Whoosh! Online Edition Whoosh! On The Road

By Trantius The Wandering Bard [01-23]
Translated by Barry Marshall
(1611 Words)

I. ARRIVAL [01-03]

I. Arrival

[01] The monolithic structure of the inn rises out of the flatlands like a forbidding stone cliff. Inside is none other than... Callisto, Caesar, Aphrodite, and Ephiny. Is there a plot brewing to threaten the safety of the world? (Not really -- it's a visit by Hudson Leick, Karl Urban, Alexandra Tydings, and Danielle Cormack.)

[02] This inn is not like other ancient Grecian inns; the common room has an elaborate stone fountain jetting water into a diamond clear pool. Above the fountain is a crystal chandelier that sparkles like a million stars on a mid-summer's night. Nearby are tables and chairs for inn patrons to socialize, or partake of the lavish food served from the bistro. This setting is not exactly what one would expect to find in Callisto's lair.

[03] Wide staircases lead upward to spacious rooms with comfortable beds and luxurious appointments. There was even hot running water (perhaps there was a hot spring flowing nearby?). I am a wandering bard of modest (and sometimes less than modest) means, so I must say that this inn and the food they served was expensive (12 dinars for a hamburger??!!?!).

II. Exploring

[04] In all my wanderings across ancient Greece, I have never seen more wondrous things in one place. Inside this inn was a bazaar -- not just any marketplace -- but a bazaar where you could obtain an astounding amount of merchandise related to XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS. Almost the whole marketplace was devoted exclusively to these items. I expected to see Salmoneus any second, but he was nowhere in sight. There were scrolls (photos) with amazing likenesses of Xena, Gabrielle, Hercules, Iolaus, Caesar, and Callisto to mention only a few. How they made these scrolls was beyond my understanding.

[05] A myriad of items included sculptures, drinking mugs, jewelry, and clothing called T-shirts (which are more comfortable than my ancient wool bardly tunic). The most astonishing things I saw were the little figurines of Xena, Gabrielle, and even... Callisto. Someone mentioned that these were made of plastic (what in Zeus' name is plastic?).

[06] There were many excited, expectant people moving to and fro arranging this merchandise. I inquired of the merchant in charge if I could help and he said yes. Here is where I met some delightful fans of XENA called "Xenites."

III. Rendezvous

[07] I had met these people before! We chatted at a place called the Xena Palace (for those of you who have never been there, I recommend going there to socialize). There was eLPack, Ceinwein, Dragonia, Alcatraz, BS: Stormrider, Gail, Chickabee, Spitfire and many others.

[08] We exchanged pleasantries and wistfully looked at merchandise that we longed for (whoever gets that chakram will notice at least seven sets of fingerprints on it... lol). When we finished arranging the merchandise in the Xena Bazaar to get it ready for the next day's crowd of customers, we were in need of food.

[09] As it turned out, we went to Dahak's Bar & Grill. (Personally I think they burned my slouvaki and keftedes -- in fact I never understood why there were flames everywhere -- it got very hot in there.) But the food was enjoyable and the company was excellent. We laughed at each other's anecdotes and for entertainment we watched eLPack saw repeatedly at her plate of ribs with an outlandish knife that the waiter gave her.

[10] When we finished our repast, we went back to the inn where we socialized for many more hours. After a time, I bid everyone goodnight and retired to the confines of my room, excited about tomorrow's events.

IV. Secrets Revealed

[11] This inn had an enormous audience hall that could seat almost as many people as the Amphitheater in Athens. I found my seat among the eager throng before the presentation of Sharon Delaney. Here is where I tell of the secrets she revealed and the upcoming information about XENA and HERCULES. (Please forgive me if my information is sketchy -- my quill decided to break as I was transcribing notes.)

[12] This was all the information I could obtain before my quill broke and my memory is not what it used to be...

