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An Exploration of Masked Magician Anatomy, History and Culture

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An Exploration of Masked Magician Anatomy, History and Culture

Foreword:

Hello. I am Perce. This is an entire compilation of the most important events and knowledge I could scour on the history and anatomy of my species. There is much of our history that was lost or destroyed during the wars or by the monarchy, but I can almost assure you that there is enough for educated guesses.

This entire paper is split into multiple subsections, each of which falls under a main section, which shall be listed below in the table of contents.

As another note: Our species goes by many names, most of which are accurate (Examples being Checkerboards and No Faces), however, for the sake of this report we will be using the generally agreed upon name of 'Masked Magician'.

Regardless, I hope that you find this work informative of our species.

Table of Contents:

Foreword

Section I: Anatomy

I: Physical Appearance

II: Internal Structure

III: Abilities

Section II: Early History

I: Theories of Creation

II: Beginnings of the Caste System

III: Beginnings of the Monarchy

IV: The First Cities

Section III: The Great War

I: The Beginning of the Great War

II: The Battle of Frix's Tower

III: The Conclusion of the Great War

IV: The Great War's effects on the Populace

Section IV: Culture and Traditions

I: Masking

II: Entertainment – Rise (and fall) of the Harlequin

III: Inner-Workings of the Monarchy

IV: Caste System and its effects on the Populace

V: The Magician's Guild

VI: Romance and how it's viewed by society

Closing Statement

Section I: Anatomy

I: Physical Appearance

The physical appearance of a Masked Magician is most definitely an odd one. We are composed of, in very basic terms, four parts; Our torso and the beginnings of our legs, our feet, which are separate of the torso, our hands, which, much like our feet, are separate from the torso, and our face, or 'mask' as it is commonly known and attributed to. None of these parts are connected, instead, they are held aloft using a levitational magic and slightly non-corporeal body, more on how that came to be later in Section II. Besides that, the body itself is created from a non-corporeal mist like substance which binds together strong enough to gain volume. It may also dissipate, allowing oneself to be nothing but the mask, our only truly corporeal part. This ties into invisibility magic which will be discussed in Part II of Section I.

Now, going over each part individually, we will begin with the largest part of our visible appearance, the torso. Our torsos are not inherently different than other humanoid races, possessing all that many others do, but they are pitch black in colouring.

The one major difference between the two is the 'cutoff points' as they are more commonly referred to as. These cutoff points are located at our shoulders, where the arm seemingly stops, as though it has been amputated, and where our knee would be located, however, in some cases, more commonly noted in smaller or taller sizes respectively, the cutoff point is above the knee or below it. This is theorized to be because of the varying height, though no concrete explanation has been decided upon by the scientific community yet.

Next, we have the hands and feet, which will be compiled into one section for organization purposes. The hands and feet float independently of the body, while still being physically controlled by the subject. On their own they lack a physical appearance, being invisible masses that possess weight and a force about them and they are subject to the laws of gravity.

The space between the knee and foot or hand and shoulder for the respective cutoff points is a quite odd thing. The space between them, for the most part, lacks a physical presence, being passed through by other masses easily, however, like the many oddities of our species; it appears that is not always the case. The spaces between, or arms and calves as we'll call them, can become physical if pressed up against something with a light weight, like clothing, for instance, capes and other similar, light-weighted, clothing items will be lifted up or moved by the arms and calves as though they were present. It is mostly assumed to be an involuntary reflex, though for what purpose we are not exactly sure.

Finally, we will move onto the 'mask' or, quite simply, Masked Magician's faces. Masks are suspended, much like hands and feet, by an invisible mass that could vaguely represent a head and neck. Much like the arms and calves, the mass of the head and neck can become tangible involuntarily by articles of clothing or other light-weighted items.

Masks themselves vary in design, shape, colour, size, and even features. However, all masks start as the same grey, circular shape, and they are later shaped by ceremonies representing the coming of age (we'll tackle that in Section III), or when life is first given to them. Masks can have multiple or less of one feature, in some instances, masks can have more or less than two eyes, the highest recorded amount being 13, spread out over the expanse of the mask. Same goes for mouths, the highest recorded amount being 3. Masks can also be lacking mouths or eyes, in these cases, the Magician will be lacking in sight or unable to communicate, there are, however, magic types that counter these shortcomings.

