Death Mask

Xena: Warrior PrincessAs Xena is explaining to Gabrielle about how she is able to catch arrows, sometimes without seeing them, an archer fires upon them. To the surprise of the bard and the warrior, Gabrielle catches the arrow on the end of her staff before Xena can catch it. The assassin runs from his hiding place and attacks the warrior. While she is fighting him, another runs up behind Gabrielle and the bard has to defend herself. When Xena knocks her attacker out, she notices he is wearing a mask that she recognizes. The sound of the struggle between the bard and her attacker sends the warrior running to help. But Gabrielle doesn’t need it. Xena questions the man about the mask. It was given to him by the warlord, Cortese. His army is attacking a village nearby. Xena tells Gabrielle that Cortese’s army was the one that destroyed her village. It was in that same attack that her brother, Lyceus, died.

Xena rides into the village and attacks the raiders. When Gabrielle reaches the village, she sees that a young girl is about to be run over by one of the raiders on horseback. The bard manages to get the girl out of the way in time and hands her over to her mother. She then joins Xena in trying to stop the raiders. Suddenly one of the raiders calls out for a retreat. And the men dart out of the village just as the king’s army enters it. One of the men stops and watches Xena. He knows who she is, and goes to tell Malik, Cortese’s second in command. The raiders return to camp, and Malik reports to Cortese. The warlord interrupts when Malik tells of Xena’s appearance in the village. While Xena and Gabrielle are traveling through the forest, one of Cortese’s men appears. The warrior is suspicious of the man, and she approaches him carefully. She’s shocked when the man removes his mask and reveals that he is her long lost older brother, Toris. He explains that he joined the raiders to get to Cortese to kill him. Xena has Toris take her back to the raiders’ camp as his prisioner. She wants the chance to look around for herself. Malik is pleased that they have Xena, but he threatens Toris and sends him away. When Malik goes to see Xena, however, she knocks him out and escapes.

Toris paces by a lake while waiting for his sister to return. Gabrielle begins to tell him about how much she’s learned from Xena, but it just upsets him. He insists that Xena is treating her just like the people of Amphipolous when she created an army to defend against Cortese. Xena returns and tells them that she found the royal crest on pieces of paper and carrier pigeons. Thinking that someone in the castle must be a spy, she and Toris go there while Gabrielle returns to the village they saved earlier.

Order the DVDswritten by Peter Allan Fields
directed by Stewart Main
music by Joseph LoDuca

Guest Cast: Joseph Kell (Toris), Michael Lawrence (Cortese), William Davis (Malik), Doug McCaulay (Aescalus), Elizabeth Skeen (Sera), Peter Needham (Village Elder)

LogBook entry by Mary Terrell