Shipping out

Seeing Antonio across the group, she knows it will be much simpler once they are no longer together here on Delos and merely exchanging letters about... their studies. She just need to avoid him until they go their separate ways. Xene attempts to stay “invisible” to Antonio, the sweet devil sent to entice her from the path of righteousness, but it is a small group so her avoidance is quite obvious. Her preoccupation with where Antonio is also makes her fail to notice that she is next to Phoebe, the surly blatantly gifted bully of this crop of apprentices. Well, she fails to notice until somehow they both end up in a pile on the floor completely ruining her “invisibility.”

Antonio Zoccarato — Xene

Antonio found himself smiling warmly at Xene as she looked him in the eyes. He was enjoying how readily she reacted to even the slightest flirtation, but he got the impression of something behind the innocence. Still, he did not pursue her. He had years of letters to get to know her, and maybe after their apprenticeship was done they could do more than correspond.

Antonio Zoccarato — Dining Hall

Without the protection of the Parma Magica it was difficult for Antonio to maintain his genial expression. He knew, objectively, that it was the Gift, but he still found himself looking at everyone with suspicion. Even the innocent Xene wasn't entirely above his Gift induced paranoia, but his distrustful gaze had quickly passed to the girl next to her. He had heard of her, and he already had a faint dislike of her because of it (not that it would have stopped him flirting with her), but the Gift fanned that spark into a flame.

Then the two collided and fell to the floor. With the intensity of his dislike for Phoebe inflamed he came to Xene's aid for less than noble reasons. He knelt down to offer a hand to Xene, but his eyes were soon turned to Phoebe. He glared, but chose not to speak.

Phoebe's new mistress rushes to her aid at the same time, and the glare she casts at Antonio has much more than the impact of the Gift behind it, but all the masters quickly move up to extend their parmas before the situation gets any worse, and especially before anyone with turbulence gets overly upset.

Eleni was busy trying to remain calm. Having the Parma Magica withdrawn was stressful for her as the effects of The Gift are brought to fore. She also actively avoids looking at her fellow Apprentices, knowing full well the effects of her gaze might bring.

That ended when Xene and Phoebe both went crashing to the floor. She stared at the scene open-mouthed, curious despite herself as to what happened to cause all this commotion.

OOC: I hope nobody un-shielded needed to make a stress roll. :slight_smile:

Antonio Zoccarato — Dining Hall

Antonio sheepishly turned his attention away from Phoebe and her master and toward Xene. "Bella, are you okay?"

I think we're all shielded again.

Xene — Dining Hall

Xene, unsure what she should do but knowing what she wants to do, looks to Antonio as if he is the only savior she needs saying, "I'm alr..." and knowing that she must not do that, quickly turns towards her new Parens, "...right. Should we go find our seats?" Dusting herself off she steals glances at Antonio then follows Minos.

Minos struggles to suppress a smile at the antics of young- love, infatuation, hormones? Argus meanwhile comes upon his new apprentice unaware of what role he played in the small drama on the way to dine, extends his parma, and more grunts than asks as he directs him towards the table.

Antonio Zoccarato — Dining Hall

Antonio was disappointed that Xene chose to do nothing. He smiled at her, but he couldn't, or simply didn't, hide the disappointment. When she turned to follow Minos he turned to follow Argus.

Xene — Dining Hall

Noticing Antonio’s expression Xene realized she had hurt him and wanted to run and apologize... but no, she forced herself to hold steady. There would be plenty of time to do that from the safe distance of their respective covenants.

As the wine flows the discussion around the table turns rambunctious "So Artemis, see you survived the sack of Thessalonica, guess you should have let some Flambeau into the covenant after all" "The lot of you would have burned the town down before anyone was there to sack it." "So, planning on making the same mistake again at Constantinople are you?"

Xene — Dining Hall

Meekly at first but gaining volume, force, and urgency as realization dawns on Xene what was being discussed, "Um, excuse me, what are you saying happened to Thessalonica?... Thessalonica was sacked? Were many killed?... Who, what army did it?" Though she had not seen her sisters in the convent for three years and her family for even longer the gruesome images called forth by the cavalier discussion of war and atrocity began to get the better of her and a righteous anger began to take hold... at least it felt righteous. Stopping herself before she began to scold these magi for laughing, she performed the sign of the cross and began to pray loudly for the souls of those who died and the fates of those still living.

Constantine sees an opportunity to learn something. He shoots Xene an exasperated look, then talking over the praying, he asks the most junior Flambeau present, "Excuse me, but can you tell me what's the best way to magically defend a city from attack?"

He then sits back to listen attentively to the various strategies that he hopes will be argued over.

Artemis becomes instantly sober, "Young one, please excuse our attitude, the flambeau and I have seen much of conflict, and this is often the way of warriors after a war. Humor helps to handle the pain. I don't know the exact numbers, but thousands were killed, I was a little more involved in saving what I could at the time. The jokes of the flambeau aside, magic can be of reduced value when fighting within a divine aura where spells must be kept subtle, and against troops who bring their own priest to protect them. The invaders were Normans, of Sicily, we were prepared for the siege, but the relief efforts we expected never came and the Normans undermined the eastern wall. In a normal siege caring for the populace can do far more good than preparing for combat, but once the walls were breached the game had changed. We saved what we could, but they withdrew in November when the loss of battles elsewhere turned the tide of their ambitions against Greece. I was in Constantinople by that time."

Xene — Dining Hall

[I am assuming Artemis waited until I was finished with my prayer.] Xene continues praying over Constantine's sacrilege, though her voice gets slightly louder and, perhaps a little more exasperated she does not look at him throughout. When Artemis begins to speak she looks at him, frowning due to sadness but not in an accusatory manner.

"Do you know what happened to the mothers and sisters at The Monastery of Koukoubiou?" A slight glimmer of hope crosses her face as she asks this.

Eleni looks and listens on with fascination about Thessalonica and it finally dawns on her why Xene is so distraught. "I pray that your family is safe. I know I would be at wits end if something happend to my family."

She then shoots a glare over at Constantine. "A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to be silent, and a time to speak so it says in Ecclesiastes"

Constantine sticks his tongue out at her. "Just being devout doesn't make you better than me. I'm going with her so I need to be ready to fight."

Eleni sniffs contemptuously. "Kyria Artemis just said she was busy saving instead of fighting. Leave it to a boy to think that destroying is harder than creating or preserving."

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Constantine shakes his head. "Protection isn't destruction, but both can involve violence." He turns to Artemis. "Did you fight to protect your people? Or just protect them non-aggressively?"

Antonio Zoccarato — Dining Hall

Antonio looks at the developing situation with great interest, and concern. The sacking had been done by the Sicillians, but that was a distinction that sometimes meant little. He had resolved to stay quiet and not draw attention to himself, but he couldn’t help but respond after Constantine chastised Xene. “I imagine he is quite able, and experienced, at protecting himself from violence in the most non-violent way he can manage.”

"I did fight, but used more misdirection. It is easier to divert an army than to slay it." Artemis turns towards Xene "A couple of the sisters made it out with us, but I saw the monastery in flames as we left the harbor, and one of the sisters could hardly speak, as she had been forced to violate her vows against her will."