Category: Tertia Worldbuilding

The Cults of Tertia – The Remasked

The Remasked are a group that is more accurately described as a string of tragedies rather than a cult. Those who bear the name are either redeemed or reviled with no in-between. The Remasked all have tales behind the people they currently are. Hideous criminals who were born too entitled to carry morals suddenly turned over new leaves and became selfless heroes. Great people who dedicated their lives to the betterment of society fell to dark temptations on a spiraling path down to insanity. Unexpected turns in their lives brought about as if choreographed by an invisible hand.

The Remasked rarely gather together, nor are they particularly known to the people of Tertia. This is because those who are Remasked reject it as it implies a lack of control of one’s own fate. It’s maddening for these people to believe that they are trapped as mere actors for the rest of their days. Yet, only a handful of plays can be performed with individual performers. It is once this mentality settles that the Remasked gather. The exact reason why varies, perhaps they intend to work together to reclaim their stolen fates or alternatively they may accept their roles and fully immerse themselves in their living fiction. The only certainty is a grand climax to end the life of a Remasked.

Pact Dealer – Rohakoa

The faceless god, the fatestealer, Rohakoa is the director who leads the Remasked down their twisted paths. This old god binds themselves to their subjects of fascination in the same manner as a pact dealer, though not for the standard reason. Rohakoa has no interest in amassing more power, their sole obsession lies in watching the ways mortals can change. Slowly or suddenly, easily or with great difficulty. Rohakoa wishes for stories, which is why they make characters out of their pact-bound. The Remasked pact makes those bound to it particularly hard to kill so that they might continue to add more chapters to their tales. It also serves as a message from Rohakoa, that they are always watching and can always take control.

Notable Members

Withered Druid – Khayin Dominus

A particularly iconic Remasked for his combination of madness and power. Khayin was born in Innlevere, a country that values the growth and trade of animals and their meat over nature. Druids came to their country and attempted to open their eyes to the valuable assets of nature that the country had chosen to neglect but their words fell upon empty ears. In the years following, Innlevere became one of the earlier countries to be invaded by Circadia. When Innlev minds were wracked by night terrors, they rejected the concept of living nightmares and instead turned their blame to the druids. They believed that the druids had cursed them for their rejection of the druidic message. When the druids denied this and attempted to aid them, they were once again rejected.

Khayin was among the few the druids were able to save. Nairn, being originally from Innlevere himself, was relieved that any could be saved at all though he was sad to see his homeland taken. The sage druid dedicated himself to dispelling the curse of the night cast by Circadia. Khayin, only a young teen at the time, suffered greatly in the days it took for Nairn to counter the curse. Unable to sleep, plagued by a fear of the dark and fearful towards even the movement of shadows. The few survivors became fewer around him as they gave in to the curse’s perturbation. Just as it seemed Nairn would not complete his countermeasure on time, he crafted the solution. Khayin and those who were left had their minds soothed and were given charms to protect against any further nightmares.

Khayin and the other survivors were grateful and decided to follow in Nairn’s hoofsteps as druids. Khayin in particularly turned out to be very skilled at druidcraft, contributing greatly to the protection of Crobayoris’ forests. The fame he gained from his skill and history turned out to be a curse in itself, though, as he caught the attention of Rohakoa. The old god hid in the shadows and cast illusions in Khayin’s peripheral vision. Vague flickers of figures in the shadows that acted only to make Khayin paranoid. Though he had grown, he was still young and the vulnerability in his mind revealed itself once more. When it did, Rohakoa pieced together the broken fragments of the curse of the night once again.

Nightmares took hold of Khayin’s nights once more. He held on tightly to Nairn’s charm but it failed to aid him. Visions continued to harass him both in sleep and in waking. His faith in Nairn decayed as his mind slowly collapsed. Within the nightmares, the old belief spread by the Innlevs resurfaced. The bizarre claims that the druids were the ones behind the curse. To Khayin, those thoughts started to make sense. The images produced by Rohakoa led Khayin to believe that the druids had been tricking him and that they truly were in alignment with the nightmares. Knowledge of Adira Dullak, the sage druid who was among the ranks of the deepest fear, inexplicably entered Khayin’s brain to confirm the conspiracy.

Khayin was broken, betrayed, tired and inevitably went mad. He appeared before Nairn in a frenzy and, with sharpened teeth, bit into the sage druid’s Minotaur body. The Innlev blood in him boiled as he consumed the meat of a powerful beast. He swallowed the torn-off chunk whole before being chased away by Nairn’s followers. Since then, Khayin has immersed himself entirely in a hatred of nature that leads him to destroy it wherever he goes. He burns down fields and forests, leaving only ashen wastelands in his wake. In these wastes, there is nowhere for the visions to hide. No shadows to fuel his paranoia. The fires he brings are meant to destroy both druid and nightmare alike. He may only have such temporary reprieves once there is nothing left.

Switched Blade – Fasha Alsari

Where Khayin is an example of a hopeful person sent down a dark path, Fasha is one of the higher profile examples of the reverse. Born a Razbitian, her natural direction would lead her down the road of a criminal. Fasha was one of the most notorious products of the thieves’ territory in her day, having trained through many dangerous excursions into Splitis. The threat of being put on a prison ship to Iaxus served as plenty motivation for Fasha to refine her abilities. She retained this one-chance mentality in all her efforts, constantly yearning towards perfection. She had a reputation for wasting not a single move and never stopping or hesitating even in the most unexpected situations.

What she could never have accounted for was the intangible influence of an old god. Rohakoa cast afflictions upon Fasha’s mind and body, causing her to slow ever so slightly and see visions at the edge of her vision much the same as Khayin. These flickers may seem small on their own but for someone as trained as Fasha, her body could not help but react to them. She moved in response to things that weren’t there and as such she made more and more missteps. Her escapes became less clean until she was barely escaping by the skin of her teeth. She had long since pushed the fear of capture to the back of her mind but suddenly that dreadful feeling emerged again. She felt as she did as a child, weighed down by made-up scenarios of if she were caught.

Rohakoa then sewed a seed of doubt into Fasha’s thoughts. Questions of why she lived such a lifestyle if she was so scared of the consequences. She had spent so long focused on getting better at stealing that she forgot why she did it. She saw no value in the things she took, she had just always felt a necessity in the success of the act. There was no end to her life of constant improvement in a practice she was just born into. Yet, at that point, it was all that she had. Again, the treasures and objects she had amassed brought her no joy. After some contemplation invoked by Rohakoa, Fasha determined a goal suited to her situation.

She took her treasures, as well as the hoard of her crew, on a stolen ship and abandoned Razbiti. She had no fear of the country’s criminals coming for her, she believed she could simply evade them as she had authorities in the past. Her new path was one of re-purposing, while the riches meant nothing to her she knew that they held value to others. A new saga of selflessness had began for Fasha as she spread out the treasures among those who would fully appreciate them. Take from the entitled and give to the needy, she had embraced a mentality fitting of a storybook character. This is her story, with adventure sure to get her into countless hi-jinks and feel good endings where happiness is spread among all who deserve.

Complicit Performer – Artoria Stellar

Artoria is the leading figure among one of the few Remasked groups. She is one of the fallen, a formerly good woman now unrecognizably stained by the blood she has drawn. For fallen like Artoria, there is no option to return to how they once were even if their morality returns to them. These Remasked are locked into lengthened lives with only the choice to hide or to fully embrace what they have become. Artoria’s group is the latter, a group dedicated to blurring the line between an act and reality. They bare a dangerous mentality wherein they question why things seen in plays and stories must remain locked in fiction.

Artoria’s group believes that one cannot fully invoke any emotion when watching a performance. She thinks that, due to the fact that they know the performance isn’t what is real, that there is a limit to how the mind can react. The feeling of seeing a character ‘die’ on stage is not the same as if one truly witnessed a murder. These unhinged shows are what Artoria’s group performs and there is no stage to confine them. When a character is to die, someone is truly killed. When they wish to capture pain of torture or the mental damage caused by rape then they will make shows of such actions.

Then, at other times, they will try to capture more positive feelings. They change their masks and become positive community members; helping people, reuniting them with lost loved ones and other such things. After all, a show is not complete until they have touched a wide range of feelings. For every face of despair there is a glimmer of hope, for every death another is given a second chance at life. Artoria and her group fully immerse themselves in every feeling. They are not emotionally neutral, they invest themselves in their shows. They cry when others are hurt, they are disgusted as they carry out sexual assault and their smiles are genuine when they do something good. Surely, they would be hypocrites were their own emotions not genuine.

All of it is a necessity for the sake of a truly fantastic performance.

Highest Activity Areas

There is no particular place where the Remasked can be considered more common. They are simply made when a particular individual catches Rohakoa’s hollow eye. Where they come from is inconsequential, what matters is who they are as an isolated entity. There is one well-known Remasked group in Knuse who practice what they call “the performance of life”, in which they have killed and sacrificed on stage to see the reactions of the crowd. More groups could be found in other places were you to dig deep enough but the general lack of gathering makes it hard to say the Remasked have higher activity in particular areas.