Paidi

 

Meslek Koritsi (Quarter Apprentice)

Paidi never knew her parents for she was a foundling. It was Agnes, the High Priestess of Artemis, who discovered her when she was just a newborn. Wrapped in a Hebrew swaddling cloth, Agnes found a note tucked inside. It read that the babe had been conceived in a ritual. Her mother wanted to spare her child the pain she had endured growing up in her religion, so she had run away to Athens only to arrive when the city was experiencing the worst winter it had ever known. It was bitterly cold and snow blanketed the ground. Afraid her baby would freeze to death, she felt compelled to give her up and place her in the care of Artemis. She lay the child on the temple steps. The priestess heard the baby's cries, went to investigate and found the baby. 

To Agnes' surprise, there was no mention of the child's name in the note so she named the baby Paidi Apo Chioni, which meant "Child of Snow" since she had been found in the snow. Agnes loved Paidi very much and cared for the little girl, herself. She taught her about Artemis as well as to read and write. The girl excelled in her studies and Agnes was very proud of her.

When Paidi was six years old, an old priest named Milos, from the Temple of Apollo, came to visit. He was renown for his wisdom as well as his writing skill. Fate had not been kind to the old priest, for he had lost the use of his writing hand in a fall. 

During his visit, he came to admire Paidi's many gifts, especially with letters. He begged Agnes to let the girl come with him. "I am in need of someone to write for me. I was going to use one of the young scribes from the temple, but none of them are as gifted as Paidi. Please let me have her for one year. Then I promise to return her to you." Agnes was torn for she loved Paidi, but at the same time she knew the girl could learn much from the wise, old priest, so she consented.

Milos was very kind to Paidi and took very good care of her. He treated her as if she were his own daughter. As they traveled from one city to another, Milos improved Paidi's writing. He taught her many other things as well, such as how to catch fish using only her hands, in the streams they passed by, and how to use a small bow to shoot birds and small game. Paidi excelled at everything Milos taught her; he marveled at the gifted child. "Surely, Artemis has bless you! You are a child prodigy!" he said to her, but Paidi did not understand what the word "prodigy" meant. She only knew that she made the old priest proud.

A year passed and true to his word, Milos began the journey back to Athens to return Paidi to Agnes, but they never made it. No sooner had they arrived in Corinth and found a room at an inn, then the old priest took ill with a fever and died that night. Then a horde of man attacked the city. They burst into the inn. People screamed, "Pirates!" All the adults ran in terror as the pirates rushed to seize them. Paidi hid under the bed and when the pirates came into the room, they saw only the body of the dead priest and left. Suddenly, a troop of soldiers appeared. The pirates they did not kill outright, they shackled into chains. With order restored, Paidi cautiously left the room. 

"Who is this?" one of the soldiers asked as he peered down at the little girl. The innkeeper explained Paidi's situation. Thoroughly frightened, but trying hard not to show it, Paidi looked up into the soldier's stern face. Impressed with her courage, he smiled and decided to take her in and care for her.

Estraton was a soldier of King Lias, whose kingdom lay between Corinth and Thebes. Paidi adjusted to her new home quickly. She blossomed under Estraton's tutelage. Impressed with her powers with the bow at such a young age, he taught some fighting techniques and even showed her how to handle knives. "You are certainly very gifted," he said to Paidi. "You are like a little Amazon!"

"What is an Amazon?" asked Paidi.

"Amazons are powerful warrior women." answered Estraton. Then he shared with the little girl all the stories he knew of the Amazons. "Perhaps one day, you will meet one."

Paidi lived with Estraton for two years. Then King Lias summoned Estraton and ordered him and his troop of soldiers to accompany some merchants on their journey to the land of Chin, to see if there be any possibility of trade. Without a second thought, Estraton took Paidi with him.

After a long and colourful journey, they arrived safely in the land of Chin. They visited a great marketplace where the merchants bartered for goods while the soldiers guarded them, but no one noticed when Paidi wandered away. Drawn by the sound of musicians, dancers and acrobats entertaining the crowd nearby, the little girl watched them for a long while. Then she spotted a woman off to one side of the marketplace, away from the crowd. The woman was performing intricate and beautiful movements with her hands as she assumed different stances. Paidi was mesmerized and spent the rest of the afternoon watching her. As evening drew near, Paidi headed back to rejoin Estraton, but to her shock, she found that he, his soldiers and the merchants were gone. A panic seized Paidi; then the woman she had been watching appeared. She put her hand on the girl's shoulder and said to her in broken Latin, "Be calm, child. Tell me what is wrong."

Paidi explained her dilemma. "Let us see if we can not find your people." the kind woman said. She helped Paidi to search, but none of her group was found. It is as if they had vanished into thin air.

In another strange twist of fate, Paidi found herself alone once again. The kind woman came to her rescue. "I, too, am a visitor in this land. My name is Mai and I come from an island across the sea." The woman took Paidi to her ship. Having no other choice, Paidi decided to cast her lot with Mai.

The ship took them to an island Mai called Nihon. "That means where the sun rises from," Mai explained. She was a warrior who had sworn allegiance to Nihon's greatest warlord and belonged to his Uji, or clan. Per the custom of her people, Mai adopted Paidi. The young girl learned that the beautiful movements she had seen Mai doing in the Chin marketplace were in fact a series of exercises in her people's method of fighting. Mai taught Paidi these fighting techniques. Being a child prodigy, Paidi excelled. 

After seven years, a seventeen-year old Paidi felt it was time for her to return to Greece. After four long years, her journey brought her to a beautiful forest the likes of which she had never seen before. Paidi had made her living by hunting animals and selling, what meat and skins she did not use for herself, in the marketplaces of the towns and villages she had passed through. Convinced that she could find all manner of game in this magnificent forest, she entered the forest without fear and began to hunt. However, she soon discovered that she had trespassed into the forest of the Amazons of Themiscyra. 

Paidi is of average height with blonde hair and brown eyes. She has very pale skin and a scar on her right shoulder. Her totems are the albino snake and the horse. She uses the bow, daggers, and a sword. She speaks Greek, Latin and a smattering of Japanese.

Tae'Nah athelfi arche: 19 May 2008

   
 

   

Xena Warrior Princess is  Studios USA, Universal City Studios, Inc. Webset design and content 2007 Crescent Designs for Themiscyra Amazon Nation. Many thanks to Mike's Xena Page for most of the captures.