The Legend of Khaaladesh
There is a legend, an ancient tale passed down through the ages until it became but myth. Few know it and even fewer know it's true. In a time long since past, there was a goddess of trickery and deceit named Khaaladesh. She was much reviled by the other deities for her grand and ceaseless pranks. She would do such things as turn the sun purple for an entire year or swap the bodies of every mortal. Her pranks were bothersome but never destructive enough to warrant an extreme response, that is, until her greatest prank ever.
The exact nature of this perfect prank is shrouded in mystery, and there are as many versions of the story as there are people who tell it. Perhaps the gods intentionally removed all knowledge of it, or perhaps the truth was merely lost to history after so many retellings. Nevertheless, the one constant among them all was that the whole thing hinged on a specific object: the Mask of Khaaladesh. It was a divine artifact of incredible power created by the eponymous trickster, and the story always ends with the Mask causing massive chaos and destruction across the entire multiverse. Khaaladesh had finally gone too far.
As a result of this prank, the other gods slew Khaaladesh and banished her divinity to beyond the multiverse. But the infamous trickster had one final card up her sleeve. Legend says that she survived by binding her soul in her Mask, and to this day, she still schemes and plots her return. None know where this Mask is or what it even looks like, but surely chaos would reign should it ever be found.
The Mask of Khaaladesh
This object appears to be a plain and unremarkable wooden mask. It is roughly cut and unpolished, giving it an appearance like it was never finished. It does not radiate magic, but anyone who looks at it for too long feels compelled to put it on. Anyone who examines the Mask for at least 30 seconds must make a Will save against a DC of 5 plus twice their HD. If they fail, they immediately put on the Mask. This is a mind-affecting compulsion effect, but it ignores all mortal magics, psionics, and other abilities that normally protect against such things. Mindless and non-living creatures are still immune to it, however. The Mask cannot be damaged or destroyed by any means except by a god with a Divine Rank of 16 or higher.
When someone first puts on the Mask, they receive a rush of positive emotions and gain the following effects.
- +4 divine bonus to intelligence and charisma
- +2 divine bonus on fortitude and reflex saves
- +4 divine bonus to initiative
- +3 divine bonus on all skill checks
- Any bonus feat for which they qualify (can be reselcted each time the Mask is put on)
- Any one spell-like ability of a 3rd level or lower spell usable at will with a caster level of 20 (can be reselcted each time the Mask is put on)
Once the Mask has been put on, it can be removed without issue. However, looking at it for 30 seconds will trigger another Will save. When an individual has put on the Mask a number of times equal to twice their HD, the Mask's true nature activates. The Mask instantly fuses itself to the wearer's face, and no mortal power can possibly remove it. Even a god cannot remove the Mask unless they have a Divine Rank of 16 or higher. If the wearer is killed, the Mask simply falls off.
The Mask continues granting the same benefits it did before (the feat and spell-like ability can no longer be changed, however). In addition, though, it has more effects. The wearer becomes immune to all mind-affecting, divination, necromancy, and illusion effects except those used by a god with a Divine Rank of 16 or higher. The wearer also gains the following spell-like abilities usable at will with a caster level of 20: Charm, Dimension Door, Ethereal Jaunt, Greater Invisibility, and Permanent Image.
Lastly, the wearer of the Mask is utterly erased from history. Their identity, their past, everything about them is simply gone from the minds of all creatures, as if they never existed. No one, not even the gods, can remember the wearer ever living except for the wearer, themself. No power in existence can reverse this, and nothing the wearer does will ever remind someone else of their identity. If the wearer tries to tell someone who they are, it comes out as jumbled nonsense that the other person is pretty sure they just misheard. This curse is permenent. Even if the Mask is removed by an adequately powerful god or the wearer is killed, their identity remains forevermore unknown.
This is, however, not the end. Every year that passes with the Mask worn, the wearer's wisdom score is permanently reduced by one point. No mortal magic can prevent or reverse this. Gods can restore lost points, but they cannot prevent further loss or break the curse. When the wearer's wisdom reaches one and would drop the zero, they must, instead, make a Will save versus a DC equal to 10 plus the number of years the Mask has been worn. If they succeed, they stave off the Mask's influence until the next year. If they fail, Khaaladesh attempts to possess the wearer. They must make three consecutive fortitude saves versus a DC of 40. If any of them fail, the wearer explodes into mist and their soul is disintegrated. They can only be brought back by a Wish or equivalent followed by a True Resurrection. If they succeed, they survive the soul swap, and their soul is banished into the Mask. They lose all agency and can only watch as Khaaladesh pilots their body.
Once Khaaladesh has successfully escaped the Mask, she possesses all of the same powers and abilities as the person she possessed. She also possesses all the benefits of the Mask even when she does not wear it. She has the power to remove the Mask, and doing so restores the identity of the wearer. All the world remembers them and sees Khaaladesh as that person. Only a god with a Divine Rank of 16 or higher can see Khaaladesh for who she is. If she puts the Mask back on, the identity is lost once more, allowing her to selectively hide from the multiverse when necessary.
After returning to life, Khaaladesh will quickly seek to restore her lost divinity using all the tools and resources at her disposal. She will attempt to do so as subtly and quietly as possible, however, lest the gods begin to suspect something. This will likely require a ritual of some kind involving powerful magic.