Not every small god is a pleasant one, or serves a pleasant purpose.
His domain is narcissistic and cruel. He demands obeisance while doing nothing to earn it beyond existing, which in his mind should be enough. He deserves to be worshipped because he wants to be worshipped, his logic holds forth; he deserves the world because he wants the world. If he wants it, he deserves it, and there is no rhyme and there is no reason and there is no reasoning with him, because he can never be satiated, he can never be fulfilled, and he can never be convinced that he has enough. He will never, never have enough.
He began as a god of self-esteem and acceptance, ironically enough, summoned into being by those with thinning hair who worried it would make them less attractive in the eyes of their fellows. In this regard he is kin to Tesla and to Polly, although they would not claim him if questioned. But sadly, those who chose him as their patron all too often carried with them pride and denial, refusing to accept the reality of their situation, and he began to change.
He has never been innocent. Don’t think we credit him with that. But he was less harmful, once, than he became.
As he gathered more worshippers and learned to reshape himself to fit their needs, he grew in strength and in viciousness, until his manifestation was complete, and he walked the world a colossus of pride and greed and endless hunger. Too many mock him for the things outside his control, call him fat or old as if those things are somehow greater crimes than his actions, and thus obfuscate the reality of the danger he presents.
For he is a seductive god. He will tell you that you, too, do not have enough; that you deserve to desire more. And if you listen, he will make you believe it.
Artist Lee Moyer (13th Age, Cursed Court) 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: