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    Xena, the woman who would become known as the “Warrior-Princess,” got her first taste of war as a girl when a marauding warlord sacked her village of Amphipolis. Xena managed to rally the villagers and beat back the warlord, an act that would prove to be her first step down the path of the warrior. Xena set off into the world afterward, honing her skills and earning a reputation as a formidable enemy. It was during these early years that she had her first encounter with Caesar, the man who would become her lifelong enemy. Xena was a part of a pirate crew that captured Caesar and held him for ransom. Caesar tricked the pirates into joining forces with him, and then had them all crucified. Xena was saved from certain death by a mysterious girl named M’Lila, who taught her what would become known as the “Xena Touch,” and who heavily influenced her fighting style. Unfortunately, M’Lila was killed by Roman soldiers shortly after rescuing Xena. 

        Embittered and vengeful, Xena teamed up with the warlord Borias, and would eventually meet up with two more women who would have a profound effect on her future. The first, Lao Ma, taught her to seek inner peace, and in doing so, to tap into her inner strength. However, Xena was not yet ready to give up her hatred, and so it would be many years before she came to understand Lao Ma’s lessons. The second woman was Alti, an evil witch who taught Xena to seek power through death and destruction. Although Xena followed her path for a while, she later redeemed herself by confronting and defeating Alti in psychic combat. 

        While Xena was with Borias, she gave birth to a son, Solan, whom she left to be raised by the centaurs, so that his existence would remain a secret. Xena then went on to build an army and embark on a campaign of conquest that only ended when she met up with the hero Hercules. Although by this time Xena was a ruthless warlord, she had a code of conduct that prohibited the killing of women and children, a prohibition that she extended to her army. Her lieutenant, Darphus, used this to turn her army against her. She was forced to walk “the gauntlet,” a trial in which she was beaten by her own soldiers as she was expelled from her command. She survived, and together with Hercules she managed to defeat Darphus and her former army. With Hercules’ guidance, Xena decided to give up her old life and try become a hero. 

Shortly after this decision, Xena met up with Gabrielle, a young, naïve woman who would become her traveling companion, confidant, and closest friend. Xena showed Gabrielle the world, and in turn Gabrielle helped guide Xena in her quest to redeem herself. The two have had countless adventures together, with Xena seeking to atone for her past by fighting evil and protecting the weak and helpless. However, the journey has not always been easy. During her days as a warlord, Xena’s army sacked a village and murdered the parents of a young girl named Callisto. Driven mad by grief, Callisto swore to have vengeance on Xena. Unfortunately, she has had a lot of success. She murdered Gabrielle’s husband, and then was herself killed, only to return from the dead and eventually become a goddess herself. She later joined forces with Hope, the demonic offspring of Gabrielle and the evil god Dahak (it’s a long story), and together the two of them caused the death of Xena’s son, Solan. Because Gabrielle did not kill Hope when she had the chance, Xena blamed her for the death of her son. The rift between the two of them was eventually healed after an arduous ordeal, and their friendship and love have grown stronger as a result. As for Callisto, she was finally killed when Xena stabbed her with a dagger coated with Hind's blood, the only substance that can destroy a god. However, she made a deal with the devil himself, and returned to plague Xena once more. 

As of this writing, Xena is . . . dead, crucified by Caesar once again after Callisto used Xena’s chakram to break her spine (Caesar himself was simultaneously assassinated by Brutus and his senators). However, with a fifth season of the show coming up, it’s a sure thing that we’ll be seeing Xena back in action again. 
 
 

 

 

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