1 : Literally, 'The Comedy of Art'
2 : Italian comedy of the 16th to 18th centuries improvised
from standardized situations and stock characters
One of the more enigmatic forms, Masks, or Commeddia, are
poorly understood as they are quite silent and do not respond
well to attempts at communication. They appear as a normal
fur, but their faces are covered with a mask. This is not
connected by any visible means, and it shadows the eyes so
that only a tiny glint of sentience can be seen. Masks never
speak, and never remove their mask. They have been implicated
in a number of deaths, always committed in groups.
Given the lack of ability to communicate with them, so far
Commeddia that commit crimes are housed in ever more crowded
holding facilities. They are not trusted due to their silence
and peculiar appearance, meaning that the majority live in
appalling conditions, unable to hold down jobs or keep housing.
Since they do not appear to require food, they at least do
not starve. They never react exactly to conversation, but
a Mask that holds a job will continue to do their task silently
and efficiently, until forced not to.
Commeddia appear to have no concrete goals. They will assemble
horribly quickly to defend one another, and will destroy an
attacker brutally and silently. They do gather in small groups,
and may communicate with each other on a level unrecognisable
The process of becoming a Mask is gradual. The victim grows
quiet, and begins to avoid their friends. Gradually, they
become more and more retiring. They will eventually stop working
or maintaining any normal life, and will at some point waste
away and die unless they can find a Mask before this point.
Masks themselves are pulled towards potential candidates,
but the process of becoming one is strenuous enough that the
majority die while undergoing it. To create a new Commeddia,
a current one must find a wasting victim in the final stages.
These are differentiated from those suffering other forms
of disease by a gradual discolouration of facial fur, the
hairs turning white, crimson, or black in a mask pattern on
their face. The current mask waits until the victim is on
the edge of expiration, and waits until invited to complete
The victim instinctively knows what the strange creature
waiting for them is, but is safe until they invite
it to realise them. The process involves the Mask pushing
its mask up against their face. The strange disguise they
wear will fuse with the facial skin and fur. The Mask then
rips its head away, removing the facial skin and flesh of
the victim. This action is violent, and often leads to a quick
death. The Commeddia's own mask grows tendrils, quickly altering
the scrap of fur they hold against their face until it forms
a mask of its own. If this newly created mask can be finished
and replaced before the victim dies, they will probably live
throught the process and emerge a completed Commeddia.
Proximity to a fully realised Mask tends to aggravate the
process, causing the victim to grow weaker faster. This has
lead to some confusion between Masks and Haemophages,
and indeed they seem not dissimilar in their breeding cycle.