This is a background story of how Xena got her original chakram. It takes place in Etruria, in the temple of Kal, Etruscan god of war, referred to in the 5th Season episode, “Chakram.”
The time is after Xena’s adventures in the Norse-land (6th season “The Rheingold,” “The Ring”, “The Return of the Valkyrie”).
The story takes place 6 months before we meet her in the Hercules episode, “The Warrior Princess.”
Chakram – The Untold Story
(Place: Etruria. Starting in 700 B.C.E., this was home to the Etruscan culture of west coast, central Italy.)
She walks in stealthily, with the clear precision of a warrior used to doing this many, many times.
She looks at the gleaming gold and silver circle, just inches away from her hand.
She wonders, “Why, Ares? Why did you have me come to this gods-forsaken place in the middle of a back woods? Rome is a few miles away, and Caesar’s over there, I can almost smell him. And you want me to visit his homeland to pick up this round little thing for you. Right. I get it. You’re manipulating me.”
She thought about it. She was still inches away from the thing and afraid to pick it up.
She’d heard the rumor, from people throughout this countryside, that this thing, and its cousin a few inches away, destroys people. You pick it up, you burn into ashes.
“Ares, you told me that wouldn’t happen here. I am your Chosen, and agreed to do it, and I’d like to do it, but I’ve never seen you; yet you leave me this cryptic little note to go get this thing for you, and just want me to do it.
And YOU think nothing is going to happen to me.
I don’t want to be destroyed in this gods-forsaken place.”
Xena just wanted to get the hell out of there.
“Destroyer of Nations. I’m the Destroyer of Nations doing a petty job for you.
You want me to do your petty little errand for you because YOU believe YOU will turn into ashes.”
Etruria was on the west coast of what years later would be called “Italy.” Now it was a state ruled by people committed to, among others, Kal, the god of war.
He was a friend of Ares, years ago. But they got into a spat over a woman.
Meanwhile, Kal had a friend of the god Krishna, in India. And this friend had weapons, which he left in Kal’s keeping. Two magic killing weapons. Based on an historic killing blade called a “chakram.” The chakram was a round weapon used by warriors in India to slay their enemies from a distance. With a razor-sharp blade around the entire circumference, it was thrown sideways, and could cut off part of…whatever. Not fun.
But as a warrior’s price is to risk life and limb, for her god and her own glory, this test was something Xena was willing to do. And she was crouching right in the middle of Kal’s temple, ready to do it.
However…..there was a stone pedestal sitting in front of her. With the top separated into wavy black and white sections. In each section sat a chakram.
The task: she was asked to get the chakram sitting in the curving black section, perched on a round phalange. Gleaming.
With a glow in her own eyes, Xena reached out and touched it.
Somewhere far-off in her mind she heard a soft voice, saying, “Xena, you’re not going to do this. You’re not going to just kill him just because you feel bad. Give it up Xena. Go for the light.”
She had blond hair, this kid in her mind, but Xena didn’t know many blond-haired people in Greece. Except her brother now gone. Only in the Norse-land did she meet such fair-haired, blond women on a regular basis.
The white section of the pedestal with the other chakram called for her.
“Maybe another day, Ares,” she thought. “Not today. Meanwhile, I’m not a fireball yet. Maybe I CAN touch this thing.”
She quickly grabbed the chakram up from the black wave. Jiggled it for a moment like a hot piece of baklava. She was afraid to have it rest there too long in her hands.
Nothing. Nothing happened.
She let it settle.
“All right, Ares, what are you doing to me. This is scary, though I don’t always admit it.”
The energy she felt coursing through her from the chakram was amazing.
She held the power in her hands, could feel it, like a river, and felt connected to the chakram like no person, place or thing she’d felt in her life. Except Borias. Like the molecules of her skin could somehow coordinate with this weapon.
She needed this.
She mulled it over for a minute. Then thought to herself, “Ares, you bastard. You want it back from me Ares, come get it.”
Expecting Kal to walk in any moment, Xena cast the end of her whip up to the ceiling ledge opened to the outside darkness. It catches on the rod, and she pulls herself up and over the ceiling opening, and flips herself out onto the roof. She sits the chakram in her hands. Looks at it again and whispers, “you want it Ares…..come and get me.”
And she walks away quietly into the dark.
In the darkness, in the quietness left behind, we hear a man’s soft, malevolent laughter echoing through the forest.
Addendum: along with the information about Etruria, here’s a little tidbit about Italy as related to the “Ides of March”.
Mt. Amaro is a real mountain, on the east coast of Italy, across from Rome which is on the west coast; Mt. Amaro lies south of Chieti, which is south of Escara (ancient name Aeternum) in the Apennine mountains in the Bruzzi region.