Xena races Argo across a battlefield, searching for Hades as he checks off the dead. She wants to talk to Gabrielle. Hades tells Xena he doesn't have her friend's soul. He offers to make arrangements for her to see Solan, but she says Solan doesn't need to know her problems. Hades says he doesn't get all the souls; he asks if Gabrielle belonged to a spiritual society. Xena realizes that Gabrielle's initiation into the Amazons means she went to the Amazon land of the dead, and Hades doesn't know where that is. But Xena does. She leaves Argo and takes another horse. She rides through the deserts and the winds and snows. She kills a big deer, and she dances around it. She hears Gabrielle call her name.
As she rides forth, she says, "Gabrielle, I'm entering a world of darkness I promised myself I'd never return to. .... my mind has lost its center." She remembers a time she was with Borias , and Borias telling her he was "in love" with her. Then an outcast Amazon shaman woman, Alti, and her apprentice, Anokin, appear. Xena eyes the young girl. Alti tells Xena she is with child, and Xena admits it. She had not told Borias until then.
Back in the present, Xena dances around and puts on animal skins. She resumes her journey. She finds a woman impaled on a tree, and fights off many men while other women watch from a safe distance. Xena carries the dead woman away and builds a funeral pyre. While she is doing this, the watching women take one of the men Xena beat up prisoner, and then they watch Xena. Xena finally mourns for Gabrielle, and remembers the times they spent together and how much her friend meant to her. Xena's cries are agonizing as they echo across the steppes.
One of the watching women remembers hearing such wailing before. She was a child when Borias and Xena attacked her village. Anokin was killed, and Xena mourned for her. Borias had saved the woman and had taken her back with him.
Xena kills her horse so she can use its soul to cross over to the side. The watching women stay out of sight, waiting. Xena goes to the land of the dead and is greeted by the woman she burned earlier. The woman is grateful for the proper burial. Xena tells the woman about being in the land of the dead before, when she came to find Anokin. Anokin spurned her, however, and told Xena she had "poisoned" her. Xena also remembers that she and Borias had argued, and she called Borias "soft as pig's belly" and told him if he mentioned the word "family, I'm gonna puke." Xena then remembered talking to Alti, who told her Lao Ma's strength came from self-denial and was of the light, but Alti and Xena were people of the darkness, who took their strength from the darkness and death.
Back in the land of the dead, Xena meets up with Queen Cyane, who isn't happy to see the woman who killed her long ago. In the real world, the watching women poke Xena to see if she's dead. One woman wants to kill her body but she is stopped. In the land of the dead, Xena learns that the Amazon tribe of Queen Cyane is cursed, and they cannot cross over to Eternity. Instead they are doomed to walk endless steppes in the land of the dead, watching the Greek and Mesopotamia Amazons cross on over. In the real world, the watching women move Xena's body to a safer place in a cave. The watching woman remembers again, telling her comrades that Alti told Xena that she (the woman) would one day take Xena's power from her. For this reason she wants to protect Xena and wait and see what happens; Xena is their future.
In the land of the dead, Xena turns to go to the gate to Eternity. She hears Gabrielle call to her. She stops. She can't go, she says. "You were my light," she tells Gabrielle. She wants to see her, but "I just realized what it was that you gave me -- a light of my own." Xena says, "I love you" and returns to the cursed Amazons. She tells them she is going to help them.
Xena wakes up in her body, a bit startled to find herself in a cave surrounded by women. The woman who remembers her introduces herself as Otere and Xena remembers her. Xena lets their prisoner go with a message for Alti: Xena's coming. The women tell Xena that Alti has the Berserker, a man with special powers. Xena goes after Alti anyway, following the trail of blood left by the prisoner. The women also go along, following Xena. The women and Xena fight other men, and then the Berserker shows up. He has a form of mind power, and he makes Xena relieve the pain of the beating of the gauntlet, a time when Callisto beat her up, and finally the breaking of her legs on the cross of Caesar. Xena falls to the ground. She gets up on a horse, fights the Berserker, and kills him. She still has broken-feeling legs, though, and realizes that the spirit of Alti is in the horse. She moves to kill the horse and the spirit vanishes. Xena's pain leaves enough for her to stand up. The women want to know if they can beat Alti, and Xena says that they must, for all of their sakes.
To Be Continued