[image description: A salmon colored alien with purple stripes, fantastic barbles, and some kind of chitinous armor speaks. His word balloon says “It’s a part!” Text reads, “33, Amildar Backar, The Small God of Dyslexic Actors”]
People assume that he is a modern god, born in some way from political correctness and the move toward including people with learning disabilities in all spaces.
Those people don’t know much about the theater.
When the first sagas were recited by bards, poets, and scalds, he was there, cradled in the oral tradition, half-formed and still making his presence known. He is not a god of malapropisms or mondegreens, but they were born in the same moments, in the same quick-scratched notes and misunderstood instructions. He grew strong on stages where there were no scripts, and his faithful were often unknown, unremarked, as revered for their skills as any others.
When the first plays were written down and performed, he was there in dark backstage rooms and smoky taverns, helping his faithful memorize their lines as their peers called them back, repeat and respond, receive and remember. His faithful were still often unknown, but honored when they were, for how loudly must they hear the call of the stage, to not only learn to read, but fight through its attendant inconveniences?
He is a patron of the arts, and he loves his faithful, every one. They may not have had a choice in their dyslexia, but they had a choice in their professions, and he will be there to hold their scripts and help them run their lines, to recite with them the things that must be memorized and remind them there’s no peril in the patter. They’ve been here since the beginning, after all.
And so has he.
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: