Elanthian Vogue/Winter 5122

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This is a creative work set in the world of Elanthia, attributed to its original author(s). It does not necessarily represent the official lore of GemStone IV.

Title: Elanthian Vogue: Winter 5122



This Month's Edition

Editor: Rohese Bayvel-Timbertree

Editor's Thoughts

Ever since I was a child, I have always enjoyed winter. Even though the weather turns cold, there is just something warm about it to me - whether it's the excitement of seasonal festivities, with the inevitable feasts and gift giving, or simply because it allows me to spend time with loved ones by the fire. My memories of winter are filled with love and laughter and I look forward to it every year.

One thing we can all appreciate about the season is the fashion that tends to be dominated by bold colors, luxuriant fabrics and iconic accessories. It is time to put away the airy silks and light florals and embrace lustrous jeweled velvets, warm-toned leathers and sumptuous furs. Dig out the knitting needles and plush yarns to wile away the long, dark evenings by creating your own layered garments, mixing the snug with the stylish.

In this edition, we look at the latest trends as seen in court and feature an interview with Lady Winter herself, the Lady Arenglae Amalathia Illistim, cousin to the Illustrious Amalexia Amalathia Illistim, Lady of the Argent Chamber.

Winter is significant in so many other ways too. To some it is seen as the end: the conclusion of a calendar year and the annual "death" of nature. To others, it is a time of rebirth with the onset of a new year; a time to slow down so that nature can lie dormant and recharge to return stronger and more vibrant. Winter is also a chance to make a resolution; a statement about your intentions for the year ahead or to bring something to a close and begin again.

So it is with a heavy heart that I announce winter 5122 will be marking the end of Elanthian Vogue – at least in its current form. As its Editor-in-Chief, I have presided over this publication for 5 years. In that time, I have had the privilege to interview many fascinating people and shared my insights into new and exciting fashionable developments. Fear not though, dedicated readers, the Looking Glass still hopes to publish an annual edition, but, as the organization's Trustee, it is my intention to focus on charitable work for a while, something that has always been close to my heart.

On behalf of everyone at The Looking Glass, I would like to thank you for your support over the years and pass on my best wishes for the upcoming Solstice. I hope the new year brings you all that you wish for yourselves.

Blessed Aina'era.


Winter Blues

Despite the lack of high society events recently, it is clear from the outfits seen at last month's formal court session that winter trends have been unanimously decided upon.

Blue is everywhere.

Lady Uniana Anduin
You see Lady Uniana Anduin Nalfein the Socialite.

She appears to be an Elf. She is shorter than average. She appears to have come of age. She has violet-shadowed, pale lilac eyes and ivory skin. She has long, silky black cherry-hued hair arranged in gentle waves around a semicircular pewter hairpin centered by a pane of gleaming sky blue arathiel, a collection of large curls left to frame either side of her face. She has an unlined face and subtly arched eyebrows. Her soft lips are tinged with understated carmine. She has a thin scar of delicate intertwined thorns on her neck.
She is wearing a glass-winged pewter wyvern earcuff casting a smoky shadow as it coils along the tip of the right upper ear, a navy velvet kirtle with elbow-length sleeves descending into floor-grazing swathes, a floriated petite lasimor band gracing the left ring finger, a sparrow-inked fan of vellum and teal silk, and a pair of smoky grey silk stockings under a pair of brocade-vamped pewter leather shoes.

Lord Teveriel Anduin
You see Lord Teveriel Anduin Vaalor.

He appears to be an Elf. He is tall in stature and has a hard-muscled physique. He appears to have come of age. He has brooding steel grey eyes and fair skin. He has mid-back length, straight pale blonde hair drawn back from his face and crowned with a vaalorn and coiled silver coronet. He has a chiseled, angular face, a straight nose and broad shoulders. His steeply arched, dark eyebrows and symmetrical features lend him a dour countenance.
He is wearing a split-tailed iron grey twill longcoat clasped with a pair of coiling pewter drakes, a wide indigo leather cincher triple-buckled in pewter along the left side over a silk-sleeved cobalt velvet tunic framed along the center split in pewter briars, a floriated broad lasimor band anchored on the left ring finger, an antiquated lasimor scabbard, some fitted grey wool pants, and a pair of tall ash leather boots.

Lady Elaejia Silithyr
You see Lady Elaejia Silithyr Loenthra the Benefactress.

She appears to be an Elf. She is moderately tall and has a muscled, but soft physique. She appears to be in the spring of life. She has subtly tilted cobalt-violet eyes and rose-tinted fair skin. She has very long, silky caramel-brushed blonde hair pulled back from the temples into twinned fishtail braids and bound in a low chignon. She has a thin-boned, gracefully angular countenance, tapering to a softly pointed chin.
She is wearing some pale white pearls hung in a double strand from the neck, a fur-cowled navy suede capelet, a low-necked bliaut of blue and black razern-hued marbrinus, a slim ring of klys leaf-chased gold encircling the left ring finger, an abalone and vaalin signet band, a vaalin-laced keyring, and some cobalt suede ankle boots with narrow silver buckles.

Missoni Sabretache
You see Missoni Sabretache Faendryl the Cultivator of the Shrieking Root.

