Horse forms are as natural as water to kelpies. He doesn’t need to teach her that.
For their first outing, Niseag chooses a similar form so that familiarity can help bring it together. He steps out of the water near Drumnadrochit on cloven hooves, a red backed king with a fourteen point crown. Little Nis masters her long legs and bounds ahead, the spots flowing over her back like the first snowflakes of the year.
They run with the wild herds from the woods of Delshangie all the way through to Lochletter before little Nis begins to tire. Niseag leads her to the banks of Meiklie to rest: the tiny loch is the most peaceful area he knows. Little Nis dozes while Niseag wanders the south bank. He knew Meiklie once, the little merrow child that named the loch. A fishtailed half-breed, her father dead, her mother returned to the sea. She is long gone, but her touch remains in the quietude of the still water.
They sleep the night beneath Meiklie’s trees and start the next day on velvet feet, hunting shadows beneath the pines of Lochletter. Nis struggles with the lynx shape, and Niseag can’t help laughing at her long legged, maned kitten. It’s an admirable effort for a foal regardless and he praises her for it once he has apologised for laughing.
By the end of the day, it is impossible to tell Nis from any other tuft eared kitten. Niseag is astonished.
Trickster blood. He knew it would show through.
He ups the ante the next day, to see if she can keep up. They climb to the top of the tallest pine as red squirrels (though Nis still has lynx ears in minature) and he shows her how to take wings and feathers as her own and break the bonds of gravity. They start as blackbirds, flitting between the trees, and ride the evening thermal as a falcon and his fledge, rising to heaven then folding into a bullet and diving for earth.
They run the next day as deer again, though Niseag indulges herself and runs as a hind with her fawn. She doesn’t comment that the fawn at her side begins the day as a doe and ends it as a buck. It isn’t a trick for capall uisge: she hadn’t even considered trying to teach Nis. Nis shouldn’t have been able to do it.
Godlings aren’t common in the North. The Southern pantheons might have seeded heirs like they seeded fields, but the North guarded its blood more jealously. Niseag herself was likely the closest to a god the Northern lore came near to anymore.
She tries not to let it bother her. Niseag is an old creature, the eldest of the each uisge. It takes a lot to spook her. She knows that anomalies occur among those with a touch of God in their veins, but if Nis is already so capable-
Nis grins at her with poison green eyes and doesn’t understand why she doesn’t smile back.