A/N: Any one of you know how to play audio out loud on a gaming monitor? I hate using headphones. Good night, I’ll see you all tomorrow.
Previous Chapter: https://elderscrolls.fandom.com/d/p/3343172654596422182
Word Count: 5,865
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Frostfall came fairly quickly, despite Filestis managing to slip in an extra few hours each week in the Midden with his newfound diadem of chronomancy. Skyrim summer was short at best and the light, warm rain gradually transitioned into heavier, cold snow. The water of the Sea of Ghosts began to graduate into a lighter ice-like hue, the surrounding glaciers and mountains moulted and an autumn mist began to settle over the campus and nearby coast in the mornings.
No matter how swiftly Filestis felt the month had gone it seemed it had not been fast enough for Estoan. The coming of Frostfall was synonymous with the beginning of the Worldwide Mages Convention this year and its approaching advent had been all anyone was talking about. The Hall of Attainment had separated into three groups: Estoan, Sammy Seliisun, and the majority of the house who had already decided to participate in the studies and were looking at history of previous conventions. Ivorin, Erin, Braith and those who had been unable to resist the growing interest, but had no desire to actually partake, and Filestis, whose desire for eternal fame had permanently died at the age of fifteen.
Today was Frostfall the first and according to many, especially Estoan, the coming of the inevitably glorious Nitida Sourelius, amongst an onslaught of other reputable scholars and mages. Filestis had had severe reservations about the conference hype and had tried to warn his friends by pointing out that most of the old history books they were using to research the old conventions were about travesties that occurred during them, but they refused to listen. He had given up after Braith told him that most of the conventions were fairly harmless until people got greedy. Filestis’ scepticism hadn't been particularly helped by the fact they were looking at a piece about one of the final concordats ever held. The problem with large gatherings of mages for an extended period of time was that often research was stolen, books were in short supply and under the table dealings were all but inevitable. To start, the Mages Guild had suffered a permanent closure at the end of the Third Era, after the Mythic Dawn nearly took over the world and Mannimarco made a resurgence.
Filestis reassured himself that the organisers would have learnt their lesson and it was unlikely they would include some form of dangerous, magical artifact in the studies that were to be conducted.
Well, other than me and that Elder Scroll.
It made it marginally less likely that whomever was foolish enough to examine the scroll, would die straight away. — As a result of the upcoming arrangements, Braith had been hoarding and storing as many books and scrolls that could potentially prove useful to the experiments and research. So much so that it had become increasingly claustrophobic in the Arcanaeum, making Filestis quite grateful that the other students were either unaware or afraid of the Midden.
“The mages from around Tamriel are coming today,” Erin crowed excitedly from a little way down the Hall of Elements, where he, Braith, Ivorin and Estoan were conversing.
Arch Mage Dravala had informed them that they’d be hosting a large dinner banquet for their guests and thus, the hall had been temporarily converted into a dining chamber. Long tables that curved around were set up throughout the entire circumference, going from the windows to the entrance.
Filestis returned his gaze to his book, pausing only to glance down the table he was sitting at to where everyone else was seated, dodging Sammy Seliisun’s best attempts to spill pumpkin juice over everything nearby. A deft touch she might have with a crystal ball, but goblets seemed to be a long way beyond her if the trail of juice that was edging its way towards him was indicative. Filestis vanished it distractedly, registering Sammy’s surprise and gratitude at his use of a vanishing spell, before re-burying his head in his conjuration booklet.
Drethros had told him he had something of a gift for conjuration. The demonic essence had been quite tetchy about his aptitude for one of Andrian Storm-Tamer’s favourite subjects, but encouraged him to spend time on developing and practicing the art nonetheless. Filestis’ mentor’s own areas of study lay mostly in quite obscure fields, most of which Skyrim now considered dark and in bad taste. The Daedra had taken that piece of news quite indignantly, but assured Filestis had Boadicea Vel been told, her response would have come with far more vitriol. Magic was about power and intent and he had accepted that so as long as his intent was good, no deliberate harm could be done. Erin had done his best to shake Filestis’ belief in this ideal, normally in restoration class, but Filestis had quite firmly stuck to his justification.
