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"So, Xena," Deandra asks you, "will you help me stop a war?"

"I'll help," you reply with a heavy sigh.

"Thank you," Deandra says.

"Thank me once we've found the tapestry. For now, though, we need to head back to the village, grab some food, and get our supplies before we leave."

Deandra nods in agreement, then the three of you head back to the Amazon village. The dancing has ended, and huge platters of food are laid out. The Amazons are gathered in small groups, talking and eating. Ephiny walks to you as soon as she sees your approach. "Gabrielle, I wasn't sure how long you would be gone, so we went ahead and started without you. I hope you don't mind."

"No, that's fine! Ephiny, did you know that Queen Melosa was friends with the Queen of Theris, Deandra's mother?"

Ephiny looks inquiringly at Deandra. "Oh? What's your mother's name?"

"Her name was Selan. She and Melosa grew up together, she told me."

Ephiny smiles. "I was very young when your mother left the Amazons, but I do remember her. I know Melosa missed her a great deal."

"Mother used to tell stories about growing up with the Amazons. She taught me as much as she could about Amazon ways. She made me promise to give her an Amazon burial when she died. My brother's didn't like it, but I abided by her wishes."

"I'm sure she would have been proud," Ephiny tells Deandra. "Now, let's all sit down and eat, and we can talk more."

Since you and Gabrielle have been eyeing the food for the last few minutes, you have no objections to that suggestion. The four of you sit down and eat. During your meal, Deandra and Ephiny talk about Selan and Melosa and Amazon life in general. As everyone finishes eating, Deandra tells Ephiny, "We're going to have to get started on our way. But thank you so much for your hospitality."

Ephiny reaches out to clasp arms with Deandra. "You're very welcome. I'm sorry you have to leave so soon, but you're welcome to come back whenever you can."

Deandra thanks Ephiny, they follows you and Gabrielle to pack your things. As you gather your equipment, Deandra asks you, "How do you want to travel? If we go by land, it'll take about a week to get to Calith and Theris. If we take a boat, it will only take three days or so, but there have been a lot of pirates in the area."

Gabrielle groans as soon as boats are mentioned. You look at her, one eyebrow raised. She looks back and says defensively, "Okay, I know, my comfort isn't the issue here. We'll do what you think is best. So, are we taking a boat or going overland?"

We'll go by land.

We'll take a boat.