Masked Men

Of all the foul creatures that inhabit the endless sea there are none so disgusting and reviled as the Masked Men. They are thin and gangly and weak, but quick and cruel. They stand fully at seven feet tall but walk hunched and crooked so as to match hight with most men. They prefer spears and polearms and shun heavier weapons or blades that let their enemies near, as their bones are more frail than mankind. Drawing a bow is beyond their strength, and their peculiar senses prevent them from being effective with crossbows.

Their name comes from their most obvious feature, the masks the they wear to cover their sensitive heads. The masks range from richly decorated to simple weaves or even natural pieces such as coconuts or thick leaves. Their masks have no eye holes, for the Masked Men have no eyes. Behind their masks are wrinkly amorphous heads that bring to mind burned matchsticks or rotten apples. In the center of the head, where the face would be, are deep pits that they “see” from, and it seems they can sense through the masks or other near objects like doors or thin walls.

The Masked Men hate other races and fear them, choosing to use ambushes and traps over man-to-man fighting. They have a strange language of echoing click and clacks but some know the tongues of men, presumably learned from prisoners before sacrificing them to their queer Masked God. They will sometimes scream false cries for help that lure would-be heroes to their doom.

Masked Men travel the sea in rough spherical ships made of woven branches and pitch, rowed by slaves. When they reach a new land they kill the slaves and sink the boats, stranding themselves until new slaves and timber can be found.
They culture, what little exists of it, is a surprisingly unified one. There have never been accounts of Masked Men slaying one another, and they seem to lack leaders at all. They have no permanent cities save one: the dread island known as the Island of Masks. Many Masked Men will travel there to sacrifice slaves before a giant stone carved statue that they worship as a god. When they complete their prayers and rituals they throw the slaves into an endless pit from which no man has returned.

In the deepest, darkest catacombs and forbidden places there is another being that worships the dark Masked God. They wear no masks but have a similar form of spindly appendages and flexible spines. They are called the Whisperers, for that is the only sound they can make. They crawl from cracks and pits to strangle wanderers with their long fingers, picking off adventurers one by one without a chance to scream.

Masked Men

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