History Main / Masquerade

26th Jun '16 7:36:13 AM merotoker
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* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'', a world with similarities to ''Literature/HarryPotter'', has as the first defense to magic a simple worldwide spell that prevents muggles from noticing anything [[UnusuallyUninterestingSight really obviously weird]]. Things like Negi flying on his staff are written off as nobody looking up. However it is possible for magic to be figured out or noticed, in that case the person suffers a bout of [[LaserGuidedAmnesia forgetfulness]]. Any mage who does break the Masquerade is threatened with punishment (such as being turned into an ermine). This especially comes up in the second series, ''Negima?!'', when two "observers" threaten Negi every single episode as more and more students become aware of him (and hiding this fact becomes increasingly difficult). The school being an ElaborateUniversityHigh with oddities like TheWorldTree and a huge dungeon for a library helps in dismissing the few scattered reports of magic [[UnusuallyUninterestingSight as just part of the package]], as does humanity's natural inclination to dismiss the illogical.

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* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'', a world with similarities to ''Literature/HarryPotter'', has as the first defense to magic a simple worldwide spell that prevents muggles from noticing anything [[UnusuallyUninterestingSight really obviously weird]]. Things like Negi flying on his staff are written off as nobody looking up. However it is possible for magic to be figured out or noticed, in that case the person suffers a bout of [[LaserGuidedAmnesia forgetfulness]]. Any mage who does break the Masquerade is threatened with punishment (such as being turned into an ermine). This especially comes up in the second series, ''Negima?!'', when two "observers" threaten Negi every single episode as more and more students become aware of him (and hiding this fact becomes increasingly difficult). The school being an ElaborateUniversityHigh with oddities like TheWorldTree the WorldTree and a huge dungeon for a library helps in dismissing the few scattered reports of magic [[UnusuallyUninterestingSight as just part of the package]], as does humanity's natural inclination to dismiss the illogical.



* Mages in the Franchise/{{Nasuverse}} (''VisualNovel/{{Tsukihime}}, VisualNovel/FateStayNight'') generally have to keep themselves hidden, and teach their arts in secret. While [[CosmicHorrorStory everything in the universe is stronger than a measly human]], things like vampires still do the same, apparently because human beings are too far-reaching ([[ChurchMilitant the Church]] is rather devoted to wiping out bloodsuckers). The [[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything canon explanation for this]] is because [[FunctionalMagic systems of Magecraft]] actually draw on a limited "amount" of power -- the more followers a system have, the lower the amount an individual can actually pull out. So really, they're keeping it secret just so they can keep the power to themselves.

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* Mages in the Franchise/{{Nasuverse}} (''VisualNovel/{{Tsukihime}}, VisualNovel/FateStayNight'') generally have to keep themselves hidden, and teach their arts in secret. While [[CosmicHorrorStory everything in the universe is stronger than a measly human]], things like vampires still do the same, apparently because human beings are too far-reaching ([[ChurchMilitant the Church]] is rather devoted to wiping out bloodsuckers). The [[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything [[DevelopersForesight canon explanation for this]] is because [[FunctionalMagic systems of Magecraft]] actually draw on a limited "amount" of power -- the more followers a system have, the lower the amount an individual can actually pull out. So really, they're keeping it secret just so they can keep the power to themselves.



* In ''Franchise/{{Highlander}}'', the existence of Immortals is unknown to the general public, and one SeasonFinale of [[Series/{{Highlander}} of the series]] is based upon a specific threat to reveal their existence to the world.

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* In ''Franchise/{{Highlander}}'', the existence of Immortals is unknown to the general public, and one SeasonFinale of [[Series/{{Highlander}} of the series]] is based upon a specific threat to reveal their existence to the world.



* In ''Literature/DoraWilkSeries'' and its spin-off, ''Literature/ShamanBlues'', the supernatural world keeps iself secret from the {{muggle}} one, mostly for the sake of convenience, which actually makes things ''in''convenient when there's supernatural trouble brewing in regular world.

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* In ''Literature/DoraWilkSeries'' and its spin-off, ''Literature/ShamanBlues'', the supernatural world keeps iself secret from the {{muggle}} {{muggle|s}} one, mostly for the sake of convenience, which actually makes things ''in''convenient when there's supernatural trouble brewing in regular world.



* ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' used this as well, in that the sisters had to conceal their use of magic from normals. Not doing so led to disastrous results in a few cases (which were usually able to be reversed, in some cases with help by Lawful Neutral entities called [[TheMenInBlack the Cleaners]] who could [[RetCon just erase things and memories from existence]]).
** What's really weird is that even the bad guys supported the Masquerade, despite the fact that breaking it only ever hurt the protagonists. With that said, considering ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', having legions of [[ChurchMilitant fanatical humans]] hunting you down every time you popped up to do battle is a bit nervewracking. That, and there's no guarantee humans won't find a way to harm demons. It's much simpler for all parties involved to just keep that variable out.
* Most, if not all, {{Sit Com}}s that involve magical worlds do this. Examples: ''Bewitched'', ''Sabrina the Teenage Witch'', ''Wizards of Waverly Place''.
** Almost every Creator/DisneyChannel live-action show since ''Series/ThatsSoRaven'' has had a Masquerade of some sort, except for ''Series/TheSuiteLifeOfZackAndCody'' and its spinoff.

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* ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' used this as well, in that the sisters had to conceal their use of magic from normals. Not doing so led to disastrous results in a few cases (which were usually able to be reversed, in some cases with help by Lawful Neutral entities called [[TheMenInBlack the Cleaners]] who could [[RetCon just erase things and memories from existence]]).
**
existence]]). What's really weird is that even the bad guys supported the Masquerade, despite the fact that breaking it only ever hurt the protagonists. With that said, considering ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', having legions of [[ChurchMilitant fanatical humans]] hunting you down every time you popped up to do battle is a bit nervewracking. That, and there's no guarantee humans won't find a way to harm demons. It's much simpler for all parties involved to just keep that variable out.
* Most, if not all, {{Sit Com}}s that involve magical worlds do this. Examples: ''Bewitched'', ''Sabrina the Teenage Witch'', ''Wizards of Waverly Place''.
**
''Series/{{Bewitched}}'', ''Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch'', ''Series/WizardsOfWaverlyPlace''. Almost every Creator/DisneyChannel live-action show since ''Series/ThatsSoRaven'' has had a Masquerade of some sort, except for ''Series/TheSuiteLifeOfZackAndCody'' and its spinoff.



* DependingOnTheWriter, the existence of all of the enemies of [[TheEmpire the Imperium]] in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer40000}}'' is kept from the general populace in much this way. It's a slightly unusual instance, since the masquerade is conducted by the good ([[BlackAndGrayMorality well, less bad]]) guys, to keep the population from realising just how {{crapsack|World}}y the world really is. In particular, only a select few not actively involved in combat against them realise the existence of the Tyranids and Chaos. The Traitor Legions are a closely guarded secret. Sometimes. It really depends who's writing, and particularly on the setting, since we rarely see the non-combatants of the 40k 'verse

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* DependingOnTheWriter, the existence of all of the enemies of [[TheEmpire the Imperium]] in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer40000}}'' ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' is kept from the general populace in much this way. It's a slightly unusual instance, since the masquerade is conducted by the good ([[BlackAndGrayMorality well, less bad]]) guys, to keep the population from realising just how {{crapsack|World}}y the world really is. In particular, only a select few not actively involved in combat against them realise the existence of the Tyranids and Chaos. The Traitor Legions are a closely guarded secret. Sometimes. It really depends who's writing, and particularly on the setting, since we rarely see the non-combatants of the 40k 'verse



** The sheer scale of the Warhammer 40,000 universe helps maintain the Masquerade for much of humanity. Countless worlds have never seen an alien incursion, and might even regard the Imperium itself as a myth due to centuries of isolation. Basically all the dark things of the universe are just old stories, until they show up and start eating you.

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** The sheer scale of the Warhammer 40,000 ''Warhammer 40,000'' universe helps maintain the Masquerade for much of humanity. Countless worlds have never seen an alien incursion, and might even regard the Imperium itself as a myth due to centuries of isolation. Basically all the dark things of the universe are just old stories, until they show up and start eating you.



** This is especially the case with memetic SCPs, where enforcing the masquerade is actually a requirement to contain them - because simply knowing about them is enough to cause them to manifest.

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** This is especially the case with memetic SCPs, [=SCPs=], where enforcing the masquerade is actually a requirement to contain them - because simply knowing about them is enough to cause them to manifest.



** Danny must keep his ability to change into a ghost secret from everyone -- especially his [[SecretChaser ghost-hunter parents]], or else he will end up being hunted by the [[TheMeninBlack ghost-hunting goverment agency]]. However, he seems to have no problem with every single non-human recurring enemy he's ever faced retaining knowledge of his identity; only once or twice have any of them thought to actually use this against him.

