After telling stories in a tavern, Gabrielle meets a young man who tells her about a bard competition. The top four finishers in the competition will be accepted into the Athens City Academy For Performing Bards. The young man’s father tells Gabrielle that the competition isn’t for girls. Xena enters the tavern and informs her young friend about the people of Caramis having trouble with a cyclops. She’s surprised when Gabrielle wants to go to Athens. When the bard explains, the warrior offers her encouragement and leaves for Caramis. In Athens, Gabrielle runs into the young man she met at the tavern. He’s happy to see that she made it in time. Gabrielle introduces herself. But he hates his name and wants to be called Draco. But his new friend tells him about Xena fighting Draco. She thinks he should call himself Orion. At the first gathering of the competitors, a man suddenly runs forward and stabs the instructor, before leaping out a window. But the teacher isn’t dead. He had staged the attack as part of his lesson. But Gabrielle has ideas of her own about lessons and tells the story of Celesta’s capture by Sisyphus. The next day Gabrielle is giving pointers to Orion when one of the officials interrupts. They’ve discovered, with help from Orion’s father, that the young woman snuck into the competition and she is told to leave. Her new friends are unhappy about her having to go. Twickenam has an idea and tells the others about it. They ask Gabrielle to stay until the next day’s competition. To her surprise and that of the officials, the others refuse to compete unless she is allowed to stay. The great bard Gastacius is there for the judging and he wants to hear her tell a story. After her story, he insists that she remain in the competition.
Later when Orion has finished telling a story, his father appears backstage. He is disappointed in his son’s performance and demands that he start the story again for him. Orion becomes and angry and leaves. His father blames Gabrielle for his departure. She sets off to find her new friend to convince him to return.
written by R.J. Stewart and Steven L. Sears
directed by Jace Alexander
music by Joseph LoDuca
Guest Cast: Dean O’Gorman (Orion), Patrick Brunton (Stallonus), Alan De Malmanche (Docenius), Lori Dungey (Kellos), Joseph Manning (Euripedes), Grahame Moore (Polonius), Andrew Thurtell (Twickenham), David Weatherley (Gastacius), Bernard Moody (Drunk)
LogBook entry by Mary Terrell