The Unmasking


With the subject of St. Augie day coming up, the topic of masks came up, specifically the role they would play on this holiday. Historically, masks conceal, deceive, and entertain. However, what happens when you add a bit of magiq? You have Unmasks, a key part of this holiday and how it is celebrated. The masks reveal your inner self, your truth. That means something different to everyone, every guild, and every culture. In Gossmere, I’d like to imagine it reveals the animal within. The true beast that lies behind the surface.
I can just see it, a parade down Gossplains, all sorts of colors and masks, everyone’s heart on their sleeve, or in this case face… So what do you guys think? What would your mask look like?


Just some concept art I quickly scribbled


im not sure what my mask might look like. might be a bit odd, but probably incorporate some type of soft flames.


Wood that’s been sanded smooth. Full face, excluding eyes. Mirror shards under the eyes and across the nose. Tie on, using a natural cord like twine. Twig ‘crown’ coming out of the forehead. The mask is form-fitting and mud accents various places, which places are decided prior to wearing it.


I messed around in Photoshop for a bit and this is what I came up with. I tried various kinds of ornamentation on the mask or on my face but nothing really looked like me. This is me. It’s a rather straightforward design, but this is the closest I can get to how I see myself. Perhaps the print changes every so often, shifting with my thoughts or the currents of magiq. Do not worry about my vision, my right eye is blind so covering it is no hindrance. It would be tied on with purple ribbon to match my guild coat.


I absolutely love these, all of these, so creative and interesting!!


Mine would be a lion, noble, brave and strong with a mane of flickering golden flames. This is reflective of the fact that I’m usually pretty level headed until pushed to a certain threshold. Then I roar.


I feel like we’d have a couple of masks. I know I’d carry a few, one for my inner truth, one for the truth for my guild (even with my odd status in how i view my polyguild-ness), and one for another truth, something i cant think of at the time, but another truth…

Or my masks would incorporate to all of them. my inner truth, my outer truth, and my guild truth. 3 masks that play on each other. Lordy my mind is all over the place.


After a lot of research I’ve decided I would be a mink. In most traditions involving animal spirits or energy, the mink involves the concepts of needing stimulus, both emotionally and mentally, but also a love for small and safe areas. I have a connection with minks as well because when I was little me and my dad spotted a white one just in our back yard, a rare sight in Pennsylvania.
So yeah, a mink it is.


i still need to do my research there…


In terms of a unified guild theming, Thornmouth could exaggerate the individual. With each mask having elements related to the person’s specific area of study. Whatever they seem the most knowledgeable in. (My mask stressing my involvement in botany.) Allowing the remaining features to be utilized for personal representation, in the terms of personality. (Hence my usage of a full-face mask and the mirror shards.)
Unity could also come from each member etching/writing/carving their favorite quote or passage, from anywhere, someplace on the mask, be it on the front, the side, or the back. (Mine would likely be on the back. That being, “Wasing the how of wanting the doing.”)


@VictorianFlorist Is that Mistborn?


While the face of my mask is simple, i feel that the ribbon would be ornate, decorated with Egyptian symbols. The ends would have silver charms, one with an eye of Horus, and the other with an orizuru.


Wasing the being of the right. Wasing the having of the slang the knowing. Ising the doing of the learning of.


Id have a kitsune mask. I love playing tricks and having fun, but I have enough respect and compassion to help when Im needed.


So this is way late, but I had this thought on the first day we talked about the Unmasks and it became this spiralling creative writing thing that I needed to do justice to but didn’t have time. Um…here, have this?

It was almost time. Her outfit was in place, her boots laced and guild coat buttoned against the chill of the wind. In her bag was a fresh, unlit candle, some scraps of green and copper ribbon, and her trusty graph notebook that travelled with her everywhere. There was only one thing left to do before she departed for the St. Augernon’s gathering: the Unmask.

She couldn’t see it, of course. It was very difficult to see one’s own mask; in theory, the wearer knew who they truly were, so there was nothing secret that needed revealing. She didn’t think this was at all true, but there was also something nice about hearing others describe your Unmask to you. She still savored all of the details that had been described to her last Augernon’s Eve.

Her Unmask, according to those who had seen it, appeared to be made of a thin, pale wood that appeared bright and warm when she was healthy, but seemed to splinter and dull the more she slipped out of balance (as she had when she began to come down with a cold that very night).

Over the forehead were several rows of shifting characters: numbers, symbols, English and Greek letters, with an occasional Cyrillic letter creeping in. They appeared to be carved into the wood, but every few moments, a few at a time, the characters would glow softly and melt away, to be replaced by a different set, as though a living data stream was spilling out of the wood. The eyepieces, which she could not see any better than the rest of the mask, were covered in luminescent, overlapping cogs, which turned as she considered things, catching the light as connections occurred to her, and glowing with colors that reflected her moods.

The part that most pleased her to hear about, however, played across the cheekbones and bridge of her nose, and spread down over her mouth and chin. Swirling over the lower half of her face was a living work of embroidery, stitching and re-stitching itself into various patterns and pictures. Sometimes it moved too fast to catch a clear glimpse of, but a few pictures had apparently been discernible. Last time, when she recalled the Chora Church in Istanbul, it had worked itself into a fairly neat likeness of the Anastasis fresco in the side chapel. At another moment, as she sang through a particular song in her head, colored flames leapt to life, sparking and dancing over her lower face.

She smiled a bit to herself as she stood in front of the mirror, sliding a hand down her face and feeling the Unmask follow it down like a trickle of water. Stared at her reflection, seeing nothing new herself but Feeling that it had taken hold. She wondered what might have changed, this time around.


we need to have a neithernorian unmasking festival some day soon!


Bringing this back for St. Augie’s 2019


Getting ready for the party is half the fun. I’d spent half the day dressing and undressing, digging through my collection of jewelry to find that perfect look for the big night. In the end I settled on simple leather pants with heeled boots and a dark sweater. Simple suits me well.
I stuff a handful of papers into a small bag and shrug on my guild coat. The heavy fabric calms my anxiety and reminds me that I am a part of something bigger than myself.
I throw the bag over my shoulder and stand in front of my closet door, holding a paper mask in my hand. It appears plain for now but I am told that words cover it while it’s worn, sliding across my nose and under my eye. I press it to my face and tie the ribbons behind my head. I feel the embroidered symbols as I straighten the bow and the charms ring like bells as they fall into place.
I take a breath and ready myself.
knock knock knock.
My closet door summons. It’s time. I step through to a forest clearing lined in glittering lights and flowering vines, with countless types of fruit hanging from the trees.
My family greets me with nicknames and hugs and I feel more at home here in the strange forest than I did in my own house. As the night wears on I slip folded papers into hands, not bringing attention to it but making sure the recepents knew they were there. I was never good at expressing my feelings, but it’s so much easier written down.