassination grew. And we would hide from all who passed.
As her periods of illness increased so increased her insanity. More times did she converse with Ares God of War than did she to me. And I cried to see her so.
Death came for Xean in the night for I found her cold and stiff one summer morning. And I cried as I did at the death of my baby. And for three days I knelt at her side until hunger and thirst caused me to ppare her body for burial for I could not bear to see her devoured by flame.
And I found a shallow cave and laid her on her furs and covered her with flowers and leaves and found stones and rocks to hide the entrance of the cave to protect her body from animals.
How long I wandered I have no way of telling. I do not remember how I arrived at this place but I believe I am at Mount Olympus. It is here I shall conceal this leather pouch with the parchment pieces.
I feel pain that no one will read of the glory of my Mistress. I know of no one who will treasure these parchments as I do. Yet I cannot bring myself to destroy them.
I pray that if I bury them at the foot of the gods then perhaps they may find them and read them and know of Xean the Princess of Warriors.
As for myself I know not. I thought to return to my village but it is many months of travel and I am alone with little but a single fur to sleep under and a water skin. Xean has taught me where to find nuts and berries and other foods the land provides but I am tired and have no desire to start such a journey for it is late autumn and the winters are cold and hard.
I think I shall die soon. And when Thanatos comes for me I pray I may be sleeping and feel no pain as I hope it was for my Mistress.
As to what eventually happened to Gabrela, there is no record. The last thing she wrote was what you have just finished reading.
We spent almost three months researching various archives in Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey, Rome, and on the Internet, trying to find any mention of Xean, Gabrela, Kallos, Boras or Calais. We found nothing relating to these writings of Gabrela.
In the first account, Xean, as dictated to Gabrela, says she and her army traveled across all of Greece. But if she had swathed such a path, there would have been written records of her somewhere else, but the sole description of her and her army is in the pouch found in the cave at Mt. Olympus.
Therefore, I believe her so called "reign of terror" probably was local, and covered no more than five or six hundred square kilometers, and probably lasted only a few years.
Until the technology is developed to allow us to separate and decipher the remaining pages within the pouch, it and its contents have been sealed in an airtight stainless steel container filled with nitrogen to pvent further deterioration.
Perhaps someday we shall finally know the entire story of Xean the Princess of Warriors and her loyal friend and scribe and lover, Gabrela.
Back to the Academy