It is a common agreement though, that a mask, lacking both eyes and mouth is worthless. More well off people attempt surgeries to fix these issues, and if they succeed the mask is allowed to exist but can never imbue another life with their magic as to avoid the trait being passed down. But, whenever the surgeries are ineffective the mask is usually shattered and disregarded. It is sad for the young life lost, yes, but it's ultimately for the good of the people.

Now to talk about the mask's purpose. The mask houses what is known as the central consciousness (comparable to a brain for other species) and is regarded as the center of life to some. The masks themselves are durable, not varying in strength unless there is a mutation (much like the aforementioned lack of features) and the mask becomes much more fragile.

When a mask is broken, whether it be in half or just shattered, the consciousness fizzles out, and with the physical form, excluding the mask, is dissipated into the air. The halved mask will be pretty much useless unless one wishes to wear half of it to gain power, or, one can break one's own mask and replace the half with another by magical grafting, taking the previous mask owner's power and effectively destroying both consciousnesses in favour of creating one. This does have romantic implications, as it is seen as the ultimate sign of love and mutual respect but some break and graft to another's mask just for the power and it leads to what is commonly referred to as an 'unstable fusion'.

After a mask is broken, it can, in fact, be brought back to consciousness by repairing it and grafting both sides (or all the pieces) back together again, repairing the Magician's consciousness and being. However, if a mask is shattered beyond repair it is thrown out. This is one of the only known ways to effectively 'kill' a Masked Magician.

We still are not sure if we possess a sort of immortality, for, under the rule of the monarchy, masks will be automatically shattered after your set life it up. Though it is believed we do, for all we currently know we just age at an extremely declined rate.

That concludes Section I: Part I - Physical Appearance

II: Internal Structure

We will now begin looking at the internal structure, or rather, lack thereof in Masked Magicians.

As it was found out, Masked Magicians have little to no internal structure. No organs, bones, muscles or other functions of the sort. So why do I bring it up? Because what Masked Magicians lack in physical and scientific internals we make up for with a magic based, non-corporeal nervous system, which we will be discussing next.

The nervous system of a Masked Magician is a miraculous thing. It acts as a nervous system for any other creature but is transmitted through magical pathways, sending the electrical pulses from our consciousness (Also magically constructed as mentioned prior) to the rest of the body, as they would do for a corporeal one. However, where a corporeal beings nervous system is contained inside the confines of their body, Masked Magicians nervous systems are free-floating, for lack of a better term, and go where ever the mind sends them.

Now, due to the fact Masked Magicians have a basic, though more flexible and easily manipulated, body (reminder: it is mostly invisible/slightly corporeal, not entirely ghostly in nature unless it goes down to mist.) the nervous system cannot send the hand to wherever the subject wishes for it to go, it has a stretch limit. However, this nervous system later turned, in some Magicians cases, into powers such as mind control, empathy, and telepathy.

The powers of the mind mostly stemmed from the consciousness sending out a strong enough signal to the body that, in some cases, it was powerful enough to carry over to another in a nearby radius.

The nervous system did develop a certain way to be used by all Masked Magicians and it was in a form of telekinesis, which is commonly referred to as floating or flying. The magical nature of it, combined with Magicians impressive magical capabilities allowed it to become a way to push oneself off of the ground and float. This too has its limits, as it is only effective for floating, as the ground or another solid object must be somewhere near to allow the mind something to latch onto or push off. This will be mentioned once more in the next part, as I have already explained it here.

Now, going back some to the fact that we lack internal organs may lead to questions on reproduction and nutrient intake. Both of those questions have simple yet complex answers that I will go over now.

Starting with nutrient intake, we work much more akin to plants in terms of energy production than animals. How it works is we can eat or drink the food or liquid but we do not digest or produce waste. We instead convert whatever we take in, directly to energy, as I stated prior, much like a plant. This process of turning what we intake directly into energy which is then used much like it would for any other creature is one we can sadly only equate to magic at work, rather than a scientific meaning. Because we don't know the true nature of magic and therefore cannot scientifically explain it must be left to this explanation.

Now to move onto reproduction, which, sadly, much like energy production lies heavily in magic to explain its workings. Now, to begin simply, we do not reproduce by normal means, the closest it can be identified to is asexual reproduction. How it works is a Masked Magician will take a blank mask, one without any custom features (such as colour and shape) yet added to it and imbue some of their power into it, this can be done with however many people, though it is most commonly done with one to three people, this is what allows the blank mask to morph into a combination of the creator(s) features. From this, the mask can gain the powers and magic ability types of its 'parent(s)'.

