They call on him so much more than they ever realize.
Want a car to start? Want an engine to fire, an egg to cook, a cigarette to light? Want to go through your life without being wreathed in a halo of brief, brilliant fire, burning away to nothing in the moments between the cinder and the scream? You call upon Smaurs, for without his grace, the fire goes where it will, does what it will, untamable. He is not a god of fire per se, leaves that act of terrible creation to greater forces than his own, but the control of fire? The application of fire? That’s entirely on his beautifully scaled shoulders.
They call on him so much more than they ever realize, and he rewards them with days unblistered, with hours unimmolated, with the knowledge of what it is to exist without burning. He loves them, in his distant way, for when they were children…
When they were children, they were his. No one calls upon a god of perfectly applied flame more often or more clearly than a child just embracing the catch and the candle, just learning how to angle a magnifying glass or light a match. He has sat at millions of campfires, marshmallow sticky on his claws, glorying in the taste of chocolate and graham and the sweet, bright wonder of young things on the verge of catching fire in their hands for the very first time.
They will grow to serve other gods, greater means of destruction, other ways of burning. But when they are children, they are his, and when they are his, he may do as any god does, and attend to his worshippers as they so ardently request.
In his claws, the marshmallows never burn, and neither do the hands that hold them.
It is the best protection he can give.
Artist Lee Moyer (The Doom That Came to Atlantic City, Starstruck) and author Seanan McGuire (Middlegame, Every Heart a Doorway) have joined forces to bring you icons and stories of the small deities who manage our modern world, from the God of Social Distancing to the God of Finding a Parking Space.
Join in each week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a guide to the many tiny divinities: