T

he evil Xena and her mercenaries return; after destroying six villages on a single peninsula, she's heading for Parthis. Begging for his life as a cross-dresser, salesman Salmoneus is spared for her amusement. Hercules sets out when his help is enlisted by his adolescent cousin Roran, whose mother lives in Parthis. When Xena learns her lieutenant Darphus chose which village to attack and ordered women and children slaughtered, she resists and saves a baby, for which Salmoneus finds a shepherdess. The men choose Darphus's side, so Xena is exiled and must run the gauntlet by clobbering, which she survives. Spiros, whose family was killed while he was away trying to get help, attacks Hercules's party and wounds the boy with an arrow, thinking they did the killing. Her scout Deros, who was captured and released by Hercules, warns Xena of his approach. Salmoneus has fled and finds Hercules. Xena captures but releases Spiros, hopes to get her men back by bringing Hercules' head in a duel, but looses and runs. Hercules' quartet faces Darphus' band alone; Xena seizes the opportunity to vanquish Darphus in a duel, but Ares has him resurrected and gives him a monster to destroy Hercules. The baby is Spiros's son.

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