Now concerning gender. As an asexual species, two of different genders are not required to make another of our kind, and one particular gender is not even required to reproduce, and because of that, they are considered entirely useless by our society. Now, that does not mean we do not identify by certain genders, it just means we have no particular opinions for any one gender because it is seen as a stupid thing to be upset over.

However, our species predominately identifies as male or other (as seen from many taken surveys) with the feminine gender falling to the wayside.

That concludes Section I: Part II - Internal System

III: Abilities

Natural abilities that all Masked Magicians possess are some of the most fascinating in magical evolution. All Masked Magicians have these three abilities: Floating, invisibility, and warping. They all are a basic type of magic we all use and have control over, separate from our individual abilities. Because we have such a natural way with magic we are considered some of the most powerful beings, though it is debated if we came by such strength by moral means. Back to the main topic, we have already covered floating in the previous part, so we will move onto the latter two, invisibility and warping.

Invisibility is believed to be less magically inclined, as it is physically. Many theorize that Masked Magicians can become invisible by turning their bodies into the mist our bodies are constructed of. Essentially disappearing, and cloaking our masks (The only, truly corporeal part of us) in a simple invisibility spell. This is the most commonly accepted theory. I am not here to dispute theories though, just state what facts we believe we have.

Now onto warping. Warping is considered one of our most vital magics, as it allows us to bypass walking or floating in favour of heading straight to one location. While teleportation is an extremely powerful tool, it is only most useful to adventurers and high council members. As we have found out, one can only warp somewhere if they have seen it with their own eyes. We are not sure why there are constraints on this we assume it has something to do with bending the fabric of reality and requiring to know exactly where you wish to go lest you be lost in an interdimensional limbo.

Finally, I will cover individual magic. These are magic types independent of the overarching three and instead, they are passed down from familial lineage.

There are many types of magic, with sub-powers for each one, so I will only mention the strongest powers and the ones with the most subsets.

Creation - Creation type powers can materialize objects based on their surroundings and their energy level, they are highly sought after and considered the rarest type ever. These magicians are the ones responsible for creating new blank masks and therefore are usually free from the deadline date of being smashed.

Destruction - Much like Creation, this power is one of the rarest and most sought after. They can do the opposite of what those with Creation magic can. They can destroy most anything with their touch (or other such means), and because of it, they are sought after as soldiers for the monarchy's royal army.

Dimensional - Considered one of the most powerful and rarest magic to have (Under Destruction and Creation), allowing one to cross into other dimensions or, in very powerful cases, create one's own dimension. The size of the dimension is based on the skill level of its creator, as well as what effects one gets as they enter it. For example, a strong dimensional magician could make an expansive dimension that allowed them to partially replicate a creation magicians power, but burned all else who stepped foot into the realm.

Kinesis/Mancy type - A power set consisting of subsets such as telekinesis, pyrokinesis, hydrokinesis, etc. It allows the user full manipulative power over an element, object, or other such things. Rather common.

Manipulation, Telepathy, and Empathy - Three types of magic all very similar in power. Manipulation (Of either the emotional or thought variant) allows one power over the mind. Telepathy allows for one to read another's thoughts or project their own thoughts on someone (although not purely controlling them, think subliminal messaging). Finally, empathy allows one to feel the emotions of others, or project their own emotions onto them. These are all relatively common and telepathy can even be taught if enough time is taken.

Heightened senses - Another common one, the ability to heighten one's senses beyond the normal strength. This covers sight, touch, hearing, etc.

Intellectual magic - A magic that allows one the entire knowledge of one subject or multiple if lucky. Decently rare, rarer for those with multiple subjects. This is the type of magic I fall under; I am a categorization and science variant of this power. (Not great for being a magic based person, I'll admit)

Luck magic - This is a strange power that does what it says on the tin. It gives the user the ability to manipulate the luck of a situation however they please. It is rather rare (though not as rare as the top three) so its full power has yet to be studied.

Sonic magic - Another rather basic one. It allows one the ability to control sound waves, make sonic blasts, etc. It's pretty common.

