- "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?"
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 is 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.
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.
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.
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 them 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.
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."
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.
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 Heirophant, he has developed abilities that allow him to analyze and copy Miracles and similar powers normally unavailable to mages. While his Aspects are currently unknown, 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.
One of Heirophant's current aspects is Witness.
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.
"I’d seen a lot of aspects over the last few years. Become familiar enough with the gifts of Named that I could be considered a discerning judge. William’s Rise had been like a wellspring of harsh light from within, hollowing out his insides but removing every wound inflicted. Black’s Destroy was like a bolt fired at Creation, a wilful removal of what my teacher wanted gone. Akua’s Bind had been little more than an acknowledgement of her nature, the thirst for control deepened and formalized by the touch of the Gods. This was different. Masego had come into his Name standing defiant in the face of a sun that was not a sun, a godly thing that defied the laws of Creation and human comprehension, and it had shaped what he’d become. Usher of Mysteries, Vivisector of Miracles. Witness had been the outgrowth of the former, perhaps, but now I was seeing the latter and it was a terrible thing to behold.
Aspects were act, not simply a word, because they were an exercise of will. A piece of you made into a blade and turned against Creation. This, then, was intimate part of Masego. Of the man he was turning into, and there was cause for worry in it. To ruin something was no small thing: it was to destroy and devastate it irreparably. The Skein had spoken five letters and wiped away all we had wrought.
Masego replied with four and the world shattered."
“Tomorrow will be ours,” the Hierophant agreed, tone tranquil the way old and dark waters were tranquil. “And if there are any who would deny us that, we will Wrest it from them with bloody hands.”
The word sang, and the world with it, as my old friend found the truth of third aspect and we sat silent in the warm light of dawn.
Masego's third aspect is Wrest, although little is known about it yet.