His newest project was to adapt a spell of his own. Drethros had suggested something to do with Rieklings and conjuring, no doubt having a smaller version of Bowllum in mind. Filestis had chosen a dragonfly entomancy-spell instead, something he would develop from the bird conjuring charm he had seen and learnt out of A Guide to Advanced Conjuration. His choice, which he thought quite fitting of him, had given the figure of Drethros Vel a fit of apoplexy before Filestis had explained that a swarm of dragonflies would make an almost impervious shield to most spells that had its roots in soul magic, any elementals that he was keen to never re-experience or any of the other dark curses that caused no physical damage. A blasting curse would tear through his dragonflies like paper, but most such curses could be deflected with practice, unlike the three most powerful spells. His pseudo-family member had eventually agreed, but was still begging him to reconsider his choice of creature every time they discussed it. Filestis had relented only so far as making the dragonflies red.
“Anisoptera,” Filestis said firmly, having chosen a name for his dragonfly conjuration spell, drawing a very narrow, close-bottomed vee in the air with the tip of his finger.
A single, rather lopsided looking dragonfly, more pink than red, lurched in comical spiral around his head.
Not quite what I was hoping for.
The tragic creature corkscrewed across the table, narrowly avoiding Estoan’s fork, to collapse in front of Ivorin who poked it curiously with her nail. It burst into a wisp of magenta colored mist. Filestis pitied the poor creature and ran a hand through his mane, making sure his diadem was secure on his forehead.
For some reason the spell just won’t work no matter how I try visualizing the flies.
Ivorin shot him a rather smug look from where she sat. His failure to complete this spell had coincided with the aftermath of their spat over Filestis’ behaviour in classes. She felt he should be paying attention and trying harder and voiced as much, normally loudly in the presence of the teacher, but when she did force him into the limelight of the professor she got annoyed about his seemingly effortless success. Something he found rather hypocritical of her considering she often accomplished the same feat. Matters were made worse when he refused to answer how he was growing so much better in all of his classes, but it wasn't like he could tell her he had a time-manipulating crown and was spending an extra handful of hours a week learning. She'd made enough of a fuss over the Diadem from Drethros last month, let alone knowing it could bend time.
“I see you’re already getting started on the competition!” Sammy Seliisun grinned at him from her seat.
“The what?” Filestis looked up at her, confused.
“The Mages’ Covention is hosting a competition about who can create the best invention or innovation by the end of the school year.” Sammy rested her face on her palm, a loch of her golden hair falling over her face, causing the Half-Mer to blow it off.
She looks like she could be my sister.
“I guess I missed that bit of news.” Filestis ignored her and repeated the spell. He hardly cared about another stupid competition.
This time he was rewarded by an extra dragonfly and a shriek from Sammy who had not expected to be accosted by an insect in the midst of her new conversation with Erin.
They were a little better formed, Filestis determined, as he watched Sammy vengefully set his conjurations alight.
The wings had been a better shape, and they'd actually managed to flutter rather than corkscrew listlessly.
Ivorin remained unimpressed. I'd like to see her try and adapt something to make a new spell, he fumed.
Between everyone else's obsession with the Tamrielic Mages’ Convention and Ivorin’s reaction to his apparent sudden change in behavior, he had found himself with a lot more free-time, just like things had been before; when he had been nobody, just another Ayleid, in depths of his home city, many eras ago. It made it easier to study, but that just pushed him further away from Ivorin and compounded the problem.
At least when the scholars arrive the excitement will die down and Estoan will start talking about something else.
“Aren't the Synod and College of Whispers meant to be arriving today?” Braith asked from across where he sat.
“I think so,” Erin nodded. “But I don't know how they're arriving.”
A burst of startled exclamations from by the window drew the attention of everyone in the hall.
“What is that?” Braith came to peer over his shoulder, apparently he had the misfortune of having a good view out the window from where he sat.
“It's a bird,” Sammy dismissed jokingly.
“No, it's an airship,” Braith cried out to a few snickers and more than a few blank looks.
“Looks, vessel! Itses a carriageses!”
Filestis shot his head around when he heard the distinct voice of Bowllum, but saw nothing. I’m starting to lose my mind.
“That’s not just any carriage!” Estoan all but screamed. “That’s Lady Nitida’s personal cart!” He pointed, jumping up and down, barely able to contain his excitement.
Filestis spared a squiz and saw a cherry pink coach trailing up the side of the slopes next to the city. It was being pulled by unicorns, surprisingly enough, and was rather ornate all-in-all. It reminded Filestis vaguely of Cyrodilic chariots used in gladiatorial combat, only it was covered and had golden fastenings. The entire affair, both magical horned-horses and carriage, disappeared behind the igloos of Winterhold and Filestis returned to his book again. A few more unfamiliar faces hardly changed anything here in a school where he knew and recognised at best a quarter of the students. Even if the unfamiliar face was a celebrity as adored and renowned as Nitida Sourelius.
Somebody had informed Archmagister Dravala because she and the majority of the staff were now entering the hall, trailed by what appeared to be the remainder of the student body. Filestis was more than a little bemused by the air of excitement.
“Something's on the sea,” Erin squeaked from near him.
There was a rush of noise as half the students flowed from one side of the room to the other.
“What is that?” Braith cried in surprise. “Is that a ship?”
“It must have a majority of the scholars,” Sammy declared.
“Do they know about the giant squid?” Erin asked innocently. Filestis bit back a laugh.
That could be a nasty surprise for the arriving contingent of mages.
“I heard there are wizards and witches coming from every province, even Orsinium,” Estoan announced loudly, as if by simply knowing that it would somehow bolster his bravado.
Filestis was disappointed in his friend for joining the congregation around the window.
“Orsinium is a landlocked county, Estoan,” Ivorin declared with some incredulity. “Travelling by ship would be very impractical.”
“Hammerfell shouldn’t have too much trouble then,” Braith added with a none too subtle smirk.
“If everyone could find a seat on their respective year’s tables,” Arch-Mage Dravala suggested, her finger pointed against her throat to magnify her voice over the hubbub. “Let's give a good impression to our guests.”
There was a scramble back to the long-tables and Filestis found himself squished very tightly in between Sammy and a mage who was ominously cloaked in a black garb, while lovingly stroking a wooden bowl, oddly enough. Filestis tucked his elbows in as far as possible to try and separate himself from the warmth of his neighbors, but as soon as he made space they seemed to encroach into it again. He took several deep breaths and tried to concentrate on his book as best he could to block out the uneasy nearness of the people around and the annoying sensation of Sammy’s light arm-hairs tickling his elbow. On top of that, the bowl-loving wizard next to him, who’s face was obscured, smelled like mushrooms and other fungi.
The entrance to the Hall of the Elements remained open, presumably to prevent first years from being trapped behind the heavy doors, so there was a good view of the new arrivals. Sammy’s attempts to crane her neck around Filestis was making him increasingly aware of her proximity and he leant a little further away.
“Sorry, Filestis,” she apologised with a giggle when she realised she was all but lying across him. “Didn't mean to be so forward.” He just turned away awkwardly.
The foreign students weren’t appropriately dressed for the cold weather that Skyrim offered, and Filestis adjudged that many of them were from warmer climates. The first new visage Filestis had noticed was an Ohmes-Raht Khajiit. The subspecies of Khajiit that appeared to be quite humanoid, rather than feline. The cat’s arm was draped about the slender shoulders of none other than Lady Nitida Sourelius, who was walking alongside him.
“That's Lady Nitida,” Estoan hissed. A murmur of surprise and admiration spread as the middle-aged woman entered the university greater. “Ayy, why’s that greasy git got’ his paws all over my lady!” Estoan’s face reddened to match his hair when he evidently noticed the Ohmes-Raht next to Lady Nitida.
“Réjis Dontilyet Á La Pisa,” greeted Dravala Theras. The Ohmes Khajiit let go of Lady Sourelius and immediately hugged Dravala. The Arch-Mage did not reciprocate.
“It’s been too long,” Réjis said in normal Cyrodiilic. He didn’t speak in third person like Za’renjo and most other Khajiit, Filestis took note.
The light-furred catfolk backed away and Nitida stepped up, giving the Headmistress nothing other than a sharp, curt nod.
Well that’s a rude way to greet somebody, Filestis thought, seeing as the lightly sun-kissed woman didn’t even bother to shake Theras’s hand.
“The other mages have just docked and are on their way,” Réjis Á La Pisa announced in perfectly unaccented Cyrodiilic. “We left our carriage and unicorns outside the Jarl’s Pyramid.”
“Our caretaker, Ted Enor, will gladly look after them,” Dravala informed them as they became seated at the center row of tables.
Filestis espied another figure creep into the college. An anorexic Imperial woman, who looked more Breton than anything but her racial nature being given away by the distinct sharpness of her face only a true Cyrod could possess. She was garbed in a holy white robe that had letters of the Ayleid alphabet inscribed on it. She had a holy book, gleaming ring, and incense ewer with her, along with a staff on her back. — The shell of a Colovian silently strode over to Grimvar Krest, Arout Maloek, and Ted Enor, taking a seat next to them as if she knew them already.
The hall began to fill with whispers as they waited for the rest of the visitors to arrive. Filestis’ attention returned to the pages of his conjuration book and, consequently, he completely missed the arrival of the remaining pupils. Filestis only realised anything had happened at all when the hall fell eerily silent and he caught Sammy mutter, “that woman is not normal.”
Looking up from his reading material for what he decided would be the last time his eyes roved over an unremarkable group of wizards and witches until he saw what Sammy was likely uttering about. The same impossibly frail, pale, white-robed Imperial woman from before was pressing a few long fingernails to the neck of a Synod Breton boy, laughing maniacally while at it.
“Emma von Weiss! I order you to cease this foolish behavior at once,” Ted Enor warned, pulling the Colovian off the Breton.
An unorthodox name for an Imperial, expressed Filestis internally.
“My father will hear about this!” The brown-haired High Rock native squealed, before uttering in a rather small voice, “that is — if I had a father.”
“Shut up, Andelun,” Ted snapped pointedly at the poncy little milk drinker.
Andelun stuck his tongue at the black-bearded Reachmen when the latter wasn’t looking. The scrawny Manmer then sat down before indulging in a glass of milk.
Filestis chuckled a bit then raised his pamphlet to avoid the sudden arrival of magically conjured food, something that proved to be wise as the book’s spine only narrowly avoided the appearance of a large bowl of Ribollita, an Imperial vegetable potage. Alongside it also appeared a Bistecca alla Cheydina, a type of seasoned steak, famous in Cheydinhal. And last but not least, Gelato, essentially Nibenese ice-cream.
Erin probably helped make these.
There wasn't any room to eat comfortably at the moment and between the elbows of Sammy and his other more mysterious neighbour, who was still busy fondling his bowl, Filestis decided to wait until the table had begun to clear before chowing down. He had more time than most without any lessons later on in the day.
Everything around him went unnervingly quiet all of a sudden and a very soft, Cyrodiilic accented voice spoke up in the silence, “do you still want the Ribollita?”
Filestis glanced at the untouched stew in front of him. He nodded absentmindedly, leaning out of the way of Sammy, who swung the bowl dangerously over his lap, before he continued reading from his book.
“Thank you,” the feminine voice replied with an element of shock.
Filestis keeked up to catch a flash of copper hair and Sammy’s awed stare.
“What?” He demanded.
“You're not acting like all those idiots,” the Half-Breton, Half-Altmer girl said, gesturing at Estoan and Erin across from them who were still staring after the woman... who had been Nitida Sourelius all along.
Nitida Sourelius just asked me a question and I barely noticed her. The same Nitida Sourelius who had saved his life in Last Seed.
Sammy then broke into a gobbledygook about boys and their apparent flawed sense of attraction and misplaced values. — Filestis blinked, decidedly ignoring the half-breed, and then ascertaining it was easier to read and continue trying his dragonfly spell than puzzle out whatever else the Second Year was blabbering about.
“Anisoptera,” he murmured softly, drawing the hand action as carefully and gently as possible.
This time he managed to achieve a whole swathe of imperfect dragonflies and those around him erupted in general disgust as they scattered across the table wreaking consternation; dancing on people’s heads and buzzing around ears.
“Sorry,” he apologised, after banishing them into red smoke. “I wasn't expecting so many.”
“No more insects,” Sammy growled. It seemed fair, especially since he had performed the incantation and hand movement perfectly and still not managed the spell. He would have to ask Drethros for help.
Another argument about dragonflies beckons.
The food eventually vanished and Filestis, who had only managed a few mouthfuls, was left feeling a little hungry.
“Now that we’ve been watered and fed, and our guests have arrived, it is time we come to the main attraction of the year.” The headmaster approached the impromptus lectern at the head of the hall. “Please also note our guests will be remaining with us for the remainder of the school year. — It is time for the Tamrielic Mages’ Convention to begin, but first, the rules.”
Dravala’s words were largely lost on the concourse as the majority of the students eyes were fixed on the Elder Scroll that was brought out by Priestess Irdi Sul and Veradux the Wild. The ornate, golden bejeweled artifact was propped atop the ringed well, left to float on its own somehow. A visible aura of magic projected around it. He glimpsed Estoan staring at it with obvious, fervent desire. His High-Elven friend's wish to stand out had grown stronger and stronger over the years.
“First of all it should be made very clear that anybody who is not trained in the art of the ancestor moth will not be allowed near the scroll,” she pointed out, likely after noticing the lustful stares at the aedric item. The hall erupted into groans of disappointment and Filestis was certain he heard Andelun, Grimvar, and Ted Enor complaining loudly.
“I have,” Professor Theras ventured on, “to ensure that no mishaps occur, taken the liberty of using a magical enchantment on the Elder Scroll’s aura in order to protect it from thieves. Aside from that the convention will proceed as planned. We will be studying the scroll of dragon in detail, along with various other studies including the Last Ayleid, the manuscripts of Shalidor himself, among an assortment of other things and properties. The competition for best invention or innovation will also commence.”
Filestis saw Lady Nitida gaze curiously in his direction at the mention of his name. Likely because she had rescued him from under Whiterun and was probably surprised that he didn’t gawp at her like everyone else did. I should probably say ‘thank-you’ when I can. Their eyes briefly met, and he heeded their dark-brown color as well as a few soft wrinkles on the corners of her corneas. Her full, red lips curved slightly into a coy smirk. Filestis felt a blush creeping up his face and looked away immediately, swallowing thickly.
She has a son who’s your age, he chastised himself for becoming so easily flustered.
“Anyone wishing to partake in the extensive research may help us prepare over the next two days in the Arcanaeum, and in the meantime please acquaint yourselves amongst one another. This communion is also meant to strengthen international relationships between mages.” Dravala took a seat, concluding her speech rather unenthusiastically.
Filestis didn’t mind it so much anymore. So many people fake their emotions and behaviours, pretending to care when they don’t. At least Dravala is honest about herself. She doesn’t seem to care what anyone thinks about her. Filestis could admire that trait.
Most of the table had already started searching for pieces of parchment, ink, and quills as if the first few to take notes might have some advantage. Filestis pulled his book back out of the way of the ink bottles now scattered across the table.
It might be best if I went to the Midden, he decided.
It was loud in the vast vestibular antechamber, the food was gone, and he was finding it hard to concentrate on his book or his dragonfly-shield spell. He made his way out, pausing only to overhear Estoan launch into an outraged rant about the restricted view of the Elder Scroll. His red-haired friend had been quite convinced that this would be the moment he stepped out of the shadow of ‘the Last Ayleid,’ and made a name for himself. Filestis rolled his eyes and left.
As he had predicted, Drethros Vel had once again conveyed his dismay at Filestis’ choice of bug. “They're such feminine insects,” he moaned as his animate amulet eyed the lone, imperfect conjuration that fluttered around Filestis. “Can't you use hornets, or ravens, or anything more respectable.”
“Dragonflies are simple and their speed covers a lot of area,” Filestis defended for what must’ve been the twentieth time since suggesting the spell, “now are you going to help or sulk?”
“Drethros Vel does not sulk,” the Dremora seethed, harrumphing audibly.
Of course he doesn't.
“What are you visualising?” The conjured entity inspected.
“Dragonflies, swirling around me in a sort of demi-sphere.” Filestis’ closed his eyes, imaging the striking, smooth form of the elegant insect within the confines of his mind.
“How are you picturing them forming exactly?” Drethros pressed, moving to stand near him.
“I wasn't really,” Filestis disclosed, “it never mattered for the bird-conjuring spell.”
“You're conjuring from air,” the Dremora Lord sighed. “A single bird or insect you can probably get away with, but for lots you have to focus on them being created from the air beforehand. It's harder to conjure from such an insubstantial thing.”
“Anisoptera,” Filestis uttered and this time he imagined the dragonflies growing from the air, curling together as if made from smoke.
He was abruptly engulfed in a tickling cloud of fuzzy, chittering, cheery wings.
“That's very good.” Drethros clapped once they had all dispersed. “Practice directing them as a shield and you could use them to deflect some types of curses as you wanted, or even transfigure them and use them as weapons.” The latter sounded like quite a good idea. The ancient Daedra had already deduced that any duel-style he developed would likely be highly based around a few powerful spells, alteration, and conjuration. “You've spent a lot of time down here over the last month,” the Daedroth realised in Filestis’ moment of quiet contemplation. “And that's excluding the use of the diadem I gave you.”
