Whoosh! Issue 63 - December 2001

XENA AND THE SKINHEADS:
WHAT THE FAR RIGHT HAS DONE WITH XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS

By Edward P. Rich
Content copyright © 2001 held by author
WHOOSH! edition copyright © 2001 held by Whoosh!
10825 words

Page Two



Appendix:
Report of A Skinhead Comic Strip Reconstructed from Memory:
An Alternative Fan Fiction

The Lesson of Frigg.
As told in the scrolls of Gabrielle, Bard of Poteidaia.

[54] This is a Xenite alternative fan fiction story found in Aryan Comics, a skinhead publication in the planning stages. This strip links Xena: Warrior Princess to the skinhead message. This linkage had already begun, by the writers of the show themselves. The last season especially linked her with Norse myths.

[55] For instance, the Berserker who Xena battles in the first episode of the fourth season was a Norse warrior or champion. Skinheads claim that Xena was based on some as yet unidentified but actual historical figures. Moreover, Xena was determined to be a historically accurate view of the final decade of the Peloponnesian Wars.

[56] These comics are hard edged and sober. The costumes the figures wore were claimed to be archeologically correct. In the final season, she takes part in Norse legend. Her old dark side introduces greed into Valhalla. Some of her travels to China and other remote parts of the known world are the same as those of the fictional Sir John Mandeville in the 14th century[Note 08].

[57] In this strip, on the steppes, Xena and Gabrielle meet a Sythian shamaness. They call her Frigg after the wife of Odin. Her real name was probably something from archaic pre-Farsi Persian, a name such as Esther. Her tomb was only unearthed in 1993. Her real name will never be known.

[58] The opening frame shows a more matured Xena. Her former horse, Argo, has died. Xena has come full circle. The superhero is again mounted on a huge black war-horse wearing a mixture of exotic Scythian armor. She has reverted to the look of her youth, to the time of THE DEBT (52-53/306-307).

[59] She holds a Scythian battle-axe. On her head, she wears a helmet spiked with horns. Someone has been supplying the Scythians with iron weapons, balanced war axes that could be thrown as missiles. The Iron Age had come to the regions north of Greece and the leather armor and copper or bronze weapons of her youth no longer served. They had just killed or driven off a Scythian band. Her big black horse is tired. The picture is inspired by the 1973 Frank Frazetta painting 'The Death Dealer'.

[60] Gabrielle follows behind on a white charger. They had fought the Horde before. Xena is again in her battle rage. It used to frighten Gabrielle. However, Gabrielle has aged too. She now wears a mini-dress of chain mail that had been tunic for a tall man she had killed. Once again, she had killed someone. Using her staff, she had knocked him off his horse. A horn from his helmet caught on something and he broke his neck.

[61] They have had this argument once before. Now a skilled warrior she knew it was "the Price." Yet killing bothered her conscience. It was not part of her Way. Therefore, she had adopted his horse. She wore his horned helmet and carried his round shield. Gabrielle at last had learned to ride. She had to. Horses made powerful warriors but also conquered distance. It was much colder. Beneath it all she wore a fur. They are cold, hungry, and tired. The two soul friends are arguing.

[Frame] Place. The Caucasian Mountains, six years later.

[Frame] Gabrielle: "You know Xena, I'm getting tired of this! You said you didn't like it here on these steppes. This is Horde land. We are supposed to be seeking wisdom but all we do is fight and steal food. I wish we could settle down somewhere."

[Frame] Xena: "So do I, but where? We decided to return to India or the land of Zhou. Then find Lao Ma's daughter and learn from her how to regain the purity of essence able to destroy an army. Even with gunpowder army living is nice there."

[Frame] Gabrielle: "And it can't be done in Greece? There isn't enough wisdom there with the Oracle at Delphi and all? We could have crossed the Black Sea by boat. I miss Joxer too."

[Frame] Xena: "Joxer went back to Athens with that little brown pagan he met in the Amazon camp. Took a farm. She had a baby. They're a family now. I don't blame him. He hung around you for years, poor man, hoping to get lucky. He told you he loved you but you took a pass. There was Perdicas, then Joxer, and even with Dahak and now you decide you want a man! And how would we have paid the passage getting on a boat?"

