- "Power is a consequence, a happenstance enforced by laws that were artificially set in place. Knowledge is the heart of this. And should a man know as much as a God…Would there even be a difference?"
Background[edit | edit source]
Masego was adopted and raised by Wekesa and Tikoloshe. Until the age of nine he was kept in a demi-plane between Creation and Arcadia, at which point Wekesa decided he was old enough to return to Ater and allowed the construct to collapse. Watching his world crumble before his eyes impressed upon Masego the artificiality of Creation and left him with a desire to go beyond it. He became the Apprentice and came into his first Aspect complaining about another mage's work, which likely drove his major flaw of insistently correcting people.
His first meeting with Catherine was when she came to visit Wekesa to ask why he had not been active in ridding Summerholm of the heroes under William. A flying, winged pig escaped from their laboratory and attacked Catherine and Hakram before being subdued and returned to its cage by Masego.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Masego is very focused on his craft and on intellectual pursuits in general. According to Catherine, he is useless for anything that doesn't involve "magic or poor social skills". He claims that he believes the only difference between mortals and Gods to be their knowledge and perspective, and that he believes that the Gods and Creation are the true enemies more than any forces of Creation. He says at one point that while he respects Amadeus and Catherine's goals, that they are "Looking at the other prisoners, when [they] should be looking at the bars".
While he does seem to enjoy interacting with his friends, he has shown absolutely no interest in romance or sex. In an effort to bring him over to her side, Akua had agents attempt to seduce him in extremely blatant fashion, without him even appearing to notice.
He is also extremely insistent about things being said precisely, which Catherine suspected to be Name-driven behavior. This is supported by his backstory, as he first gained his Name by complaining about another mage doing things wrong. However, in his first couple of appearances, he's much more sarcastic and doesn't bother to correct anyone on non-magical matters. This is likely a case of Early Installment Weirdness.
He is also unconcerned with the idea of Catherine having a way to kill him if he ever became a threat. He willingly accepted a hair ornament filled with goblinfire that could be remotely triggered by Catherine following his possible corruption at the Battle of Marchford. When she decided to trust him and asked for it back, he replied that there was no way to be certain that he wasn't corrupted, and lectured her about the impossibility of tricking someone as smart as he was when he realized that she thought he didn't know that the object was a remote-kill device.
Relationships[edit | edit source]
Masego is good friends with Catherine. He seems to enjoy traveling with her and explaining magical principles, however little she understands of them. He also enjoys the opportunities working with her creates to study magical phenomena and make practical use of his magical talents.
Masego loves his family and the Calamities, referring to the Calamities as his Uncles and Aunts. He has complete trust in them, believing that any discussion or problem that might arise within the group would eventually be solved by themselves coming to some agreement. He seems to be distant with the Empress Malicia, and he had made plans and preparations to fight her (and possibly kill her) when he realized Cat's interests were against Malicia, though he didn't seem surprised or bothered about it, sarcastically pointing put that betrayal between Villains wasn't surprising at all.
He refers to the Black Knight as "uncle Amadeus", and respects him a lot, but Masego also expresses the same mild irritation as many other people who know him well at how dramatic and mysterious he tries to act.
Indrani makes a sport out of teasing and annoying Masego, spending a lot of time around him. She is also described as probably being the only person in the Fifteenth with enough understanding of magical theory to hold a conversation on his level, despite not being a mage. She has admitted having feelings for him as she says he is "genuine" about how he is; Masego seems to reciprocate these feelings on some level, as Catherine noticed he covered an sleeping Indrani with a care she had only seen him use when touching books, and in how Indrani's image within Masego's inner world was in high detail, beautiful, and "magnificent" to the point of impressing Catherine.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Masego is tall, even for a Soninke, with a scholar's build. He starts out overweight, and is described as chubby even after he should have lost weight following Cat around, suggesting it's part of his Name self-image. He has dark skin, dark brown eyes hidden behind spectacles and thick eyebrows.
Masego looks fairly plain, with fleshy lips that give the appearance of being chewed and a considerable paunch. He wears his hair long and split in a dozen braids, with a variety of trinkets including ones that reflect the light in "unnatural ways". As Apprentice, he wears long robes that mostly seem to be grey, but they have also been described as colourful by Cat, looking back at his old look, after he made a wardrobe upgrade.
Following his transition to the Name of Hierophant and subsequently having his eyes burned out by the Summer Sun, he took to wearing black robes and a black blindfold. He also replaced the many trinkets in his long braided hair with dull bars of iron carved with runes. He formed his shattered glasses into spherical glass eyes still imbued with the same enchantments to allow him to see, and as a consequence he has the somewhat off-putting habit of not always turning to look at people, as he can see through the back of his own head.
Between Book 3 and Book 4, Masego lost a lot of weight after withdrawing into his studies and forgetting to eat. He regained enough weight for his frame to look full again, after being pulled away from the observatory. Cat also notes he no longer seemed boyish, and now instead "looked like the kind of sorcerer you didn’t walk away from fighting."
Powers[edit | edit source]
Masego is generally an extremely skilled mage. He has been shown to use a variety of powerful spells such as gigantic freezing blasts and a column of fire likely hot enough to kill a demon if it could have been held in place long enough, and has been able to easily identify and usually counter or explain the weaknesses of magic used by other practitioners.
In book 4, Empress Malicia's analysis of Masego is that he has enormous destructive potential, yet has much less adaptability then his father. This does seem to be supported by the idea that the Warlock's wards do tend to be weak, yet flexible and capable of doing nearly anything. This could be due to her underestimating Masego, however.
Masego's aspects as Apprentice revolved around augmenting his magical abilities contrary to most names he considered these benefits a weakness. He believed that relying on aspects hindered him from developing casting abilities. His two Aspects as Apprentice were Glimpse, which allowed him to analyze magic in great depth even from a great distance, and Deconstruct, which allowed him to break down and restructure magic used against him.
In his new Name of Hierophant, he has developed abilities that allow him to analyze and copy Miracles and similar powers normally unavailable to mages; this allows him to grow in power every time he faces foes capable of using Miracles and potentially other powers of a similar level. The Queen of Summer claimed that while if he had lived long enough and witnessed enough Miracles he would have proven at least something of a match for her, though when they met he had only come into his Name recently and had yet to see anything besides Princess Sulia and the Summer Sun.
Heirophant's current aspects are Witness, Ruin and Wrest.
Witness: Allows him to view or experience past events in these visions he is unable to add(cause events or change) but only able to subtract(gather information such as languages). Manipulating events can lead to a backlash causing him to suffer headaches for months.
Ruin: Allows him to destroy a target, or even a large area - he first uses it to demolish the Skein's cavern. Described as "to destroy and devastate it irreparably."
Wrest: Allows Masego to steal power from another and use it himself. This aspect allows Masego to work as a mage even after losing his powers, as long as Catherine or another mage is present. It is more effective when he has to overcome the target's resistance to take it, even if it's only a token resistance.