The gorm tilted its head, and watched as Aoidhe continued devouring Chune’s large breasts. It waited patiently, and when it was given no more attention, it cawed and flapped its wings.
Aoidhe raised his head from Chune’s endless vale and clenched his jaw. “Always gotta have a song and dance in it,” he huffed. “Better hush up that racket. All that rufflin’s makin’ the back o’ my neck itch.”
“Aoidhe,” said Chune, in a plaintive tone, “be kind to him.”
Aoidhe scoffed and waved a hand at the gorm. “Away ya go, Fuinnog. Go make a storm somewhere, with yer lightinin’ and thunderin’ and such. Ain’t no one asked you here.”
The gorm raised its head, admiring the moon and glorying in the lunanata. Tributaries of crepuscular silver trickled down from the luminaries, bathing his feathers in splendid light, and the gorm’s form began to flicker, relinquishing its avian features to the argent glow. The light diminished, leaving the figure of a large man in its place, his features defined, his gaze unwavering, his countenance half defiant and and half arch.
“I did not know I needed to be summoned to visit,” said Fuinnog, his voice smooth and sonorous. He shook out his plumed mane, a few feathers fell to the ground, and the lingering delitessance melted away, revealing his well-muscled form, his shoulders painted with fulgurous streaks, his neck etched and garlanded with plumate shapes. His eyes flicked back and forth, inspecting Aoidhe as he continued roving, and stepped closer to them, canting his head and watching with blank look.
“We’re busy blessin’ things,” Aoidhe asserted, turning is back.
Fuinnog raised a brow. “I see,” was all Fuinnog’s answer, mantling over Aoidhe’s shoulder.
Aoidhe browsed Chune’s nape with his lips, but Fuinnog’s wretched perching made his fists tighten and his arms shake. “ Leave aff that botherin’,” Aoidhe shouted, turning to Fuinnog. ”Ain’t no one wantin’ you here.”
“Actually, there is someone who does.”
“Who? I didn’t hear no farmers askin’ you fer rain.”
Fuinnog shook his feathery mane and smiled to himself. “Generous of you to think they would need my blessing when their hard work is enough, but I do not need prayers to be here or anywhere.”
There was a pause, Aoidhe was pensive, and Fuinnog only gave him a look that appropriated nothing.
“The Aul’ Man sent you?” said Aoidhe presently.
A vague smile appeared in the corner of Fuinnog’s mouth, and Aoidhe writhed in all the agony of irritation and rolled his eyes.
“What’s he want?” Aoidhe demanded. “I ain’t doin’ nothin’ I ain’t supposed to.”
Fuinnog’s feathered brows arched. “You have been quite busy, Aoidhe.”
“Aye, always. What’s here this interrigatin’?”
Here was a pause, and the two gods glared at one another, on one side impassive affection, on the other all teeming agitation.
It was Fuinnog who spoke first. “You know you are not allowed to interfere—“
“Oh, aye?” Aoidhe interposed. “Wanna talk to me about interferin’ and all? Didn’t say nothin’ to you when you took Romhaine home.”
Fuinnog was silenced, and Aoidhe seemed pleased with himself.
“Thought so.” Aoidhe humphed and waved a dismissive hand at Fuinnog. “Aff you go, now. Nothin’ doin’ but sowin’ the seeds. ‘Less you came to watch us.”
Fuinnog half smiled. “I had not intended it, but if you are going to invite me—“
Aoidhe snuffed and made a low growl. He had done with this game; he was grown used to Fuinnog’s admonitions, but his placid tone, his easy character, his hateful intrusions would not be borne. His fury frothed, and stepping closer to Fuinnog, he thundered, “Whadda ya want, Fuinnog?”
Fuinnog blinked. “A seat was found.”
Here was a pause, Aoidhe chewed the shank of his pipe, and Fuinnog stared at him with raging tranquility.
Fuinnog tilted his head to the side. “Whose seat was it?”
“Weren’t yours, weren’t mine, so cimonna hashiff ‘fore I ash my cinders in yer eye.”
“You could not best me—“
“Oh, no, bai?” Aoidhe bellowed, looming over Fuinnog. He rolled his sleeves, and flexed his enormous chest, his arms contracting with terrific might. “After findin’ that out?” he breathed, in a nebulous wrawl, the brume pouring over Fuinnog’s expressionless face. “Yous couldn’t even put Uscen down without me. Had to get me in it so’s it could be settled. Ain’t no one know how to wrangle Frannach like I do. I restrained the Aul’ Man’s First Born. Think I can’t best you, bai? Yer a minnow compared to that bastard. And you gonna stand here and tell me what’s what?”
Aoidhe’s outline expanded and pulsed. His eyes narrowed and smouldered with an amber hue, his chest surged with breath, his muscles contracted and swelled. His eyes, once kindly, now blazed with violent indignation; the bowl of his pipe, once cinders, was now a rampant flame. He exhaled, smoke billowed forth from between his teeth, and a fire flared in the back of his throat. His hat vanished, and his hair alighted in vicious conflagration, his immense form suddenly by the sweltering anger that only the God of Fire could produce.
Seeing Aoidhe revert to his divine form made Chune a little fearful for Fuinnog, who was remarking Aoidhe with fascination. It was true, however, what Aoidhe had said: Aoidhe had subdued Frannach and quelled the disquieting feelings of one god at least. His might was equal to that of Borras, but the patron God of Westren was too tranquil and tolerant to restrain Frannach as he ought. Fuinnog must own that his own strength, though formidable, was dreadfully moderate compared to that of a Son of Diras. He was only a relation, a feeble bough on the Divine Tree, and though he had his own abilities to recommend him as a terrible and remarkable God, his strength was not Aoidhe’s. The flames surrounding Aoidhe brizzled and burned, the ground beneath him trembled in violent trepidation, a distant rumble fulminated across the northern plains, the nearby sea stirred with furious animation, the waves thrashing against one another and battering along the coast with a deafening rote. The crepitation from Aoidhe’s incinerating flesh hissed, furloes danced along his shoulders, smoke poured off him in fuming exsibilation, and Aoidhe smouldered before Fuinnog is all his glory, revealing Himself as a true Son of Diras, a beacon of Magnificence, weltering in the fullness of his highborne Right. He loomed over Fuinnog and exhaled, black smoke streamed out from his nose and mouth, his eyes and alae flaring, and Fuinnog’s arms began to radiate, an incanesent light weaving a feathery loom. Wings threaded with moonbeams painted a phantasmagoria across a blackened sky, and Aoidhe’s fists erupted in flame, the two Gods boasting their own claims without diminishing those of the other.