Lydia patted Lorsan on the back, probably the only one to have any understanding of how uncomfortable this comfortably forgotten god was with this sudden attention and expectation.
While he was still goggling at her casual comfort, she opened the back door and stepped outside. Lorsan hurried to catch up so he could perform the proper introductions. This sort of thing mattered.
“So, um, Lydia, I’d like you to meet Issot. She doesn’t hold with eating humans, farms her own livestock and is custodian of the multi-pantheon archive and library.”
“Issot, this is Lydia, a brave and clever woman who has been kind enough to accept my invitation to visit.”
“Well that’s one way to put it. It’s very nice to meet you Issot.”, Lydia put out her hand to meet Issot’s elegantly outstretched claw.
There was a sudden inward rush of air and, in place of the dragon, there stood a slightly startled woman, like enough to Lydia to be a sister.
Issot took stock and then smiled at the dumbstruck group, “In order to gain our other forms, we have to meet with one who carries part of our family line in them. The magic of blood relations, we call it dragon-spark. Although you’d need to ask one of the scholars for the specifics on how it all works.”
Thunder snorted, “I think not. They’d delve into long words they know I don’t know, tangled into even longer sentences, and keep going for a week. I’ll take your word for it.”
“So is Lydia part dragon?”
“How could you tell she was here?”
“Does this mean she can change now as well?”
“Does she know how?”
Lydia looked thoroughly alarmed at the last question.
Lorsan opened his mouth, hesitated and Lydia looked over at him, “Yes, tea sounds like a very good idea.”
“I’ll bring it out here. The kitchen was getting a little overcrowded even before Issot arrived, not that it isn’t lovely to have you here.”
Issot smiled at the clearly flustered god and he hurried indoors.
The twins bounced and started conjuring a set of table and chairs, going through several styles and sizes before the rest of the group gave their approval.
It gave Lorsan time to re-fill and boil the kettle again and to hunt down the biscuits the twins had helpfully put away, in the bread box. They flew indoors to help ferry things out and managed to do so with only one breakage, miracled back to whole by Thunder.
“You know you won’t be able to keep doing that sort of thing, it takes quite a lot of power.”
Thunder nodded consideringly, “I ought to start taking notice of what takes more power and what less. It’ll give me some ideas on new skills to start on.”
Issot looked intrigued, “So you’re actually going ahead with that retirement idea of yours? It’s got a few of your friends rather excited at the prospect of new and talented followers.”
“Which is precisely why I’m not retiring until Lorsan and Lydia find and approve of a suitable apprentice to train up as a proper replacement. I’m not about to abandon my people to those reprobates.”
“It seems I’ve gained my human form at the perfect time. I shall travel with you and record the whole process for the archives.”
Lorsan fought the impulse to bury is head in his hands. How had he suddenly found himself in the middle of all this? He sighed inwardly and sipped his tea, after three centuries of relative calm and near anonymity, he was probably due some drama. It was just a case of getting through it.
Lydia wasn’t the only one who could read him. He was enveloped in a pair of golden hugs.
“Don’t worry Lorsan.”
“It will all be sorted out very quickly.”
“So you can be quiet again.”
“Except maybe not quite as quiet as before.”
“We don’t think it’s good for you.”
Issot looked around, “You are rather disrupted aren’t you. Well it’s only to be expected after all. It seems our wise and beloved hermit isn’t going to be allowed to be a hermit any more.”
Poor Lorsan was more lost than ever. How could he be wise and beloved when he kept to himself, and simply provided tea and a sympathetic ear to anyone who took the effort to call? There was nothing wise in that. The twins changed the subject.
“Lydia, we’re curious.”
“What does Lorsan look like to you?”
Lydia looked confused, “What do you mean?”
“Gods manifest differently to different people.”
“Depending on their expectations and preferences.”
“So most people will see a god or goddess as looking a bit like them.”
“And either old and wise.”
“Or young and strong.”
“So we want to know how you see Lorsan.”
The confusion deepened, “I just see a man, maybe around my age, with hair that’s slightly overdue for a cut and a general appearance of being carefully nondescript. It’s like he’s deliberately wanting people not to notice him.”
Thunder roared with laughter, “By all the temples on the earth, she’s seeing the real you!”