Object 465

The Holder of Obscurity

In any city, in any country, go to any martial arts class you can. It doesn't matter the art they study, nor the age of the students. You may hope for a children's class.

Watch the class from the doorway for a bit, acknowledging anyone who notices you, but saying nothing. Wait for a moment when all the students are seated, and approach the one who is furthest left, in the back of the group. Ask them if they have a rival who calls themselves "The Holder of Obscurity". If the student covers their face with their hands, you've done it right. If not, apologize, and leave, for this battle was not yours to fight.

Look around the room now. All the students will be covering their faces the same as the one you asked, and the teacher will be absent. You may notice the walls have changed, any decorations they once held are gone, the walls a bland off-white, and the door you came in is gone.

The students will now rise, their arms falling to their sides, and you will see they all look exactly the same. You might not even be sure if they're male or female at this point. They will attack you, and you must defend yourself. If you can't hold your own against an entire martial arts class, they will tear you apart, and rebuild you as a training dummy, to spend eternity feeling the pain of blow upon blow as others hone their skills on you.

You only need to defeat ONE of the students, the true Holder of Obscurity, with as fierce a strike as you can muster. However, it is unlikely that you will be able to tell which they are before you are overwhelmed. If you are unexpectedly good, you may wind up defeating a good portion of the students before finding the Holder. As unlikely as this is, it will give you no added benefits, as the Holder does not care how many of his puppets you beat down.

Upon defeating the Holder, the other students will stop where they are. At this point, you may ask one and only one question: "What is their true form?" Ask anything else, and the battle will resume, for all of eternity, until you fall, and become a training dummy.

Ask the question, though, and the Holder will reach up and tear off his face. As he approaches you, you will realize you cannot move an inch. The Holder will smother you with his own face, and as you struggle for breath, images will flood your mind, of what once was, what will be again. Images beyond description. You'll pass out shortly thereafter from lack of oxygen. When you wake, you'll find yourself sitting outside the school of martial arts you had moments ago entered. You'll notice the feeling of his torn face against yours still persists. Upon reaching up, you'll realize you are masked in a strange cloth, which you may remove.

Wearing this mask will make you unrecognizable to any mortal and any Holder. What you do with this will be up to you.

This mask is Object 465 of 2538. Even it cannot hide you from what is to come if They are brought together.