“My friends are all obsessed with the Tamrielic Mages Convention,” Filestis shrugged. “I don't particularly enjoy talking about it constantly and I need to get much better at magic than I was.”
“Don't forget your friends,” Drethros warned. “You'll need them, especially with your record of ending up entangled in anything dangerous nearby.”
“I haven't forgotten them,” Filestis denied hotly, “but it's hard to be with them when most of them don't do anything I find interesting and the only one who does resents having any competition.”
“Choose better friends, then,” Drethros suggested calmly.
“There are no better friends.” Filestis shook his head feverishly.
The hell-spawn’s shoulders rose to his neck, bouncing his lively locket up and down. The piece of jewelry let out an irritated hiss, shockingly enough. “If you say so.”
“I do,” Filestis replied confidently. “Anisoptera,” he whispered, engulfing himself in a swirling cloud of crimson dragonflies. This time he managed to direct the swarm to swirl around himself fast enough that he could see through the blur of wings.
With a snap of his fingers he reshaped one of the dragonflies into a gleaming, steel spike and sent it flying out of the shield. It hissed viciously across the chamber and buried itself in the wall a few inches above the horned helmet of Drethros Vel.
“Be careful!” His mentor ducked. “I do not need one of those impaled through my eye socket! Sometimes you're worse than my daughter, Lilith.”
Filestis attempted it several more times; using sponge balls rather than steel spikes. It was a lot harder than it looked to transfigure and then direct the former insects the right way and it took him many tries to get to grips with it.
“My Midden looks like a childrens' playground,” Drethros griped, gazing around at the brightly coloured balls strewn across the floor and rolling in the hallway outside.
I doubt you’d find the corpse of an Ice Wraith in any child’s play place. Filestis glanced towards the discarded skin of the serpent outside before vanishing his mess.
“I think I've got the hang of that,” he mused. “A little more practice wouldn't hurt though.”
“It's a surprisingly useful spell that you've made,” Drethros conceded, “despite the ridiculous dragonflies.”
Staggering back across the frost styled bridge under the weight of his machinations, Filestis considered his new spell proudly. Ivorin would throw a tantrum if she saw it working already. That made him grin despite himself.
He conjured Drethros onto his shoulder as he wandered back through the Midden.
“Andrian used to steal the Diadem and move my things around,” the disgraced Daedra told him, but for once he sounded rather melancholy when speaking about his former apprentice. “He thought it was hilarious until my wife, Boadicea found out and yelled at him for messing with time for something so petty.”
“You miss them,” Filestis realised.
“I'd miss anyone after a near-century with no company but a ghost and a delusional Falmer,” Drethros retorted, but the bite was missing from his tone. “I'd even miss Andrian’s childish japes, Boadicea’s mothering or Lilith’s tomfoolery.”
“I think,” Drethros manifested quietly, “when you have redeemed the Ayleid race and no longer have need of my advice, I'd quite like to find a way back to my wife and daughter. There are a number of ways to access the various afterlives from Tamriel.”
He can’t go until I officially release him, Filestis comprehended guiltily.
“I'll search for it,” he promised earnestly. He was a little uncomfortable with this slightly emotional Drethros. The sarcasm seemed more natural and was easier to deal with. “Or I’ll make a portal myself.”
“You should go back to your tower and see your friends,” the summoned sorcerer reminded him. “Last Ayleid or not, you'll need them.”
Filestis nodded, feeling a little guilty at leaving his new friend alone again, but left anyway. Hopefully the protection line around the Elder Scroll had quelled the talk about him so that they could do something else. He'd quite welcome a game of chess.
Most of the guys from his dormitory were in the common alcove by the fire when he arrived.
“It's rather empty in here,” he remarked, crossing to join them.
“Everyone's still by the Elder Scroll in the hall and the older years are in lessons,” Estoan explained sullenly.
“Not happy about the rules, I take it.” Filestis curled up in a cozy sofa.
“Bloody pissed off is more like it,” Estoan sweared. Ivorin didn't even bother to scold him for cussing, though she did roll her eyes.
“Don't take it too hard.” Filestis extended his arms and legs in a deep stretch, relishing in the feeling of his muscles, bones, and ligaments expanding, the sinews being pressed and relieved, before going back to a relaxed position.
