This is a good question, and it’s one that I had to answer early on when developing the sprites if I wanted to get anywhere, since they can live in wintry climates just as often as warmer ones. The sprites do use a Prayer to get warmth, though it has some caveats to it. They have to be Praying over a living tree, and preferably one that has already been influenced by the Prayers to shape it into a home. It can heat up the wood and, depending on the shape they are using, provide the heat they need for boiling water for tea or baking pastries (usually acorn flour pastries, but this depends on what’s available to the sprites; some can get actual wheat).
For a demonstration of the use of this, there’s a reference to it in my short story “Keeping Warm” (x). I’ll also provide a snippet from an unfinished story below, featuring an herbalist named Kayra and her son, Cress.
Kayra kept herself busy, working quickly to get something ready for the poor sprout. The child may have improved in leaps and bounds since she’d first heard his worrisome coughing, but there was a quiet urgency in her movements. Kayra couldn’t stand to let the boy suffer any longer than he had to. She took the water from Cress and carefully poured it into her basin of crushed up dried plants.
She didn’t even have to ask before Cress was at her side with a smooth, straight stick that Kayra took with a grateful smile. She ruffled his hair before setting to mixing the solution in the water, giving the liquid a cloudy, greyish-green color.
Next came a slightly trickier step. Kayra was exhausted, but she had enough energy in her to say a Prayer that most sprites knew by necessity. She placed her hands on the counter top on either side of her basin of water. “Earth Spirit, Lady of Life. I ask for warmth.” As the Spirit’s magic flowed through Kayra into the living tree surrounding them, the sprite took a deep breath, held it for a few seconds, and sighed.
Trees were hard to shape into homes or stairs, due to their stalwart natures. They changed their shapes only after a sprite put in a lot of time and energy, but it wasn’t nearly as difficult to influence them to direct heat. The basin and the counter top around it grew hot and Kayra took her hands away, stirring the concoction occasionally.
Cress inhaled a deep breath as the medicine’s scent began to creep into the main room. He padded over to a shelf near the dining table, warped crevices dipping into the wall. He retrieved some wooden bowls and his wings fanned opened and closed a few times as he resumed helping his mother.
It only took a few more minutes for Kayra to nod in approval to herself. The broth was ready. She saw Cress waiting patiently with bowls and smiled at him. “Sweet boy. Thank you,” she told him. In moments the medicine was portioned out. The sprites approached the weary, bundled up guests, each with a container cradled in their hands.