Summoners - Summon in creatures to fight for them from beyond the veil or reality, or into Oblivion itself. They are pretty common. Not to be confused with Necromancy, which is raising the dead. While it does classify under summoner it is considered a subset if anything.

There are many more powers than just these but these are the most common groups and subgroups.

This concludes Section I: Part III - Abilities

Section II: Early History

I: Theories of Creation

Now, beginning Section II we will start about the majorly agreed upon theory of our creation, with where it branches off into two different theories. Named the 'Sensible Theory' and the 'Mythological Theory'.

The main outline of our creation up to the branch off is mostly unknown. However, mostly agreed upon that we were created by a higher power. As evidenced by old scriptures detailing dark gods who had frightening powers and were worshipped by our ancestors before they were overthrown. This is where it branches off; we will begin with the Sensible Theory.

The Sensible Theory claims: After the first masks were carved by these elder gods the gods wanted servants to worship them. To make our early ancestors better suited for this they gifted them with magical prowess, shaping it to allow for our physiology to work. It is believed that under this theory, after they gifted us magic we honed it to the point where we could stand up against the gods and banish them from our realm, which would explain the lack of this religion and their celestial presence. This theory has its own holes, as it claims we were able to group together yet the first big settlement of Masked Magicians would be years later.

The next theory, the Mythological Theory, is exactly what its name implies, it is based in myth. This theory claims we never had magic beyond the bare vital needs to keep our bodies active. This theory says that we took magic from the gods themselves, driving them out.

Either theory could be correct, but with as little knowledge as we have it could not even be one of the two I mentioned.

And as much as I hate bringing my own two cents into this, I think they both are malarkey. But with my lack of a better explanation, these are what we have.

This concludes Section II: Part I - Theories of Creation

II: Beginnings of the Caste System

Now, the next subject we will move onto is the beginning of our caste system. Now, the caste system dictates where you fall on the social ladder, it is organized by magic power, with the royal family and Magician's Guild being on top. However, before the monarchy was initiated, we had a minor system based solely on magical ability. Now, this system was highly up for debate in the different clans and tribes, as some magics ranked higher in other societal groups.

This is the most basic caste set-up from what we've been able to discern from old texts. We've included what the current most common jobs for the magic types are, as well as how the past magic classes play into our current monarchy and government set-up.

Levels of Caste:

Top - Creation magic, Destruction Magic, and Dimensional magic. The fact Creation magic was considered the one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful, is why many believe they are now mostly Royal Family and higher ups in the Magician's Guild. Other citizens in this category are mostly Magician's Guild members, Royal Advisors, and upper nobility.

Upper Middle - Luck Type Magic and double Intellect Magic. Many believe that Luck and double Intellect were put here due to their rarity, but because of their lack of 'true power' never got into the top caste. Now this caste translates more to Generals and important military figures, as well as doctors, people in the court of law, architects and more prominent artists.

Lower Middle - Stronger Kinesis Types, Stronger Manipulation Types, Sonic Types and single Intellect Magic. These were put under the Upper Middle, many assume, because they weren't as rare but had their uses. Now the Lower Middle is mostly for jobs that require moderate education. Teachers, lesser architects, and others of the sort fall here.

Bottom - Weak Manipulation, Heightened sense Magic, Weak Kinesis, Summoners. These are some of the most common magics to come by, and due to their less than stellar strength it is no surprise they found themselves at the bottom. This part of the Magic caste system still holds, for the most part, true as it seems many have been unable to shake the stigma presented by time. Currently this caste houses soldiers, workers, servants, and other common jobs.

This concludes Section II: Part II - Beginnings of the Caste System.

III: Beginnings of the Monarchy

Now, the caste system couldn't have been created without a large group of magicians to base it off of, no? Well, a little while into our creation (No one knows for sure, as it is highly up for debate) groups started to form, making up tribes, each with their own set of rules. Occasionally these tribes would form into what we now know to refer to as city-states. These city states usually had a single leader, and a claimed amount of territory, which was defended from other neighboring groups.

As these groups formed, the more powerful and stronger (and better to fight off those who oppose their leadership) magicians rose to the top of the ranks, making themselves 'kings' or 'queens' while those who were weaker had less of a say in the more hostile environment, causing them to be cemented in the lower castes.

