Friday, October 7, 2011

Standard Accouterments 101

So, the following post was inspired by some questions Fred was asking me about the various races of The Known World. I feel like I've gone on at length fleshing their physical appearances out, the sizes and quirky physical attributes like the sensory spines of the Dwenoren or the plated rib cage of the Children of Volung. What I haven't really described is how a typical member of the race would look as far as attire and weapons and that sort of thing. So here goes.

Children of Volung
The Children of Volung are warriors and pragmatists first and foremost. They have no use for anything not designed to be of use in war or survival. It they wear rings, they are lead and designed to better enable a Child to break the jaw of a an opponent with a blow from their fist. Because of the heat of The Known World, they usually wear leather or hide armors, something heavy enough to be of use in warding off blows, but light enough that they don't suffer heat exhaustion just walking around. They are a hardy race, so lighter armors like chain and scale mail are not uncommon. They always go armed for war, as they are a warrior race. Their weapons and armor are well cared for, as they are career soldiers and competent smiths that live or die by the steel they bear. The race favors a bastard sword and buckler, as that is what their father Volung wields in battle, but any melee weapon would be appropriate to be found on their person. The eschew the use of long range weapons like rifles and longbows, except in very specific situations, but they do employ the use of small arms like revolvers and shotguns or even semi-archaic weapons like the crossbow, it just depends on the personal tastes of the Child in question. The Children do not have a good relationship with equine creatures, so they typically march everywhere and usually wear heavy armored boots well suited to battle or hiking around the mountains of Volungshemle, kind of a medieval version of a mountain boot or steel-toed work boot. They keep their black hair long, but bind it into a leather thing to keep it tied behind their heads. Though they do not favor jewelry, they do pierce their ears with bits and pieces of metal, typically shattered remains taken from the weapons and armor of fallen foes. Anything else that the Children would have with them, supplies for travel, money pouches, camp supplies, etc would be well cared for, but rugged and durable.

Because the pal, moist skin of the Dwenoren is slick with an oily secretion that insulates them, they do not need much in the way of clothing. They most often wear a kilt, shirt, and sandals of some kind in their homes. What they wear in public would be determined by their place in society or in the country they are dwelling in. A scholar would carry a satchel for papers or books, a smith or artisan would potentially wear a leather work apron with pouches and pockets for tools, etc. The clothing they wear is simple, often grey or white, but high quality. The Dwenoren do not perceive color, so they have no need of colorful designs or expensive dyes for their clothing. Each Dwenoren wears an intricate scar upon his face that acts as an identifier for who they are, a sort of tattoo of their name across their face. As a nation of elitists and rich white collar workers, they do wear a lot of jewelry, however, fancy jewelry to them is not necessarily something with a giant gemstone or crafted of rare precious metals. More likely their expensive jewelry would be something like a large ring or bracelet in the form of a particularly complex Celtic knot style design, something with depth and intricacy that appeals to the nature of their vision, rather than just being shiny. Dwenoren are just as vulnerable to heat as other races, so they would favor leather and hides and such, though in the depths of Whurent, heavier metal armors might be more common among warriors. Warriors are blue collar workers and their weapons and armor are typically well cared for, but not of extravagant quality or made of fine metals like wolf-iron and they would seldom have any sort of expensive jewelry or riches found on them. Almost all Dwenoren utilize firearms of some kind, typically the shotgun, which is of great use in the cramped tunnels of Whurent. Similarly, they would favor smaller scale melee weapons suck as long knives or short swords, weapons easily swung in the tunnels. Alternately, they may use hammers or picks, weapons that can be used to mine in addition to breaking bones.

