- "The scariest monsters don't hide. They lurk inside our very souls."
- — Darkrai
|Mask of Truth|
The Mask of Truth (受後罪 (トラスの仮面), Torasu no Kamen lit. Accepting One's Past Sins) is a type of Caster-type Magic as well as a Lost Magic and a form of Forbidden Magic (禁魔法 Kinmahō) that revolves around the manipulations of the negative emotions in the user's heart, forming a mask to enhance their abilities.
In the same vein as Magic Power Wearing, the Mask of Truth is one of the oldest forms of Supplementary Magic (副魔法 Fukumahō) used by Human mages, and was originally created to fuel hatred and grudges when humans first started to use Magic in war. Additionally, by extension, this would make it one of the oldest known forms of Forbidden and Caster-type Magic in Earth Land.
The strength of Magic is anchored in the strength of a Mage's emotions. This is a fundamental truth of the world. Some of the first Mages, looking for ways to enhance their skills, discovered that their magic became stronger in times of intense anger and hatred. Seeking a way to control this enhancement, some of the first Mages used their magic to transmute their emotions with magical power, forming the first Mask of Truth. Originally referred as the Devil's Face (魔王の隠面 (デビルズ・フェイス), Debiruzu Feisu lit. Hidden Aspect of the Demon Lord) by both wielder and victim alike, the users of the Mask of Truth gained an edge over other mages due to their enhanced abilities.
Soon, the leaders of countries began to see potential uses for these new Mages, the masked devils who razed the countryside, and they were quickly hired on as both mercenaries and members of armies alike. Where Mask of Truth wielders clashed, hatred and despair would fester and boil; a feeding ground for all kinds of devils began to spawn. As would be expected, however, the overuse of the Mask of Truth was not something that would go without consequence. These early Mages, so caught up in their own powers, allowed their emotions to rule them, and the hatred and negativity took root inside their souls, leading to multiple occurrences of Fata Divum; the process in which a Mask of Truth Mage becomes a monster. These creatures, far too strong for even an army of men to handle, were said to be among the first 'demons' of the world; taken root in the annuls of history long before the Books of Zeref.
With the consequences of their actions laid bare in front of them, the Mask of Truth began to be seen as a curse; a devil's pact. Mages worldwide quickly began to fear its power, and even those of hardened hearts and blackened souls preferred to avoid the magic altogether. Practise of the magic ceased, with only a few scattered Mages still using it. It had become a Lost Magic, but its impact on history was not forgotten, and when the first Magic Council was established, centuries after the events of these wars, the scars of the Mask of Truth still ran deep in the souls of humanity, and it was the first Magic deemed a Forbidden Magic by the Councils of varying countries.
The Mask of Truth is a Caster Magic that takes the user's most negative emotions and the aspects of their personality and amplifies it, using it as a source of power that's solidified into the form of a mask. The stronger the emotions of the wielder, the stronger the mask itself becomes, and the longer it lasts; Jason LaHote, the primary user of this magic, can wield it for several long minutes at a time, due to the emotions he keeps bottled up that the mask brings to the surface. The urge to kill, and regret over past decisions, can generate a mask that lasts a considerable amount of time, while weaker emotions like general sadness can barely form the mask for a full minute; however, any negative feeling can generate the mask, and the stronger the better. The mask itself enhances every aspect of the user, from their magical power to their physical durability. Every one of their techniques gains an explosive boost in power as well. In addition to the ability boost, the user's personality seems to change; they become more ruthless in their fighting style, and their attitude becomes rash and belligerent, amplifying feelings such as hate, anger, and the desire to kill.
Despite the enhancement of the Mask of Truth, using negative emotions as a form of power is not without its drawbacks. If the user keeps their feelings bottled to themselves, the Mask becomes vastly more effective in enhancing the wielder's abilities; however, it also begins to draw out their negativity easier as well. The worst-case scenario, however, is the wielder experiencing powerful emotional upheaval — such as grief. The emotions are ripped from the wielder, enveloping their body like a mantle, and transforming them into a monstrosity that fights by pure instinct. The method by which they transform is similar, but not an exact match, to the process that forms the notorious symbiotes.
- Enhanced Physical Abilities: The Mask of Truth serves primarily as a supplementary form of magic. By drawing on the hatred and negative emotions within their souls, the user manifests it into a physical form — an alabaster, often skull-like mask — which draws out the latent physical abilities. The mask increases their physical strength, durability, speed, and reflexes tenfold, allowing the user to perform 'superhuman' feats, or increasing those with superhuman strength to a new, unimaginable level. In addition to the physical changes, there are some changes that are purely aesthetic; the user's voice deepens when the mask is donned, regardless of gender, and becomes "gravelly". The user of the Mask of Truth becomes capable of crushing stones to dust, moving fast enough to be considered a coloured blur by the normal eye, and shrugging off minor wounds with ease. The physical boosts provided by the Mask of Truth prove to be long-lasting; even when the mask is destroyed, the physical changes can persist for several minutes more, giving the user the chance to survive even attacks that would be 'fatal' to them without the mask.
- Increased Savagery: As the Mask of Truth is a mask created with, and imbued by, the user's worst memories and emotions, the mask in turn takes the wielder's most negative attributes of their personality and amplifies them. Thus, while wearing the mask, the user becomes far more feral and savage, fighting less with reason and more on instinct, akin to a sentient animal wielding a blade. Even those who are normally very calm and quiet, such as Jason LaHote, become prone to violent outbursts and shouts of anger and rage. While fighting, the user's style changes; they switch from a calm, reasonable method of attack to something far more forceful; they're prone to violent attacks, lethal blows, and incessant displays of force in an effort to topple a simple opponent. Reasoning with a Mask of Truth user also becomes very difficult, especially when the emotions of negativity that created the Mask are of high quality. They're prone to be set in their own mindset, and refuse to listen to another point of view. However, the Mask is destroyed, even when the physical changes persist, the Mage will slowly calm down, and is capable of using their power in a far more controlled manner until the effects fade, showing just how strong an effect the Mask has on its wielder.
