Svieand smiled as he actually found himself contented for the first time in recent memory. He was heading to the library with a purpose and meaning. He had worked well with Drakairos to quench some of the flame. He was still master of his domain. Now he was on a journey with an unusual mortal – the closest to ‘adventure’ he supposed he’d ever gotten. And even when he returned home, he’d have his promised new pet waiting for him. How exciting it all was. The gleaming snow seemed to glisten and shine brighter in response.
Svieand was once again considering transport… Was it possible for him to successfully transform another into his aurora and back again? Or could he summon his nearest ice dragon offspring for assistance? If only he was the God of Travel – he’d know these things!
It was then that his travel companion spoke up with an explanation about his exotic coloured eyes. So he was
touched by the divine. The god of winter felt vindicated of any guilt from his previous suspicions. Yet instead of relief at being correct he was instantly put on edge. Who could have sent this being? What was his true purpose out here in the far, far north if not to involve him?
Yes he appeared normal but there was something about this man’s actions, the avoidance of eye contact, the exaggerated speech pattern, that was disjointed, a replica of a man. What this one of Anu’s devils or demons, Dirka’s meddlesome mages or even Iarus’ tricksters? He threw out his senses to try and detect another god laughing at his foolishness, hidden by the snow. But the only unnatural indicators being from his two companions – the unknown man and a white-furred gargoyle.
Sveiand’s mind turned once more toward travel, now removing his ethereal transformation from the table, when the stranger handed him a detailed carving of a creature he had seen running wild on the plains of the south. So that’s what it was called, a horse. He turned the exquisite craftsmanship over in his hands cautious of this being a trick or trap, especially given the man’s furtive nature. Svieand smiled to himself with a shrug. Nothing could harm him that badly, this close to his realm surely…? What had he got to lose?!
He tossed the statuette forward onto the ice in a large arc. But by the time it reached the frozen surface it was no longer a trinket but an enlarged horse of magnificent statue. It’s pure white coat was thick and warm reaching down over the hooves, the mane and tail glittering with strands of grey, blonde and blue. The piercing blue eyes of the enormous steed appraised the god as the mount bowed its head, pawing at the ice with oversized hooves on which there were spiked edges for extra grip. Without a moment’s thought and with nearly unbridled, childish joy, the normally reserved and stoic God of Ice, leapt forward onto the back of the magnificent shire (magically assisted for grace of course), his thighs sinking into the plush down of the blanket on the mount’s back, and leaning forward to stroke the beast’s neck.
He turned to the stranger with a hand to help him mount. “What an excellent gift,”
he mused. “Who gave you such an item?”
He must find out more before they arrived at the library. He did not want to leave any unknowns as a guest in those halls of knowledge. He had seen first-hand the lengths and ‘operation’ that Iva would go to, to obtain a creature’s truth. And the golden eyes and face he currently looked into was too handsome for such a fate. “And I do believe I didn’t catch your name…”