Ephiny and the New Princess – Part 1

Ephiny and the New Princess

by AJ Marks

Disclaimer:  This is a Xena: Warrior Princess fan fiction, also has same sex pairings.

Part 1

Ephiny glanced over where Eponin and Princess Terreis were, deep in conversation over something.  Eph still could not believe they would be entering Cornith as guests after so long being enemies of Greece.  The trade agreements were doing even better than anyone thought and relations between the Nation and the city of Patrii were doing well.

Erika returned home to the nation alive and with news of the Conqueror’s defeat of the Horde.  She said nothing else other than vengeance was done and Ephiny never pursued the story anymore, nor did the Queen who seemed satisfied with the report.

The mines were starting to become profitable to the point they had built a small village outside the mine for everyone to sleep and eat in for both the workers and the guards.  No Amazon thought the process would go so smoothly and Eph wondered if Gabrielle had.  Ephiny made a mental note to ask Gabrielle about it later on.

They had also noticed a reduction in soldiers in Patrii and neighboring towns as the Conqueror moved troops around to what she considered more vital areas.  It was obvious she no longer considered the Amazons a threat, which worked well both ways.  They no longer had to hold as many troops along the border either.

The rising sight of Corinth came into sight and her thoughts turned to what type of reception they would receive upon reaching the town.  Already she noticed a few strange looks from passerbys, but nothing hostile, merely curiosity.  Even as she thought about it she noticed couple of guards approaching them.

“Welcome Amazons, the empress stated you would be attending, we have a place outside the palace for you to set up,” the guard said, pausing as if he remembered something.  “That is if you don’t mind, you’ll be near representatives from Chin.”

Eph glanced over at the others then at Terreis who seemed to glance at her wanting her opinion.  She shrugged her shoulders, not sure what to expect from the people of Chin.

“I don’t think there’ll be a problem,” Terreis replied.

“Very well, if you’ll follow me then,” the guard stated taking a few moments to talk to the other guards before nodding to them.

Ephiny walked along to a small secluded spot near the palace.  She watched Eponin walk around looking at the area and nodding her head in agreement.

“I hope this spot is acceptable to you,” he guard said, but was also questioning it.

“Yes,” Terreis replied to which the guard appeared relieved.

“The Chin delegation is through those trees, Lao Ma is peaceful, only asks that her privacy is respect3ed, she will respect yours,” the guard said to them.

“Shouldn’t be a problem,” Eph replied, glancing in the direction the guard pointed, and now she could barely make out the tents of the delegation, very different than Amazon tents.

“Very well, if you have any problems, questions or concerns please let us know,” the guard said, bowing and leaving them along.

Eph watched as Eponin quickly set up the camp and pitched in to help out as well.  Her thoughts went to what would happen later on and who else she might encounter.  It would be an interesting visit, full of discoveries.


Ephiny made her way into the dining area marveling at the size of the room.  Walking through the town had been an eye opening experience as well seeing all types of people walking around from nobles to slaves.  She understood better now why Gabrielle didn’t feel the need for clothing as many slaves lacked clothes at all and seemed typical for the town.

Shaking the thoughts from her mind she focused again on the dining hall.  She thought it had to be bigger than the dining hut back in the Nation and already she could smell the food as it wafted from the kitchen into the dining room.  Following Terreis to a seat before looking at the rest of the groups.

“Seems like quite a few different groups are here already,” Eponin remarked.

“Romans,” Eph said, nodding her head in the direction of a man sitting down wearing the recognizable armor of the Roman Empire.

“You’d think they’d wear something more comfortable to a dinner,” Eponin stated.

“Yeah, looks uncomfortable to me,” Terreis replied as Eph looked around to see another group arriving.

“I think they are from Chin,” Eponin said as they looked at the same group.

Ephiny looked the group over seeing that they appeared to be wearing some combination of robes and togas in what looked to be very fine clothe.  She had heard of silk, and wondered if that was while wishing she knew what it felt like.  A woman with long black hair sat down, making eye contact with her for a brief second giving an impression she could read her mind.

