Both girls froze, eyes widening with horror. Torisen had always considered the masks a coy embellishment, probably because Kallystine had made a game out of wearing as little as possible in bed and out of it. However, these ladies were genuinely upset—more so, perhaps, than if Adiraina had asked them to strip naked.
Torisen's narration, To Ride a Rathorn,
"Chapter 3: Wine, Women, and Wolvers", II

Highborn women traditionally wear masks. The idea is that to see a woman's face—and thereby her expressions, and thereby her emotions—is incredibly intimate.[1] Going unmasked or barefaced is akin to nudity.

A half-mask is a standard.[2]

Highborn womenEdit

  • Kallystine is said to often wear minimalistic, lacy or shear masks, which is akin to any other sort of shear, lacy clothing.
  • Trishien is bespectacled, and wears a mask with lens in the eye holes.
  • Adiraina is blind, and wears a mask embroidered eyes rather than eye holes.
  • Kirien does not wear a mask, as part of the misconception that she is male.
  • Jame does not wear a mask out of defiance. However, in God Stalk, she elects to wear a mask when dancing the Senetha, out of respect for Tirandys.[3]


  1. Seeker's Mask, "Part I", III — "The Women's World prized the freedom which masks gave them to conceal their feelings from men, to live their lives hidden as they did within these halls in the mysteries of sister-kinship;"
  2. Seeker's Mask, "Part I", I — "wore a standard half-mask"
  3. God Stalk, Book II: Crown of Nights, "Chapter 6: Water Flow, Fire Leap" — "one does not dance the Senetha barefaced in public. Someone had told her that emphatically, many times."