Masked (5e Race)
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"I know two things for sure about Masked ones. One, they are capable cheaters in card games, and two, they are capable fighters if you pay them enough." -Devion Navikin.
|Red Mask, Abbadon, https://killsixbilliondemons.com/|
"A Masked one is often seen as the middle ground between Devils and Demons. They are unlawful and chaotic by nature, but capable of forming contracts where their word is their law." - Devion Navikin
Masked ones are creatures born of the Abyss, black fires that burn in endless turmoil. While in the Abyss these creatures amount to nothing more than formless chaos, a force of destruction that is often used as fuel for the dark powers that exist in the Abyss. Humanoids and other sentient creatures summon the unbound essence of the Masked ones to the Material plane, where the summoner then offers them a colorless mask as payment for their assistance or strength. These summoners are known as Vatra by the Masked ones. The Vatra then offer the Masked Ones a name, binding them to the Material plane. Vatra often make deals with these creatures to strengthen their magical abilities, as the Masked ones often carry with them ancient knowledge that is quite useful to spell casters, though they are unlikely to share it without good reason. Once the terms of the contract has been met, the Masked ones are free to wander and create a name for themselves.
Binding to a Mask gives these creatures sentience, memories, personality, and the ability to enter any plane without being forced back into the eternal black flames of the Abyss. If a Masked one's mask is destroyed, it is forced to return to the abyss. This is why their Masks are carefully crafted and unique. No Masked one shares the same mask as another. The importance of their mask also forces the Masked ones to be more interactive with the other races and less murderous than other demons, as it is necessary for them to find allies that can help repair their masks.
Creatures of Law and Chaos
Masked ones share in the chaotic nature of all creatures of the Abyss. Often they only look out for themselves, searching for power and ways to increase their influence and wealth. They are natural rule-breakers and care little for the norms of society. Only when they give their word or deem the situation to be in their benefit can you expect a Masked one to readily assist. Masked ones often find themselves working for whoever can provide them with the most power and wealth or going on outlandish journeys to gain those two things, as it is important to a Masked one to gain a reputation and make a name for themselves, especially if it is a name created from infamy.
Masked ones are capable of creating contracts with mortals. These contracts are called "Devil's Kiss." These contracts do not hold the same power as a true Devil deal, but it is a good way of ensuring that both parties stick to their agreement. If a Masked one breaks their side of the bargain, they risk their mask being destroyed by the power of the Devil's Kiss, making it risky to break their word. If the other party breaks the agreement it inflicts great pain on them. These deals often amount to challenges, where if the Masked one wins they get something, while if the opponent wins the masked one must assist them.
"A noteworthy devil's kiss is when Pree Alison, bearer of a Magus key, was challenged to a drinking game by the terrifying Vladok, a Ebon Masked one. Vladok wished for her Magus Key, and she wished for Safe travel to the Kingdom of Queen Nadia Om. When Pree Alison defeated Vladok in their game, he refused to assist her and attempted to kill her for the key. This action caused his mask to shatter upon his face, unbinding him. He was fortunate that the drunk Pree Alison had enough wits about her to place a new mask on his face, though she was unkind with how she renamed the once Ebon Masked one." - Devion Navikin
"A word of advice, If you see an Ebon masked one, run." - Devion Navikin
To a Masked one, the names given to them at their binding is the same as a True name. The more names that they have and the less known that they are the weaker the Masked one is as far as the Hierarchy is concerned. To note, All masked ones are relatively bestial or insectoid in their traits, having shell-like skin, or being covered in thick hair for instance. Even the weakest of the Masked ones are more durable and difficult to kill than a common humanoid. As Masked ones change between the stages, if they so choose, their bodies and Masks change with them. Masked ones often hide their true names, as it gives their opponents power over them during a "Devil's Kiss", but this is not a concrete rule that needs to be followed.
The lowest rank of the Hierachy is a Pale mask. They are more akin to worker drones than sentient creatures. These ones often have Asymmetrical holes on their masks rather than faces, thick bodies, and thin, long limbs. They have many names and do little more than assist in menial tasks.
Next, is Blue Masked ones, often called Blue imps by their own kind. They have a fully expressive and humanoid mask, smooth horns, and somewhat hairy bodies. They are often small when compared to the other Masked ones, but not to be underestimated, as they can be quite quick and nimble. Blue Masked ones often have between 7-15 names.
Red Masks are considered the most brutish of the Masked ones. They are often quite large and have animalistic features like hooves or bird feet. They are usually quite hairy. They are powerful in their build, capable of flattening most creatures with their strength. They often have between 3-6 names.
Green Masks are often cunning and well-versed in the know-how of the world. They usually have dragon-like or skeletal features, such as a bony mask or green scales. Some are even said to have wings. These Masked ones often have 3-6 names as well, but are usually more known than their red counterparts.
Upon reaching the last two stages of the Hierarchy, the Masked ones revert to a more fiendish form, having more variety in their shapes and sizes.
Gold Masks have the most humanoid looking masks in most cases, but their forms can vary incredibly. Some Gold masked ones stand at the same stature as humans, their black or blue bodies hiding their incredibly strength, others are huge monstrous creatures with human faces, capable of breathing fire and commanding fear in the weaker lifeforms around them. Often a Gold masked one only has 2 names and is very well known.
Ebon Masked ones are akin to a demon lord in strength. They are the most powerful Masked ones and only a few handfuls exist in the known multiverse. They often have humanoid forms with monstrous features. They are incredibly difficult to kill, and incredibly powerful. They often hold only one name, which, unlike most Masked ones, they flaunt about as a sign of status and power.
Masked One Names
"There is no true naming scheme that fits within the absurdity of the Masked one's names. For those who are foolish enough to bind a Masked one, I suggest you give them a name that screams violence and awe, else you be at the wrong end of their scorn." -Devion Navidad
When making a Masked one, Finding words that fit together and roll off the tongue are more important than the name entirely making sense. Most Masked ones do not constantly speak their full name, so finding a Nickname that you believe will suit your character is more than enough in most cases. If you wish to make a Blue imp with a fifteen word long name, more power to you!
Masked one Traits
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 2.
Age. Most Masked ones are between the ages of 1-200 years old, starting from the point that they were masked. Once masked, they do not show any signs of aging, capable of living indefinitely. Though most find themselves in dangerous situations that cut their life short.
Alignment. Masked ones are Chaotic in nature, capable of being both Neutral or Evil. It is not entirely uncommon for a Masked one to lean towards true Neutral or Neutral evil, but it is incredibly rare for one to be lawful, and even more rare for one to be of the good alignment.
Size. The height of a Masked one varies depending on their Mask's color. See the subraces below for heights. For the purposes of spells and checks your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Durable Build. Your hit point maximum increases by +1 per maximum hit die.
Devil's kiss. The signature ability of all masked ones. A devil's kiss is a contract formed between a masked one and another creature. This contract holds both sides to act as agreed upon. When engaging in a Devil's Kiss, the opposing creature gains a burning white mark on their arm the size of a quarter, this is where the name Devil's kiss originates from. This mark shows that the participant has engaged in the contract and while the contract is active the mark cannot be removed. If either participant of the contract is to break the contract, they will take 2d6 force damage per the maximum hit die that they have. This means that a level 10 barbarian will take 20d6 force damage if they break the contract. Often Masked ones will use their ability to make contracts to task others with challenges or create competitions.
An example of a contract can be seen in this small excerpt from the Journal of Devion Navidad while he traveled through Throne.
"Great Pree Zutta Rah, I have come to your kingdom in search of knowledge. I offer you this shard of black glass for passage through your land."
"Nay," Zutta Rah responded. "I care not for this paltry wealth. You are wise Preem Navidad and I wish for that wisdom to be by my side. Instead, I challenge you to a game of wit, Chess, as you humans call it. If you win, you may enter my kingdom and expect the utmost hospitality, but if you lose... you will belong to me and enjoy the pleasantries of being my adviser."
"So be it Pree Zutta Rah. I accept those terms."
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and one other language of your choice. You are also capable of speaking Black Speech. Black speech is the language of Masked ones. To most races it sounds like nothing more than gibberish, mashing together words that do not fit to make barely coherent sentences. Only other creatures that know Black speech can understand what is being said by the one's who speak it. https://killsixbilliondemons.fandom.com/wiki/Black_Speech
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 1.
Size. Blue Masks are the smallest of the Masked ones. On average they stand between 4-5 feet tall.
Nimble Demon. As a bonus action, Blue Masks can give themselves advantage on any Dexterity ability check. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Dexterity modifier (a minimum of once). You regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.
Blend in with the crowd. When moving through relatively populated areas, Blue masks have a passive stealth of 13. Any creature that has a passive perception below 13 will not notice you.
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 1.
Size. Red Masks are massive when compared to most humanoids. A red masks size can vary greatly, but most Red Masks stand between 7-12 feet tall. Regardless of their height, they are still considered to be Medium size.
Brutal strike. Red masks are proficient brawlers, often choosing to use their horns or fists to knock down their enemies. As an action you can chose to use the brutal strike feature. After rolling to hit, you can chose to strike with your body, dealing 1d4 + your Strength modifier and attempting to knock the enemy prone. The enemy must then pass a Strength saving throw equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength modifier. On a failure, they are knocked prone. You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Strength modifier (a minimum of once). You regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.
Powerful Build. You count as one size larger when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push, drag, or lift.
Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 1.
Size. Green Masks are around the average Humanoid height. Most Green masks stand around 5-6 feet tall.
Toughened scales. As an action, you cause your scales to harden like armor. You gain a +2 bonus to your AC for up to a minute or until you chose to end this effect. After using the toughened scales feature, you cannot use it again until you complete a short or long rest.
Green Mask's Majesty. Green masks, like all Masked ones, are thought to know many secrets. As such, scholars and the sorts are more likely to converse with you than the other Masked ones, since at the very least, green masks seem more noble and charismatic than the more common masked ones. As such it is easier to persuade or deceive the knowledgeable types due to their own preconceptions.
To anyone who has made it this far, Thank you for reading the race I created. I took heavy inspiration from the web comic Kill 6 Billion Demons by Abbadon. If any of you found this race interesting I highly recommend you read the series. You can find it at https://killsixbilliondemons.com/ and follow Abbadon on twitter at https://twitter.com/Orbitaldropkick