[Frame] Gabrielle: "Yeah, Meg. He also wanted Amarice before she was killed. I need a man Xena. Dahak was different. He was a god, pure spirit. I want to intertwine. I want to have a normal kid. Not a weirdy like Hope. When you are not passed out, you are always fighting. This new armor too, it's heavy and it's d*mn cold on my prat!"

[Frame] Xena: "It's the finest armor since Agathon's. And, what else is new? We have always been fighting Scythians. They are evil. We found out. Some bands are eating their captives. They show contempt by turning them into sh*t. I should know. When I was young I used to ride with them. And if we stay put, what sort of work would we do?"

[Frame] Gabrielle: "I don't know. But I'm telling you Xena. We are getting older and I want to settle down. The next time I find a friendly place we are staying. Life passes. You make things happen. That's a gift. Watch it rot. Or taste it while it's ripe."

[62] Gabrielle cools off, gradually. Xena begins to explain. After her experience in India, Xena became more philosophical. She once said she was no prophet, and that prophesy often ends in tragedy. Nevertheless, she could foretell the future.

[Frame] Xena: "Things have changed in these hills, on these plains, Gabrielle."

[Frame] Xena: "In the old days they would not have fought two women. They would have enlisted them to fight with them. Or cook for them, or lie with them."

[Frame] Gabrielle: "Why have they changed?"

[Frame] Xena: "I'm not sure. I believe they may have enemies now that they did not have before. They are less well off. So they kill strangers to rob them."

[Frame] Gabrielle: "What did they and you do before?"

[Frame] Xena: "There are two great hordes. They used to raid caravans. Demand tribute for safe passage. That is how they grew rich. Our band didn't eat people. We lived on stolen camels and horsemeat. It was one long party once, a pot and sex party."

[Frame] Xena: "Hordes cannot survive here anymore. They can't even form. The Romans are different. Romans make allies of enemies. Romans first defeat warlords, then enlist their men. All the strong men Romans capture they enlist into their legions. March them under an arch made of their own lances. Then they train them. Those rejected they send back here to starve. We saw it ourselves, in the desert. Interfere with Roman trade and they destroy you. Either join Rome or die in the Coliseum."

[Frame] Xena: "Sarmatians who live to the west. They may be arming and training them. Giving them iron weapons. The Romans wish to rule the world. Scythians interfere with trade. Sarmatians kill Scythians. Pompey showed me. At last I have learned. First they conquer. Then they trade. Gold Gabrielle. It conquers more things than swords."

**********

[Frame] Xena: "Borias was a Scythian from the eastern or Golden Horde. He was born in the Altai. These here, the ones we fought near Athens, the Pomira, they were the western Horde. When Borias was my mate I was still young. We thought we were so smart and tough."

[Frame] Gabrielle: "Why?"

[Frame] Xena: "When we defeated and slaughtered some Ming soldiers. Actually, it was less than a company. We thought we could play the Lao against the Ming. Lao Ma - and you, Gabrielle - showed me differently."

[Frame] Xena: "The lands of the Zhou are made up of many small states. The Ming and the Lao are only two. There are many others. They are now in their Spring and Autumn Period."

[Frame] Gabrielle: "What does that mean?"

[Frame] Xena: "I don't know exactly. But it probably means a long period of fighting will begin when it is over." (Xena peers ahead as if into the far future.)

[Frame] Xena: "Some day, in the future, the lands of the Zhou will be united into a great empire. There will be a fearful ruler. He will be cruel but very smart. They are building a great wall now to keep out the hordes. Using gates in the wall, he will bring them in a few at a time. For their fighting spirit, the coming ruler will enlist them. They will fight for him. Over forty strains and peoples will be absorbed into his armies."

[Frame] Xena: "As hordes we were undisciplined, untrained. Like a pack of dogs, we had no direction. The hordes will become part of the Zhou. The lands of Zhou will be forever after named for him. This new emperor will be so hated and feared they will never paint a likeness of him. Nor even look upon his face. So respected they will never open his tomb - fearing what they might find."

