The masquerades of Alkynia are a tradition that date back hundreds of years, since before the coming of Ghoras. It has evolved over the years. At its roots, the Masquerade was simply a celebration at the year that had past, to celebrate before the hardships of winter came upon the land. During these times, it was referred to as the Fete, and lasted a week. At these celebrations, Alkynians commonly held plays and orations. So plentiful were these plays during the week of Fete that nearly everyone was involved in one play or another. And for these plays, the people wore masks. The celebration evolved, and the plays became a less significant element of the event. One might also say that the plays broke through their boundaries and subsumed the event, for the people would wear their masks and pretend to be others besides themselves. This version is much closer to what we now know as the Masquerade. Indeed, the practice of Masking so broke its bounds in Alkynia that it is not uncommon for one to Mask oneself occaisionally during the rest of the year.

The standard mask types were introduced about seven hundred years ago, when the Masking guild decided it was too difficult to design and produce the intricate masks for every member of the populace, and the huge influx of tourists, for each year's Masquerade. They introduced a standardized set of thirty four mask types to deal with this. Each masker adds his or her own special touches, and it is possible to identify, with a careful eye, not only the mask type, but the masker as well upon looking at the mask. The most prized masks are those which were created by the Master Masker Jacques Trillian.

Trillian was a man who lived nearly three hundred years ago, and created some of the most intricate and beautiful masks of all time. The royal family of Alkynia had a set of thirty four commissioned and are now on display in the royal castle. These particular masks are alive with color and inlaid with gemstones.

But now we reach an interesting story, one that has run the gambit through Alkynian taverns and storytellers many times over. This is the story of the Enchanted Masks of Trillian. No one is sure they ever existed, and perhaps they were simply made up by someone boasting of Trillian's masterful skill, but the legend persists, and most Alkynians insist it is true.

Trillian was commissioned by King Hugh and Queen Charlanne to create the thirty four masks that we are sure do exist. But it is said that when he met Charlanne he fell in love. It was clear to him that they both loved each other very much, and that she would never leave her king. And even if she did, the king would have both their heads. So Trillian devised a plan. And it involved working long and hard on yet another mask. He worked on it in parallel with the others that were commissioned, and he siphoned off funds to help pay for the materials. It is not known how he enchanted it, whether it was a hired mage, or if his skills were simply that good. In its finished form, it appeared to be nothing more than a plain facecover. It was white and had no markings on it. Only slits for the eyes and mouth. But when Trillian placed the mask upon his face, it became as the king's. A shimmer about his body replaced his ordinary clothes with the robes of a king.

He took that mask with him to the castle and placed it on his face. He changed himself into the form of a castle guard captain. In this guise he had no problem walking past the gate watch. Once inside, he made his to the queen's chambers. Outside her door, he changed again, to the guise of the king. He entered her chamber and found her there. His love was complete, as was his deception. There he made love to his queen, as her king. It was soon discovered what had transpired. Or at least that some impostor had tricked the queen. She was kept out of the public eye for a year, and when she returned, it is said that forever after she wore sadness on her face, as if some terrible weight was on her shoulders. Rumors were bandied about that she had had a bastard child, and that the king had slain it.

Such rumors reached Trillian, which prompted him to create a second mask, like the first except red in color. Red for the blood that had been spilled. His blood. Red for the love that had been killed. His love. And this mask was a mask of death. It is said that he had a merchant take it to the king and offer it as a gift. When he put it on, it would drain his life.

But not all happened as the Master Masker had planned. The king did like the gift very much, and accepted it with much thanks from the merchant. But rather than wearing it himself, he offered it to his queen. And when she placed it on her face, she lost her life, drained from her body. The king was devastated. He sent men looking for the merchant, but he had disappeared. He also ordered that the mask be destroyed, but he was unable to do so. None of his people were, and so he ordered that it be taken far away, and commanded that nobody ever be told its hiding place.

Trillian, upon hearing of the manner of the queen's death, hung himself.

To this day, the locations of the red and white masks of Trillian are not known. Many have sought them though, and tales of men and women who have claimed to have seen them are not uncommon. A common saying in Alkynia when someone acts unlike themselves is that they are "a stranger in Trillian's mask". Regarding the red mask, many people have gone on quests for this mask, feeling that the souls of the lives it has stolen still remain within it, and that this energy could be used to fuel arcane rituals.