In The Old Empire, the lifestyle of the ascetic is considered to be the most laudable, and most Eldumans adhere to this philosophy. Most Eldumans do not prize wealth and are able to sustain themselves purely on the psionic power of their minds, so they have and need little in the way of possessions. Elduman warriors usually practice fighting style that eschew the use of weapons, so again, most of their warriors would have little in the way of possessions. Those that do use weapons would likely care for them in a diligent and respectful manner to keep them in the best shape for battle. Most diplomats and politicians would wear nondescript robes and under them, light and loose clothing that would not encumber them in the windswept desert of The Old Empire. Eldumans, and their descendants, that venture out in to the world might perhaps fall prey to avarice and hedonism of other races and would wear fine clothing, jewelry, and that sort of thing, but for the most part, they are a race of ascetics that have no need of food and water, let alone worldly possessions.

True Fallen are all over fifteen hundred years old and are typically victims of rot and ruin. They are almost all universally wizards and sorcerers of some kind, and because they know that everything physical fails, they usually put little stock in physical possessions. If they wear jewelry, it is because it in some way aids their sorcerous power, not because they like nice things or have riches to spend on it. Their bodies are often stitched and stapled and bound into shape with leather straps or stitched up tears, they use materials of the highest quality in these endeavors for the simple reason that without these repairs, they fall apart quicker. They know their flesh will fail eventually, but they do not seek to rush that inevitable fate. Being immune to mundane heat and cold, Fallen that are warriors usually armor themselves in the heaviest and most durable armors possible, as this shell protects their frail flesh from being sundered by the weapons of their foes. Even Fallen traveling long distances travel light, as they have no need of food or water, the supplies they usually do carry are akin to that of a taxidermist, as their main concern is preserving their physical body.

Fell Humans
Fell human clothing and appearance and such is completely dependent upon their place in society and country of origin. Sorcerer kings of The Fell Peaks might go about clad in robes of cloth of gold with a ring on every finger studded with grape sized gems. A back alley sorcerer of Kusseth might wear rags and have rotted teeth. As is the theme with Fell Humans, there is no normal for them, not even in what they wear. The poor wear rags and wield shivs of broken glass, the rich might bear sorcerous blades. So in short, rich Fell Humans probably wear and wield fancy things based on whether they are a warrior, merchant, politician, or whatever. Poor Fell Humans probably have whatever they can scrape together or steal from others.

Most Glenwighta are enslaved to the Fell Humans of the Fell Peaks, they are given simple, functional clothing and equipment that allows them to survive underground and fulfill their obligations to their masters. Typically, they are not allowed much in the way of weapons, though some tools and such can be easily turned to bloodshed. Fremwightan often wear heavy clothing to keep them warm in the depths while they strive to excavate their ancient homeland. Solwighta, already huge and ill suited to caves, wear heavy armor and carry whatever weapons they can fit into the tunnels. Conwighta and Okwighta opt for lighter weapons and armor that can be more easily used. Okwighta usually load themselves down with packs full of surveying and ore sampling equipment, chisels, hammers, pitons, etc. All Fremwightan make use of firearms, with shotguns being especially useful in the cramped tunnels. Some Solwighta carry actual cannons into the depths which they help brace with heavy armor, though these usually only accompany Fremwightan expeditions into territory where cave wights are known to dwell.

Greenskin Abraxens
Since most Greenskin Abraxens live in primitive clans and villages in The Beast and Wild Lands, they appear as such. Metal armor is almost unknown among them, and even then it is made of bronze. Firearms are unknown, so hunters and warriors go to battle with longbows and the axe is of far more use than the sword in the forests, and most weaponry used by the Greenskins favors functionality over sheer bloodletting power. Most non-warrior Greenskins typically wear clothing festooned with feathers and bright dyes and the like and all clothing is made of animal hides. Since Greenskins are generally a hairy race, and the forests are warm throughout the year, they do not need much in the way of clothing, a vest and pants to preserve modesty for the most part, warriors and hunters obviously wear armor over this. Hunters dye their armor green or brown to help them blend in in the forests while hunting beasts, and some warriors do this as well to aid in ambushing other tribes. Warriors, hunters, and cenns usually ornament themselves with trophies of bone or fur taken from the great beasts or other clans. Shamans and the like usually wield staffs bound in vines and leaves and hang bone fetishes everywhere about their person. Since Greenskin flesh is exceedingly tough, most Greenskin Abraxens go barefoot in the forests.

