Pakaquoia are Asthaomic spirits that inhabit the masks of mask-wearers. All masks contain a piece of the wearer’s spirit, but sometimes misuse can cause this piece to become an independent entity.
Most pakaquoia are considered benevolent tricksters that only act out to correct the wearer’s bad form. A formidable few may be moved to violence, however, and others arise under even stranger circumstances entirely.
What makes a pakaquoia?
Okay! Four things!
One part mask!
One part human artifice!
One part natural phenomenon!
And for the most part: Cognitive dissonance!
All pakaquoia arise through internal conflict. They may come to the grief-stricken, the duplicitous, the recovering, and the tormented. But while intense inner turmoil creates the perfect storm for a pakaquoia, the majority manifest through simple lack of tradition. Even minor provocations, like storing a mask improperly, can invite a pakaquoia into the wearer’s life. The nature of this dissonance– and the nature of the pakaquoia– is as individual as the wearer. Masks are a conversation with the self!
The archetypal pakaquoia is a mimic of the wearer’s habits and demeanor. They go about their day much like the wearer would– or they try to, because most have peculiar mannerisms and lack self-awareness. The pakaquoia of a Basedti watchman may do the watch’s rounds, but has trouble seeing over the ramparts due to their short stature; A warrior-poet’s pakaquoia may attempt to sing hymns at the local shrine, but instead spouts a nonsense word salad. These odd but ultimately benign spirits are sometimes called naoksul pakaquoia– meaning “common,” “mundane,” or “domestic” in Sarikote.
Pakaquoia are well-meaning entities, but there are those few who rise in dire hours of the night, to such trauma and cruelty that they are moved to violence. They are the shadows of despots, tyrants, and murderers, and manifest not through lack of rapport within the wearer, but lack of rapport with the environment. They are much more dangerous than pakaquoia that come from internal conflict, because they embody the suffering of multiple individuals. Despite their severity, it is thought that they represent the fundamental goodness that the wearer has unlearned, and that empathy can be introduced into even those deprived of the concept. These ghosts are thaumat pakaquoia– meaning “trial” in Sarikote.
Pakaquoia are temporary phenomenons; mere visitors in the liminal phases of our lives. Like parables, they are meant to be learned from and ultimately reconciled with. When the source of conflict within the wearer is resolved, the pakaquoia retreats back into the mask and consolidates itself with the wearer. In this way, a pakaquoia that is no longer active is said to be reconciled.
The Third Way
There are a few pakaquoia who are not at all like their peers. This is because they are not guests in the lives of their wearers, but rather permanent companions. Instead of confronting the source of disparity within themself and banishing the pakaquoia forever, the wearer may be repeatedly visited by it during difficult times in their life. Others receive constant, completely arbitrary visitations. These pakaquoia superficially resemble their thaumat and naoksul sisters, but many develop quirks independent of the wearer and other pakaquoia.
The reasons for their arrival are obscure. They are sometimes thought to be a testament of the wearer’s strength of character, which overflows into the mask and causes it to become sentient; Others are treated as guardians or guides, and others yet are thought to be an unusual expression of historical recursion. A few appear for seemingly no reason at all. These odd-fellows are senke pakaquoia— meaning “remains” or “endures” in Satik.
What's the difference between a pakaquoia and a nakaquoi?
They’re the same. Pakaquoia is the original Sarikote word, where nakaquoi is the Beyentized version of it. Nakaquoi is considered a much ‘stronger’ word, and is often used as an interjection.
How are they named?
There is no formal naming convention for pakaquoia. The ones recorded here are simply filed under the name of the mask’s wearer (Specifically the name they use while wearing the mask, or their “alias”— not their given name.)
Okay, but do they really exist?
This depends on who you ask.
Pakaquoia are sometimes used as explanations for strange behaviour, dramatic shifts in morality, or mysterious disappearances. They frequently appear in fables and parables, and as bogeymen in children’s stories.
But pakaquoia incidents are rare; Only 10% of people in high Asthaom may engage in regular mask-wearing, and fewer still will experience such a crisis that they are visited with a pakaquoia. Those who do witness them swear by their experiences. This is a mystery that may never be fully solved.
Will there be more entries?
Not in consistent installments. More might come, in their own time, but I don’t want to promise anything I can’t deliver. Treat these as standalone, for now.
Who made this?
1ore. Catch me here.