The announcement of the Empress’ arrival interrupted Eph’s sightseeing and glanced towards the front of the dining room where a curtain had been drawn back.  It allowed her a grand entrance as the Conqueror stepped into the room, dressed in a black sleeveless shirt and a black skirt which almost went to the floor but with slits going almost mid-thigh.  Eph realized that while it looked formal it allowed her a degree of flexibility for fighting if needed.

She spotted a glint of metal and noticed the chakram on the belt of the Conqueror, her favorite weapon and she never seemed far from it.  In trained hands it was a deadly weapon, Eph knew if she tried it she’d probably lose a few fingers.

Slightly behind the Conqueror she noticed Gabrielle, the small blonde seemed different than before.  It took Eph several seconds before she realized it had to do with the fact there were other slaves, and Gabrielle was acting in the manner as a slave.

The two made their way to the head table, aware that both were the center of attention and the two scanned the room as well.  Everyone expected the Conqueror to scan the room, but Eph doubted they expected the same actions from Gabrielle, probably dismissing the small slave as only a slave unless you knew otherwise.

“Interesting, what do you think?” Ephiny asked looking over at Eponin.

“Seems like the Romans have no love at all towards the Conqueror,” Eponin finally said.

Eph looked over at the Roman delegation and noticed the hostility almost right away, so think if almost felt physical.  She wondered why the Romans even came if they hated each other so much.  The Romans seemed to act snootily to Eph.

The Conqueror reached the head table silently demanding everyone’s attention, waiting until she felt she had everyone’s attention before speaking.

“I wish to thank you all for coming to the third Conference of Empires, a place were we can get together and talk about things instead of going to war,” the Conqueror said scanning the room making eye contact with a lot of people.

“Ya know, I’m not sure which is more dangerous, the Conqueror or Gabrielle,” Eponin whispered looking at Gabrielle scan the room as well.

“Both,” Eph replied back to her as the Conqeuror sat down and the food was passed out.  People went about their business, eating and talking.

“I see Amazons are in our midst, don’t know why though,” a male voice said interrupting Eph’s meal.  She looked up seeing a small man make his way towards them and knew from his dress the man was Roman.

“We were invited,” Terrei replied slowly.  “And you are?”

“We supply your grain,” the man said.  “I think you’d show some respect, if not I can always increase the price, you have no other options”

“You did supply us,” Eph replied before anyone else could say anything.

“Then you’ll starve, oh well, good riddance to bad customers, never happy, bunch of women,” the man said.

“I doubt that, we’re buying our grain from Greece this year, they made a better offer and we accepted,” Terreis said calmly watching the man’s face turn to shock.

He looked over at the roman delegation before turning back to them and Eph realized he had not heard the news of the new treaty, and the fact Rome was no longer allied with the Nation.

“I doubt Rome will allow such a treaty to remain for long,” the man huffed before heading to the other side of the room again.

“Well, bye-bye,” Eph said waving at the man’s retreating back.

She looked around the room again seeing that Gabrielle, and it seemed the Conqueror, had witnessed the exchange.  There were no smiles on either face only a deep thinking gaze before they both turned back to their food as did Eph.

“I get the feeling that we’re a battlefield between Greece and Rome,” Terreis said to them.

“I guess it’s better than a physical battlefield,” Eph replied, hoping she was correct.

Eph noticed that a second round of food came out and she was determined to try as much as possible.


Ephiny looked over at the other two, Eponin and Terreis, as it appeared dinner was winding down questioning if they should start to head back to the camp.  Even as they rose a servant made his way over to them.

“The Empress has asked if you would join her for a private conversation,” he said with a respectable bow and then looked at the Conqueror before refocusing on them.

Eph and Eponin looked over at Terreis waiting for her reply.

“I guess we can,” Terreis replied following the servant as he led them out of the room and to another room.

Eph wondered what the Conqueror wanted this time.  To pass the time she looked at the walls, which were covered with artworks, most were actually quite tasteful and not all were about battlescenes, including one of the Conqueror and Gabrielle turning as the Conqueror made her way into the room.

