The Tals (or "Masks") are nine very powerful chachaoongs who were chosen and appointed by the King of the Chachaoongs, Jack O'Lantern. They are very well-known in the Chachaoong community, and most others tend to be quite apprehensive about interacting with them. The Tals themselves note that they do not know why Jack gave them the masks, neither do they have anything in common. Chorang-Yi Tal notes that his mask restores itself if damaged or destroyed, and reappears if he disposes of it.
Each one possesses a specific mask and they are often referred to by the mask name rather than their given name by those who are not acquainted with them. Some, such as Yi-Mae, use only their mask name and their real name is unknown. Some Tals are animal rather than humanoid, but these are not counted among the nine.
In Korean history, "Tal-nori" and "Talchum" are known as mask-drama dances. There were many different mask dramas, all with different characters and purposes. But for most of the mask dramas, the purpose was to celebrate and honor gods and chase away evil spirits; they were sometimes performed only once a year. Shamanistic practices played a heavy part in most of the mask dramas.
The Tals in the webtoon are based specifically based on the Hahoe mask drama.
As previously mentioned, the Tals in the story are based off the Hahoe masks. Several Tals share specific traits with the tal-nori character they represent.
Nine Tals appointed by Jack ("those who act")
| Yi-Mae (Ei Mae, Imae)|
|fool||?||His true name is unknown until the end of Part 1.|
| Baekjung (Baek‑Jeong)|
|butcher|| Eun Yul|
| Gaksi (Gak Si)|
|young virgin, bride|| Yeon-Hwa|
|He/she went missing at the same time as Yi Mae.|
| Bu-Neh (Beu-Ne, Bune)|
| lover, coquette,|
| Ara (Ah Ra)|
| She is the strongest of the nine Tals.|
In the traditional dramas, she is the lover of either Sun-Bi or Yangban, and this is reflected in the behavior of the latter two in the webtoon.
| Hal-Mi (Halmi)|
|old woman, old widow|| Ha Na Rin|
|She has the ability to see a person's past or future. She also has the ability to locate anyone she has met before.|
| Sun-Be (Sun-Bi, Seonbi)|
|scholar|| Sae Ha|
|He is known as the "Doctor" Tal.|
| Chorang-Yi (Choraengi)|
| Joong (Jung-Yi, Chung)|
|Buddhist monk||Ga-Sun||He has the ability to erase the presence of himself and others (cloaking).|
| Yang-Ban (Yangban)|
Forgotten Tals ("those who observe")
| Tae-Ho (Teo)|
| He calls his group of Tals "outsiders who should not exist in this generation".|
(His name should be spelled "Teora Hao"/"Teo". It is a mystery why the fan translator uses the English spelling "Tae-Ho".)
| Bul-Chae (Byeolchae)|
|Jun||He has the ability to control the hands and feet of others.|
| Duk-Dali (tteokdali)|
|Lun||He wears a tall, black hat and carries a book, much like Jack's name collectors.|
Masks in the ManhwaEdit
The following are the Masks as they appear in the Manhwa. If they are not depicted here (despite the TAL being introduced), the actual mask the Tal wears has not been shown yet.
- There were originally two "Ju-Ze" tals, similar to how there were two lions in the tal-nori. However, Yi-Mae revealed that one of the two had been killed. Though these two are technically tals, Yi-Mae also stated that they're not counted among the nine.
- In the tal-nori, the Sun-bi character developed an attraction to the Bu-Neh character. This seems to be paralleled in the manga where Sae Ha appears to have some sort of feelings for Ah Ra.
- There are other characters in the webtoon, such as Chuh Yong, who appear to be based off masks from other mask dramas. Like Juze, these characters do not appear to be counted among the nine tals.
- Originally there were as many as fourteen masks used in the Hahoe tal-nori, however only some of these masks have survived to present day and they are now considered to be national treasures. It is these masks the webtoon Tals are based on.
- According to legend, the reason the Yi-Mae mask is the only one without a lower jaw is because the creator of the masks died before being able to complete it.