Many magic items and ancient treasures are said to exist in the Gulf, and rumors about them abound and many ancient tomes grant clues to their location. Given the significance of today’s date, today we will look at 13 types of masks thought to be lying in wait in the Gulf, waiting for brave adventurers to find them.
The Mask of Power
This mask was broken into 5 shards in time immemorial, yet even its shards contain great power. It has been said that the full mask’s power is such that it can even make the greatest wish of its wearer come true. Wars were fought as kingdoms brought their armies to bear to try to claim that power for themselves, yet none were able to gather all five shards.
Records tell that the Saint-Hero Lucius managed to gather the four shards of Asila, and set sail for the Cursed continent to find the 5th. Many rumors exist about his point of landing and ultimate fate, but many modern scholars believe the Gulf is a fairly likely destination, and perhaps not only Lucius’ four shards, but the 5th shard exists in the Gulf as well…
Hood of the Just Executioner
It is said that these hoods were once the final appeal measure of an ancient magical empire, many know this empire once was active in the Gulf region, but it is unclear how many of these hoods still exist. The hood is an ancient cloth executioners hood, embroidered with various runes to invoke their ancient god of justice. The hood is not see-through, even for the wearer, so any wearing it is effectively blind.
That said, if the wearer declares a specific crime (IE, “Murder of John Smith of Main Street” and not merely “Murder”) and that the sentence for that crime is death, they may swing their blade and if the guilty is within their reach, their blade will find their neck without fail. The wearer of the hood can not kill or permanently harm those innocent of the declared crime (though they may be guilty of other crimes), but it is said that getting hit with their blade still really hurts.
The King’s Mask
The story goes that a King of long ago feared that he was being targeted by assassins. In order to better protect himself, he commissioned the greatest mages of the time to create an item that would fool any assassin coming for him. The an enchanted mask was the result of their research. A mask that would allow any of the King’s bodyguards to appear to be the King’s exact double. So good was the enchantment that none could even tell the bodyguard was wearing a mask until it was removed. Ironically, the King ended up being killed by a conspiracy of his own bodyguards, each of them taking a turn with the mask to live as the King. Some versions of the story end with the bodyguards turning on each other and them all ending up just as dead, but many agree the mask is very real.
The wearer of the King’s Mask assumes the form of a human man in his early 40s with long blonde hair, green eyes and a regal bearing. His facial features look vaguely foreign to the Salvati, but not too different from their countrymen. The illusion is quite convincing and stands up to even touch and most common magical detection (although those who know the trick could still remove the mask if given the opportunity). While in the past this mask was used to imitate a King, only the most well versed scholars of history are likely to recognize the form the wearer assumes as such, in effect, this allows the wearer to assume a second identity while the mask is worn, with little fear of their disguise being seen through. Of course, because they assume the same form every time, there is a decent chance that their second form will gain a bad reputation as well. When removed, the king’s mask looks like a clay imitation of the ancient king.
Mask of the Lord of Ages
Contrary to the other masks listed here, the Mask of the Lord of Ages is not thought to have magical properties. It is said that this Mask was once the symbol of office for the Lord of all the Elves, made of crystallized light of the first stars, it is a treasure beyond value. The story goes that the Mask was stolen by the Lord’s brother, one of the first elves to have turned to the paths of spite and one of the first of the Dark Elves. This kicked off a great battle which eventually lead to the Dark Elves retreating underground, but the mask was lost. The elves of the Elda Spires have long believed the mask is in this land, but it says an ancient Dark Elf curse prevents any elf from finding it. To return the Mask to the Elves would earn their eternal gratitude, but the right buyer might be willing to pay something more tangible than gratitude for it…
Mask of the Forge
The Dwarves have a lost mask of their own. While Dwarven craftsmen regularly use forge masks to protect themselves from the heat of their mighty forges, THE Mask of the Forge is on a whole other level. It is said that a Dwarf wearing nothing but the Mask of the Forge could use his bare hands to shape a blade in the very heart of a volcano and not even singe the hair of his knuckles. It is even said to resist dragon-fire and the fires of hell called forth by demons. The Mask of the Forge will not make anyone a master craftsman, but true dwarven artisans could probably use it to create a masterpiece the likes of which have not be seen in a Gigashift.