“It was my chance, Filestis,” Estoan sighed. “I was going to be the one to transcribe that scroll but now, with all the goddamn protections around it, I’ll never get a chance. You wouldn't understand, you've always been noticed and famous and had everything I want.” He didn't sound particularly jealous, at least no more than normal, just tired. “I was going to be noticed too. I wouldn't just be another Vinsmoke, or Filestis Carat’s friend, or something like that. I don't want the whole spotlight or anything, just a glimmer for myself.”
“You’d go blind if you tried to read it,” Filestis dismissed.
“The Dragonborn didn’t! So, why should I? I’m special like the Last Dragonborn too! I just know it! I can feel it!” Estoan devalued what he was saying.
Filestis repressed the urge to slap his Altmeri friend, resigning to clenching his jaw instead. “Just make something for the competition instead,” he sighed. “If I could give you my fame, believe me, I would in a heartbeat.”
“It's easy to say that from where you're standing, but there’s no spell for transferring fame,” Braith cut in. “I'm just another Vampire that half the province doesn't think should be here, you've been a prodigy since you awoke, three years ago.”
“I didn't want to be.”
“We know,” Erin reassured him. “It's just a little annoying to be in your shadow sometimes.” The Altmer was sketching something in a journal.
Probably food recipes.
“Well I can promise you all that we'll be in the shadow of Nitida Sourelius together,” Filestis laughed out loud. “I've no desire to be researched anyways and I’m sure she’ll soak up most of the attention while she’s here.”
“She is quite well known for her exploits across Tamriel, her family estate and linage, and fighting abilities. A bit more interesting than a living fossil, If I do say so myself.” Braith stoked the fire, grinning ear to ear.
“I couldn’t agree more. I barely find myself that interesting anyways. At least the Lady of Hgga earned her fame. All I did was take a super long nap,” Filestis explained happily.
“Those Synod mages, Andelun Merna and Emma von Weiss tried to bypass the protection aura earlier,” Ivorin announced. “It didn't work, but I've seen loads of students trying everything they can to get in.”
“I hope they know they’ll go blind if they try to read it without the proper precautions,” Erin commented, looking up from his notepad he was scribbling on intermittently. He had evidently learned much from Estoan’s jab a while back about reading Elder Scrolls. Though in the process he seemed to have swapped places of ignorance with his twin.
“I'd take my hat off to anyone who manages to slip past a protection aura created by Dravala.” Braith didn't seem to think it was possible and Filestis had to agree.
“Maybe next time,” Filestis suggested, “you'd have a better shot at studying it when you’re a bit older and more experienced too.”
“I have no clue when they’ll next hold another major conference like this again,” Erin informed him quietly.
“I'm going downstairs,” Estoan declared, shoving himself out of his chair and slouching off. Erin and Ivorin shared a glance and trailed after him.
“Did you try and see the scroll, or watch the others?” Braith asked, gazing into the flames. She, it seemed, could care less about Estoan.
“No,” Filestis replied. “I've been trying to perfect my dragonfly summoning charm.”
“That's really advanced conjuration,” Braith consoled him, unaware it had been successful. “You shouldn't be trying it for another year at least. I'm impressed you managed to conjure anything at all.” Braith didn't sound all that impressed. If anything it seemed more like she was trying to convince herself she was impressed.
“Thanks, Braith,” Filestis replied, “maybe you can teach me how to make spells then.” He smiled the smile of his predecessors, all brilliant charm and obvious emotion. Charismatic, dark wizards had taught him one thing that was useful, he supposed.
~ § ó § ò § ~
Filestis Carat by BenjaminBat12
Sammy Seliisun by MiCK33T
Bowllum/Dėagol Tolard by King Bendix
Erin Vinsmoke by Rouge Outlaw
Estoan Vinsmoke by Keulron
Ivorin Bjorndöttir by Ebonmere Thornegage
Arout Maloek by Lazercrusher
Grimvar Krest by VallenDregoth
Ted Enor by Rouge Outlaw
Emma von Weiss by Powersocke Prime
Andelun Merna by Powersocke Prime
Dravala Theras by The Beautiful Princess Ashley
Braith Battle-Born by The Beautiful Princess Ashley
Veradux the Wild (Weyland Poliper Verrin) by Lazercrusher
Irdi Sul by MiCK33T
Nitida Sourelius by Ancient Magister
Réjis Dontilyet Á La Pisa by Jedi Master Hawke
Drethros Vel by Nokillingpaarthurnax
A/N: Please read, review, and critique. Thanks to everyone who has already.