The camera slowly zooms in on a beautiful classical Greek temple. Intricately designed pillars hold up the entryway. The pathway toward the temple is lined with rose bushes and marble statues. As the camera moves in closer, we hear the sounds of chaos inside--voices shouting, things being smashed.
Inside the temple. There is a mob of people--men and women in simple clothes--trashing the place. They are breaking vases, tipping over statues, and tearing down the curtains.
The camera pulls around to show an exquisitely crafted statue of Aphrodite, zooming in on its face. Then we see a hammer smash into it, breaking off the nose. The camera pulls back to show a tall, burly red-headed man swinging the hammer and hitting the statue again, then knocking it to the ground. The man turns around--he is very ugly, with crooked front teeth, a huge nose and warts on one cheek--raises the hammer in the air with a yell of triumph.
RED-HEADED MAN (yelling):
The other vandals erupt in cheers.
FEMALE VOICE (off-camera):
The camera pulls back to show two young, pink-clad priestesses of Aphrodite trying to stop the mob.
A stocky, rough-looking middle-aged woman grabs the priestess by the hair.
She throws the priestess to the floor. The rest of the mob laughs.
RED-HEADED MAN (scoffs):
Priestess #1 tries to get up but the woman pushes her down again. Priestess #2 rushes to her aid but two other women block her way and start pushing her.
PRIESTESS #2 (frightened):
The camera pans around to show a man in his mid-30s, in an elegant red silk robe with a golden sash belt, slouching casually against the wall. He is quite handsome, with dark brown hair, a chiseled face, and a dark curly beard. He surveys the destruction around him and a smile comes to his face. He looks at the people and the frightened priestesses. Then he stares intently at the statue of Aphrodite that has been knocked to the ground. After a few moments the statue begins to shake, then rises off the floor and levitates as the people gasp. With a loud crack, the statue shatters to pieces. There are more gasps and cries of amazement.
MAN IN RED ROBE:
MAN IN RED ROBE (raises his hand):
More cheers go up from the mob.
The people cheer again; cries of "Hail, Paeonis!" are heard.
PAEONIS (glares harshly at the priestesses):
Close-up on the priestesses, who remain silent, their lips trembling. Then pan back to Paeonis, who smiles cruelly.
As the crying women are hustled away, Paeonis makes a sweeping gesture pointing to the riches of the temple--gold, fruit, jewelry.
Some of the people start loading the treasures in wheelbarrows as Paeonis looks on, obviously pleased.
PAEONIS (smiling, quietly to himself):
His smile suddenly fades to a frown and he turns toward the doorway. A woman who seems to be in her sixties, slender and of medium height, is coming toward him. Her hair is gray and pulled back in a tight bun, and she is dressed in an austere dark blue dress. She looks around at the looters, a sad and stern look on her still-beautiful face.
PAEONIS (looking away):
Xena and Gabrielle are riding along a road through a hilly area. Daytime. A city is visible in the distance.
GABRIELLE (a little uncomfortably):
GABRIELLE (slightly exasperated):
As she speaks, Gabrielle stares at something ahead of them. Xena follows her gaze. We see a group of about twenty people coming toward them. A single horse is a pulling a cart laden with a chaotic pile of various possessions--clothes, household utensils, etc. Some of the people are carrying bundles. Most of them are men of varying ages, clad in leather; some are accompanied by women and children. As the camera pans over them we see that many of these people look battered and bruised. The apparent leader of the group, a stately man in his fifties in a black robe embroidered with silver, with graying dark hair, has bruises on his face and a bandaged arm. As they approach, Xena and Gabrielle stop and look at them with a mix of curiosity, sympathy and concern.
The man in black looks up at her.
MAN IN BLACK (bitterly):
MAN IN BLACK (vehemently):
GABRIELLE (taken aback):
MAN IN BLACK (even more vehemently):
As Xena and Gabrielle looks at him curiously, the camera zooms in on the pendant on his chest. It's shaped like the rune pendant Ares wore in Season 1 and 2.
GABRIELLE (shocked, to Xena):
XENA (nods, quietly):
Bewildered, they stare at the group of refugees as we:
END OF TEASER