[63] During the Spring and Autumn Period, China became dominated by competition between the northern states led by the Jin and the southern states led by the Zhou or Chu. Major powers allied with bordering states to form blocs. Their stronger neighbors annexed weaker states. As states fell, as clans died out, or were conquered, the surviving states reorganized.

[64] The strips have about them a harsh, matter-of-fact tone. They reflect a traditional Nordic attitude toward life and childhood. Skinhead Xena comics are vulgar, use profanity, have a dark side not found in the original TV show. The artwork has a remorseless realism without fancy. While Soviet didactic art had at least technical merit, Nazi art has this comic cartoon aspect.

[65] The whole as an entirety is a phantasmagordian work of art divided into little sections. As printed four-color comics, they are handsome. As CD-ROM images they are vivid. The television show writers have had Xena interact with historical figures. So do the New Nazis.

[66] The Spring and Autumn Period lasted from 770 to 475 BCE. At its close, several states had divided or changed hands. A leader to be remembered forever was born in 475 BCE. Few readers of the comics ever realize Zeng was a real place, or that its ruler really was Marquis Yi. A sample is this section, a conversation between Frigg the Ice Maiden and Gabrielle.

[Frame] Frigg: "When I was little I had an older sister."

[Frame] Frigg: "She wasn't white like you or I. Her mother was a woman from the Altai.

[Frame] Frigg: "Father hadn't found my mother then. Her band lives to the west, in the lower Dnieper valley."

[Frame] Gabrielle: "Why was he in the Altai?"

[Frame] Frigg: "He was helping build a large kurgan for a revered elder who had gone away. His herds graze the pastures of heaven."

[Frame] Frigg: "She took care of me until she was taken to Zhou. Zhou can be a scary place. They have strange powers we don't understand."

[Frame] Frigg: "Sister was taken there and she never came back. We never saw her or her son again."

[Frame] Frigg: "That is why I don't want you to go again to the lands of the Zhou. You too might never come back!"

*****

[Frame] Frigg: "When I was very small and she was about fourteen winters, we were taken to the lands of the Zhou."

[Frame] Frigg: "We traveled to the central plains in the region of Chu, to a princely state called Zeng."

[Frame] Frigg: "Great bronze workers live there. They make the polished surfaces of our kinship mirrors. (She holds hers up and lets Gabrielle see her face in it.) We used to go there every third or fourth winter. To buy bronze weapons and kinship mirrors. We traded our best horses."

[Frame] Frigg: "My sister was very beautiful. She caused much admiring by men. Before long, we were taken before the great Marquis Yi. He was the ruler of Zeng."

[Frame] Frigg: "Father was asked for her and he gave her to the Marquis. He could not refuse."

[Frame] Gabrielle: "Same as I was, with King Solus. Couldn't your father have said no?"

[Frame] Frigg: "Probably not. It was to be what the peoples of Zhou call a treaty of peace and kinship between our peoples. The Marquis was strict but very handsome. Father told sister to go be with him. It was her duty, to him, to all of us. We were most honored."

[Frame] Frigg: "He also didn't want to say no. Sister had to be found a home. She was of our circle but not of our clan. She could not be given a mirror. She wasn't fully white like you and I."

*****

[Frame] Frigg: "Life at the court of Zeng was beautiful, with delicious food, beautiful plants and fragrant flowers, wonderful music. Also, for men there was great sex - Taoist. At her binding ceremony they played the famed bronze bells of Zeng."

[Frame] Frigg: "The Marquis dressed her in silk, beautiful clothes. He honored her and all of us by declaring her changzai, a palace woman. Most girls began only as daying, a responder. After she gave him a son, she became a guiren worthy lady. She was only seventeen winters. Other women were most jealous."

[Frame] Gabrielle: "What happened then?"

[Frame] Frigg: "Three or four winters later the Marquis died. He was only 45. We think he may have been poisoned."

[Frame] Gabrielle: "Why do you think that?"

[Frame] Frigg: "It could have been a plot of the warring states. Or a plot for the succession."

