After ten years as a warlord, Xena decides to head for home. On the way she stops in a clearing to bury her weapons, armor, and leathers, reminders of her dark past. But before she can leave, soldiers chase a group of villagers into the clearing. She manages to go undetected while one of the soldiers orders the villagers to give up their women. A young woman named Gabrielle steps forward and offers herself if the soldiers will let the others go. They laugh at her, and when the leader of the soldiers reaches for her, she slaps him away. He pulls out a whip to beat her, but Xena stops him. Soon Xena, with some help from the villagers, defeats the soldiers.
Gabrielle’s family take Xena to their home to treat her injuries, and to put her armor and leathers back on. Gabrielle deluges Xena with questions about her fighting skills and where she is going. Realizing that Gabrielle intends to follow her, Xena threatens her to discourage the young woman. Xena then heads to Draco’s camp. The warlord who commands the soldiers who terrorized Gabrielle’s village, isn’t too surprised to see Xena. She asks him to leave the village alone. He says he will but only if she’ll join him or fight him. She refuses both and tells him she’s headed for home. He finally relents and promises to leave the villagers alone. Once Xena departs, Draco meets with his soldiers and makes plans to head to Xena’s village, Amphipolous. He sends his lieutenant and a few soldiers to follow the warrior princess.
Later that night, Gabrielle decides to sneak out of her home. She accidentally nocks over a stool, waking her sister. Gabrielle tells Lila of her plans and says goodbye. The next day, Xena encounters a cyclops that she blinded some years before. He tries, unsuccessfully, to smash the warrior princess. She throws her chakrum and cuts the rope he uses to hold up his pants. After he falls, she calls for her horse and then gives the fallen cyclops some advice before leaving. Draco’s men close in on Xena. Before they can reach her she disappears, leaving her horse tied to a tree. One by one she takes the men down. She asks Draco’s lieutenant about what he’s up to in a pinch interrogation. When he informs her that Draco plans on attacking her village, Xena releases him and heads for home.
Gabrielle is captured by the same cyclops that Xena had felled only hours before. She convinces him that she’s out to kill the warrior princess and if he lets her go, she will bring Xena, or at least parts of her, to him. He agrees and she goes on her way. Gabrielle encounters an old traveler in a wagon and begs him to give her a ride to Amphipolous. He tells her no, but she’s persistent and he finally agrees.
When Xena reaches her village, she heads for her mother’s tavern. Her mother isn’t happy to see her. She takes Xena’s sword and tells her she isn’t welcome there. Xena tries to warn them of what Draco is up to and wants to plan a defense. But the villagers remember another time when she asked for help to defend the village, and they refuse to help her. Later, Xena returns to the tavern to retrieve her sword, a group of villagers show up. They are angry because Draco’s men, pretending to be from Xena’s army, are burning their fields. They begin to throw stones at her. Gabrielle has finally arrived and darts in between the angry mob and Xena. She tries to convince them that the warrior has changed, but they won’t listen. So she tries another tactic. If Xena and Draco were friends or more than friends, they will only make him angrier by kiling her. Seeing her point, they ask her to take Xena away.
Xena decides to pay a visit to her younger brother’s tomb, and Gabrielle tags along. While they are away Draco arrives to talk with the villagers. They offer to supply the warlord and his troops whenever they are in the area, if he will leave them alone. He listens to this, and then demands to know where Xena is. When the village elder can’t tell Draco, he threatens to kill the old man. But Xena has returned and speaks up, stopping Draco. Draco again tries to talk Xena into joining him. She still refuses, but offers to fight him in a duel to the death.
Season 1 Regular Cast: Lucy Lawless (Xena), Renee O’Connor (Gabrielle)
teleplay by R.J. Stewart
story by Robert Tapert
directed by Doug Leflar
music by Joseph LoDuca
Guest Cast: Jay Laga’aia (Draco), Darien Takle (Cyrene), Willa O’Neill (Lila), Anton Bentley (Perdicas), Huntly Eliott (First Citizen), Wally Green (Old Man), Linda Jones (Hecuba), Winston Harris (Boy), Roydon Muir (Kastor), David Perrett (Gar), Geoff Snell (Herodotus), Patrick Wilson (Cyclops)
LogBook entry by Mary Terrell