- Enhanced Magical Power: When the Mage dons the Mask of Truth grants the user a massive boost to their magical powers, enhancing the user's magical power tenfold. The boost from the Mask of Truth is considered to be tremendous; enough that is allows Jason LaHote to keep up with Crux Kouga to a degree, despite being outclasses by him in every facet of strength before. Additionally, the Mask corrupts the user's magical energies, tainting it pitch-black with loathesome feelings. This 'taint' carries over to the user's magical abilities as well; pure energy will be dyed black, flames gain a black hue, etc. While wearing the Mask, the user's magical power is considered far more in-line with a Demon than a Human; in this state, a masked Mage is called a Demi-Demon (借力の偽魔 (デミ·デーモン), Demi Dēmon lit. False Devil of Borrowed Power). This is fitting, as the result of Fata Divum is a true Demon.
- Negativity Sphere (邪衰弱弾 (ネガティブ・スフィア), Negatibu Sufia lit. Wicked Breakdown Bullet): The Negativity Sphere is one of the unique abilities given to a user of the Mask of Truth. By pulling on the loathesome emotions they've used to create the mask they wear, merging it with their magical energies to create a purple, almost viscous sphere. The sphere itself reacts like a volatile explosive, detonating if it makes contact with any object. The Negativity Sphere itself is a technique that becomes stronger after each subsequent usage, making it a brilliant technique for chaining with itself, and have the capacity to absorb other negativity spheres — as negativity feeds negativity — to become stronger and larger.
- Negativity Blast (邪激裂破光線 (ネガティブ・ビーム), Negatibu Bīmu lit. Wicked Violent Destruction Ray): The Negativity Blast is one of the unique abilities given to a user of the Mask of Truth. Merging the loathesome emotions they've used to create the mask that covers their faces with their magic energy, the user releases a beam of foul magical energy. Traditionally released from the hand or fingertip, it can also be released from the mouth of the mask they wear. The stronger the negative emotions used to create the Negativity Blast, the stronger the beam itself is; essentially, the strength of this technique is proportionate to the darkness of a user's heart. The beam itself can be enhanced through compressing the magical power immensely before release; this will naturally make the blow far stronger and faster. An unofficial name for this technique is the Abhorrence Blast.
- Negativity Shield (邪獄匿 (ネガティブ・シールド), Negatibu Shīrudo lit. Wicked Prison Shield): A technique that creates a "jail-like" shield imbued with loathsome emotions. The shield is difficult to break and serves as a protection from outside forces, stronger with the emotion or memory that was used to create it. Notably, a positive force can destroy it utterly.
- Natural Empathy (共感 Kyōkan): Those who wield the Mask of Truth gain the temporary ability of Empathy; the magical ability to sense emotions within other beings. Unlike true Empathy, which allows the user to feel the emotional spectrum of an entire room, and even manipulate it through tactile contact, the empathetic abilities of Masked Mages are limited to the "negative" scale, a common theme with their abilities. While wielding the Mask, a Mage gains the ability to sense negative emotions, such as hatred and killing intent, of any individual around them. This can serve them well in battle, as it renders stealth impossible unless their opponent is capable of erasing their emotional presence by entering a state of inner peace; betraying no emotion, which would render them 'invisible' to this form of tracking. As would be expected, the ability to sense negative emotions has its downsides; when surrounded by hatred, anger, and other strong negative emotions that attack them mentally, Fata Divum is sped up, occurring even faster within an individual as the foreign emotions mix with their own hated.
- Fata Divum (
夜空魔骨騎, Pata Dibamu, Latin for "Doom of the Gods", Japanese for "Night Sky Demonic Skull Knight"): The darkest side-effect of using the Mask of Truth. As it is described, the Mask of Truth is just what it seems, a mask that reveals the user's true nature. For many users, this doesn't have an adverse effects, though it may increase aggression. For someone like Jason, who buries his emotions and feelings under a mask of tranquility and apathy, an overuse of the mask is dangerous. The mask, while increasing aggression, brings all of their negative emotions to the front, and the impact on their soul can cause them to devolve into a mindless creature hellbent on destruction. When this form is activated, the users wounds completely heal, and any missing limbs are regenerated, as shown by Jason when the bones, muscle, and skin of the arm Crux cut off were reformed. This form increases the user's physical strength, durability, speed, and magical power immensely.
- Mask Loaning: A Mask of Truth, once generated, can be worn by any individual until it is dissipated by the will of the mask's creator, or destroyed through significant damage. As such, even if someone is not capable of forming their own mask, a pre-existing Mask generated by another Mage can be worn by a different person, and will produce the same effects as if they had generated the mask themselves. When a loaned mask is worn, it induces the same physical changes, and if the mask exacerbates its effects, a Fata Divum can still occur.
- The Mask of Truth is thought of by me to be an "opposite Patronus", the spell from the Harry Potter series. The Patronus is fueled by positive emotions or memories to defend, the Mask of Truth however, is fueled by negative emotions in order to attack.
- The Negativity Sphere is based on the move Shadow Ball from the Pokémon series, a move that has a chance of lowering the foe's Special Defence stat, thus becoming "stronger" after a successful hit.
- Mask of Truth can be used by other users, with Darkrai's express permission. However, due to its history and nature as a Forbidden Lost Magic, users are limited to only two characters that can wield this magic.