[Frame] Frigg: "They're all related. It was a clan thing. Women like my sister who had given a son to the Marquis held great power. Each mother hoped their son might be named the new marquis. Sometimes they kill rivals or the old ruler himself."

[Frame] Gabrielle: "What happened to your sister?"

*****

[Frame] Frigg: "Twenty-one women who lived with him and served Marquis Yi were strangled. It was a ceremony done with silken cords. [The ceremony is pictured.] They were buried with him to serve him in the underworld."

[Frame] Frigg: "They just stuffed them into identical bronze coffins lined up in two rows. One little girl was only thirteen winters."

[Frame] Gabrielle: "And your sister?"

[Frame] Frigg: "Yes, she too." (Both women fell silent. Shock and sadness filled Gabrielle's face.)

[Frame] Frigg: "That's when I decided never to be bound to a man. When my mother went to the pastures of heaven, I took up being a shaman. They can live alone."

[Frame] Gabrielle: "But your children?"

[Frame] Frigg: "I have two responders. They are men selected and approved of by my father and brothers. They are bound though and have children of their own. When it is time for me, my responders come. They are both here together so there is no jealousy."

[Frame] Frigg: "It is the duty of all white women to bear white children for the clan. Without this, we cannot reproduce ourselves. We will starve or freeze to death in old age, or be killed by other Scythians. That is why we all want you to stay with us. Bind yourself to one of my brothers. We love you and need you Gabrielle - because you are white."

[67] The scroll of Gabrielle retelling these conversations was phrased in the highly formalized language of the time. Using phrases taught her by Aphrodite, she described the Altai, birthplace of Borias, as being the 'Alta Yeen Oola,' or Golden Mountain. As it was a group of mountains and not just one she went on to say, 'the literal appropriateness of the name borne by a group of mountains is probably but accidental. The country in question was formerly the seat of the Mongolian tribe called the Golden Horde, and it is consonant with their usage's to suppose that they dignified with the title of golden the residence of their chief, or the locality in which he fixed his camp.'

[68] In this way she skillfully avoided offending Xena by not saying in so many words that Borias and chiefs like him were given to exaggeration and braggadocio. Alta meaning golden in archaic Persian, she went on to explain. 'The name Alta Yeenoola, or Golden Mountain, which first denoted only the court, or royal residence, came at length to be applied to the whole territory of the tribe.' Local residents retained this narrow view of location, whereas foreigners like Herodotus were speaking of a whole mountain chain.

[69] The first meeting between Frigg and Xena gives insight into the attitude some skinheads hold toward religion. Xena cautiously approaches Frigg, armed and in her armor. Frigg wears her tall headdress and robe. Though a shaman like Alti, Frigg is different in appearance and manner. She and Xena are both the same height and stature. Though Frigg never carries weapons, Xena feels strange. She is inwardly fearful. In her trance she had fought Athena and was still afraid of superior wisdom. Their blue eyes meet, but Frigg seems to see beyond her as if viewing a larger reality.

[Frame] Frigg: "So you are the stranger my brothers told me about? Xeno means stranger in Greek. Why are you here so far from whence you came?"

[Frame] Xena: "I travel to Zhou. I am seeking wisdom. The gods of Greece are angry with me. They are pursuing me."

[Frame] Frigg: "You have the Sibyls and the Oracle at Delphi. They have more wisdom than here. You are only mortal. Why are you so important that gods pursue you?"

[Frame] Xena: "The war god Ares wants me as his mate. But, I won't have him. For this he froze me in an ice cave."

[Frame] Frigg: (Frigg smiled or rather smirked.) "Isn't he handsome? And viral? Why not have him?" (She smirked again and Xena could see despite her weapons she was being teased.)

[Frame] Xena: "I stand for justice and revenge. Ares stands for war. He causes war. He stands for injustice. I could never lie with him."

[Frame] Frigg: "You put too great a faith in symbols, what gods stand for. Symbols are man made, not of god. The headdress I wear stands for the Tree of Life. The tree is supposed to reach to the pastures of heaven. It is renewed by birth. For people our loins plant it."