“Please, have a seat,” she said, heading over to a spot to sit down followed by Gabrielle.  “I noticed you talking with the Romans during the meal, they didn’t do anything stupid?”

“No, only gave us a bit of information we didn’t know about, seemed to think they were still trading with us,” Terreis replied.

“So, it appears Caesar didn’t tell his top merchants about the fact the Nation signed with me,” the Conqueror said, glancing at Gabrielle.  “Like you thought.”

Ephiny watched as the Conqueror and Gabrielle shared a look.

“It seems so,” Terreis answered.

“Very interesting,” the Conqueror said tapping her chin in thought.  “Maybe old Caesar was over-confident in his relationship with the Amazons.”

“I get the feeling the Nation is about to become part of a larger war,” Terreis said, echoing a statement she made earlier.  “I will say this, the Nation will not get involved in a war between Rome and Greece.”

“No, we do not expect you to,” Gabrielle said.

“However a weak Amazon Nation doesn’t help in Greece’s defense, it would allow a foothold for Caesar into Greece,” the Conqueror said.   “A strong Nation actually helps prevent war by denying Rome a foothold onto Greece.

Eph wasn’t sure what to make of that, they were doing it for the best interests of Greece, but then again, isn’t that what rulers do, work for the best interest of their nation.

“However, I wouldn’t put it past Rome to try something, divide the Nation against itself, that I cannot help with,” the Conqueror stated.  “If Rome tries to actively invade the Nation you will have Greece support that much I can promise.  Internal conflicts you must solve yourself.”

Ephiny had not expected such a bold statement.

“I think the Nation can handle any intruders,” Eponin stated defiantly.

“No, the Conqueror is right, we can handle most things, but Rome can send wave after wave of Roman legions against us, we’d be overwhelmed eventually Pony,” Terreis replied back.

Eponin scowled reluctant to admit the Nation could be defeated.

“And we’d only help if the Nation asks,” Gabrielle pipped up.

“Greece does have the armies to fight Rome,” the Conqueror replied.

“We’ll decided if that day comes,” Terreis finally stated, ending the conversation about invasions and armies.

“Fair enough,” the Conqueror said, as the group fell into silence.

Ephiny noticed they were still a bit nervous in the presence of the Conqueror after being enemies for so long.  She supposed it was only natural for both sides to be tense, they only recently began working together.  She looked over at Gabrielle when a thought came to her mind.

“So, can you read lips as well?” Eph asked Gabrielle.

“Huh?  Oh, no, never learned that skill yet,” Gabrielle replied with a slight glance towards the Conqueror, obviously saying that she could.

“Could have fooled me,” Ephiny finally said.

“Lip reading I can’t, but body language is like an open scroll,” Gabrielle replied.  “He appeared confrontational when he approached you.  As a result I brought it to the attention of Xena, and I don’t’ think he felt any better after talking to the head of the Roman delegation.  You see a lot of trading goes on here as well I’ve noticed.”

“I wouldn’t’ be too happy either if I lost such a large amount of trade and no one told me,” Terres said.  “Makes me wonder if something is going to happen.”

Eph watched as Terreis got a strange look on her face as she looked at Gabrielle.  The glance gave Eph a strange feeling about everything that was going on.

“I guess we’ll find out sooner or later,” Eponin said breaking Eph’s train of thought.

“Whatever it is, Rome isn’t ready for a conflict with Greece yet, not after their last fight,” the Conqueror stated.  Eph understood that, the reports of the last war was it didn’t go well for Rome in Egypt.

“Well, I’m sure whatever happens will happen, I doubt they’ll try anything here,” Terreis stated.

“They are Romans, if they feel like they can make a move here, they will, especially if they can blame someone else, its how they work,” the Conqueror stated.

“So, we wait around for them to make a move?” Eph asked, not sure she liked that idea.

“Exactly,” Terreis said surprising Eph with the answer.  “We keep out eyes and ears open to anything out of the ordinary but carry on like normal.”

Eph wasn’t sure she like that answer, but with everything she heard she would be keeping a much closer eye on anyone who had ties to the Roman Empire.

End part 1

Continued in part 2

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