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Queen of the Water-Thieves - Recap

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As the Providence continues across the waves, Cook watches as Rina and Nala struggle with one of the sails. When he offers advice, Nala points out that he’s not the captain. When Cook notices that Anwar is watching, he tells the doctor to go to work as well, telling them to cooperate. Sinbad finally takes pity on them and helps them get the sail up. When they improperly tie it off, Cook storms up, yanks the knot loose, and warns them that their life could depend on tying the sail off. Gunnar comes over and lifts the spar for them, and Cook tells them to start again.

The ship soon arrives at a horseshoe-shaped bay and Anwar goes over the sea charts and tries to find their position. Cook serves a meal and Nala says that they must find a decent-sized port so that they can go their own ways. Sinbad questions whether she should be giving them orders, while Rina points out that they have nothing in common. Anwar and Sinbad are eager to explore the freedom they now have, but Gunnar agrees with Nala and Rina. Cook tells them that they have to go ashore for fresh water and supplies, and Anwar determines that they’re at the island of Sind. The population was laid to waste and the island is now only populated by wolves. Nervous at the prospect of going on land because of the curse, Sinbad fingers his necklace.

On the cliffs overlooking the bay, a gray-faced child sees the ship and then runs off into a cave.

At Basra, Akbari and Taryn meet with the Emir, who is contemplating an architectural model of the modern city that he plans to leave as his legacy. Akbari reminds his brother that Sinbad has escaped and the Emir tells him to unleash the palace guards and find someone who knows where Sinbad has fled. Taryn advises the use of magic but the Emir refuses and orders his guard to remove her. She snarls at the guard and leaves on her own. Once they’re alone, the Emir warns Akbari that the dark arts eat at a man’s soul. He assures his brother that all that can humanly be done will be done to find Sinbad.

Akbari goes after Taryn and asks her to use the dark arts to find Sinbad. She agrees but admits that the Emir was right and that they can be dangerous. The noble refuses to hear anything that will interfere with his plans and tells Taryn to do whatever is needed. However, once Akbari leaves, Taryn smiles in satisfaction.

That night, everyone aboard Providence sleeps. Sinbad wakes up when someone boards the ship. Belowdecks, Nala wakes up and draws her dagger when she sees a feral boy eating her food. When she realizes that he’s terrified, Nala lowers her knife but the boy draws his own knife, smiling, and threatens to cut her throat if she moves. Meanwhile, Sinbad investigates the sound that he heard and sees the girl that was observing the ship earlier. Before Sinbad can grab her, another native clubs him unconscious.

The next morning, Sinbad wakes up and finds that the savage children have captured the entire crew except for Cook. He’s herded over with his comrades and Nala notices that one of the children has her father’s knife. She insists that they need to get it back, but they’re interrupted when two older children with faces painted like skulls come aboard. The newcomers supervise the transport of the crew and their cargo to the island, leaving two savages behind. Cook lures them below and they find him chopping food.

The Providence crew is taken to a city of pyramids decorated with skeletons. Sinbad hesitates to touch land and Rina asks what the matter is, but he claims there is no problem. The savages take them into the town square and reach out to touch them. The five crewmembers are finally ushers into a ring of stones and the savages form a circle around them. A sudden shrieking noise fills the air and the natives bow down. A young woman, Razia, steps out and orders Sinbad and Gunnar forward. After a moment Razia tells them to bring Gunnar to her and cage the others. Sinbad trips Gunnar and then calls up to Razia, asking who she is. She gives her name and tells him that she is the Queen of the Water-Thieves. Sinbad loudly declares who he is and assures Razia that she’ll never forget him. She decides to take Sinbad and orders the others to be fed bread. Razia then praises her people for bringing fresh supplies, telling them that they will feast on meat that night, and drops bread to them down a wooden chute.

Onboard the ship, Cook feeds the two savages from his emergency supplies.

Sinbad is taken to a huge stone chamber with a pallet bed. He pockets a large carving fork and then spots an archway leading out. However, when he goes up he narrowly avoids falling off the edge of a drop leading hundreds of feet into the ocean. Sinbad goes back and finds a chain that he hopes he can use to lower himself. However, when he pulls on it he discovers that it’s attached to a large birdlike creature. Sinbad jumps down and the chains draw the roc up short. Razia enters, starts to undress, and assures Sinbad that the chains on her pet are unbreakable. The queen explains that it once flew over the city but now the city is dust and the roc is hers. Razia wonders why he wanted her to choose him, and Sinbad admits that she’s attractive. She figures that he thought he could overpower her and escape, and dares Sinbad to attack her. Razia reveals a knife hidden in her staff of office and swings at him repeatedly. Sinbad just manages to avoid her long enough to grab the staff and hold it away.

The rest of the crew is placed in metal cages. Anwar insists that Sinbad has a plan but Rina figures that Sinbad plans to save his own skin. As she works on the lock, Gunnar points out that Razia promised her people fresh meat... and they are the newcomers. Anwar insists that Sinbad will rescue them.

As Razia sharpens her blade, she asks Sinbad why he came. He says that there was a spark and insists that she felt it as well. When he wonders why she chose him, Razia explains that she must remain untouchable to the men of her tribe and refuse to show weakness. When Sinbad says that he understands because he is also a leader, Razia chuckles and points out that he left his friends. Sinbad says that they’re merely his crew and misfortune brought them together, and the queen dismisses him as a mere thief rather than a leader.

At the cells, one of the savages lunges at Rina, driving her back from the lock. He then tells Gunnar that he will fight that night against Anwar. The northerner refuses and the savage threatens to kill him, and Rina offers to fight Anwar instead, saying that they’ll find something else for Gunnar. After a moment, the savage says he’ll find something fairer for Rina and leaves. Once they’re alone, Rina angrily asks Gunnar why he won’t fight but he refuses to answer.