[Frame] Frigg: "You don't have to lie with Ares because he doesn't exist. He lives only in your mind. Gods die, loose their powers -when people stop believing in them."

[70] Blond Mavican once wished to replace Xena in the affections of Ares. Obsessed with her sense of destiny, she too told her something like this, about the nature of gods, how our mental need creates them. It gives Xena a terrible sense of dj vu.

[71] After a time, Xena and Frigg become friends. Xena attends Frigg as a shaman, as moderns do a psychoanalyst. Frigg has no magic or rituals like Alti. She uses no blood, shows little emotion. She has instead a deep ability to penetrate the psyche.

[72] Xena saw in Ares the ultimate of sexual manliness. In modern terms, Xena had what they call a sexual identity problem. She seeks an unreal perfection based solely on strength and physical attribute.

[73] Xena tells Frigg of Petracles, a man she almost married until she came to doubt him. Also of her father Atrius and of her confusing him with Ares. Frigg explains her polyandrous life and her use of responders.

[Frame] Frigg: "You fight because you are afraid of sex. You are fearful not of a god but of contact with human men. You think of it as weakness. You expect too much of men. They are not god-like. Only by giving yourself is your inner being as woman restored."

[Frame] Frigg: "The act of procreation has little to do with character or earthly station, beliefs or ambitions. You set all that aside for the moment. Only desire, skill and technique matter then."

[Frame] Xena: "But you are not bound. You have no regular mate."

[Frame] Frigg: "No, but I still lie with men. With my responders. You believe a god fathered your child. I say it was a man. You just are unable or unwilling to name him. For you see Xena, I am a white shaman. Whites are totemists. Plants like the larch tree or the oak tree have souls. Deer, elk, and caribou have souls. Still I feel I teach a faith I no longer really believe. We grant souls only to plants and creatures we admire or find useful. There are no souls in thistles and thorns, or rats and mice."

[Frame] Frigg: "It is the same with Greek gods. We grant godhood to animals and plants. You grant it to emotions, desires, to the four elements. But either way we are not satisfied. Gods to remain gods must support the hopes and desires of people. People now expect more of gods. If they are remote, uncaring, and far away on Olympus, if they start war and cause harm, then people over time cease to care about them. To be worshipped gods must claim to love and care for people, must protect, must grant desires."

[Frame] Xena: "Have you ever heard of Eli and his followers?"

[Frame] Frigg: No, but I have heard of Xenophanes who lived two hundred winters ago. He taught there is only one god who controls all things. Among the Israelites, they have many prophets. They too have had them for more than two hundred winters. They tell of the coming of a messiah and that there is only one god they call Jehovah."

[Frame] Frigg: "My old religion is comforting and nice but it's not enough. It is true. I feel it. The earth is changing. Something is going to happen. Evil cannot endure. In the end righteousness and truth always win out."

[74] A comic relief sequence so familiar in the Xena series shows the father of Frigg and leader of their band teaching Gabrielle to train and ride a young camel. Timid with animals, at first she finds the beast ugly and stupid. Its breath smelled awful. The camel in turn lets her climb up on and then slides her off. She lands on her tush a couple times, and finds it harder than riding a horse. However, she perseveres. She finally makes friends with the camel.

[75] Like Gabrielle, the father is very smart. He informs her that camels are domesticated in both hot and cold desert regions for their ability to store water within them, to travel without water for long distances and for their ability to carry much more weight than a horse. They are also as a source of wool, milk and meat.

[76] White Pazyryk bands earned their living forming and guiding caravans across the steppes. Gradually Gabrielle comes to love camels, likes riding them, drinking their milk, even eating them. She enjoys life among the Pazyryk people. She convinces Xena to stay with the band. They serve as security guards for the caravans and become cameleers. She teaches the normally irascible Xena to ride camels.

[77] Pazyryk bands settled at fixed distances along the main trade routes. They did this so they could travel from band to band to protect their cargo and livestock. They did it also to find and meet other white people. He tells Gabrielle that Scythians kill non-pigmented people. The Chaldeans from Ur and the archaic Persians did too.

