The Worship of Danu has changed over time. Originally, the worship of Danu, was a worship of faith, rather than respect/ miracle. The worshipers were magically transported to Arth, a world of many spirit beings. Upon travelling to Arth, they accepted that there were new and mighty spirits to respect, but continued to worship Danu and the principle of Masque. Now, they have found that the master of masques exists in Arth. Their worship empowers Danu and in turn, he empowers his priests. Most KnownWorlders do not understand why the MaskLanders would worship a mere master. They do not understand the word Masque.
The Worship of Danu has changed over time. Originally, the worship of Danu, was a worship of faith, rather than respect/ miracle. The worshipers were magically transported to Arth, a world of many spirit beings. Upon travelling to Arth, they accepted that there were new and mighty spirits to respect, but continued to worship Danu and the principle of Masque. Now, they have found that the master of masques exists. Their worship empowers Danu and in turn, he empowers his priests. Most KnownWorlders do not understand why the MaskLanders would worship a mere master. They do not understand the word Masque.
Masque is the controlling abstract for the physical noun masks. In the MaskLander's home tongue, mask/ masque has many additional meanings beyond what a ThirdLander might mean by the word mask. The most important of which is the appearance of all things that are different than their core. 'Nothing is what it seems on the outside' is the easiest way to view it. Thus Masques are somewhat deceptive and that one should never assume that what something is, is what it is truly is.
They use the name Danu for the Master of Masques. Danu is a deceiver (hiding truths), a revealer (exposing truths), teacher (leading those to truth), and the core of which the natural universe we can sense is merely a mask for what is really there. In short, Danu is associated with Ge-Em, the aloof primal god that formed the universe but does not seem to be very involved in things.
Part of the worship of Danu is the wearing of masks and disguises, which are both concealing and revealing. There is a complex iconary that MaskLanders use to express aspects of their inner self externally. Only one's family or confidants are allowed to see one without their mask. The various ranks of society wear different levels of masques.
Note: Danu Worshipers have there own magics tied to the religion of Danu.
Each person can learn 'heart magic' or spells tied to their inner self. (The higher their rank, the more likely that they know these charms). These spells amplify those inner aspects and give them outer form. If one is a hawk, one can learn heart magic to enhance ones eyesight, increase one's grip or ability to leap, and even fly. General magics are not normally practiced by Danu worshipers, but are not prohibited.
The Priestly class takes those who are of appropriate leanings. (If one is born to a priest, but does not become a priest, they will revert to the class of their father or forefather). The Priests are masterful psychologists, spiritual interpreters, and are known for creating intricate riddles, puzzles, and alagorical stories. They attempt to teach others the complexity of Danu. It is all about teaching wisdom and greater understanding of the world around people.
The kind of mask you can wear is determiend by your rank in society. MaskLanders have a very regimented feudal society of obligations and duty. So you can tell who someone is by what they are wearing.
Priests wear robes that completely cover their bodies and faces. They have meshes that cover their eyes (only slightly obscuring their vision) and their blank robed faces have a pocket like slits that food and drink can be slipped through. They wear gloves and boots. No one is allowed to see their visage after they are accepted into the priesthood. They also have no name, just Priest.
Peasants wear simple cloth masks and what ever clothes they have (usually a tunic and a pair of silk tights). These masks normally drape from the forehead, with eye cut outs, but other variations exist. Many of these are highly decorated with the assistance of priests, to show elements of themselves.
Merchants wear nicer versions of what peasants wear, soft masks and appropriate clothes. Some Merchants have taken to wearing costumes to enhance themselves. Most are reminicent of a harliquin, but others look more like halloween costumes. In fits of Hubris, some merchants are taking to making elaborate built up masks made of 'soft materials'.
Those of the Skilled Class, wear solid masks. These are made from a variety of materials, though intricately wood seems to be the most common. The Skilled classes tend to wear clothing appropriate to their various crafts in addition to their masks. They have a tendancy to coordinate their clothing with their mask, creating the costume/ uniform concept that pervades MaskLand.
Between the Skilled Class and the Noble Class is that of the Warrior rank. There are skilled warrior who work for nobles and lesser nobles who are also knights to greater nobles. Warriors constantly wear their warrior's regalea, fancy armor with a full face helm (usually with horns or addornment) with their weapons. These warrior's armors are combinations of plate, mail, strong layers of MaskLand silk (which seems to be blak lyrca) holding things together and quieting the metal clinking. They are quite exotic looking.
Note: That the arts of war and command are the province of the noble class. Most warriors are lesser nobles, and will choose to dress like nobles in many cases. It is only skilled warriors of non noble line that always wear their armor.
Those of the Noble Class are the most visable of the MaskLanders. In fact, when people say 'MaskLander' people think of the nobles. Typically they are wearing full body suits of MaskLander Silk (a black lyrca-esk fabric), accesorized with fur, feathers, padded shoulders, and exotic character boots. Their faces are carefully painted. Traditionally, a white field of the face is adorned with appropriate symbolic facepaint. They make quite a sight. These costumes and masks carefully enhance the noble's masque. (Also note that they will have 1-10 magical charms based on their masque).
For Example: A Noble who is a 'cat', would have a black cat nose, wiskers, and the shape of cat's eyes pained in black on their whitened faces. Their suit would be black, with fur around the neck and wrists, and cat clawed boots and gloves. (The noble's charms would include seeing in darkness, dexterity, magic claws, talking with cats, super balance, and the ability to summon/ manipulate cats).
For Example: A female noble who personifies Love, might have their suit dyed a red tone. She will have a star over her right eye (showing her eye for emotion). There may be a heart cut out in the center of her bosom. Her boots might be thigh high and have a 'heart' motif. Any other accessories would have a similar heart motif. (Her charms would be toward empathic awareness and manipulation, possibly the ability to fortell someone's fate (to see if they are to have love)).
Yes, if you know the RockBand Kiss, they will look a lot like a fully decked out member of the Kiss Army who are portraying themselves.
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? Responses (7)
SO, basically, a Maskland warrior looks like Gene Simmons with a sword?
This is more appropriate for the ARTH THREAD or soon to be coming Arth Setting.
A MaskLander Noble might look like Gene Simons, if his spirit was that of a demon dragon. If he was carrying a sword. He might also have charms that grant him dragon/ demon wings, firey breath, a firey sword, and giant size.
A MaskLander Warrior with the demon/ dragon avatar would be a stylized set of platmail, with demonic visage on the helm and monsterous adornments upon the armor. He would have the fireblade charms, possibly a fireblast though it as well. The Warriors never really show their faces, they keep them behind their helms at all times, showing them only to intimate family members... if them.
Question: How do the Masklanders deal with attempts to carry fake Masques? Don't tell there are customs or laws prohibiting this (there probably are), this is the prime candidate if someone wants to wreak havoc around here, commit crimes, spy on others and whatnot. Even if the locals wouldn't do it, strangers would surely try.
Another question better in the Arth area.
MaskLanders would not wear incorrect masks. Not because it is tradition, but because these masks are exprssions of their soul. So do you want to be caught lying to your God? Especially a God in a magically and deity active world?
Also for nobles, warriors, and those who utilize mask magics, wearing the wrong mask means you have no access to magic. (You can only utilize mask magics appropriate to you, not the item you are wearing).
If you are wearing the wrong kind of mask, those above or below your station, it normally shows in terms of body language and voice. These people are adept at dealing with masked people, so they search all the 'other clues' that we would find in the face.
Wearing a mask that is different than you should, that is your own perogerative. The mask expresses your truer identity, your spirit. It can change, though that is not too common.
Using a different mask to commit fraud (lying about your identity or claiming class privaleges), if caught, holds fairly stiff penalties, including, but not limited to, public exposure (a person in a small cage -most people have to crouch, but it is too small to kneel or sit, who is totally naked of clothing and no mask on their face (except maybe a mark of a criminal on your butt, chest, or forehead) in a public place for a couple of days, if not weeks or months), shunning, stripping of what rank you do have, and of course fines and imprisonment.
A society of masks is used to dealing with masked figures. They do not have the problems identifying people wearing masks that we would, they do it every day... since they were young. Danu's worship is all about truth, how it is hidden, how it is exposed, how it is twisted, how it learned, and so on. So they are adept as looking for the other clues of idenity, voice and language (and how it is obscured), motion (how a person moves), size, shape, and so on. To become someone else and fool MaskLanders or Danu worshipers, it would practically require you to become the someone else.
If someone can successfully pull off the wearing of an incorrect mask/ identity, then perhaps that mask is correct for them? (it might be ruled that you should become that person).
Remember also that these people understand spying stealth and misdirection. They leave in the 'theatre of the world' to use the metaphor. Truth and all its variations are coin of the realm here.
A mask obscures their physical features (the material), yet also reveals more about the true self (exposing more of the truth), so it is a split between the two poles.
Does this make sense to you?
I find it very difficult to comment on this one. It is packed with so much information that is good I really don't know where to begin. This is more a setting to me than an actual religion I feel. It's good and detailed. I love the different mask concept and the fact that it almost tells your station.
In many cases, religion and culture are so intertwined that they are inseperatable. Everything is not as seperate as they are in America or most of the Western Nations. Thus the flood of information.
You could follow another sect of Danu worshipers, especially those not on Arth, that have all the philosphy, but only wear masks on holy days or when confronting their God... dealing with their masque. (There would be much riddling in that culture).
So yes, this does get a bit more complicated than many religious posts. However, when ever religion is involved, things are normally complicated.
Very interesting read! Masks, religions, heart-magic. Details and nuances galore!