Cassandra (also known as The Witch of Donan Wood) was an ancient Immortal.
Personal History[edit | edit source]
Born during the Bronze Age, Cassandra was gifted with remarkable healing skills and was adopted and raised by a nomadic healer. She experienced her first death when the Four Horsemen massacred her tribe and Kronos ran her through. She was then taken as a slave by Methos, who told her she would remain alive only as long as she pleased him, and he would kill her as many times as it took to tame her. She became as his concubine and servant.
In time, she became attached to Methos, but when he allowed Kronos to take her upon demand, she was horrified. She rebelled, and stabbed Kronos to death, escaping across the wilderness. Methos watched her leave, and allowed her to escape, suggesting he had become attached as well.
Cassandra spent the next thousand years refining her healing talent and developed a new skill: the power of hypnosis and suggestion. In addition to this, she appeared to have visions. She was able to pass this skill of hypnosis, teaching on to the Immortal Roland Kantos, a deed she would later come to regret.
Sometime before the end of the tenth century, Cassandra became aware of a prophecy: a Highland foundling born on the winter solstice who passes from darkness into light was destined to "challenge the voice of death." Believing this would be an Immortal who would be able to defeat her enemy Roland, she traveled to Scotland and built a cottage in the Donan Woods. For centuries she waited, watching the clans, practicing her craft, and building her reputation as the Witch of Donan Woods.
In May 1606, thirteen-year-old Duncan MacLeod and his cousin went to hunt a white wolf in Donan Wood. The wolf leapt at Duncan, who passed out, then awakened in bed in Cassandra's cottage. He left the cottage and saw her bathing in a forest pool. She sheltered the boy, explaining herself to him and giving him some hints of his future, and shielding them from Kantos, who had arrived in Glenfinnan in search of him. After the danger was past, she kissed Duncan goodbye and handed him his sword. When Duncan looked back, Cassandra and her cottage had disappeared into the mists, leaving no trace.
Cassandra spent the next 390 years in hiding. After Duncan took a Dark Quickening in March 1996 and emerged from it, she decided the time of the prophecy was at hand. Enlisting the services of a New York private detective, she tracked MacLeod to his dojo in Seacouver, revealing herself to MacLeod just as the Highlander himself was returning from Paris (June 1996).
On her heels came Roland Kantos, and Cassandra was hard pressed to keep MacLeod alive before he could piece together the riddle of the prophecy. After MacLeod defeated Kantos (June 1996), Cassandra departed, the prophecy finally fulfilled. She also fulfilled a personal desire; to take the Highlander as her lover.
Just five months later, Cassandra re-entered MacLeod's life when she uncovered information on the whereabouts of her ancient enemy, Kronos. Obsessed with revenge, she tracked her adversary to a Seacouver warehouse, only to run into Duncan MacLeod, who knew Kronos under his alias of Melvin Koren. The next morning Cassandra discovered Methos, her former captor, was apparently Duncan's good friend. Methos claimed he did not know her when she tried to challenge him, but as Methos did not draw a sword, Duncan stopped her, and helped Methos to flee.
Cassandra told MacLeod "Your friend rode with Kronos. Killed and raped alongside him. He was one of the Horsemen." Leaving Duncan stunned.
She tracked Kronos to his hideout in an old power plant and challenged him. The fight went badly for her, as he was immune to her hypnotic voice and her sword skills were not sufficient to defeat him. She ran. Methos appeared, and knocking her out, he dropped her in a river to get her out of the way.
Duncan returned to his loft to find Cassandra there. With the help of Joe Dawson, Duncan and Cassandra followed Methos and Kronos, who were en route to Europe in order to locate the other Horsemen Silas and Caspian. They found a clue left for them by Methos in Romania, and headed to France.
In Bordeaux, Duncan got a phone call from Methos, asking him to meet alone on holy ground. Duncan lied to Cassandra, in order to make the meeting, suggesting he was wary of her obsessive behavior. While Duncan was gone, Kronos, Silas, and Caspian kidnapped Cassandra from her hotel room, and took her back to their lair at an abandoned submarine base. There, she was locked in a cage. Kronos took delight in showing off their captive to Methos upon his return.
Methos tried to speak to her:
Methos: It wasn't all bad when we were together.
Cassandra: I only served you because you forced me.
Methos: Don't hate yourself. Stockholm Syndrome.... Hostages come to rely on their captors for food, for approval, and they fall in love.
Cassandra: I never loved you.
Methos: You thought you did.
Later, Methos was again by her cage when Kronos called him, saying that Caspian was dead and MacLeod was coming. Silas was left to guard Cassandra with orders to take her head should Duncan appear.
Kronos and Methos then met MacLeod at the base entrance. MacLeod accused Methos of setting him up; Methos gave him an enigmatic look. Kronos offers MacLeod a deal: "Lay down your sword and she lives. Fight and win — or lose — she dies. Come on, MacLeod. Your life for hers, what do you say?" MacLeod replied, "I think she'd rather be dead." Kronos then ordered Methos to tell Silas to kill Cassandra.
At the cage, when Silas dragged Cassandra out to behead her, Methos drew his sword and challenged his former brother.
They fought, and eventually the two pairs of combatants (Kronos and Duncan, Silas and Methos) end up in the central bay. Methos and Duncan were victorious almost simultaneously, and were then subjected to a rare Double Quickening. In the aftermath, Methos fell to his knees weeping. Cassandra, suddenly emerged and ran toward him while he was helpless, picked up Silas's axe, and brandished it over Methos' exposed neck, crying out, "Now I'm supposed to forgive you?"
MacLeod called out, "Cassandra! I want him to live!" She hefted the axe; and he shouted again, "Cassandra! I want him to live!" After a long hesitation, she reluctantly dropped the axe, apparently stunned that MacLeod would deny her, and retreated from the base.
Methos later encapsulated his history with Cassandra. "One of thousand regrets, MacLeod. One of a thousand regrets."
Six months later (May 1997), when the demon Ahriman was making itself known, Richie mentioned Cassandra to MacLeod, and Cassandra's face and voice appeared onscreen, repeating the words of the Prophecy.
Personality[edit | edit source]
In "Prophecy", Cassandra seemed calm and controlled. However, in her obsession with fulfilling the prophecy, she manipulated Duncan. She behaved seductively when he was thirteen, allowing him to see her naked in a pool and kissing him goodbye.
When they meet in 1996, she used the hypnotic voice on him, which he did not like, but it did show Duncan how dangerous Roland was.
When she reappeared in Comes a Horseman, she was obsessed with killing the Horsemen and had lost her calm. She was impatient and impulsive. She believed Methos a liar and that he was using Duncan, and she would not accept any evidence to the contrary, insisting repeatedly that Methos had to die. When she later did as MacLeod wanted, and left Methos his head, she was angry with Duncan as well as with Methos. It appeared she had no belief in the possibility of redemption.
Fighting Style[edit | edit source]
Her fighting skills were portrayed as less than they should be given her age. She seemed to rely too much on her hypnotic Voice rather than on her sword. She was easily disarmed by Kronos, who was immune to the Voice.
When she sensed an Immortal outside her hotel room, she simply assumed it to be Duncan who said he would be right back, and she opened the door while leaving her sword on the other side of the room only to be captured by Kronos.
Weapon[edit | edit source]
Her hypnotic Voice could also manifest as an eerie banshee scream to stun. Her blade of choice was an 8th century Frankish broadsword.