[78] White Pazyryks were less hospitable than other dark complexioned nomadic groups. The breeding contract of the ancient Pazyryks was to procreate white offspring. Therefore, they would live only with other whites. Like all nomadic societies, they had to cooperate with others. Nevertheless, they did so sparingly. While most nomadic groups shared instinctively as part of survival, Pazyryks had another priority, staying white.

[79] They set out on a caravan and stay with another band several weeks to the east. This was Xena and Gabrielle's first camel caravan. More camels and horses would be later added to the caravan. Gabrielle is finally decided, influenced by Frigg, to marry a white man. It had been assumed it would be one of her younger half brothers. A big celebration is held on their arrival. Gabrielle is the guest of honor. She is adorned with gifts, given a kinship mirror, and lifted in the air and carried about on shoulders.

[80] Xena stands at the edge, alone and scowling. At last, a shaman stands Gabrielle before the company. She must now announce her choice. It is a serious moment for Gabrielle. She realizes she must once again give up Xena and be bound to a man. The two boys are shy being the center of attention. The difference in age did not bother the ancients. However, Gabrielle had given it much thought. "Given a choice," she said, "I take him to be my man." With that, she puts her arms around the father. The two sons seem most relieved.

[81] Gabrielle's marriage puts strain on the relationship between herself and Xena. For the first time, Gabrielle sees her cry. As she and her new husband honeymoon, Xena gets jealous and wants to head back. She has a psychic feeling Eve needs her but she does not know where to go. She leaves to return to the Caucasus while Gabrielle and the rest travel on to India. The two sons go back also. On the way, they become Xena's responders. For the rest of her life they love her and help care for her.

[82] The Xena story is simple enough after that. Gabrielle always loved India. She was declared a devi on her first visit. She returns from India after her second visit in a year's time. She is pregnant. While she is away, Xena falls again into a trance. The two boys care for her. They build her a little larch tree cabin in the circle around the central fire. They warm her in winter by sleeping with her. It must be remembered. A normal lifespan was much shorter then. Childhood ended at puberty. Twenty-five years were for most a lifetime.

[83] The artists are allowed to show Xena and Gabrielle as erotic. The editors hope that teen-aged white boys would allow their developing fantasies to focus on strong large women, to strengthen the folk and harden their minds. Also hoped is that white women would realize marriage to be mostly a social and economic situation and allow their husbands for the good of the folk to also be responders.

[84] However, the eroticism is not allowed to obscure the underlying message. White lesbians who desire children should be encouraged to have them. Polyandry is still practiced in the Himalayas once in a while. Although they no longer use the word officially, it is considered to be an ancient 'Aryan' practice.

[85] Another sample of the hard edge these comics have is the depiction of the death and burial of Frigg. As a sachem, Frigg is called out one winter day to tend a sick mother. The mother dies so Frigg takes the baby. It grows dark and a blizzard sets in. She cannot use her clan mirror to signal. Nevertheless, she heads for home. The scene as she struggles through the snow is similar to another 1966 Frazetta painting, 'Wolfpack.'

[86] Sensing she is in trouble Xena uses telepathy and psychic power to locate Frigg. She and Gabrielle chase off the wolves and save Frigg and the baby. They regain the safety of the camp but Frigg has caught a chill. They both sleep with her to keep her warm. Very ill, five days later she dies of pneumonia. Everyone is heartbroken.

[87] As it is winter, they freeze her body in the snow. Everyone agrees that she must be mummified and taken to the Altai. She should be given a grand kurgan. However, this is not easily done. It was intense labor for many people. Those who still believe in the old religion say she has gone to live on the green pastures of heaven.

[88] Cynics like Xena know differently. Pomira horde would dig up and plunder a Pazyryk kurgan. She had to be buried far beyond their reach. That is why they were built in the Altai. Messages are sent with mirrors and messengers east and west that Frigg was dead.