Greyskin Abraxens
Very nearly all Greyskins found in The Known World are machinist or workmen of some type in some sort of technology based field. Their attire will generally be dependent upon their profession, but they generally tend to wear grey or black clothing with ample space for any tools of their trade. Greyskins tend to favor having tools and gadgets of their professions about their person at all times. Tobacco is not native to the Ashlands, where the Greyskins hail from, and almost all Greyskin Abraxens found in The Known World smoke some form of tobacco via pipe, cigar, or cigarette. Like Greenskin Abraxens, the skin of Greyskins is tough, and they rarely wear shoes. 

Rankethlek are typically built to look fairly humanoid in appearance, only rarely do they stud their bodies with spikes and sharp ridges that Soulless are built with. Their limbs are built to mimic the form and smoothness of humanoid musculature. Their faces are always smooth oval of metal roughly the size of a humanoid head, but lacking any features. The Rankethlek can be made of any metal, but only rarely are they built of crude iron like many Soulless. The only real clothing that Rankethlek wear is typically a leather harness for weapons and pouches and that sort of thing. Often times they will also etch or paint numeric symbols onto their body signifying their rank and what brotherhood they are members of in Steeltown's hierarchy of soldiers. A rare few attach battle trophies to their weapon harnesses. Rankethlek value strength and durability, so expensive metals such as gold and silver, those with little practical use in battle, are seen as weak and pointless, so Rankethlek only rarely ornament themselves with such materials. 

Sereth tend to wear subdued colors in their homeland, as they are typically guerrilla warriors. The typical Sereth clansman wears sandy brown colored clothing with a heavy belt that holds ample waterskins and pouches of dried meats. Nearly all Sereth are expected to bear arms in defense of the clans and the nation, so almost all Sereth have a rifle on their person at all times. The grayish skin tone of the Sereth does protect them from the harsh sun to a certain extent, but it it not uncommon for Sereth to wear wide brimmed hats and clothing with little skin exposed, though the clothing they do wear must be light or they risk dangers from the heat. Because of the heat of Serethnem, most Sereth do not wear any sort of armor, relying on camouflage and engaging their foes at range to avoid the dangers of being injured in battle. Because Sereth travel through the deserts with an extensive wagon train, they rarely carry extensive supplies other than food and water, though most Sereth are deft hands at the survivalist skills necessary to survive alone in the desert. While Sereth wear only subdued colors, their wagons are usually painted and colorfully decorated in the hopes of being visible to lost clan members during sandstorms in the desert. 

Soulless can be built from any metal and can take any form, those that are slave warriors of The Fallen Empire are typically crude things built only vaguely to resemble men and focus on being terrifying constructs of sorcery and spikes and blades. Like the Rankethlek, Soulless often wear weapon harnesses made of leather or chain. Some Soulless have horrific scenes of monstrous faces etched into their metal bodies, or are built to have a horrific jawed head in the hopes that they will strike fear into the hearts of living warriors they fight. Soulless slave warriors are not allowed to have possessions, so they do not wear or own much more than their weapons and their weapon harnesses. 

Because their clans and tribes and such often intermingle and occupy the same territory, Uncout typically appear much like the Greenskin Abraxens. Obviously, since their flesh is not nearly as tough as that of the Abraxens, they wear boots or hunting slippers or that sort of thing. 

The Vyanth as a race are hedonists, they wear only the most expensive clothing and eat only the most expensive foods. Their clothing is bright and decorated and at times impractical, though those Vyanth that are warriors would not risk their lives simply to be seen as stylish. The wear and own extensive piles of jewelry and their weapons and armor are heavily stylized and decorated, though still capable of being used appropriately. As a race, they favor jewelry and decorations made of silver, in honor of the Silver King, their ruler. All Vyanth are aristocrats and have relied on slave labor for their entire lives, so they rarely have any use for tools or trade skills beyond a belt knife or belt pouch to hold their spending money. 

Edit After The Fact: Anyone have any input on how I can expand this topic? Or is the information presented sufficient? 

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