[image description: A strange segmented blue metal being sits cross-legged and floating. Points rising from its knees, elbows, shoulders, and head, and a scarf/cape hangs from behind its shoulders. It holds a glowing largely-orange orb in its lap and many other such orbs orbit around it. Behind it, a green flare, and in the lower left, Hummel (who can’t quite think of what to say). Text reads, “200, PROMYTHEUS, the small god of NEW GODS”]
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They have always been, and they do not care for the beliefs of mortals. We are as motes of dust to them, inconsequential, save in the immune response we can sometimes summon from the universe. When it breathes us in too deeply, when it inhales too many of our kind, it sneezes, and the results are not tissues and chicken soup.
The results are gods.
When these cosmic sneezes occur, Promytheus is there, ready to gather the new divinities close and nurture them until they waken to their place in the pantheon. They care for their charges with the utmost delicacy, protecting them from the mortals as well as from the other gods, for newly-born gods are fragile things, still settling into themselves. Too many are lost at this stage.
Miss Dixie, small god of kitten rescue, has often commented that she and Promytheus are siblings of a kind, both fighting to keep tiny things alive when the universe may have other intentions for them. Like kittens, very new gods are not very good at keeping themselves together, and must be fought for constantly. They are delicate. (Miss Dixie’s actual sibling, Anthro Paul, small god of animal rescue, has very little to say about his sister’s attempts to adopt other gods. They’re like kittens. She won’t be happy until every one of them has a home.)
As for Promytheus themself, they seem to be content with their lot, with the constant rounds of bottles and incubators, fighting against the odds to nurture generations of gods who, once they are ready to move into the world on their own, will never look back, never remember how tiny they once were, or how much they needed the love and care of the god who protected them when they were weakest. Promytheus is fulfilling their purpose, and we who are their acolytes honor them well enough to sustain them.
They are not much believed in for themselves, but they are well believed in, and well-appreciated, for the terminus of all their labor.
Without them, so many others would not be.
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Join Lee Moyer (Icon) and Seanan McGuire (Story) Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a guide to the many small deities who manage our modern world: