The Faceless Ones
The Volaines are known to place a special emphasis on purity, primarily on a racial and religious sense. However, this also extends to their beauty standards and particularly pertains towards an individual's face. While face paints are common during holidays due to its religious implications, embellishments on a day-to-day basis as well as any features that "distorts" the purity of one's face are often looked down upon. As a result, blemishes, freckles, scars, and especially tattoos are considered unattractive. Although while facial tattoos may have increasingly risen to prominence as a means to indicate one's social status, in no way does its implications represent prestige.
Deemed as the lowest of the low by society, the faceless ones are individuals who are ostracized by society. They are therefore required by law to be branded with a tattoo that fully conceals their facial features. The tattoo often resembles a hollow skull, but some variations may occur. This practice was initially a method for punishing criminals, but an increasing number of heretics, apostates, as well as half and non-Volaines make up the majority of this group. As such, this ultimately reflects the Volaines' deep resentments towards the foreign powers who had encroached and exiled them from their homeland.
As a segregated group, a faceless have very little rights (if any) and are prohibited from observing any social and religious customs. Such acts include but aren't limited to:
- Prohibited to have a place in the Volaine afterlife, regardless of one's religious piety.
- Prohibited to participate or observe in any religious rites, ceremonies, or festivals.
- An accusation and account of a non-faceless will naturally have far more weight than a faceless, regardless if said accusation and account lacks any sufficient evidence to support the claim.
- May not intermarry with a non-faceless.
- Prohibited to access any common or public properties and resources.
- Must pay extra/special taxes at an allocated time. Failure to pay these taxes may lead to debts and, in turn, bonded labor or indentured servitude.
- Prohibited to pursue a higher level of education, especially in magic.
- Though the social hierarchy among the Volaines is generally more mobile due to their meritocratic practices when compared to their Ithican and Astralyn counterparts, a faceless cannot increase their status and welfare.
Introduction to the Magic System
In essence, magic refers to the life force contained within one’s self and the process of harnessing it from the metaphysical plane within the individual’s mind into something tangible.
Unable to ignore the suffering of his people and the final wishes of his family, Ains will stop at nothing to restore the Volaine monarchy, even if it means resorting to morally reprehensible acts or sacrificing his personal happiness.
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