Knalgan Outlaws' Masks versus Dwarven Taboo

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TeaIntoxicated
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Knalgan Outlaws' Masks versus Dwarven Taboo

Post by TeaIntoxicated »

As far as I know, dwarves consider it against their own honor code to wear masks, as they enable to commit atrocities without repercussions.
https://wiki.wesnoth.org/SecretLore
"Connected to the social importance of the Loremasters' function of witnesses is that dwarves have a horror of concealment and disguise; to wear a mask is considered evil, and do important things where they cannot be properly witnessed is considered shameful. This last accounts for the ambiguous position of runemasters in Dwarvish society; their crafting skill gives them immense prestige, but the fact that they tend to work in solitude, unwitnessed, makes them uncomfortably deviant as well"

How come they ally themselves the most eagerly with the human faction that mask themselves daily, as seen on Outlaws, Assassins, Trappers, Bandits and their advancements, for a reason not so different at all to the Masked Racist Dwarf Faction? :hmm:

Do they just have grudges against any other more centralized factions like Elves or Loyalists, being relatively tolerant of other cultures otherwise?
Do they only fight and trade side by side, living their lives at work completely separately for the most of time, and dwarves consider the alliance too strategical to dissolve it over this mildly upsetting detail?
Do they consider it collective human responsibility to penalize wearing masks by their own kind? If so, why are they on friendlier terms with outlaws than loyalists?
Or did the anti-mask sentiment appear only after MRDF was defeated and their gruesome crimes saw the daylight, and having plenty of positive experience with masked humans but very negative with masked dwarves as soon as the they appeared the general dwarven community developed a double standard on masks fueled by collective guilt?

Or is the quoted lore outdated, due to entire THoT becoming non-canon over impossibility of Dwarvish Liches, MRDF never existed in updated lore and in the result there is no mask taboo in the first place?
Pilauli
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Re: Knalgan Outlaws' Masks versus Dwarven Taboo

Post by Pilauli »

You're right; it does seem a little inconsistent. I don't necessarily have a good answer for you.

It might, as you suggest, be that they don't really care what their allies of convenience do. They might (rightly or wrongly) assume that all of the outlaws are criminals, but choose to tolerate it provided they don't commit crimes against dwarves. (In that case, I assume if any human committed crimes against the dwarves, the rest of the human community would either have to point to the offender or else all be punished.)

It be a notoriety thing. All of the masked outlaws seem to be higher-level, so it's possible that they have enough distinguishing traits and idiosyncrasies to be recognizable even with the masks on. In that case, dwarves might be okay with it because it hides the identity from random strangers but all the local outlaws and dwarves can tell who it is.

I notice most of the THoT masks seem to cover the lower half of the face. Maybe dwarves' beards are an important clue to their identities, but humans tend to not have beards anyway? In that case, the dwarves might (in the interests of peace) deliberately establish a double-standard which defines masks for humans as substitute beards, which are supposed to make them easier to distinguish from each other instead of harder. Yes, that involves a little bit of willful ignorance on the part of the dwarves, but the thought amuses me.

These suggestions are just pure speculation, though. I don't know.

Probably the people who came up with these pieces of lore didn't think about how they might interact, and now the options are to cut one piece, or to come up with an explanation to resolve them.
gnombat
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Re: Knalgan Outlaws' Masks versus Dwarven Taboo

Post by gnombat »

TeaIntoxicated wrote: November 21st, 2020, 4:42 pm How come they ally themselves the most eagerly with the human faction that mask themselves daily, as seen on Outlaws, Assassins, Trappers, Bandits and their advancements, for a reason not so different at all to the Masked Racist Dwarf Faction? :hmm:
I think it's mostly just for balance in multiplayer. (The multiplayer factions don't really match the lore in campaigns very well.)
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TeaIntoxicated
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Re: Knalgan Outlaws' Masks versus Dwarven Taboo

Post by TeaIntoxicated »

gnombat wrote: November 21st, 2020, 8:31 pm
TeaIntoxicated wrote: November 21st, 2020, 4:42 pm How come they ally themselves the most eagerly with the human faction that mask themselves daily, as seen on Outlaws, Assassins, Trappers, Bandits and their advancements, for a reason not so different at all to the Masked Racist Dwarf Faction? :hmm:
I think it's mostly just for balance in multiplayer. (The multiplayer factions don't really match the lore in campaigns very well.)
Not just game balance, but also geopolitical issues would explain why a fraction of more partisan humans would rather get along with Dwarves rather than the crown... I would imagine that dwarves wouldn't probably be so fond of people who settle on their swamps and in their forests for the sake of some central, expansionist government which doesn't really need them. Both outlaws and dwarves seem far less centralist/authoritarian on the scale of major politics than Loyalists, preferring to establish smaller communes/clans which are then bound together into a pact. Covering each others' flaws is not just about terrain, but also economical issues, like metalworking that a random motley crew of outcasts is unlikely to have, or food that the condensed subterranean lads probably can't get in quantity or quality on their own. Who wants to drink some disgusting mushroom spirit when some humans are selling decent barley beer for half the price? :D

Honestly I think that the Knalgan lore is pretty understandable for the most part, and the mask taboo issue is one of the bigger weakspots in it.
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