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Masked Ones
Associated With
Heroes Juggernaut minimap icon.png Juggernaut
Factions Kuur-Ishiminari
The Lost Order
Places Isle of Masks
Temple of Masks
Ivory Isles
Gods Maker of Masks
Characters Sabasteen
Species Corodonts
Artifacts Visage of Vengeance
Traditions Juggernaut

The Masked Ones are the natives of the Isle of Masks in the lore of Dota 2.

Habitat[]

As previously mentioned, the masked ones were exclusively native to the Isle of Masks. They may have also lived in the Ivory Isles, which might have been located within the island.

Appearance[]

Judging by their sole living representative, the masked ones are distinguished by the carved masks that they always wear over their face, which may even cover their entire head. The rest of their body has a fairly humanoid appearance with no deviations like extra fingers and toes.

What lies underneath the masks of these strange people is a mystery. But it's known that their masks are symbols and expressions of many things, ranging from aspects of the wearer's personality, a symbol of their social status, ceremonial reasons, etc.

The only known feature of their face is their blank eyes, but the rest of their visage beneath the mask remains as a mystery.[1]

Culture[]

This race is rich and diverse in many kinds of culture.

Masks[]

Masks are such a central aspect of the Masked ones' culture, so it deserves a separate section. Their masks are crafted out of birch wood[2] or ivory,[3] before it is carved into shape and painted over with a unique design.

From the common folks to the noble lords, it is implied that having a mask is a sign that one's honor is still intact, as it is stripped away from them if they commit a dishonorable crime, such as violating an established creed.[4]

As previously stated in the Appearance section of this page, their masks are symbols and expressions of many things. It can even be said that their masks, in place of their hypothetical faces, are an expression of self. One mask may capture the aspects of an entity, such as the wearer's fury during battle,[5] the cunning and the horror of alien beasts,[6] and the revered aspects of animals.[7] Masks can express a variety of messages, such as intimidation.[8][9] Masks can also signify one's social status--a ceremonial mask is bestowed upon those who have graduated into a true swordmaster[10] and masks of shame are given to the Isle's exiled Ronin.[11]

Even animals are subject to this tradition. All beasts of burden such as yaks who serve others in battle must wear a thrice-blessed Mask of Duty to signify their status as a noble animal courier.[12]

Religion[]

Long before its destruction, worshippers used to travel to the Temple of Masks to commit various rituals and activities of their faith. Now, it is lost to the depths, but its only remaining worshipper still keeps its memory in the rites that he continues to practice even during battles.[13] The Visage of Vengeance may have been kept in this temple as one of the many idol masks sworn to by its visitors.

The masked ones are polytheistic and worship a pantheon, of which only two of them are known by name. These named deities include the Maker of Masks[14] and the Boar God.[15]

On the Isle, death is said to have many watchful eyes.[16]

Swordsmanship[]

Bladework and swordplay are one of the Isle's most prominent cultures. It's implied that there are various martial arts in the Isle, but only one is known by its name, techniques, and its sole living practitioner. The long standing Juggernaut tradition, a heritage with a commitment to bladework, focuses on swordplay and rituals.[17][18] Every technique performed is an expression of self or a work of art.[19][20]

There was once a forgotten school of swordsmanship that existed long before Yurnero's time, just before the apex of the Isle of Masks. The Lost Order, an esoteric group of elders who were skilled with their metaphysical blade, established a new school of Mastery. The practitioners of this school learned the ability to pierce the fabric of reality with their swords and passed it on to their disciples, while recording such techniques in parchment. They would soon learn that tampering with the natural world will elicit repercussions far beyond the field of battle. Lest that they may invite dire outcomes that we know very little about, the elders burned every parchment and slew all of their students before finally turning their own blades on themselves.[21]

Craftsmanship[]

The Kuur-Ishiminari is a craft-clan that consists of stoneworkers who are best known for their jade crafts, but there are also sculptors and swordsmiths among them. Many generations ago, they created swords made out of jade as a symbol of grand nobility.[22] They also made gargoyles and spirit-watchers made out of jade.[23]

Sabasteen was an ancient bladesmith who may be from the Isle. More than a thousand years ago, he forged a beautiful sword that can produce elegant strikes.[24]

The Serrakura is a sword forged by an unnamed masked swordsmith. The sword is said to be a deadly blossom with its petals serrated like the sharpest knife. Its description might be a metaphor, the sword being the source (the blossom) of the deadly swings and strikes (its petals) it can produce when swung.[25]

Cuisine[]

Little is known about the Masked Ones' cuisine besides the fact that they have spices and seasonings that are stored safely in trunks. Because of its value, it is sought after by rich food connoisseurs, such as the gastromancer Remi who seeks to join the White Orchids with these rare spices on a meal.[26] They also had 100 proof alcohol kept in big jugs or bottles.[27]

Clothing[]

The uniform of a warrior consists of a kataginu, a traditional sleeveless jacket that bears the banner of its wearer,[28] and a traditional hakama.[29] A sleeveless kimono may also be worn by warriors of the Isle of Masks.[30] Warriors may carry banners on their back to celebrate a battle.[31]

To the lords of the Isle, clothing seems to be an important factor in determining how influential they are. A lord that is so adorned is said to bend the will of many people.[32]

Members[]

With no particular order, the society of the Masked Ones consists of the highborn lords who govern the people, followed by the warriors, craftspeople, and the common folks. But it is implied that there are warrior-kings among these strange people. Whether they are also the highborn lords of the Isle or just separate leaders is unknown.[33]

Heroes[]

Juggernaut minimap icon.png Juggernaut is the sole surviving member of this race who was saved from their extinction by being banished from the Isle for his crimes. Were it not for his survival, none of the Isle of Masks' cultures and traditions would have been preserved today.

