Xena and Gabrielle intervene to save young Icus from being sacrificed by his own father, Anteus. Icus, the gentle 12-year-old son of Anteus and Zora, runs away from home when his desperate mother warns him he's about to be sacrificed by his own father. Xena and Gabrielle intercede before a group of religious Zealots, led by Icus' older brother, Maell, can capture the frightened and defenseless young boy. When Xena learns about Icus' terrible predicament, she leaves Gabrielle in a hidden cave and sets out to confront the boy's family. Arriving at the boy's home, Xena is surprised to find the aging patriarch, Anteus, genuinely torn apart by the decision to sacrifice his young son. His elder son, Maell, however, angrily insists that God has commanded Icus' death and orders Xena to return his brother. Xena refuses and leaves. She soon grows suspicious of Maell's real motives.