Gabrielle asks Xena to teach her how to use her sword, but the warrior refuses. Instead she gives her rules for survival. As they are talking, a group of highwaymen approach them. They demand that the women give up all of their valuables. Xena refuses and fights the highwaymen. In the scuffle, her sword is knocked out of her hand. Gabrielle picks it up, and two of the thugs approach her. Xena comes to her aid, and the young woman throws the sword back to the ground. The leader of the gang picks up Xena’s sword. When he realizes who he is fighting, he’s determined to make a reputation for himself by killing the warrior princess. But he is the one who ends up dead by Xena’s hand, and the other highwaymen run off. A few yards away, two men in robes have watched the fight with great interest.
In the village nearby, Gabrielle goes to buy a weapon. After some talk with the arms merchant, she chooses a breast dagger. Xena is at another merchant buying a sharpening stone and oil, when an a blind man comes in to buy a halter for his horse. The shop owner runs him off, complaining about him being an ex-mystic. Xena changes her purchase to a halter instead. When Gabrielle meets Xena to leave, her dagger falls from it’s hiding place to the ground. Xena is disappointed in her, and takes the dagger. Before they can leave, they notice the villagers are running and hiding. Xena makes Gabrielle get on Argo just as a group of soldiers appear. She fights them off, but when she turns back to Gabrielle, her friend is gone.
The warrior returns to the shop she had visited earlier, and learns that a group of mystics are behind the bard’s disappearance. She decides to find the ex-mystic to help her rescue Gabrielle. Elkton tells her that the mystics plan on sacrificing the young woman to the dream god, Morpheaus. As part of the ritual, she will be sent through a test and forced to kill. He also tells her that it would take her to long to fight her way through the fortress. But he can send her there through a dreamscape. Elkton warns Xena that Morpheaus will use her dreams against her in an effort to stop her.
At the fortress, Manus gives Gabrielle a sword and sends her into a passageway for her first test. Two soldiers are also in the passageway. Remembering what Xena told her about what to do when she was outnumbered, the bard lures the men to one spot and ducks out of the way as they kill each other. In Xena’s dreamscape she encounters her victims and her army. She realizes that it’s part of Morpheaus’s way to stop her, and continues on. To her surprise, she also runs into Gabrielle. Manus has given the young woman a chance to rest, and she fell asleep. But the warrior is suspicious, and finds a way for the bard to prove who she is. Xena tells Gabrielle why the mystics want her and advises that she use what she knows until Xena can reach her at the fortress. Manus arms Gabrielle again, and sends her into a chamber of a cave with a firepit in the floor. Three warriors enter, and again thinking of what Xena said manages to talk the men into fighting each other. Finally there is only one left. He throws a dagger at Gabrielle, but she ducks and it becomes lodged in a stalagmite. He then grabs her, but as she is struggling with him, the dagger is forced out of the rock behind him because of built up steam. Manus is upset and tells Gabrielle that she has one more challange and she will have no choice but to kill. Xena finally reaches the end of her dreamscape, but her path is blocked by the dark image of the former warlord.
written by Steven L. Sears
directed by Bruce Seth Green
music by Joseph LoDuca
Guest Cast: Nathaniel Lees (Manus), Desmond Kelly (Elkton), Michael Daly (Mesmer), Colin Francis (Swordsmith), Bruce Hopkins (Termin), Sydney Jackson (Storekeeper), Matthew Jeffs (Gothos), John Palmer (Baruch), Patrick Smith (Dolas), Lawernce Wharerau (Mystic Warrior), Polly Baigent (Doppelganger), Grant Boucher (2nd Xena Warrior)
LogBook entry by Mary Terrell