[89] Mummies could be made either through drying or by freezing. By now, this form of preservation was a widespread industry in Ptolomaic Egypt. The rich and middle classes were now on a reduced scale practicing what had been reserved for pharaohs. The mummification process must begin before spring. In coldest winter, Frigg is sent by ship across the Black Sea through the Helespont and on to Alexandria to be mummified.

[90] Her brain, muscles, and viscera were removed and her beautifully tattooed skin carefully stitched with horsehair back on to her skeleton. Her joints were severed to make her limbs moveable. The body was now stable enough for the preparations for her eternity. Returned on another ship, coriander seeds were burned to mask the smell of death.

[91] All this is shown in sad and macabre detail. While her body is away, the men start making her coffin. Of the trunk of a large larch, it is oversize so her headdress will fit comfortably within it. The cover will be held on with four large copper nails. With her body returned as a mummy with great care and love, Frigg's body is clothed in her favorite silk blouse and skirt. Her hip high riding boots are pulled for the last time on to her once beautiful legs. A cord sash is tied at her waist. A carved necklace symbolizing her many camels is placed around her neck. On her head, her headdress of office is placed with care. In the pose of sleep, she is lovingly laid into her big coffin.

[92] Death was thought to be similar to life, but in another place and form. All the things a person might use or need in this life were placed in the tomb for use in the next. Not a victim like her sister to the Marquis Yi, Frigg the shaman would rest alone. Her kinship mirror, with its deer emblem in its pretty woven pouch, is placed behind the crook of her knees. Xena, Gabrielle, and all the others say a few words of parting. All the while during the rites, coriander seeds are burned.

[93] The Altai is mountainous country with exposures of rock and heaps of scree with frequent moraines everywhere. In the high valleys, the ancient population had the necessary material for constructing kurgans. The Ukok plateau on the other hand, though stone with a light cover of earth, has a surface that is not stony. Loose stones used to build there are collected over time and carried to the site. While outwardly similar, the kurgans of white Scythians differ in content from the dark complexioned.

[94] On sledges in winter and carts in summer, all contribute. Some bring a couple stones if poor or old. Others lend draft horses or oxen from India. Two large sledges are borrowed or built. Frigg's cabin had been dismantled with care. Its absence will serve like a tombstone. That was Frigg's spot, her friends will remember. Her simple possessions are packed. Loaded on a sledge in winter it is carried across the snow all the way to the Altai. Like the pony express, relief horses continue the sad trek from band to band.

[95] In the Altai on the Ukok plateau, a nice site is found. The cabin is reassembled. It is not far from a lake. Water must be carried to freeze the cabin and the coffin. The cabin is rebuilt exactly as it was in the Caucasus. A larch log fence or stockade is constructed to house the old horses to be sacrificed and left with her. Then earth is first piled up against the fence and walls of the cabin. This is all done before the funeral cortege arrives. The coffin is laid inside and her simple possessions are placed near her. A last meal is left on the little table.

[96] She is laid to rest in June. It is important now that the corpse be kept cold and covered with water. About mid August it begins to grow cold. At night it would freeze. The water in the coffin and the cabin begins to turn to ice. They all set to work carrying water. They fill the coffin first. Then the cabin is filled to the level of the lid of the coffin. The roof is put back on. Her six old horses are slain and laid against the outer walls. For the remainder of the summer they work. Then, despite the cold, they continue bringing water and placing the stones.

[97] Once winter comes, the party leaves but some return in early Spring. Another layer of water is poured and more stones are piled. In the third year the kurgan is finished. Now water from rain and snow will be enough to keep the tomb within frozen. For better or worse, Frigg's mummy is set for eternity. They hope it will be forever. Her family left behind in this life is poorer for her loss. Not only have they lose her; they are not able to work for three winters.

[98] Gabrielle has two children - a girl and a boy - before her husband dies. He was about fifty-five. Xena has two more children by her young responders. She teaches them all to be warriors. Gabrielle teaches the children of the band to read and write and it is they who finished her scrolls. Gabrielle's tattoos in the fourth season were very much like those of the ancient Pazyryks. A rite of passage is shown with their children getting their tattoos. Childbearing lives behind them, Gabrielle and Xena become partners again. As Xena ages, Gabrielle becomes the decision-maker.