V. Festivities

[13] Before the guests were presented, there were many festivities scheduled. A trivia contest was held where a panel of contestants were selected from the audience, then audience members were asked to come forth with trivia questions to stump the contestants. Each of the three contestants had a chance to win 100 dinars apiece -- sadly, none of them did, however, there were consolation prizes.

[14] A no minimum bid auction was also held, where items from the XENA Bazaar were presented and the audience bid on them. If the item reached the retail price it sold for in the XENA Bazaar, then it was sold to the audience member. A word of advice here -- if you want to buy XENA merchandise at one of these events, wait for the auction and bid on the items there -- you could walk away with armloads of stuff for a fraction of the price it sells for in the merchandise room.

[15] Other festivities on the schedule included music videos honoring Xena, Gabrielle, Ares, Callisto, Hercules and Iolaus (as a bard of ancient Greece, I was amazed at these moving pictures -- obviously Zeus had created "videos"). My favorite "video" was the "blooper reel" showing mistakes and hilarious jokes from Xena and Gabrielle. A costume contest was also held where no less than fifteen Xenites competed for prizes. Among the entries were Xenites dressed as Celesta, Melinda Pappas, Callisto, Xena, and Autolycus.

Photo courtesy of Kimberly Dull

VI. The Main Event

[16] At last! The moment I had waited for arrived -- it was time for the guests to appear.

Photo courtesy of Kimberly Dull

[17] Ephiny (Danielle Cormack) was introduced and she came on stage wearing strange clothes that you couldn't find anywhere in ancient Greece. She sang an entertaining song about Ephiny called a "rap." She moved about the stage with boundless energy which she attributed to eating "chocolate" (when I get back to Athens, I must find this wonderful food). To the delight of her fans, she answered many questions about Ephiny.

Photo courtesy of Debbie Cassetta

Photo courtesy of Kimberly Dull

[18] Callisto (Hudson Leick) was introduced next and she practically floated to the stage wearing a black silk gown with a lace ruffle skirt and scarf. She recently had her hair cut short, but she still looked like Callisto complete with her intriguing smile. She moved slinkily across the stage answering questions from her fans, then she introduced her parents. The fans were very excited, for here was an opportunity to learn about her activities as a child! Her parents spilled the beans slightly -- apparently she was well-behaved in school and she didn't go around setting fire to things.

Photo courtesy of Debbie Cassetta

[19] After Ephiny and Callisto had made their appearances, they signed autographs for many candlemarks. The session started around 6:00 PM and Hudson was still graciously signing and posing for pictures over three candlemarks later. She even received a sign as a gift that read "Beware Of Falling Rocks."

Photo courtesy of Debbie Cassetta

[20] The next day Caesar (Karl Urban) was introduced and he also answered questions from the fans. He mentioned he was on vacation and was planning to do a lot of traveling to see sites around the country. We learned that Caesar and Pompey will be meeting Xena again in the near future.

Photo courtesy of Kimberly Dull

[21] Aphrodite (Alexandra Tydings) was introduced and this was one of her first appearances at this type of gathering. Among the questions she was asked by the fans was to describe her cake fight with Xena. She mentioned that Lucy was stronger and picked up a whole section of cake to dump on her where she was only throwing handfuls back. Apparently the fight lasted for a long time and by the time they were finished, they were covered head to toe with cake which was beginning to smell. We also learned that her favorite episode is STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND [H64/405] (from HERCULES).

[22] After Caesar and Aphrodite made their appearances, they too signed autographs and posed for pictures for many candlemarks. All of the guests had very engaging personalities and wonderful senses of humor. My only complaint was that the amount of time they spent with us was limited.

VII. Aftermath

[23] I had a good time with my newfound Xenite friends, including our trip to an inn called Denny's (where everyone made fun of my accent) and we had pictures taken with a camera (another of Zeus' inventions?). All in all, I would say this adventure was a success--when it was finished, we said our good-byes and I walked into the sunset back to ancient Greece.

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