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Lacunae - Bestiary - Commeddia

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plural: none
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 by Purebloods.

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 transformation.

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.