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** Danny must keep his ability to change into a ghost secret from everyone -- especially his [[SecretChaser ghost-hunter parents]], or else he will end up being hunted by the [[TheMeninBlack ghost-hunting goverment government agency]]. However, he seems to have no problem with every single non-human recurring enemy he's ever faced retaining knowledge of his identity; only once or twice have any of them thought to actually use this against him.
25th Jun '16 3:08:55 AM Theokal3
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*** And then, in the unofficial ''TabletopGame/PrincessTheHopeful'', not only is their no Masquerade, but the titular Princesses can openly flaunt it for not only no ill effect, sometimes it even causes *positive* things to happen. Which makes sense-the Hopeful are meant to spread, well, Hope, and their magic is pretty good at that.

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*** And then, Played wit in the unofficial ''TabletopGame/PrincessTheHopeful'', not only ''TabletopGame/PrincessTheHopeful''. Much like in ''Genius'' there technically is no masquerade; [[MagicalGirl Princesses]] have no rule against revealing the existence of the Light and Darkness, and can use their no Masquerade, but the titular Princesses can openly flaunt it for not only abilities in plain sight with no ill effect, sometimes it effect. In fact, there are even causes situations where this can cause *positive* things to happen. Which makes sense-the Hopeful are meant In practice however, most of them ''do'' try to spread, well, Hope, and their keep some degree of secrecy, for two reasons: first, this is still the World of Darkness, where magic is pretty good at that. inherently terrifying to people who don't know about it, so carelessly revealing yourself as a supernatural being, even one of light and hope, isn't something you'd want to do. Second, and more importantly, using your magic too much in public or without the cover of your dual identity makes it easy for [[SentientCosmicForce the All-Consuming Darkness]] to track you down, which usually results in malevolent creatures attacking either your or you loved ones.
17th Jun '16 9:49:34 AM TheCheshireCat
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** This is especially the case with memetic SCPs, where enforcing the masquerade is actually a requirement to contain them - because simply knowing about them is enough to cause them to manifest.
15th Jun '16 8:34:04 AM TiredRoman
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** The Tau Ethereals know perfectly well that the supernatural is real. They hide it from the rest of Tau society for the "Greater Good". The main reason Commander Farsight defected is because he found out the truth.
11th Jun '16 9:07:35 PM VanHohenheimOfXerxes
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At its most basic definition, whatever supernatural or extraordinary groups in the series, often an AncientConspiracy (or at minimum MonstersAnonymous) of some sort, must hide their existence from consensus reality, and anything is permitted to maintain this: LaserGuidedAmnesia, [[{{Brainwashed}} Brainwashing]], even shaping the natural laws to make themselves InvisibleToNormals. If a whole secondary society exists secretly adjacent to the mundane world, that's a WainscotSociety.

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At its most basic definition, whatever supernatural or extraordinary groups in the series, often an AncientConspiracy (or at minimum MonstersAnonymous) of some sort, must hide their existence from consensus reality, and anything is permitted to maintain this: LaserGuidedAmnesia, [[{{Brainwashed}} Brainwashing]], BrainwashingForTheGreaterGood, even shaping the natural laws to make themselves InvisibleToNormals. If a whole secondary society exists secretly adjacent to the mundane world, that's a WainscotSociety.



* National Security services traditionally operate a form of masquerade; traditionally, Britain's MI:5 (domestic counter-intelligence) and MI:6 (foreign spying) didn't "officially" exist until the mid-'80s, though this was a legal fiction which everyone knew about. These days, MI:6 is happy to have its most famous (fictional... probably) operative, Film/JamesBond, emerging from its (real) London HQ!
* The US National Security Agency was similarly officially nonexistent for much of its history. Despite this, it was commonly known to exist, and people often joked that NSA actually stood for "No Such Agency".
* Similarly, the {{CIA}} is pretty much the definition of a a RealLife Masquerade. Besides that we know they are there to protect against foreign threats using espionage and to train new agents, very little is known about them, despite the fact that their existence is now essentially an OpenSecret. By the way, their exact number of agents is [[https://www.cia.gov/about-cia/faqs/index.html#employeenumbers also classified]], [[ParanoiaFuel so it could be as few as a select number of people, or]] '''[[ParanoiaFuel everyone you know]]'''.