The first so called 'king' (although he is mostly detested by history) was a Destruction magician named Divoir. He was the 'first' due to the fact he made the first multiple city-state empire. He did so by conquering other nearby city-states and forcing their leader to submit to him. He was known for being cruel and cementing the caste system further into his society (which over time became the empire) and was disliked by people whose cities he conquered and by those he ruled over. He was responsible for a lot of tension between the upper and lower castes.

Divoir ruled for, surprisingly enough, a period which is considered short compared to most rulers after him. He was overthrown by a Masked Magician known as Solis, who claimed to have power over the Sun and stars. While this was later found out to be Creation magic, at the time the people whole heartedly believed this. Solis was significantly kinder and had better temperament than Divoir, making his early campaign for leadership much more favourable. After time, using his charisma and kindness he gained a following which was enough of a force to overthrow Divoir and shatter his mask. Now many don't know what happened to these shards, they assume they were scattered as to avoid bringing Divoir back. Being rare there are collectors who look for broken pieces of his mask, but that is off topic.

When Solis took over he was revered by the people due to his kindness, and he was much nicer to those in the 'lower caste'. His unanimous popularity among the people even got the empire renamed to the Empire of the Sun. However, looking at his tactic in post of this time, many behavioral experts have noticed his psychological deception and 'fakeness' which he used to keep the lower caste in the place they had been when Divoir had been in charge.

Solis is considered the first Sun King as he was the first one to put his spawn on the throne in the Empire of the Sun. We do not know his child's name but we are well aware he ruled by his father's command, as a 'fake king' so to say. Taking his father's advice and orders and claiming them to be his own commands.

This concludes Section II: Part III - Beginnings of the Monarchy.

Part IV: The First Cities

The first cities were formed when smaller city-states would form together into larger mini-empires. As we covered last time the Empire of the Sun was the first of these to emerge. Now, these little mini-empires were notorious for fighting. Whether it be over land, beliefs, or simply the leaders disliking one and other they would fight and war, and in which many people died gruesome deaths.

The second child of Solis (which is more of a title as he was his grandchild), known as Ilios, was the one to unite them into one empire despite the fact he was young in age. He did so in a mean that was never once done before. Diplomacy. He was known for going to the other empires with envoys in which he would attempt to convince the leaders of the intelligence of his plan.

Many did not see reason in his words at first and continued to fight, but after a large scale battle between two of the empires, the Caesar's Empire and Vanheim, which resulted in nearly half of both empires population to die they agreed to Ilios plan. Others followed in suit, agreeing for the combined safety of a larger empire. However, Ilios added a catch, to which the leaders expected. For the empire to exist they would have to give up all control they have and hand it over to Ilios and the Empire of the Sun. Deciding the safety out ranked the humiliation of losing their control to but a child they agreed, and Ilios became the first king of the Combined Empire. (Which is still called the Empire of the Sun to this day.)

The first city and capitol of the empire was named Solis, after the first Sun king, and still serves as the capitol today. It houses the Castle of the Sun, the royal family and advisors, and the Magician's Guild Headquarters.

This concludes Section II: Part IV – The First Cities.

Section III: The Great War

I: The Beginning of the Great War

The Great War was a civil revolt against the monarchy and caste system. Technically it would be called the Great Revolution, but the monarchy wished for it to be painted as an attack rather than an attempt for freedom.

It began with two low casted Kinesis magicians, named Trisk and Fos. Who were upset with the monarchy's treatment of the lower castes and how they continued to push them down instead of making things equal.

Now, tensions had been rising between the upper and lower castes for quite some time, but this was the first anyone had really spoken up about it in such a forefront manner.

A little background on Trisk and Fos: Trisk and Fos were both Kinesis type magicians (Electricity and Light respectively) who were working as soldiers for the royal army. It is said that one day they were on patrol through the streets when they saw an upper-middle terrorizing a bottom caste member. Being upset by the lack of response from anyone else they went and put a stop to the situation swiftly. Because they were both bottom caste acting out against an upper-middle, they were discharged from the army due to 'insubordination' and 'assault of a superior'. Being upset by the injustice of it all they decided to take a stand.

This stand began as small protests, mostly by them and a few others, speaking out against how the bottom caste was pushed down and mistreated. The others in the lower caste who listened to this bold stand against the higher caste were inspired and began to do their own protests. Eventually Trisk and Fos had gained a following of loyal people who wished for equality.