His status as the last of his kind didn't last forever. Unbeknownst to him, his own mask is actually the vessel of the dormant souls of his warrior ancestors, an ancient lineage of revered warriors. In life, they were branded as traitors to the Isle, denied a noble death, and stripped of their honor, similar to their descendant Yurnero.[34] These sleeping souls would soon be reawakened when their vessel was cut in half by Sven with the Adjudicator's Blade[35] restoring a small portion of the Masked Ones' presence back to life.[36] Now at one with the being of Yurnero, they seek to reclaim their lost honor[37] and restore the Isle of Masks and its people,[38][39][40] which will all be achieved once their opposing Ancient has been destroyed.[41]

Characters[]

Sabasteen was an ancient bladesmith who may be from the Isle.[24]

Faceless Ones[]

The Faceless Ones are the dishonorable outcasts of the Isle's society. They are the lowest class in the Isle's society because they are victimized by the common folks and the high lords alike. They are called "faceless" because it derives from the idiom "lose face" which means losing the respect (or honor, in this case) of others.[42] This goes in line with the Faceless Ones being stripped of their masks and honor.

By violating one creed or another, a Masked One will be stripped of their masks and honors before being banished to the outskirts of society, never to influence the Isle's affairs again. The only people worse than them are those who defend these outcasts even against the highborn lords of the Isle. These miscreants have no place in society or the Isle itself for doing such crimes, and so they are exiled from the Isle of Masks to never return.[4]

Just like the Isle and its people, they were also drowned beneath the boiling waves. But their rituals carry on in the dishonorable one who defended them, who still practices their rites in their absence by the deluged Visage of Vengeance.[43]

Trivia[]

  • The Masked Ones bear many similarities to that of the Seguleh people in the "Malazan Book of the Fallen" series of books by Steven Erikson.

References[]

  1. Juggernaut's "face" without any mask cosmetics.
  2. Enduring War Dog description.
  3. Visage of the Ivory Isles description.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Provocation of Ruin description.
  5. Aspect Mask of Fulminant Rage description.
  6. Prey-Tracker's Aspect Mask description.
  7. Stoic Mask of the High Plains description.
  8. Ancient Mask of Intimidation description.
  9. Death Mask of the Brave description.
  10. Mask of a Thousand Faces description.
  11. Burden of the Exiled Ronin description.
  12. Trusty Mountain Yak description.
  13. Pilgrimage of the Bladeform Aesthete description.
  14. Juggernaut response: ▶️ ▶️ Oh Maker of Masks, accept this prayer for your sole surviving child!
  15. Three-Fold Mien of the Boar God description.
  16. Mask of the Many-Sighted description.
  17. Juggernaut's biography: He alone remains to carry on the Isle's long Juggernaut tradition, one of ritual and swordplay.
  18. Blade Dance description.
  19. Juggernaut response: ▶️ ▶️ My finest work!
  20. Bladeform Legacy response: ▶️ The art of our people.
  21. Edge of the Lost Order description.
  22. Relic Blade of the Kuur-Ishiminari description.
  23. Healing Ward of the Kuur-Ishiminari description.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Elegant Stroke description.
  25. Serrakura description.
  26. Siltbreaker Act I - Gastromancer's Notes, Day 22: Entry 3
  27. 100-Proof Jug description.
  28. Kataginu of a Thousand Faces description.
  29. Hakama of a Thousand Faces description.
  30. Kimono of the Ebony Tower description.
  31. Battle Banner of the Masked description.
  32. Bracers of the Ebony Tower description.
  33. Twelve-Tusks the Cape of Boars description.
  34. Bladeform Legacy response: ▶️ In a past life, we were branded as traitors… And denied a noble death.
  35. Bladeform Legacy response: ▶️ Sven, thank you for using the Adjudicator's Blade to awaken us…
  36. Bladeform Legacy response: ▶️ Once Yurnero was the last of his kind, but no longer.
  37. Bladeform Legacy response: ▶️ In battle our honor will be restored.
  38. Bladeform Legacy response: ▶️ The Isle of Masks is gone, but it won't be forever…
  39. Bladeform Legacy response: ▶️ The rebirth of the Isle of Masks begins with us.
  40. Bladeform Legacy response: ▶️ Together we will find a way to bring back our people.
  41. Bladeform Legacy response: ▶️ Once the Ancient is destroyed, our real work can begin.
  42. Juggernaut response: ▶️ ▶️ I may have lost face but I haven't lost heart.
  43. Juggernaut response: ▶️ ▶️ By the Visage of Vengeance, which drowned in the Isle of Masks, I will carry on the rites of the Faceless Ones.
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