[99] Twenty-five years passed. One of Xena's responders has died, killed in a fight with Scythians. The other becomes head of the band and inherits the caravan business. Gabrielle's girl and boy work for it. They leave to return to Greece, to look for Eve. At length they find her. She is now a Champion of Rome and again calls herself Livia. Gabrielle, thinking herself a devi, discovers the powers of Eli. Eve became a follower of Eli, though he always claimed to be only a magician. After Eli died, she followed secretly the Christ.

[100] The band's contact in Rome, she married a rich Roman and lived there in great luxury. They had a house in Rome and a winter home at Pompeii. She had traveled to the lands of Zhou and while there, saw the potential of trade with Rome. She invested in the caravan business. To keep herself in good physical shape Eve trained with gladiators. Her husband owned a gladiator school. She and her mother used to spar together when they would meet. Xena and Gabrielle would travel to Rome by ship. Mother and daughter would battle to keep Xena's dark side in check and their muscles limber. Xena's style of swordplay was Scythian taught her by Borias. Eve's was Roman, more trained and disciplined.

[101] Unlike her mother who preferred fighting, and the teachings of Eli that censored it, Eve found in Rome more conquests were made in a bed than in a combat. She became very skilled at both. As guards, she recruited freed gladiators and former legionnaires. Well connected in both worlds their caravans were rarely attacked.

[102] Xena and Gabrielle also received a kurgan. They rest together far away in the Altai. Surrounded by their weapons, Gabrielle has her writing implements. Xena just lapsed into a coma and never woke. Gabrielle just died, for no particular reason. She was grandmother to her band, much loved by her children, her grandchildren and her many horses and camels. The first to die was sent to Alexandria for mummification, then stored there waiting to go with the other. They hunt in peace together in the green pastures of heaven, as they had fought and traveled together in their life here on earth.



Notes

Note 01:
Quote taken from the book Lucy Lawless Exposed.
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Note 02:
Heterochromophilia - condition of a person attracted to sexual partners of a different color than themselves.
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Note 03:
Although Xena had romantic relationships with men of different races, skinheads consider Xena: Warrior Princess anti-liberal. They consider people desiring non-white lovers to be especially liberal.
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Note 04:
This is, of course, in the opinion of the skinheads. They are given to conspiracy theories, and this is one of many.
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Note 05:
The fatuousness being, of course, in the head of the skinheads. In other words, this again is the opinion of the skinheads.
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Note 06:
This description also describes how many people view extreme conservatives, at least in the U.S. The far ends of the spectrum are very similar.
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Note 07:
Responders are sexual partners chosen solely for erotic reasons, not social or matrimonial prospects. Chinese emperors used responders as well as other kings.
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Note 08:
Mandeville's Travels
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Articles

Rich, Edward P. "Xena As Heiress Of Anacharsis: Her Route To Immortality", WHOOSH #56 (May 2001)
http://whoosh.org/issue56/rich1.html

Rich, Edward P. "Cartography Supporting Xenite Studies", WHOOSH #58 (July 2001)
http://www.whoosh.org/issue58/hudson1.html

Rich, Edward P. "Archaeology In Support Of That Xenite Postmodern Mythology", WHOOSH #61 (October 2001)
http://www.whoosh.org/issue61/rich3.html



Biography

Edward P. Rich Edward P. Rich

Edward P. Rich is a retired dentist and former librarian for rare books at the United States Military Academy, West Point, and the Library of the Health Science, University of Illinois at the Medical Center Chicago. Receiving a Josiah K. Lilly Fellowship at Indiana University, he is today a rare book and map dealer.
Favorite episode: Have none. They are all great, only different. Bought all the videos, advanced Xenites buy the videos.
Favorite line: Dr. Janice Covington: "... something that will revolutionize the way we look at the ancient world. It has the power to turn myth into history, history into myth." THE XENA SCROLLS (34/210)
First episode seen: Do not remember.
Least favorite episode: Christie D. a Xenite from Winnipeg MB put me on the wonders of Xena after reading (and enjoying) my alternative Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman novel.





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