"Like most things in the cosmos- Masks were not an existing force at the start of Creation but, rather the result of Creation falling under the scrutiny of beings that were without form or connection to a world that inversely reflected their own. The beings in question are whom the Masks refer to as 'The Formless' and are ultimately the great architects and minds behind the creation of the Masks."
During the aftermath of Creation, beings whom were born with the spark of intellect and an uncanny sense of individuality came to be- ultimately the precursors of most mortal kind in current day Templehelm. In this age there were no gods to speak of; even if a being of great power had willed Creation into existence, there were no claims to the action and in time those who had formed during the event soon realized the predicament of their situation as mortals. Life for them ended and with it what they understood of existence; though this harsh reality was ultimately a form of gift able to make the time they had more precious, there were many who did not wish to lose what they had in lieu of the unknown. Quickly these precursors who were terrified of their mortality made great strives in locating a cure for what they perceived as a great flaw, and in time they would- though this would only damn them for their hubris.
Without a complete knowledge of what it would mean to ascend beyond mortal means, the beings that attempted the ritual of ascension quickly found themselves lost without the safety of their mortal tether to the physical world and quickly fell into the reflected reality aptly named the Void. (Do note that what the Masks refer to as the Void is closer to an inverse reflection of the world that existed before from the event of Creation- more aptly put Creation itself formed in defiance of the Void.) The beings that had achieved ascension had done so without proper footing within a domain nor the hearts of man and quickly found themselves lost in a reality containing no physical manifestation for them to claim leaving them to potentially be forgotten in a reality which could not support them. Gods, or what many would refer to as immortals, are beings without true physical form to tie them to the world of Creation and instead utilize domains as their tether.
Much to the terror of the newly made immortals, they found themselves in the presence of those which had been there since before the world of Creation itself. These beings were what the Masks refer to as "The Formless" and because of the intrusion in their domain The Formless quickly entrapped the would-be deities before giving them what they presented as a "life-line." For the price of their potential deity-hood The Formless would mold the immortal made precursors into beings that could bridge the gap between the Void and the world of Creation. As expected by the ancient beings, the ascended mortals quickly agreed without the hesitation that would come from a more experienced individual and ultimate gave The Formless the power to finally hold sway over a piece of Creation.
With this event came the making of the first Masks- beings bound to domain as their avenue to hold footing within the world of Creation while also existing as the proof of the power which The Formless held. Many more Masks would follow over the eons as mortals fell into the depths of the Void to then be found and offered the same deal as those before. As a result the vast array of Masks, which The Formless considered their greatest works, would accrue while the deities within creation pushed past their stages of infancy and began to come into their own as gods, some of which can today be found within Templehelm.
Masks in History
Masks are timeless beings- they are often pulled in and out of service at chaotic intervals depending on the needs and whims of their patron deity. This often results in very poor understandings of current culture, terms, language, and standings of even the followers of the deity which enthralls them and can lead to Masks either giving up on interaction with mortals or having to constantly relearn and re-acclimate after long periods of dormancy. When it comes to texts and words from the gods themselves- most of the Divine prefer to keep their usage of Masks to a need to know basis and often opting to refer to the deeds of a Mask as the will of their power so as to not confuse mortals with the innerworkings of their domain.
Masks themselves rarely attempt to make themselves known within communities in a way that could have them written about, often finding that their obscure nature often allows them to more easily achieve the goals their deity/domain has set out before them. Though this is not law among Masks and not all choose to remain incognito within the world of Creation; some Masks find themselves favoring certain sects of mortal beings that have resemblances to their own mentality and choose to openly walk among them. Even with that- it is even more rare that a Mask ever truly divulge their true nature to mortal kind for often it results in situations that put their goals in jeopardy or lead the followers of the deity they serve astray.
Masks in Play
"Masks were created as an answer to the divide between the "Void" and the world of Creation by creating a tether to a domain similar to that of true deities. Once the nature of Masks were discovered by the divine, they quickly took advantage of their similarities and used the connection between them to put the Masks under their own control; ultimately giving Masks the title of 'Tool of the Gods.' "
All Masks in existence have different strengths and skill-sets and are never replicas of one another. This nature of Masks culminates in what some could consider the most versatile tool set available to the gods, allowing for preferability and competition among the gods for the holding of such valuable assets. Many Masks have been known to be kept dormant in the hands of a deity simply to withhold the Mask from another who seeks it for it's prowess- this ultimately giving way to a quiet race for monopoly over the tools that the divine only know as a gift left behind for them to utilize.
Considering masks are constructed from the essence of those formed under the event of Creation and are in truth individuals with preferences who often have very different views, it is often found that despite being so dependent upon the security of a tethered domain that they form preferences for which domain and or deity they might serve. Though the Masks themselves cannot necessarily break free from the enthrallment of a fully realized deity they are however still fully of their own mind and are able to make decisions of how to handle the order's of their divine based on their preferences. The ideals of a Mask are not necessarily the exact same as the divine they serve and often will give way to an interesting mix of ideology from different creeds within a single Mask. Often this results in a more useful tool that can come to a resolution for a task set by their divine that they themselves may often not have seen due to their much more grounded nature within a domain.
Though Masks are rarely created today the number of active Masks are in constant fluctuation between those existing within the Void, and those existing with Creation. Deities themselves have the capability of utilizing their connection to Masks they have enthralled to summon them to Creation for their bidding to be done. Though Deities hold much sway over Masks, they cannot change the nature of a Mask and nor do they hold the ability to create Masks themselves. The attempts to do this result in beings that the Masks refer to as "Shells" whom are better referred to as constructs unable to take on advanced concepts or tasks due to their rather crude nature.
