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Tuesday Magic Item – Mask of the Revolutionary

10 February, 2016

Some masks are friendly“Another one?” cursed Voddick snapping off a bolt from his crossbow.

“Revolutionary thought spreads like a disease it seems,” replied Gollaon, blocking a clumsy thrust by one of the masked attackers.

Voddick cracked one across the face with the stock of his crossbow.  “I hate getting involved in civil disputes.  The pay is never worth the trouble.”

“Agreed but we have to eat.”

Mask of the Revolutionary

These items come in a variety of types, wooden masks, distinctive hoods, scarves marked with a revolutionary sign, as is appropriate to the particular revolutionary sect.  The magic of the mask makes them easy to conceal whatever their design.

The basic power of the mask is simple, it conceals the identity of the wearer but using subtle magic to make it difficult to remember useful details about the wearer.  They were designed to allow the wearer to protest injustice and work toward peaceful change while minimizing the chance of arrest.  With a twist, the masks will collapse into dust, leaving almost no trace behind.

Naturally, evil men soon turned them into tools of violence and oppression so they became weighed down with a curse to prevent misuse.  Once an act of violence has been committed while wearing the mask, the wearer will realize that they have one chance to destroy the mask and renounce violence.  If they do not, their identity outside of that of a masked agent of revolution gradually melts away, eventually even their own family will not recognize them.

Aura strong enchantment; CL 11th
Slot head; Price 300; Weight 1 lbs
Construction Requirements
Craft Wondrous Item, disguise self, geas; Cost 150

Notes: Only a cursed item for those who chose to make it so, but many revolutionary sects would consider its curse a blessing in disguise.  Use with caution.

Image of the muse Thalia, Muse of comedy, by Jastrow found on Wikimedia Commons and is in the Public Domain.

 

 

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2 comments

  1. This raises some interesting philosophical questions. Isn’t it only our identities as socio-culturally positioned individuals that give our protests weight? If you imprison or murder a protestor who has an identity and connections to the community, there are way more repercussions than doing the same to someone whose identity had been scrubbed by the mask. In a way the mask would be doing the oppressors’ post-assassination cleanup for them.

    I think that this is not useful for peaceful protest within a society capable of holding its leaders accountable; however it is clearly very useful for revolutionaries intending the overthrow of those leaders. But the proscription against violence works against that use, which means that it would really work neither for peaceful protest nor violent overthrow, but only for non-violent overthrow, no historical examples of which come to mind at the moment.

    I guess one cynical possibility (but thematically in keeping with the notion of cursed items) is that the masks were created by oppressors as seeming tools for revolutionaries, and the curse in fact works against them.


    • If you protest, peacefully, wearing a mask and are then arrested by the powers that be because you might, maybe have been a protester, it shows the innate corruption of power and injustice of said rule. Such should expose the weakness of the system and hopefully lead other to oppose it as well eventually undermining the consent of the governed which ultimately all systems rely on.

      Now, the curse, the curse only plays into the hands of violent-minded people on both sides who will try and cynically exploit the faceless enemy for their own ends.

      Now, arguably, the curse is the primary reason for the existence of the mask.



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