[image description:  A portrait of a very pointy being. They have a sharp elfin face, golden eyes, long pointed ears, luscious red lips, a deep brown widow’s peak, and even-sharper green brown nouveau armor and tiara. A five-petalled pink flower with a yellow center nestles atop their sternum. Text reads, “202, THORN, the small god of PROTECTING FRAGILE BEAUTY”]

• • • • •

Some beautiful things are vast and impossibly sturdy.  Mountains are beautiful.  So is the sky.  So are tigers, rainbows, Saturday afternoons.  Beauty comes in many forms and levels of resilience, and while all beauty must be protected, not all of it requires its own good.  Daniel, small god of tigers, spends less time protecting his charges and more time trying to convince them not to hunt and eat people.  Iris, small god of rainbows, rarely has to do much in the way of protecting.  Their jobs have their own challenges, as all portfolios must, but protection is rarely a requirement.

And then there is Thorn.

She protects the delicate things, the fragile things, the beautiful things that would be all too easy to destroy.  She protects the wildflowers and the butterflies, all apart from the gods who direct those things in specific, for her protectorate is not her portfolio.  Thorn is not quite unique among the small gods, but rare, in that the things she takes her title from are not her faithful.

Oh, occasionally there may be a delicate creature who becomes aware of their benevolent protector and changes allegiances, but on the whole, that which thorn protects goes about its business unaware of her, not realizing the essential service she provides.

Thorn’s faithful are those who admire what she protects, the ones who see the necessity of her, who embrace her, sharp edges and all.  They will be here long after her protectorate as it currently exists is gone, for there is always something fragile and lovely and worthy of protection, over and over again, throughout the universe.

She will always be required.  She never rests.

She’s never seen the need.

• • • • •

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:





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