To understand the physiology of a Mask one must keep in mind the nature of those which created them; The Formless are beings without shape or true understanding of what Creation itself entails and therefor created the Masks as representations of how the interpreted physical existence. Masks are wholly represented by the face covering that performs as their tether to a domain, making the physical item itself the true "body" of a Mask while the form that wears it often being the form the Mask best thought suited to the domain it serves. The body itself often does not function as the typical Denizen of Creation- that concept in of itself would require the creators of the Masks to understand the need for biological needs and is instead a warped version that The Formless thought might be what mortals function like.
Masks require mana as sustenance to keep up their form and this often times can be gathered via the usual mortal methods of sustenance save that Masks often imbibe the materials to break it down into for what raw mana may be harbored within. Though there are other avenues this is the most common and though Masks do not need to breathe- their mask itself often cannot handle being put under harsh conditions without being forced out of Creation and back to the Void. If the body of a Mask is destroyed while leaving the Mask itself depleted of it's reserves of mana, the Mask will revert to just it's item form and be left where it has fallen for a more easy acquisition. Though a minor trait- no matter the form a Mask creates to hold it's true self they are never able to create mortal eyes for themselves as if to ensure that they will never be able to truly return to the world they once knew.
If making the attempt to manage a complete destruction of a Mask; it is known to be nearly impossibly to render the creation of The Formless into complete inertness. Often any attempt to do so simply forces the Mask out of the world of Creation and into the Void where it will sit until is either pulled on by it's enthraller or it manages to recover enough mana to make the return trip to Creation. It is to be noted that mortals who secure a Mask will often be plagued by the manifestations of the Mask itself while the item is on their person and, though it is very rare- some mortals have managed to wear Masks in order to acquire attributes the Mask itself boasts.
Most Masks find it hard to retain a singular sense of self- often opting for group terms and almost never going by specific names when referring to themselves unless they feel it pertinent to a situation. Many Masks have found themselves named by mortals who have witnessed them; this usually coming to be when mortals find themselves in need for a name for a Mask to help them understand it.
The actual material a Mask is made up of, not the body itself, is a a culmination of one's formless being, soul if you prefer, even though it typically appears as a mundane material you might find within the world of Creation. A Mask forms based on the being used to create it resulting in no Mask to ever look the exact same- though some do manage similarities.
When a Mask is in the process of being made by one of The Formless; often the Mask is made in respect to a term or concept that The Formless themselves are trying to replicate and understand; Masks are rarely made with singular uses and often are multifaceted in respect to the concept they are made in light of.
A physical characteristic shared by all Masks are the absence of eyes; the window to the soul is no longer needed as the physical representation of that attribute is the Mask itself. Note: This attribute is typically kept unsaid to mortal kind due to the disturbing nature that is the dark maws that have taken the place of where eyes once belonged.
ᚵᛥᚤ ᛡ ᛰᚡ
ᛀᛪ: ᚷᛃᚣᚱ ᚩ
Gods do not necessarily treat Masks as simple tools- and often it would be expected for gods to treat Masks on individual cases depending on how long they have been in service and how well the Mask meshes with the god's ideals. It can also be said that some gods may loathe certain Masks and refuse to utilize them out of principle for past grievances or ways the Mask may have been used against them by another divine. Ultimately the relationships between Masks and gods are quite varied on a case by case basis.
Masks are not immune to any forms of damage inherently- just about all forms of damage that would normally harm a mortal will cause the Mask to allocate more of their mana reserves into retaining their form, ultimately acting as what the game utilizes as HP. The physical form a Mask creates is comprised of a dense substance that The Formless figured matter to be that is then wrapped tightly in mana to produce form, visually taking on what could be construed as a shadow or vapor like like substance as it forms into the body the Mask creates.
Masks do not necessarily require a deity to keep their tether to a domain intact, though it does make it a great deal easier on them, and when not enthralled by a specific deity are usually forced to imbibe more often to keep up the mana required to retain presence within the world of Creation. Ultimately Masks have the potential to serve within the domain of lesser known deities or even domains which hold no tie utilizing the power of the domain itself to requisition power.
Deities are able to wrestle control of Masks from other divine, however it is much more difficult if the Mask is still able to retain it's physical form. If a god wishes for the easiest of acquisitions they often target the manifested body of the Mask until it can no longer retain a physical form besides their actual being before taking it over.
Masks often try to maintain distance from one another- though there are sometimes great gatherings they are rare and usually avoided to keep deities from fighting during. Most knowledge a Mask may have of others is when a Mask does something particularly impactful within a domain- whether it be in the aiding of a sealing or to the contribution of a large shift in power. Masks are connected to their domains in often strange ways and can find themselves affected by things thought only to effect the divine themselves.
Though this is less about Masks themselves and more their creators; The Formless by definition are inverse gods who thrive within a domain that exists only as a concept and without form ultimately finding themselves both powerless and all powerful within conceptualization. Though they may be quite powerful within their domain, The Formless much like any deity outside their domain are without much of their power. Ultimately this ensures that interaction between the reflected worlds is kept to a minimum while only beings of both realms can technically interact with both.
The world/plane that Masks refer to as the Void is not a trivial area that can be summed up with forewarning concepts- the Void is to what most would see as the inverse of Creation. Where there is light and darkness within Creation, there is but an absence within the the Plane of Concept due to it having no notion of such things. The Void is best summed up as a place of mentality, essence, and unacted possibility.