Please note - this is completely unfinished. I have ALOT of fluff that is going to this, including but not limited to: Body Art, Facial hair, clothing, jewlery and footwear. Please be wary of future updates, which should come steadily and readily. I have NOT spell checked this document, so please do not correct grammar or spelling mistakes at this time. Thank you
So many times we get caught up in the great, fantastic machinations of society. The giant, mechanized suits of powered armor, the technological marvels of the geothermal forges, and the spectacular architecture of the Ark's Ministeries and Temples. We catalogue and record encounters with monsters that terrify us more every day, with weapons that only become more and more deadly as we perfect them.
Sometimes this culture of "bigger, better and faster" completely eclipses the small marvels of everyday life, the tiny changes in society that we take for granted, that are seen and heard, but have little warrant in typical conversations.
Rarely do elegant hairstyles or outlandish body art gain any sort of attention other than jealous or incredulous looks presently, though it is these very things that we use to identify not just persons, but entire cultures when we look back upon our very histories. Indeed, can one not tell where a man is from, just bow how he trims his beard? Both are tall, pale skinned, fair haired with features chiseled from stone. Were it not for the obvious differences in the grooming tendencies of Sigurds and Valyks, I for one would find it impossible to tell the two apart.
Perhaps a more important example would be telling a Clawman, from a Wingman. Born of exactly the same stock, one is easily identifiable from the others just by glancing at their dress and hairstyles. These small, seemingly unimportant details have shaped our past, influence the present and determine how we shall be looked at in the future.
While my colleagues in the Authority choose to fles their mental muscle on "Etherological Impact on Local Ecology" or "The Politics of War" or "How best to acquire mass wealth, with minimal effort" my writings will better serve those who walk in our footsteps, perhaps when we as a species are long gone, God's forbid I live to see the day. Instead of political gambles and military advisory, I have played no such game, nor will I ever forsake my livlihood for the sake of kings, emperors or patriarchs and their struggle for power. I write of things that are intensely and implicitly cultural, defining all from the lowest agrarian, to the most noble aristocrat - that is, in one word, fashion.
Table of Contents
1.2 Facial Hair
2.1 Functional Clothing
2.2 Ceremonial Clothing
2.3 Occupational Clothing
3.0 Body Art
Hairstyles vary not just from region to region, but from province to province, town to town and even house to house. While many styles are universally applicable (such as the aptly named "Peasant's Crop") others are indicative of class or occupation.
The Peasant's Crop - While many agrarian workers leave their hair long and unkempt simply due to issues of time, the Peasant's Crop is a bowl cut, cropped close at the sides, left long in the back and cut short in the front. While it's somewhat ridiculous to look at, it offers several boons. Because of the short cut on the sides sweat is funneled away from the eyes. In the winter, the back and top of the head remains warm beneath the hood. It's a particularly good distinction in manuscripts as it clearly illustrates a working peasant, rather than a ragged city-dweller or beggar.
Caspernian Topknot - A particular favorite of the nobles of Caspernia, the Topknot has been a symbol of a pureblooded Caspernian for ages. Caspernian hair is reknowned for it's softness, fullness and poke-straightness, and as such is styled easily. As far back as the First Ienpokan Hegemony, we have records of the Caspernian warriors sporting a plume of hair mounted high on the back half of their skull. Usually some is left to fall down the neck, and the bangs are free to fall to the sides of the face, though most of the hair is contained within the knot. In the shadow of helmeted carapace armors and powered-plate armor, however, the nobility has largely abandoned this fashion, making it almost unanimously a plutocrat style, reserved for mostly merchants, bankers and well-to-do common folk who can afford a barber.
Eretanian Creu-Cut: The legions of Eretania have long since disappeared, and with it, the regimented close-cut military hairstyle that defined the soldiery of the once-great Midalian city state. It has, however, in recent times gained popularity with the warrior elite of Greatland, who are now moving from roving bands of warrior-raiders, into a cohesive, military structure, regimented and effective. Like the days of the Eretanian empire, professional soldiers grasp for every advantage - hair in the eyes during a sword fight looks dramatic, but is only a hinderance. Indeed, the old legion style is making a comback with soldiers everywhere, or at least with those who care enough for living. Notably, it is the regulation haircut of all male Arbiters, regardless of equipment, in the old Eretanian fashion.
The Doric Braid - Popular with southern Zuudi and Halzuudi women, the Doric braid is a style popularized in the city of Doria, on the southern tip of Zuud. It's considered a highly elegant and attractive middle class style, though because it is easy to tie by one's self, it lacks the sophistication and percieved "complexity" of styles considered more aristocratic. It is comprised of a single braid, that splits into a fork down the lower back. This decor is rooted in the history of Doria, the symbol of the city being the two headed hydra, for which the split-braid is supposed to represent.
Sigurdian Tonsure - Tonsures have been used for thousands of years, and are quite possibly the oldest recorded hairstyle in all of Greatland. In the First Ienpokan Hegemony, the simple Tonsure was used to indicate that one was an emmisary, a trait which carried over into the High Ienpokan Hegemony and it's predecessor, the Eretanian Empire. The Empire fell from grace, and with it, the use of the Tonsure haircut to indicate diplomatic status, in all but one region. The fall of the Empire was somewhat softer in Sigurdia, of all places. Here, the bureocracy took measures to preserve the Eretanian Legislature, much of which crumbled in the successive Valyk incursions of the Age of Night.
However, the Tonsure was kept by the Sigurdians, though it's use was widened to not just provincial or diplomatic magnates, but holy men, wizards and sorcerers. It has been preserved to this day, with but one change; traditionally the tonsure is a bowl cut, cropped to the skin on the sides, leaving a ring of hair atop the scalp, hollowed out in the middle. The Sigurdian Tonsure has a break in the circle, in the back - presumably to indicate in the post Eretanian world (where animosity towards Midalians was high) that they did not represent the old Empire.
Marastian Curls - This female hairstyle dates back to the late Eretanian Empire, originating in the city of Marastia, modern day March, the third (and richest) capitol of the fragmented Eretanian Triumverate. Crafting it involved fragrant sap from the Midalian Pinetree, and a cylindrical curling rod, warmed over a fire. Dampened hair was covered by a mix of Midalian Pine sap, diluted by fragrant spice-water from Sahar. The hair was then curled around a the hot metal cylinder, which was usually warmed over a fire. The sap-water acted as a sweet smelling gel, that when heated, acted as a clear wax, that would not only hold the hair, but protect it from fraying, or even environmental hazards such as damp or dry climates, as well as holding the hair for as long as a week. It became an instant classic with the nobility, though a more common variant, lacking spice-water, came into existance after the fall of the Empire, making it a fairly normal occurence in Caspernia and Midaly.
Teutonian Graesholden - Teutonians have always shorn their hair close to the scalp on the sides (known as the Shorscalpen), and slightly longer on top. It's a popular style not just amongst Teutonian men-of-status, but offers a clean and presentable look that is proliferated amongst Authors and Priests as well. The Graesholden is a stylized evolution of the Teutonian Shorscalpen, most popular amongst the nobles. Like Marastian curls, it utilizes a natural gel, usually animal fat, that is heated to a viscous liquid state, smeared into the hair, fragranced, usually with pulverized flowers, and styled. Normally, the hair is styled away from the face, up or to the side, but more and more commonly the hair is slicked down, touching the forehead. Commonly this is believed to hide the wrinkles, making the man seem younger, though this is unproven.
Aludan Twin Braid - A style popularized by the nobles of Aludan, this popular ladies braid is complex and time consuming, and normally requires two handmaidens working in tandem with the wearer. The twin braids fall down to the wearer's shoulder on either side of the head, and are then looped up to the back of the skull, and tightly interlaced. From there, they are weaved backwards into another tight bun, where they are kept in check by a snood or hair net. Needless to say, this style is not only a complex work of art, but it also requires a long, healthy head of hair, as well as a very talented set of handmaidens. It's a very Caspernian style, rarely found outside the heartland of the Kingdom. One can nearly immediately identify a lady wearing her hair in such a fashion this as Caspernian, and in all probability, Aludanian.
Draakenjarmaw - a complex Njorlindar hairstyle incorporating a bushy beard and a full head of hair, the Draakenjarmaw is not only a hair-do, but a rite of passage in some Valyk clans. Firstly, the man must have a fully grown and braided beard (see facial hair below) as well as a healthy head of hair. The hair is parted at the middle of the skull, sideways, rather than the traditional down the middle, or off center part. From the middle and to the back the hair is tightly braided into corn-rows, or in some cases dreadlocks (varies by clan) which are then tied together by a series of wraps or metal rings. In the front, the hair continues to grow out, much like the mane of a lion, surrounding the face and connecting to the beard. As the hair grows longer and longer, it is necessary to rebraid the "tail" from time to time, and it is customary to have one's tail "Clipped" when he dishonors the clan. One who is tipped, is considered a thrall untill such a time when the hair grows back and his honor might be regained. It is a strange and fearsome hairstyle, completely alien to most of Greatland, but a worthy mention nonetheless.
Conigwrensel Cone - The "Queen's" Cone, is Teutonian lady hairstyle. It's a simple braid bound down the center, then wound up into a conical shape. This may be accented by a conical hat, which holds the braid still, or may be worn openly. The style is considered old fashioned and is rarely seen outside of Teutonia. Even here, ladies often abandon it in favor of looser, less rigid hairstyles; many only wearing it for incredibly important ceremonial occasions. It is most normally seen worn by the elder generation of Teutonian women.
Acarid Dreadlocks - Acary is an interesting place. Dreadlock style hair is found almost exclusively in this region, and no one is quite certain where the practice came from. It requires meticulous washing and combing of the hair, and hours of painstaking work ensuring that the dreadlocks do not fall apart. As a result, the hair forms into long clumps of varying thickness. They are easily grouped together, and when tied back stay almost completely out of the wearer's eyes. The members of the Avzon Basileon, the King's Guard, have specially designed procession helmets, shaped like the body of a dragon, with a cut-out in the back for their dreadlocks to fall from, like a tail. In the name of ceremony, the obvious breach in defensive capabilities of the helm is often overlooked.
Valyk Pendulums - For those Njorlindar who do notsport the Draakenjarmaw, there is the common "Valyk Pendulums" hair style. Strands of hair are not braided, but rather kept in clumps by metal rings, usually of brass. At the end of these strands of hair is a light, brass ornament, usually circular and no larger than a small coin. Adorned with runic inscriptions, these "Pendulums" have meaning, each and every one - and are given as awards, presents or rites of passage. These Pendulums not only adorn the hair, but beards as well. The Valyk word for them are Kjarvard, and Kjarvardin - quite literally "Honarary Weight" and "Smaller Honorary Weight." This hairstyle is gender neutral, and both men and women are expected to show off their Kjarvard, and wear them untill they are struck from their heads by a foeman's sword. Haircuts are allowed, but every Kjarvard that comes off during it, must be reattached after, regardless of the length that the hair is shorn to.
The Hectorean - Ienpokans have been wearing their hair in the same fashion for quite literally, thousands of years. Tradition does not die in Ienpokos. The Hectorean is a very common style found across the city states of Ienpokos and is gaining popularity in their neighbors across the straight, Acary. The Hectorean is simply the hair combed backwards and either gathered, or curled at the nape of the neck. This is usually held in place by a flexible wooden hairband, and some Ienpokani pine sap, which is considerably less sticky and pungent than it's Midalian counterpart. This may be accented by "stripes" of earthy colored hair dye, made from the ash of certain trees.
1.2 FACIAL HAIR