However, with every following there are those who make it look bad. Those who did so in this Progressive movement were known for getting into fights with upper caste members. These fights escalated to the point where one Progressive killed an upper-middle caste member. Despite Trisk and Fos's best efforts, they could not stop what was coming. They were charged with treason, as one of their followers killed a superior. Scared but resilient they didn't back down, instead they gathered their followers and prepared for a war.

The first real strike was at a guard outpost outside the city of Selune. There the Progressives struck in the dead of night and broke most of the guards in half (so they could at least be repaired at a later date) only shattering a few. In the end their attack was successful and they began to set up a base of operations in Selune, which consisted of a large number of bottom castes who were more than glad to help them commandeer the city. Selune served as the Progressive base of operations up until the end of the war. Where it surrendered after Trisk and Fos were shattered.

Although this was the first battle with many smaller ones coming after it, for control forts, bases, and cities the biggest and most well-known battle of the Great War, The Battle of Frix's Tower, is the main battle we will go over in the next part.

This concludes Section III: Part I – The Beginning of the Great War.

II: The Battle of Frix's Tower

The most notable battle of the Great War was the Battle of Frix's Tower. In which, many Progressives died at the hands of the Royalists.

The battle began when a group of Progressives had taken over a notable monument, Frix's Tower, which was once home to a powerful Creation Magician and Archmage. The Progressives had set up a base in the tower and defenses on the outside, and were expecting a courier to come with a message of their next move. However, the courier was intercepted by some Royalists who got word of the order for the soldiers at Frix's Tower to move out to a base to the east for reinforcements. Knowing that they could go to the tower and destroy the reinforcements then move to the base out east and win an easier battle there the Royalists moved to Frix's Tower and that is when the fighting portion of this battle began.

The Royalists arrived at the Tower in the early morning and began positioning their own defenses under the dawn's cover, as the Sun rose high a scout positioned at the Tower's defenses saw the defenses and warned the head of the base. Offensive actions were taken immediately as both sides began to attack each other through the defenses. This went on until midday when the Progressive's defense was taken down and they retreated into the tower and the Royalists set up even stronger defenses to be able to kill and Progressives that tried to escape.

Over the next few days the Progressives were forced to move further and further into the Tower, they began to run out of food and supplies. The Royalists showed no sign of relenting. After most of their food stores were depleted the Progressives finally surrendered, allowing the Royalists to take them into custody. However, the Royalists instead shattered every last one of the soldiers at the Tower, and moved onto the base out east.

This battle is remembered for the cruelty and deaths of so many.

This concludes Section III: Part II – The Battle of Frix's Tower.

III: The Conclusion of the Great War

The war concluded in an unfair battle. The Royalist army which had arrived at the base out east, which was a small fort, was great in number, more than the dwindling Progressives who lacked the reinforcements they had required from the Tower. The Royalists broke in and slaughtered most of the remaining Progressives. Trisk and Fos, who were leading the eastern bases defenses agreed to surrender if it meant their remaining soldiers would be spared. The Royalists agreed to these terms. Only to shatter both Trisk and Fos and kill any remaining members in the fort. The shards of the two rebel's masks were taken back to the Castle of the Sun and hung in the royal hall.

The remaining Progressive cities, such as Selune, surrendered and were put under strict watch for long after the war.

This concludes Section III: Part III – The Conclusion of the Great War.

IV: The Great War's Effects on the Populace

The Great War took a major toll on the populace. As many had lost family members and friends in the war, most were starving and in poverty, and the conditions for the bottom caste got worse.

The number of lives lost in the war is unknown, as many were not accounted for and the Progressives never kept track of their army number. The Royalists lost fewer soldiers than the Progressives but still too many to account for, not including civilian casualties, which we believe to be the most expansive in deaths out of all.

The food was another problem. A lot of it had gone to feeding the armies on both sides which lead the common man hungry if they were not in the upper castes. The same went for houses. Many houses were commandeered for the war effort, leaving many homeless as they were driven from their homes and to the streets. Many homes were destroyed as well, with the attacks on the cities causing infrastructure to crumble.

The Great War was by no means a good event. It was, at the most an unsuccessful revolution that costed the lives of many. People debate if it was a just cause or not, considering the outcome. But I am hardly here to debate.

This concludes Section III: Part IV – The Great War's Effects on the Populace.

Section IV: Culture and Traditions

I: Masking

Masking is considered one of the most important parts of our culture. It is the process a young one goes through every two turns of the seasons until they are 8 turns old.

