[image description: A bight-red figure with curved horns, long satyr-like legs and hooved feet, and a long pointed tail sits on a wide carved wooden set wearing trousers and a thin waistcoat. They bear a sword in their right hand that sits horizontally across their lap, they wear a large necklace of faience scarabs over a largely bare chest, a glowing cigarette whose smoke is green in the bright garish sidelight. A briefcase sits to their right. Text reads, “208, CONTRAXION, Small God of ‘Work for Hire’”]
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There is nothing wrong with spending time in their service, providing you first read the fine print and understand how much of yourself you’re signing away. Your time, your work, your talents…everything is on the table. And in a world where we have to work if we want to eat, there’s nothing empirically WRONG with that. We do what we have to do. We keep body and soul together as long as we can, and we try and we try and they are always there. They are always ready to take what we have, whether or not it’s what we can afford to give.
They carry a double-edged sword. You can create great things in their service, lines of timeless beauty, works of deathless art, and they will give you the safety net to make those things possible, but those things will never truly belong to you. What happens in their service remains in their service. If you know that, if you go in with open eyes and a willing heart, they may still eat you alive, but at least you’ll feel you got the better of the deal all the way down into the dark.
And it is very dark. The depths are filled with those who didn’t read the fine print, who died hungry while people thronged to attend the premieres of movies based on their creations, who fought bitter battles for credit they would never receive. Be careful in the presence of Contraxion. Watch your step; read before you sign. Know, all the while, what you are doing, and while they may not treat you kindly, they will still have the potential to treat you well.
There is nothing stopping them from treating you well.
Just make sure you get paid.
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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: