The Masks of Brilliance
How to enslave a population: convince them that their forced labor is voluntary
Originally posted to the Seven Days a Servant Inkshares page: https://www.inkshares.com/books/seven-days-a-servant/backer_updates/3ff5959f
The Masks of Brilliance
It’s always strange to present an alien world from the eyes of one of its inhabitants. In some ways its easy, nothing about the world is unusual to the people for whom this is all normal. For example, Senka will — at one point- compare something to a tegu, the dog-sized lizards the people of Brilliance keep as pets. This comparison is easy for her to make, but does not help my delightful readers.
That’s why we have dear old Frejvid around to ask about things. He’s that useful outsider that authors love to keep around. Maybe you’ve noticed your favorite sci-fi shows have intrepid reporters or scientists-in-training always asking the dumb questions.
Thanks, Frejvid, you’re doing your job well.
Well, almost. Sometimes the exchange rate on a picture is a thousand words.
Let me show you what a servant’s mask looks like in Brilliance.
In this alternate cover for Seven Days a Servant, we see a black-and-white representation of the mask of the personal servants to General Zaria Rog. The solid part of the mask is made from sacred worm chitin cut and glued together to form, well, almost a muzzle. This part is glued directly onto the face using dayglue. The glued contact points are the whole nose to the forehead and the cheeks all the way to the temple.
These masks would be uncomfortable were the glue not laced with delightful drugs.
Depending on the mask’s design, the mouth can be partially or fully covered by chitin. All masks have two pieces of sheer silk attached to them. The veil hangs down from the bottom and can go all the way to the chest. The hood attaches to the top edge, passes over the eyes, and goes over the back of the head — like a bridal veil. This veil and hood combination are intended to disguise the identity of the wearer, though this function is largely symbolic.
General Rog’s servant masks — like many palace masks — are also adorned in jewelry. Her’s have golden beads hanging from the bottom, though some houses prefer to fix jewels or even expensive alchemical creations to show off their wealth or to endow their wearers with certain… let’s say “effects”. Yeah. That’ll do. “Effects.”
When someone is a servant, that’s all they are. From the highest official to to the lowest field worker, all are equal when wearing the mask. That’s why you must be careful how you treat servants in Brilliance. You never know when cruelty might come back to haunt you.
Coming Soon: A trip to the Dynasty of Defense
Keep an eye on this page, we’ve got more chapters and lore coming up. Senka is about to have her first day of service, and it’s a doozy.
Trick Dempsey is the author of Nobody’s Business, a social-media noir set in a world obsessed with celebrity. It may be purchased on Amazon.
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