The process involves shaping ones mask, a different part each time. First time it's the chin, second the crest (top of the mask), third the first colour is chosen, and finally, fourth the second colour is chosen. The process is usually painful as it is required to cut the mask to reshape it and it is similar to tearing flesh for those who have flesh. The process of colouring it is less painful, as it only requires burning the colours on. The process of having it reshaped and coloured is usually only witnessed by the child's guardian(s), siblings, and very close family members.

This event is usually marked by a party after the day it happens, a post masking party, as it is commonly referred to it usually involves inviting family and friends to it.

These processes are some of the most important parts of a young ones life, and when they are missed by family or when no one is present at them, some studies show that it causes negative effects in the child, most likely from a sense of overwhelming loneliness.

This concludes Section IV: Part I – Masking.

II: Entertainment – Rise (and fall) of the Harlequin

Entertainment is a big part of our culture. Whether it be by plays, music, books, parties, balls, or other such things. Entertainment has been engrained in our culture since the fourth son of Solis (his great-great-grandson). The fourth son was a little hedonistic, or at least that is how he was viewed. He enjoyed entertainment, which at the time only the top caste could get, and was deeply saddened when he learned that the lower castes could not get access to that which he so enjoyed. So he began to set up theatres and other such things in the poorer parts of the cities which anyone could visit, regardless of their caste. Because he brought culture and entertainment to the lower castes many friendships over mutual liking of the same media formed, which lessened the caste divide, if only by a little.

The harlequin is something different. When entertainment was brought to the lower castes they began to come up with their own entertainment, which is where the harlequin was spawned. The harlequin or jester as it was known was a comedic act that focused on mocking and making fun of the higher castes, as well as jokes and physical comedy. They were originally only popular among the lower castes as they were considered offensive to higher ups, but the Fourth Son took a liking to them and invited one into his court. That's when they became recognizable symbols of entertainment, their bright outfits and comical hats becoming synonymous with comedy.

Harlequins were in courts and normal practice up until the tenth king. The tenth king's harlequin was actually an assassin disguised. While playing up the act the assassin got close to the king and shattered him with his hands. After that event it was forbidden to have harlequins in court or practice the type of comedy commonly anywhere else. They were prevented in courts to avoid another murder, and forbidden everywhere else do to the Royal Courts humiliation of having their king be killed by a fool.

Now the character of a harlequin or jester is usually a sign of bad luck, ill tidings, or betrayal in culture now.

This concludes Section IV: Part II – Entertainment – Rise (and fall) of the Harlequin.

III: Inner-Workings of the Monarchy

The monarchy consists of a few vital parts:

The King or Queen, and by extension the Royal Family.

The Lead Advisor, who helps make decisions.

The Advisory Council, a group of advisors who each specialize in different things. The Advisory Council consists of: A Military Advisor, an Economics Advisor, a Public Advisor, a Diplomatic Advisor, an Agricultural Advisor, a Science Advisor (I am the science advisor for the current king), a representative from every city, and a Magician's Guild representative.

How it works is that the king wishes to make a decree a law, he then takes it to his Lead Advisor, who goes over the decree to see if it is fit to be a law. The Lead Advisor then takes it to the advisor who specializes in what the law is about. That advisor then either says the law is fit, or says it is not and helps improve the law. The Lead Advisor then takes a final look and brings it back to the king with a yes or no. The king can decide to make the decree a law regardless of what his advisors say, but he usually listens to them, knowing they are far more skilled in their subjects than he is.

This concludes Section IV: Part III – Inner-Workings of the Monarchy.

IV: Caste System and its effects on the populace

While we already went over how the caste system formed and who is in what caste we did not go over what being in each caste is like and what they have access to. We will go over it quickly in this part.

Those at the bottom caste a subject to many injustices. They are forced to stay in the worst housing, do not have immediate access to food, or is there is a shortage, forced to wait for food. They cannot enter some higher access areas without paying, whereas those higher go in free of charge. They are also payed less, and do not get promoted or lose promotions to those less capable, due to their bottom caste status. They are treated mostly with disdain or disgust as they walk by.

Those in the lower middle are a little more fortunate. They have better housing, though not by much and can get access to food a bit quicker. They are allowed in the higher access areas without charge. They still do not get payed as those higher up, and do lose promotions. They are mostly ignored by passerby, not being high enough but also not low enough to warrant attention.

Those in the upper middle live in nice housing and make more money than those in the bottom two castes. They get immediate access to food and a get those promotions those in the bottom two are denied. They are allowed in the high access areas for free and are allowed to pay a little less for items. They are treated with respect as they go by.

Those in the top caste make the most money, they like in the nicest housing in the castle district. They own most of the food to distribute as well as different industrial companies. They are allowed into high access areas and pay nearly nothing for and item that would cost a bottom caster half of their months' pay. As this caste consists of mostly the royal family, the advisory staff, Magician's Guild members and upper nobility, it is required to move out of the way when one is coming. They are respected utmost, and if someone didn't they would surely face consequences.

This concludes Section IV: Part IV – Caste system and its effects on the populace.

V: The Magician's Guild

The Magician's Guild is a head of magical defense so to speak. They protect the empire from interdimensional or magical threats. They were founded around the time of the second son and persist as a strong force in the empire to this day. They are so engrained within the empire they even have a representative in the advisory council.

The Magician's Guild is led by a leader known as the Archmage. The Archmage is in charge of what actions the guild will take and sends those to his Sector Leaders in each sector to be taken action of by their members. A new Archmage is chosen whenever the old one passes. One does not inherit it; one must show their magical prowess in a battle. How this works is each sector sends its strongest mage, which may not be the Sector Leader, and they all battle until the others admit defeat or are shattered.

Now, each base of the guild in a city is known as a Sector, they protect that city and its general surrounding area. The main base in the capitol is known as the House. Due to that, some refer to the Archmage as 'The Head of House'. Each sector has a Sector Leader. Who get orders from the Archmage and relay those orders to their members. A person is assigned to a sector when they finish their training in the House.

The purpose of the Magician's Guild is to train powerful mages for the empire. They do so by taking children with potent or rare magical abilities away from their guardians to be raised by the guild, after they are taken they are never allowed to see their original family ever again, which leads to some cases of guild members not even knowing who their real family is. They are trained to be loyal to the guild above all else, even the empire. As they are supposed to be loyal soldiers their emotions are mostly trained out of them, and you are hard pressed to find a guild member who feels something other than the occasional feeling of annoyance. How they accomplish this with such firm results is they take the children from their families when they are as young as two turns. Most of the time this means they have the masking ceremonies in the guild, which can be detrimental to the emotional development of the child, which, considering what they try to accomplish may be exactly what they want. They train the initiates to hone and master their magical abilities until they are fifteen turns old, then they are assigned a sector to go to and protect. Some are assigned to be teachers to teach new initiates in the house.

In some cases they are allowed to take on jobs outside the guild. Such as a powerful Destruction Magician becoming a general for the royal army, a Creation Magicians becoming a Mask Maker, or a powerful Dimensional Magician becoming a interdimensional scout, sent out to other dimensions for recon or other purposes. So on, so forth.

This concludes Section IV: Part V – The Magician's Guild.

VI: Romance and how it's viewed by society

Romance is something that, for the most part, takes a backseat in our society, as we do not need two people to reproduce, we don't feel the need to get a spouse, or have a spouse particularly like us. However, there are romantic relationships. They consist of what most romantic relationships in other dimensions are like. With pet names and kissing and what have you. Relationships are entirely romantic in our society, due to our lack of reproductive and sexual organs to have a sexual relationship. Usually we are not monogamous in relationships, as one person can have many romantic partners, but when two decide to imbue power into a blank mask they usually cement themselves as a monogamous couple to raise the child, and when that is finished go back to how they were before. When two people have a strong enough relationship, they sometimes chose to imbue some of their power into a blank mask to make a new one. Others, with extremely strong relationships do something that was touched upon before in the first section, they chose to give up their own existences to make a new one by grafting half of each of their masks together. This is seen as slightly taboo, as it means essentially dying in order to make someone new, it is not, however, illegal to do though, just shocking to the general public.

This concludes Section IV: Part VI –Romance and how it's viewed by society.

Closing Statement:

Finishing up I suppose. I hope this was an informative read on my species, and I hope this can better inform those in other dimensions of our kind, as we are very 'stick to our own' kind of people. Regardless, I am happy to say this is a finished work which shall not be updated, perhaps newer versions will come out in time but for now this is all we have. I bid you a good day.

-Perce