Full Item Description
There are three of the Teneschal Masks. Each is a different face, although they appeared to be created by the same artist. They are carved from what appears to be a single piece of some thin, dark wood, the undersides of which have been worn smooth as if from great use. The faces are painted with great care and attention to detail, and use the finest materials.
The Soldier’s Mask depicts a young man with stern features that lead to the name given to it. Gold has been inlaid to create the eyes (the eyeholes being concealed), and fine gold wire has been formed into locks of hair. A flake of obsidian has been carefully carved into the shape of a key and inlaid on the forehead.
The Maiden’s Mask is the face of a beautiful and demure young woman. Her eyes are jade inlays, and her smiling mouth looks like it was created from rose petals. Copper wire forms the locks of hair framing her face. Another flake of obsidian has been crafted into a star and inlaid in her forehead.
The Jester’s Mask shows a young man with an undefinable expression. His eyes are made of silver. This mask is carved in such a way that his expression seems to change from laughing to scowling. This mask also has locks of hair, but instead of being wire, they are painstakingly carved from a separate peice of ebony. There is an obsidian wheel on this mask’s forehead.
There are no strings or straps on the masks to hold them to a person’s face, although small holes near the edges indicate there once were. Any detailed inspection will indicate that these masks are very, very old, but still in excellent condition.
A long time ago, when the gods still walked the world, there was a place marked by an immense black mirror. This was a solid piece of black glass so old that even the gods didn’t know where it had come from. Men avoided it, saying that to meet the gaze of a reflection in the black mirror was to die.
There was only one who dared to look into the mirror, and that was the god Tychis, the master of secrets, who was still young in that age. He knew what others did not; that the black mirror was the sealing stone that held back the primal chaos. Perhaps it was the unformed spirit of evil that whispered to him, perhaps it was just another secret he knew. But one way or another, he learned that the primal chaos held the only secrets he did not know. So, without telling anyone, he ventured to the mirror and looked into the eyes of his reflection.
He never spoke to anyone of what he saw, not even his mother Larisa, she who sees all. But he fled soundlessly away, and did not notice that his reflection remained and stepped out of the mirror. Thus was born Jalix, the master of lies, madness, and murder. In his madness, Jalix laughed and laid a trap for the gods Mynis, the guardian of the gates and Desha, she who protects, brother and sister of his brighter self. He tricked them into looking into their reflections in the black mirror as well. Thus were born Sianix, the lord of destruction, war, and greed, and Tamile, lady of famine, disease, and jealousy.
The battle between the gods is a tale for another time, but Tychis, Mynis, and Desha were triumphant with the aid of their allies. The black mirror was shattered, and with it the dark reflections of the three gods. However, there was a spark of divine power in all of them, and they were not completely destroyed. The gods collected the shards of the reflections, and sealed them away. The seals took the form of masks which were carefully guarded. However, the influence of the dark reflections slipped through, and the masks were lost.
Each of the three masks has a shard of the evil gods sealed within it, in the form of the obsidian inlays (each symbol corresponds to the sigil of the individual god that was reflected). The Soldier’s Mask contains Sianix, the Maiden’s Mask contains Tamile, and the Jester’s Mask contains Jalix. The seals prevent the dark reflections from manifesting as long as the masks are left alone.
However, if a mask is ever held to someone’s face or put on, the sealed god will be able to manifest in the body of the unfortunate victim, turning them into an avatar. If one is released, they will immediately start working to awaken avatars of the other two. Once all three have been awakened, they will then turn their attention to pursuing their individual interests, with the ultimate goal of plunging the world into chaos.
The avatars will naturally assume the personality characteristics of the individual gods. Sianix is a bloodthirsty warrior who will often be found at the head of a group of mercenaries or raiders rampaging out of control, destroying what they can’t take. Tamile is a cold, manipulative personality, who thinks nothing of seducing anyone and everyone and causes those around her to do horrible things as a way to gain her affections. Jalix is a lunatic; his methods usually only make sense to him and he will do anything he finds amusing, which often tends to result in some form of serial killings.
If they are acting through mortal avatars, the evil gods will not be as powerful as they once were. They are also vulnerable to injury from normal weapons, although resistant to it. Mortal shells are not meant to hold the twisted power the dark reflections are made of, and are quickly burned out and die. If the avatar dies (or if the mask is somehow removed), the seals will trap the god again. The mask will revert to being nothing but a decorative and more or less harmless object.
The masks were created with divine power, and, as such, they would be very hard to destroy. Of course, if something is created, it can be destroyed, and there is bound to be some way to destroy the Teneschal Masks. The problem is, no one knows what will happen if they are destroyed. One possibility is that destroying the Masks will destroy the last remaining shards of the gods sealed within them. The other possibility is that such an act will just destroy the seals, and that the dark reflections will be able to manifest fully. No one is really willing to chance it, either way.
((More in depth write ups of the gods coming soon to a sub near you!))