While similar in appearance to sprites, the fire sprite is more closely related to the will-o’-the-wisp. Typically appearing as a small humanoid made of fire, they are often accused of starting forest fires.
Fire sprites are a little known species often blamed for wild fires. While they often are found at the scenes of large fires and occasionally volcanic eruptions, They have minimal abilities to cause fires themselves. It is more likely they are drawn to an area with active flames.
Some sightings of will-o’-the-wisps may in fact be fire sprites flitting through the trees at night.
Traits and Behavior
Fire sprites are small flame creatures that usually take a humanoid shape with wings, though some prefer no wings, or even animal and other creatures shapes. They will usually appear yellow or orange, and from a distance appear to be a floating candle. Some very few sprites appear as blue flames, usually only in proximity to a large fire. They give off heat the same as a flame, and can light objects on fire by touching them.
Up close, they do not have clearly defined features, only the rough appearance of limbs and body, but can clearly see in both daylight and darkness. They are most active at night, but it is not uncommon for them to be seen in bright sunlight.
Their habitats vary, as they are often found in volcanic areas, or areas prone to burning such as grasslands and some forests. Despite the natural heat, they are not often seen in deserts or similarly hot environments; they are somewhat dependent on there being the possibility of fire.
Sprites feed off of the smoke, ash and heat from fire. They can light their own, by lighting grasses and leaves alight on their own, or they can feed off a natural fire or extreme heat source. There are some reports of fire sprites being found in nuclear reactors. Whether fire sprites actually light wildfires or are simply drawn to them as a food source is not known, and it could be a combination of both. If a large number of fire sprites gather in one area (that is not currently burning), the area will be unseasonably warm and bright; the sprites themselves appear in a larger number of colors than usual. Some sources indicate fire sprites appear different colors when directly in a fire even when they are alone, so this change in color in groups could be a result of the higher temperature.
Fire sprites do not appear to have a spoken language, and how they communicate is not known. As sprites are very sensitive to temperature changes, a temperature based form of communication has been proposed, but not substantiated.
It is unknown if fire sprites have communities, or even if they sleep in any recognizable sense. They are only ever seen in fire form, and as this form will light a surface on fire if exposed, it is possible they can only sleep or rest while within a fire already.
There is some speculation that fire sprites are in fact wisps, and the different forms are simply different chosen appearances. However, fire sprites are not known to lead travelers astray or linger in magical areas as will-o’-the-wisps are, and the similarities appear to be mostly appearance based, not behavior based. Wisps are also not known to give off any form of heat. The possibility cannot be completely discounted, however.
As individuals, a fire sprite can be scared off or possibly killed by extreme cold or being submerged in water. Throwing a bucket of water at one will scare it off, and they do appear to leave rather than linger or try to get revenge for the treatment. Larger groups can be scared off with larger volumes of water, and sprites do not appear to congregate in places with large amounts of water available for this purpose.
If a fire has already started, fire sprites will not be easily deterred, as they are feeding off the flames and will often prioritize feeding over leaving. So long as the fire is burning, it is unlikely you will be able to remove the sprites.