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* National Security services traditionally operate a form of masquerade; traditionally, Britain's MI:5 (domestic counter-intelligence) and MI:6 (foreign spying) didn't "officially" exist until the mid-'80s, though this was a legal fiction which everyone knew about. These days, MI:6 is happy to have its most famous (fictional... probably) operative, Film/JamesBond, Franchise/JamesBond, emerging from its (real) London HQ!
* The US National Security Agency was similarly officially nonexistent for much of its history. Despite this, it was commonly known to exist, and people often joked that NSA actually stood for "No Such Agency".
"NoSuchAgency."
* Similarly, the {{CIA}} UsefulNotes/{{CIA}} is pretty much the definition of a a RealLife Masquerade. Besides that we know they are there to protect against foreign threats using espionage and to train new agents, very little is known about them, despite the fact that their existence is now essentially an OpenSecret. By the way, their exact number of agents is [[https://www.cia.gov/about-cia/faqs/index.html#employeenumbers also classified]], [[ParanoiaFuel so it could be as few as a select number of people, or]] '''[[ParanoiaFuel everyone you know]]'''.
27th May '16 10:13:08 AM Morgenthaler
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Sometimes, especially in more cynical series, BystanderSyndrome or TheWorldIsNotReady are used to explain why the Masquerade persists, even if the heroes don't necessarily ''want'' it to continue. On the other end, maintaining the Masquerade usually requires [[ShootTheDog morally gray or outright black choices]], like [[YouImaginedIt discrediting]] or [[KilledToUpholdTheMasquerade killing]] the CrazySurvivalist and AgentMulder trying to expose it. Even if the character protecting the Masquerade doesn't turn evil doing it, he's likely to end up isolated. The tensions of their role usually engender a bad reputation and kill off their [[TheMasqueradeWillKillYourDatingLife love life]].

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Sometimes, especially in more cynical series, BystanderSyndrome or TheWorldIsNotReady are used to explain why the Masquerade persists, even if the heroes don't necessarily ''want'' it to continue. On the other end, maintaining the Masquerade usually requires [[ShootTheDog morally gray or outright black choices]], like [[YouImaginedIt discrediting]] discrediting or [[KilledToUpholdTheMasquerade killing]] the CrazySurvivalist and AgentMulder trying to expose it. Even if the character protecting the Masquerade doesn't turn evil doing it, he's likely to end up isolated. The tensions of their role usually engender a bad reputation and kill off their [[TheMasqueradeWillKillYourDatingLife love life]].
24th May '16 4:47:45 PM ErikModi
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* In ''Literature/DoraWilkSeries'' and its spin-off, ''Literature/ShamanBlues'', the supernatural world keeps iself secret from the {{muggle}} one, mostly for the sake of convenience, which actually makes things ''in''convenient when there's supernatural trouble brewing in regular world..

to:

* In ''Literature/DoraWilkSeries'' and its spin-off, ''Literature/ShamanBlues'', the supernatural world keeps iself secret from the {{muggle}} one, mostly for the sake of convenience, which actually makes things ''in''convenient when there's supernatural trouble brewing in regular world..world.
* ''{{Literature/Vampirocracy}}'' had a bad one before the vampires decided to take over the world. Fully half the population thought supernatural creatures were just myth. . . the other half could take college courses about them.
11th May '16 3:24:25 PM margdean56
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'''Agent K''': There's always an Arquillian Battle Cruiser, or a Corillian Death Ray, or an intergalactic plague that is about to wipe out all life on this miserable little planet, and the only way these people can get on with their happy lives is that they ''Do. Not.'' '''''know about it!'''''

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'''Agent K''': There's always an Arquillian Battle Cruiser, or a Corillian Death Ray, or an intergalactic plague that is about to wipe out all life on this miserable little planet, and the only way these people can get on with their happy lives is that they ''Do. Not.'' '''''know '''''Know about it!'''''



** Wizards have a spell much more powerful than mere LaserGuidedAmnesia for maintaining the Masquerade. Lets say that a bunch of dinosaurs appear in the middle of downtown New York City and start eating the {{Muggles}}. To deal with this, a group of wizards will cooperate on a large spell which will search the {{Alternate Universe}}s for a New York City who's downtown ''wasn't'' invaded by dinosaurs, then copy that version of downtown over their version of downtown ''so that the invasion never happened'', up to and including ''bringing the dead {{Muggles}} back to life''. However, this spell can't be used bring wizards back to life, or non-wizards whose HeroicSacrifice helped defeat the BigBad, so DeathIsCheap is averted.

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** Wizards have a spell much more powerful than mere LaserGuidedAmnesia for maintaining the Masquerade. Lets Let's say that a bunch of dinosaurs appear in the middle of downtown New York City and start eating the {{Muggles}}. To deal with this, a group of wizards will cooperate on a large spell which will search the {{Alternate Universe}}s for a New York City who's whose downtown ''wasn't'' invaded by dinosaurs, then copy that version of downtown over their version of downtown ''so that the invasion never happened'', up to and including ''bringing the dead {{Muggles}} back to life''. However, this spell can't be used to bring wizards back to life, or non-wizards whose HeroicSacrifice helped defeat the BigBad, so DeathIsCheap is averted.



* In the ''Literature/AlcatrazSeries''- Most of the world, known as the Hushlands are controlled by Evil Librarians who use their control of information to teach all sorts of lies about history, economics, geography, physics, etc. The Free Kingdoms are continents that have not yet been conquered by the Evil Librarians, so they don't even appear on Librarian-approved maps. For example, one of the Free Kingdoms is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

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* In the ''Literature/AlcatrazSeries''- Most ''Literature/AlcatrazSeries''--Most of the world, known as the Hushlands are Hushlands, is controlled by Evil Librarians who use their control of information to teach all sorts of lies about history, economics, geography, physics, etc. The Free Kingdoms are continents that have not yet been conquered by the Evil Librarians, so they don't even appear on Librarian-approved maps. For example, one of the Free Kingdoms is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.



* ''Literature/RiversOfLondon'' the masquerade is kept up not by deliberate cover-ups, but mainly by a combination of traditionally being discrete and just nobody having actually noticed yet. Between Peter and Tyburn's efforts, this may not last much longer.

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* ''Literature/RiversOfLondon'' the The masquerade is kept up not by deliberate cover-ups, but mainly by a combination of traditionally being discrete discreet and just nobody having actually noticed yet. Between Peter and Tyburn's efforts, this may not last much longer.



* In Creator/ChinaMieville's ''The City and The City'' two cities are juxtaposed in space, yet every single citizen 'unsees' the opposite city which is right in front of them. However, they are allowed to cross the border and be a tourist in the other city, in which case they unsee their own city and see the other one instead. Unseeing is a deliberate act and you can 'see' the wrong city if you want, but you will immediately be 'disappeared' if you do (Children are allowed some leniency while they learn the system). It is never clear if this is a masquerade created by the people who live each city or if there is some other cause.

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* In Creator/ChinaMieville's ''The City and The City'' two cities are juxtaposed in space, yet every single citizen 'unsees' the opposite city which is right in front of them. However, they are allowed to cross the border and be a tourist in the other city, in which case they unsee their own city and see the other one instead. Unseeing is a deliberate act and you can 'see' the wrong city if you want, but you will immediately be 'disappeared' if you do (Children (children are allowed some leniency while they learn the system). It is never clear if this is a masquerade created by the people who live each city or if there is some other cause.
26th Apr '16 2:43:53 PM Theokal3
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*** In the other unofficial ''TabletopGame/DragonsTheEmbers'', the [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Oroboroi]] have a very good reason for the Masquerade - back when their existence was known to mortals, they almost exterminated them, and secrecy is the only thing currently preserving their now DyingRace from extinction. Much like for werewolves, their Masquerade is enforced by a supernatural effect called the Miasma, with an interesting twist: it doesn't technically makes Muggles unable to see them or remember their encounter, but should they try to talk about it to someone, they won't be able to give a coherent description of what they saw, or it will come out as sounding like they have seen a mundane animal instead of a fire-breathing reptile.

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*** In the other unofficial ''TabletopGame/DragonsTheEmbers'', ''TabletopGame/DragonTheEmbers'', the [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Oroboroi]] have a very good reason for the Masquerade - back when their existence was known to mortals, they almost exterminated them, and secrecy is the only thing currently preserving their now DyingRace from extinction. Much like for werewolves, their Masquerade is enforced by a supernatural effect called the Miasma, with an interesting twist: it doesn't technically makes Muggles unable to see them or remember their encounter, but should they try to talk about it to someone, they won't be able to give a coherent description of what they saw, or it will come out as sounding like they have seen a mundane animal instead of a fire-breathing reptile.
26th Apr '16 2:43:17 PM Theokal3
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Added DiffLines:

*** In the other unofficial ''TabletopGame/DragonsTheEmbers'', the [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Oroboroi]] have a very good reason for the Masquerade - back when their existence was known to mortals, they almost exterminated them, and secrecy is the only thing currently preserving their now DyingRace from extinction. Much like for werewolves, their Masquerade is enforced by a supernatural effect called the Miasma, with an interesting twist: it doesn't technically makes Muggles unable to see them or remember their encounter, but should they try to talk about it to someone, they won't be able to give a coherent description of what they saw, or it will come out as sounding like they have seen a mundane animal instead of a fire-breathing reptile.
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