While Skyrim’s poor dragons might have been reduced to mere parodies of themselves, having been turned into everything from Thomas the Tank Engine and bombastic wrestler ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage to the state of Ohio, at least their priests still command some respect.
Then again, perhaps these ancient beings aren’t too far ahead of their masters, often being forgotten about by players as soon as they’ve been defeated and had their precious masks added to some greedy Dragonborn's inventory.
One modder clearly thinks this is the case, having delivered a brand new and in-depth overhaul to make their powerful artefacts as potent and dangerous as they should be.
Say goodbye to your face, because now that powerful mask you looted is stuck to it
The mod in question is called ‘Curse of the Dragon Priests (CODP) - A Dragon Priest mask mechanic overhaul’ and is the work of prolific modder grasscid, who is infamous for making it possible to fail Skyrim’s main quest by being too slow and bringing literal stress to the game.
Now, though, they’ve got their dragon priest mask on, turning the stat-boosting collectible relics from the vanilla game into terrifying and demonic facehuggers that’ll drive your character mad.
Loosely inspired by the stone masks from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, these new and improved visages will prove quite temperamental at first, refusing to be put on, before eventually clamping themselves to your mush and refusing to be removed via the inventory screen.
The longer any mask stays riveted to your head, the more powerful it will grow, with its enchantments quickly becoming much stronger than their vanilla stats and then progressing through four stages of amplifying potency.
Unfortunately, there’s a pretty big catch, with a bit of the defeated dragon priest’s soul remaining within the mask, infusing it with “dark energy”, which will result in some pretty alarming consequences, such as debuffs to stats at lower power levels and the dragon priest actually taking over your body at higher levels.
The latter will lead to some difficult fights against the priest to get your body back, with this also being what awaits you if you decide to try and remove the mask with an exorcism via unbinding spell.
In that case, defeating the priest in their demonic form will lead to the mask releasing its grip on your face, finally freeing you to be able to look in the mirror without screaming.
Luckily, a lot of the effects that the masks have while they’re glued to you are customizable using the mods ‘SKSE’ and ‘SkyUI’, so you can tone down the madness if things are getting out of hand and you’re struggling to get your body back.