Sinbad enters Razia’s bed and starts to undress, careful to hide the serving fork he stole earlier. She accuses him of being afraid of her, saying that he cares more for his own life then his friends. Sinbad holds the knife to her throat but she reveals that she has Nala’s dagger and is holding it to his chest. He tosses the fork away and Razia admits that she’s playing with him. She thrusts the dagger into the bedpost and advances seductively on Sinbad. Razia notices the pendant and he explains about the curse. Considering, Razia points out that Sinbad and the roc have something in common: they are both in chains and belonging to her. The painted henna on her face disappears, revealing her full beauty, and Razia explains that her face is what she once was, and now she has become her mask of leadership. They kiss and then Razia rolls Sinbad over onto his back.

In Basra, Tazeem finds Sinbad’s mother Zahira, still comatose. Safia grabs him and holds a throat to his neck until she realizes who he is. He warns her that the guards are on their way and Zahira and Safia are not safe. Tazeem arranges a caravan to take Zahira to safety, but Safia says that she must remain for a while longer.

Aboard Providence, the savages doze off because of the drugged food that Cook gave them.

Sinbad wakes up later as Razia dresses and restores her henna mask. He invites her back to bed but she tells him to take his hands off of her and says she has mouths to feed. Meanwhile, the savages remove Gunnar from his cage and take him out. Nala, Anwar, and Rina try to find a way out with no success.

As he waits alone in Razia’s quarters, Sinbad gets an idea and takes some water to the roc. As it drinks, one of the savages, Khalid, enters and explains that the mounted skulls are Razia’s former lovers. He shows Sinbad the pole that his skull will be mounted on. Sinbad, unconcerned, asks if he’s jealous, and Khalid explains that he’s Razia’s son. She shows him no favor and puts nothing before the needs of her people. He gestures to one of the skulls and says that his father learned that lesson the hard way, and informs Sinbad that Razia will cut his throat after the feast. As Khalid leaves, Sinbad asks if the other tribespeople know that he’s Razia’s son, and he sees no reason why they should because Razia loves them all as one.

That night, the tribespeople gather in the square and bow as Razia enters. She reminds them of how she found them and bound them together and they cheer her. The savages dress Gunnar as a serving woman and Khalid tells him that he could have died as a man if he had fought.

Sinbad puts his plan into motion and tries to offer meat to the roc, but it snaps at him and drives him back.

Rina, Nala, and Anwar are brought to the town square and Khalid ushers Anwar and Rina into the circle. He tells them that they will fight to the death with no weapons, and the winner will get to live a little longer.

Sinbad tosses meat to the roc but it refuses to move. He finally snaps at it, insisting that it help him, and tells it that the curse will kill him come sunrise without his freedom. After a moment, the roc retreats into its stall and gestures for Sinbad to pass. Sinbad runs past it to the ledge and the drop to the ocean. He then starts climbing upward.

Rina punches Anwar, who refuses to fight back because his opponent is a woman. He runs away from her as best he can but she finally catches and chokes him, while Razia and captive Nala look on. Sinbad arrives and, after looking at Providence moored in the bay below, goes to help his friends. As Anwar tries to tell Rina that Sinbad is there, the thief drops fresh fruit down the wooden chute and the Water-Thieves run to gather it. Gunnar and Rina fight back while Sinbad runs down and fights Khalid. Nala kicks her guard unconscious when he goes after Rina, while Anwar manages to stop Gunnar from killing his opponent.

Sinbad manages to disarm Khalid and holds a sword to his throat. He tells Razia that they only want to go in peace, but she believes Sinbad is too weak to kill his hostage. At that, Sinbad announces that Khalid is her son. Razia tells her people that it doesn’t matter because she cares for them all equally. One of them, Malik, demands that she prove it by putting their needs before her son’s by killing Khalid. The queen steps forward and prepares to stab him, crying. After a moment, she turns away and the paint on her face disappears. Malik grabs a spear and kills Khalid. As Razia screams in anguish, Sinbad grabs the keys to the roc’s chains and runs off while his crew head for the ship. Razia runs to her son’s corpse while Malik yells that he is the tribe’s leader and leads them after the escaped prisoners.

Sinbad doubles back to the town square and realizes that his necklace is closing around his neck as the sun starts to come up. He runs to Razia’s quarters, while behind him Razia gets up, her face painted once more, and strides away. Sinbad grabs Nala’s dagger and then unlocks the roc’s chains. When it hesitates, Sinbad forces it down the tunnel to the ledge. It falls off, plummets briefly, and then soars into the sky as Sinbad laughs in triumph.

Gunnar and the others take a canoe and row out to Providence while Malik and his men give chase. Meanwhile, Sinbad turns back only to discover that Razia has come for him. She attacks and Sinbad retreats toward the ledge. As she fights, Razia insists that she gave the Water-Thieves order and they’ll tear themselves apart without her leadership. Before she can kill him, Sinbad’s necklace tightens and he collapses, choking. Gasping, he tells Razia that she is the one who needs the Water-Thieves and tells her that they will love her without her mask. Razia announces that she is the Queen of the Water-Thieves and kicks Sinbad over the edge... and the roc catches him and carries him away. Malik comes in behind Razia and says that he is there to kill her. She turns and dares him to try.

Cook helps the others board and they raise the sails. There is no wind and Cook tells them that Providence won’t sail without Sinbad. The roc flies down and drops Sinbad into the nearby water. As he climbs aboard, the roc attacks the pursuers, knocking them into the water. It then flaps air into the sails, driving it out of the bay. When Gunnar asks what happened to the guards on the shop, Cook just laughs. Nala asks Sinbad where they are going next and he returns her father’s dagger to her, saying that they will go to freedom.

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