master minos leaves to investigate rumors surrounding a convent where some of the sisters of Xene's old fosterage wound up, and is bringing her along so she can ask questions and perhaps help with smoothing introductions.
before we begin, lets get a roll call of all companions and grogs who might participate and make sure all are ready.
I will be bringing Minoas, the Drakoi-blooded Turb Seargeant. Just need to finish his stats.
Almost done, just need to add specializations and equipment before filling in the combat stats.
Turulf, the suspiciously pagan Norman sailor, is a good fit. I just need to finish his page, but he's pretty straight forward. Just a basic fightin' grog with a few alterations.
Towards the start of summer, Magus Minos, Xene, minoas, and Turulf arrive at the monastery of Feminine peace- I'm not sure if Luciano is along...
Minos sets up an appointment to speak with sister Justinia of Jerbiton and suggests that Xene catch up with the sisters who made it from her old covenant, and keep an ear open for anything about the age of the Patriarch, who seems to be getting along exceptionally well, raising the possibility that sister Justina my have a hermetically inappropriate relationship for someone of such temporal power.
[Quick OOC question. Where in Greece is this Monastery?]
Xene, poorly hiding her excitement, obediently says, "Yes, Minos... Minos, should we... pretend," obviously a bit uncomfortable with that word, "to be monastics? If they ask... I would never tell them everything, but must I lie?"
"You do not need to lie, I am telling them that I am an associate of sister Justina, which is true enough, and they already know who you are, you need but tell them that you are studying in a school where I instruct you. It is usually easier to tell a version of the truth that allows people to mislead themselves. which is also something you need to be aware of when you are questioning others."
Believing, perhaps foolishly, that she will not have to sin in this manner Xene hurries of to find her old... friends might not be quite the word to use.
Sister Rhea is one of the closest of your old associates. she was uncomfortable around you, but even more uncomfortable with herself for feeling that way, so she tried, a lot.
"Xene, it is good to see you again!" Sister rhea was always bad at lying, but tried anyways when it came to politeness.
"RHEEEEA!" Xene yells as she embraces sister Rhea, overjoyed that she is alive, that she is whole, and otherwise does not seem particularly worse for wear. After releasing Rhea from an over-long, tight hug Xene regains her composure and a more somber attitude. Still grasping Rhea's hands, "You must tell me how you escaped those, those... unchristians." as if that might be the worst she could call them. "But you find yourself well here? The other sisters and the mothers aren't too harsh?"
Minoas ensures that the rest of the grogs that they brought along are settled before inquiring as to the current whereabouts of Magus Minos and Apprentice Xene.
the group is small, and settling the grogs takes but a couple of minutes
" I wish they were unchristian, though I suppose it doesn't really matter if it is a Islamist or a Christian that runs you through, but those men were as Christian as most in our city, just from Sicily, and seeking to conquer us. I understand that Christians killing Christians over land is fairly common in the Western church. But yes, I survived, though I for a while I wish I hadn't. I was, well, forced against my vows." She gives a look to Xene that leaves little doubt what she was talking about " I think they may have spared me to use me the same way later, but I was saved, along with the rest of the sisters, by a woman who had the most pagan way about her, but prayed to God in front of us to be allowed to use her gifts to spare his people, I assume she meant us, and then displayed such wonders as I have never seen before to help us with our escape. But enough of that tragedy, how do you come to be here?"
Xene looks almost about to argue when Rhea mentions 'as Christian as most in our city' but thinks better of it and continues to listen with shock and dismay. At the mention of the woman who saved them Xene's curiosity is piqued.
"Well..." Xene tries to consider her words carefully, "I was sent to a school, on an island far away. Perhaps because of the arguments I was always getting into, The Very Reverend Abbess Eleni sent me there." At the mention of her old Abbess, mentor and friend, Xene's eyes well up, "... did she..."
[while the tears are not a ploy, Xene is going with it in an attempt to steer the conversation back towards Rhea's story. Should I roll Intrigue for this or somethings else? If Intrigue, does the gossip specialty help since I'm trying to get her to spill some beans?]
"I'm afraid Eleni didn't make it. She was too old for the invaders to... spare, and too stubborn to go sit in the corner and survive."
go ahead and roll intrigue w/ gossip to get the information you are looking for...
"Speaking of, the Patriarch here kind of makes me nervous. I know it speaks poorly of me that I let these sensations direct my thoughts, but you know I try and ignore them, but even more than you, I'm sorry, but you just have this presence, anyways, even more the patriarch here gives me a bad feeling. I can tell you I'm not going into some private consultation with him like some of the sisters, whom I shall not name, have done." Rhea looks horrified that she has spoken about this, and yet somehow relieved at the same time.
Xene's eyes go wide at the implication of a Patriarch bringing novice nuns in for 'private consultations' but finds it curious that she seems to be describing the effects of The Gift... and maybe a blatant gift, at that. If true it's a wonder he attained the rank of Patriarch. "It's alright Rhea," Xene says soothingly, "I know I have that effect on people... and I am sorry for how it makes everyone feel. It is part of the tests God has designed for me and I have learned more about these sorts of tests by God at the school I was sent to." Then Xene leans in a little, somewhat conspiratorially lowering her voice, "so he demands their presence or do these nuns seek him out?"
She looks confused "Neither really. I mean he asks them, or tells them to come with him, but he doesn't insist. He never had to. And nobody has ever complained, or suggested that anything happened. They just seem tired afterwards. No, not tired. Older."
Turulf was happy to be ignored by the other grogs, the magus, and the apprentice. It suited him fine to be left to let his gaze wander as it would. He had seen convents before, but no two were ever exactly alike, and they were usually filled with women which were always a pleasure to look at. He was even more grateful for the lack of attention when the topic between the apprentice and her friend turned to the sacked city.
"Oh... well that is strange," Xene says concerned, "I'll be sure to do as you, wisely, do and try to stay away from him, at least not be alone with him."
"And you said a pagan-seeming woman saved you and some other sisters? She must have been quite brave. Who else did she save? Who else is here from Oikos tou Eleous [House of Mercy, the convent we were at together]?"
"Sister Justina, sister Iris, Sister Helen, Mother Cleo..." she lists 5 more sisters, none of whom you were really close to.