Mask of Spirit Sight
Appearing as a death mask of a nondescript person, the eyes of this mask have a green-blue filter over them. While worn, this mask allows the wearer to see into the world of magic and spirits. Viewing magic auras, leylines, and various spirit and fey activity. Often this can make viewing the physical realm at the same time very difficult.
Mask of the Beast
Treasures of the Kalotti, Mask of the Beast is a special magic known only to them. Warriors who have undergone special spiritual trials overseen by the the village elders will, as their final ritual, venture out into the wilds of the gulf and craft a mask imbued with the spirit of a wild beast. While more recent arrivals to the Gulf might be quick to dismiss this as superstition, the Masks due seem to grant the wearers some aspects of the animal they represent.
The Kalotti are also Salvati by origin, just removed by many generations of tradition, so it would not be impossible for one to learn this technique if they were to gain the trust of the Kalotti.
Veil of Secrecy
Thought to be crafted by spies from an ancient nation of the nearby desert, the Veil of Secrecy is an opaque Veil that covers the nose and mouth. The Veil is said to have two unique powers. The first, is that the holder of the veil can make copies of the veil if they have any reasonable skill and supplies to make clothing. These copies will crumble to dust in a week’s time, but they have all the same powers as the initial Veil, including the ability to make additional copies (which always last a week no matter if they were made from a copy or the original). The second power is that the wearer of the veil can speak in such a manner that all the wearers of the veil (whether copies or original) can hear them, and no one else can.
While this allows any number of people to communicate secretly, if any outside party gets their hands (even for just a short while) on one of the Veils, they may continue to make copies and listen in on these communications without anyone else knowing about it.
Looking like a highly decorated helmet, this mask is said the embody the spirit of an ancient hero. It is said it makes your fist strike like iron, and can inspire others to acts of greatness for a just cause. It is thought to only work for those of noble hearts.
Domino of the Assassin
This unassuming black half-mask is said to have once belonged to the Saint-Hero known only by her criminal alias of Reine Noire. The “Hero” in Saint-Hero has long been held to mean one who has accomplished great deeds, not merely heroic deeds, but Noire’s status as one is still a sore point among many of the nobility. In particular, this is due to her having been known to assassinate at least four monarchs and dozens of minor nobles for reasons that are unclear to this day. Some hold her up as a folk hero, believing her to be striking against tyranny, others believe she did it as a test of her own skills, or for the fun of it, while others believe she was just well paid.
Regardless, it is said that her Domino imparts some of her skills on the wearer, allowing them to look as though they belong in places they do not, and strike deadly blows on the unsuspecting.
The Bloody Wedding Veil
A man slain while at the alter. His bride fueled with rage and a desire for vengeance. Tracks the killers down takes justice into her own hands.
The exact details of this tale, including whether the bride succeeds or fails, vary with every telling. Many however believe there is some truth to it, and her bloody wedding veil still exists and is ready to empower whoever wears it with a spirit of vengeance (and all the brutality that entails)
The Serpent’s Hood
Some believe this is just a Kalotti Beast Mask, yet the Kalotti claim it is a vile thing, and never make their beast masks out of snakes. The Serpent’s Hood goes over the head goes over the head and covers the eyes. It is said to give the wearer snake-like senses, the ability to command snakes, and to spit poison. It is also said that the longer you wear it, the more snake-like you become…
Mask of the Necromancer
Made out of the front part of a skull of unknown origin, this mask is coveted by those who wish to raise and command the dead. It is said that with it, even a novice could animate and command skeletal and zombie minions. In the hands of one who has already mastered the black arts however, it might grant them the power to raise an army.
Current PaDC score: 31/31
Happy Halloween everyone! I’ll likely have a bit of a reflection piece on how this challenge went in a few days!