Apparently, during the Black Death, doctors actually dressed like this for reasons explained if you click the link.
Anyway, I used it as a visual aid to show what the unruly mob in the city of Bellet Osc looked like.
Bellet Osc (or The Inferior City), like most northern cities, reacted very poorly to the legions of skeletal warriors that've been roaming the countryside since forces unknown (that is, Mandy) unleashed them.
The citizens have taken to roaming the streets at night in a motley parade, wearing animal masks, waving torches, and hitting each other with fish parts mounted on sticks, eventually congregating in a statue-lined square beneath a balcony at the foot of a stone tower.
The tower protrudes into Bellet Osc proper from a corner of The Cruel City--a desolate and forbidden district whose rotting spires lie atop the rest of Bellet Osc like a gray crown. From somewhere deep within the unknown corridors of the Cruel City, the Hex King emerges each night onto the tower's balcony at the height of the parade, and whispers enigmatic decrees.
In times of unusual confusion, the Hex King orders his attendants to drop a goat from the balcony onto the square, where the hidden meanings encoded in the patterns and positions of the resulting blood and innards are interpreted for the populace by a shrill crone.
The rules of this science are obscure and jealously-guarded, but the resulting interpetation inevitably blames any local crisis on the appearance of a band of recently-arrived PCs. This, in turn, inevitably results in the entire population of the city transforming into a fulminating rabble bent on destroying the PCs. Which, in turn, inevitably results in the PCs fleeing Bellet Osc proper for the seeming safety of The Cruel City, past the crumbling gates of which the citizens of Bellet Osc are forbidden to pass (or even gaze).
Six black swans swim the moat circling The Cruel City, which though very quiet, still finds ways to justify its ancient name.
A Review of Seeing Like a State by James C Scott
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