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An Old Friend Part II - An Awkward Meeting In Bruma

Started by Zim
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II.An Awkward Meeting In Bruma

*If you missed part one, you can find it by clicking the following link: An Old Friend Part I: No News*

Upon arriving in Bruma, Zimilael followed the usual routine. After acquiring accommodations at the inn, he began asking around for Apelles Valus. He was taken aback by the responses he met. They were not at all what he would have expected considering this man must have been a friend of Maro's.

“Strange you should be asking for him,” one local merchant replied, “no one goes looking for him.”

Zimilael began to wonder what type of man his mentor sent him to meet. Each one of the puzzled and anxious looks told a story that couldn’t be told in mere words. This man was strange, dangerous even perhaps.

“Why does no one seem to want to bother with Valus?” He asked Virna, a local shopkeeper. She opened her lips to answer him, paused, and then closed her mouth, obviously searching for words. “No one trusts him,” she replied. “Is he dangerous? What has he done that makes people uneasy around him?” Again, she began to answer and hesitated. “It’s not what he’s done, it’s what he hasn’t.”

Well that was puzzling enough for anyone. Why would anyone steer clear of a man who has done nothing wrong? It made no sense.

“Well what hasn’t he done?”

“Well…he hasn’t died.” She responded. “You see, some people in this town have lived here their whole lives. Some have been here twenty years, others thirty, and some even more than that. But rumor has it that Apelles has been here longer than any of us. Of course, it’s just here say, but, no one knows how old he is and those old enough to remember say that they remember their parents and grandparents telling stories which involved him.”
Now extremely puzzled, he asked, “What would cause a man to live so long past his years?”

“Well there are theories,” she replied a little quicker this time, “that perhaps he has tapped into some old altmer magic, or that he dabbles in necromancy. But no one questions him. He is a man of great influence. He has ties to many government authorities in the Imperial City and the Mages Guild, the latter of which we cannot comprehend because of his practices in Necromancy, and he is extremely wealthy.”

“Thank you Virna for all of your help,” he said as he prepared to leave, “a good friend of mine sent me after him, and I do not intend to fail.”

“You’re welcome Zimilael, anytime. But just do me one favor, will you?”


“Be careful. A “man”, or whatever he is of his influence and stature is not to be trifled with lightly.”

He left the shop, pondering what he just heard, on his walk back to the inn. It was dark by then, having spent the entire day looking for this illusive “man”. Why would Maro send me looking for such a shady individual? How did he know him? Were they friends at the University? Is there any truth to what the people of Bruma were saying? If Zimilael had learned anything, it was not to fully dispel rumors, for in rumors there is always a hint of truth.

“It has come to my attention, that there is an Altmer from the Imperial City looking for me. That wouldn’t be you, would it?” The voice called from behind him, in an accent he did not recognize. But how did he appear behind him? There was no one there just a moment ago. “If it were, what would be the fate of one who came to seek you out?” Zimilael responded without turning around to face the mysteriously accented man. “Oh joy, you are indeed as poetic in your conversation as you are in your works. I’ve always been an admirer.”

At this, Zimilael turned around and faced the man. He was dressed in fine clothing, wearing a black and teal overcoat, which laid neatly over a black shirt with a gold necklace with a large teal pendant hanging from it that reached down just below his chest. His hair fell below his shoulders, and was slicked back, save a few strands that fell at the sides of his face into a ponytail that fanned across his back.

“How do you know who I am?” Asked Zimilael rather curtly.

“How could I not? You flung the relative of a Jarl through a roof, and being quite fond of literature, I find your work absolutely wonderful!” Apelles exclaimed as he clapped his hands together excitedly. “The question now falls to you, how do you know my name? For I have not made an appearance in the Imperial City for,” he paused, “quite some time.”

“How long has it been?”

“Perhaps, that is a question best left unanswered at the moment.”

“A friend of mine sent me to find you,” he showed Apelles the letter, “do you have any idea why?” Apelles looked over the letter, his expression changing drastically. He frowned and began muttering in a language that Zimilael neither recognized nor understood. “Oh dear, it would seem that Arius Maro found what he was looking for,” he said rereading the letter and shaking his head, “if he has found any favor amongst the Divines, he’ll be dead.”

“Wait, what do you mean? If he has found favor he will be dead? How could that possibly be a good thing?” Zimilael was furious. Who did this man think he was? What was he playing at? “It was a mistake coming here,” he expressed after snatching the letter back from Valus, “I will go to Leyawiin myself and find him and bring him back to the City.”

Apelles grabbed him by the fabric on the front of his shirt. “No”, he said coldly, his eyes flashing with something Zimilael had not seen before in the eyes of regular men, “you will not. Consider this,” Apelles began to pace as he spoke, “perhaps your beloved mentor sent you to me because he knew you would need my help. There are only three reasons why anyone would come to me: my influence with certain key figures in this land, or my expertise in the skills of the arcane.”

Zimilael stopped him, “You said three things.”

“Yes I did and perhaps the third is best saved for another time as well. Now, you certainly are on your way to making an impression on certain members of leadership here in Tamriel with the discoveries you have made, and your passion for your work, but perhaps,” He stops pacing and begins to look at Zimilael very curiosly, as if searching for something, “it is your skill in the arcane that needs some attention.”

“I’m a fair mage.” Zimilael retorted almost mockingly.

“Agreed. You are a fair mage, nothing out of the ordinary but yes you are, as you put it “a fair mage”. But you can be better.” He begins to pace again, speaking as if he is speaking only to himself, running away with his thoughts, “You have some potential that you have not yet unlocked because of something, yes something that you have not yet discovered, or perhaps you have. Very well,” he claps his hands together and looks up at Zimilael, “I accept!”

“Didn’t you hear me? I said I don’t need your help and I’ll go alone.” Zimilael began to walk off, heading back to the inn.

“What you intend to face is a vampire that is nearly 240 years old and has had plenty of time to practice, more time than you, dear elf. If you intend to face him,” Apelles clasps his hands behind him and begins to rock on his heels, “I shall surely let you go your way and do so, but attempt this errand alone and you shall surely die.”

Zimilael stopped in his tracks. Did he wish to die? There was so much more to discover, so many stories to tell, and so much love to share with his dear Cyntana. Maybe this guy wasn’t all bad as the townspeople suggest. On a whim he has decided that helping an Altmer who only comes with a letter is worth leaving town and crossing the country to face a 240 year old vampire. “So, what can you teach me?” He inquired.

Apelles smiled. “Tonight? Nothing. But make your preparations; say your farewells, for this time tomorrow we ride to Cheydinhal.” With that he turned on his heels and walked in the opposite direction, hands still clasped behind him, humming a tune to himself. Zimilael, utterly confused by the night’s events, found his way to his room at the inn, and prepared his letter to be sent to Cyntana back in the Imperial City.
This post was last modified: July 29th 2013, 11:39 PM by Zim

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Horizon Seeker, Thorfinn, Triskele, Zirik
Post #82065

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Just as great as part one, if not better! I just wanted to congratulate you on your work, it's a fine piece of writing ;)

I'll be waiting for part 3!

Zirik Helbain - Dunmer
Mordynak Ashwing - Breton Mage
Omkir Kinai - Khajiit Warrior
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Post #82757

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I too eagerly await part three. Good stuff Zim.

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Post #83455

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Thank you guys so much for your comments and feedback! I've been in Vegas on some new job training and my time has been extremely limited. I hope to get part 3 out soon, as I should be settled back in at home in a little while. Thanks again for your support!

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