Lorsan looked up from the kitchen table, where he was enjoying a cup of tea before thinking about starting breakfast, “Good morning Lydia, I hope you slept well, or at least as well as might be expected in strange circumstances.”
“I was very comfortable, thank you. Should I return the key now?”
“No need. You may find it useful to stay here a little while longer, or you may decide to leave today, in which case you can just leave the key on a table somewhere. I’ll find it at some point.”
“Could you really not get into that room once it was locked?”
“Not unless you or someone else sent me a strong enough prayer or wave of belief to power a way through. Gods are far more vulnerable than we like to let on you know, everything comes down to the number of followers and the strength of their belief.”
Lydia humphed, and looked around the kitchen.
“Oh, where are my manners! Tea? Coffee? Hot chocolate? And what would you like to eat? The chickens were generous this morning so I was thinking scrambled eggs might be nice.”
“Tea is good, thank you. Are all gods as domestic as you?”
“Hardly, they’re far too powerful mainly – you know there aren’t that many of us, and most like to carry a few different identities to create a bit of a buffer in case one group of worshipers gets invaded, or a plague wipes them out or something. It does get a little awkward when two groups go to war over their differing gods and it’s actually the same entity trying to make sure not too many of them get killed off. Anyway, mercy’s not something too highly regarded by most societies, so as I started to fall by the wayside, I began doing basic things the mundane way, in order to conserve what power I had for important things. Good thing is, turns out I like it.”
He stood and refilled the kettle before putting it over the fire and pulling the makings for both tea and eggs from their various homes.
A short time later, both were again at the table, with steaming mugs of tea and a heaped plate of scrambled eggs and toast. Lorsan judged this as a good meal for someone who wasn’t admitting it was their first in days. He hoped he’d be allowed the time to get more meals in front of Lydia before she decided to go on her way, she needed time, space, calm and plenty of tea to build up her reserves.
He ate slowly, silently encouraging her to take her time and let each bite go down before starting on the next. “Do you have any thoughts on what you want to do or where you want to go next?”
Lydia looked at him, slightly startled.
“I’m not trying to get rid of you, far from it, I like the company and someone besides me to cook for but I think you don’t want to go back to where you were last night and was wondering if you had any places you need to be or people you need to check on.”
She looked down, “No, there’s no one.”
“Would you be able to share some of your story? I’m sure there’s a lot and much you may not want to tell a stranger, but sometimes, sharing what you’re prepared to can help lighten the load and make sense of your direction.”
“I’m starting to think you should have been the god of philosophy. I can’t believe I said that, that I’m sitting in a kitchen of a cottage in the middle of I-have-no-idea-where and having a conversation with a god. How do I know you’re a god and not some mage with delusions?”
“Save me from possible would-be believers with brains, it ruins belief every time.” Lorsan laughed, “I’m not sure what I can say or do to encourage you to believe in my divinity. Some acts or phrases that have one set of people on their knees have others running in terror and yet more laughing me out of countenance.”
“Well your words are fancy enough for a god, I’ll give you that.”
“And I’ve found on the odd occasion someone has remembered me, that it’s better for them to work out their own belief in regard to me. But your uncertainty as to where we are can be more easily remedied. What say you to a walk after breakfast? I need to go to the market for provisions and it’ll be a good opportunity to catch up on world gossip, I’m a little out of touch I think.”