She appears to be a Dark Elf. She is shorter than average and has a fragile, slender frame. She appears to have come of age. She has long-lashed chimerical viridian eyes and richly toned, olive brown skin. She has waist-length, glossy black hair side-swept and pinned into a bun beneath a veiled ebon velvet hat scattered with azurite rosettes. She has a pinched face, a sharp and severe nose and a prominent collarbone marked by a tiny mole. Her pointed chin and delicate bone structure contribute to the waifish appearance of her visage. She has an oval blood red eye tattoo on her neck, some inked whorls of mist on her arm, an eight-tined star tattooed in lapis ink on the top of her right hand, and a winged lark-shaped mark on her leg.
She is wearing a single vergless earcap casting azuline luminescence sharply across the right cheekbone, a nacre disc back pendant suspending a trio of black glaes petals, a backless lazuline lace gown spilling into a train of billowy aqua naraina, a lor signet ring, some whisper-thin stockings of sable pearl gossamer, and some moonlight silver ringmail shoes inset with lightning glass shards.

Rohese Bayvel-Timbertree
You see Loremaster Rohese Bayvel Illistim the Scrivener of Ta'Illistim.

She appears to be an Elf. She is taller than average with a slender willowy form. She appears to be of a tender age. She has silver-lashed misty grey eyes and preternaturally pale skin. She has lustrous, cool silver hair woven into a complex latticework of thin looping braids down her back and secured by a thin gold wirework circlet with calligraphic curls. She has slender ears peeking through her hair that taper to fine points. Her composed expression has a sense of scholarly authority despite her youthful, fey-like appearance.
She has an inking of a faint star constellation on her neck, and a cascade of tiny silver stars tattooed over her right eyebrow that fades into her hairline.
She has occasional faint traces of text flowing beneath her visible skin.
She is wearing a luxurious pale golden velvet stole, an off-shoulder mazarine satin gown with a glimmering deep purple sheen, a wedding band of midnight-tinted glaes trailing across the left ring finger, a celestial-patterned deep purple satin sweep train, and a pair of gilded samite pompes inset with thin gold stars.

Lady Kasendra Malwind
You see Lady Kasendra Malwind.

She appears to be a Human from Aldora. She is taller than average. She appears to be youthful. She has gold-flecked blue eyes and fair skin. She has long, wavy red hair divided into several elegantly twisted sections and adorned with some silver and emerald beads. She has an aquiline nose and high cheek bones lightly dusted with pale freckles.
She is wearing a five-tiered necklace of smoky sapphire feathers caught in silver filaments, a bustled lapis silk gown trimmed across the neckline in soft sable fur, a narrow silver ring set with diamond and emerald cabochons, and a pair of ankle-tied emerald silk shoes set atop peacock feather-wrapped heels.

Argent Mirror Myasara Illistim
You see Argent Mirror Myasara Illistim, her Illumination.

She is an Elf. She has large, faintly tilted grey eyes and luminous, though pale, skin. She has long, glossy auburn hair arranged in loose curls about a slender gold coronet. The planes of her cheekbones and the tips of her ears are both sharply slanted, giving her an angular quality.
She is wearing a braided gold chain set with clear crystals, a dark sapphire matte silk satin gown edged in golden lace, a thick aureate thumb signet, and a pair of gold satin slippers.

Winter Elves
Software used to create image:Dalle-mini on huggingface.co

Blue is a winter fashion staple with a variety of shades, texture and styles just waiting to be worn. Blue will be your new best friend this season, replacing black as a go-to shade, and there are many more ways to style this magnificent color and diversity in how you can wear this latest trend.

For those who love bold and vibrant, cobalt is a beautiful shade that works well with darker skin tones or hair color and is perfect for evening wear. Pastel blues and subtle tones create a graceful and feminine approach to your wardrobe and look fabulous on lighter skin tones and fairer hair. Accessories are no exception and color matching works well with different shades and textures; one only has to look at lapis lazuli and turquoise set in silver or gold or cyan peacock feathers.

Winter dressing is also about being cozy and warm; velvet and fur are the best way to achieve this. Due to its sumptuous weave, velvet has the ability to lend warmth and elegance to any outfit. While it traditionally tends to be associated with elegance and reserved for special occasions, there is no reason why it can’t be adapted to be more versatile. Play with textures, colors and silhouettes to bring velvet into your winter wardrobe this year.

Soft paeline undergarments and heavy wool coats will also make you feel like you're wrapped up in a blanket. There's something for everyone this season!

Paeline is a lush wool fabric woven from the hair of Paeladri goats cultivated by the aelotoi in Cysaegir. The animals are unusual in that they molt twice a year; once in the spring and again in the fall. Light combing of the goats produces a hearty crop of fibers, which is then cleaned and woven or spun into the thin, yet remarkably durable wool called paeline. Dyeing techniques and coloring take very well to the fibers, as the hair is a nearly translucent, snowy white in its natural state. The finished texture of the wool is downy soft, making it ideal for linings or formal attire.

As the temperature drops, followers of fashion are likely to see a rise in popularity for more elaborately designed outfits: with two- or three-layered garments and the addition of "extreme" statement pieces.

Outside of blue, aim for other bold colors: vivid reds, emerald greens, and deep purples. Avoid a mixed palette and look instead to layering shades of the same hue.

Shoes and boots are also jewel-toned or metallic; either way they are shiny. Pointed toes and sharp heels predominate with striking adornments.

Accessories should either be excessively large or diminutive in scale; nothing in between. Choose ostentatious shoulder-grazing earrings and enormous rings or pendants with whimsical designs. Let's not forget the bug craze covered in the recent EXTRA!

Now, more than ever, there's a yearning to dress up a bit more. Even if you're not one for social events, there's no reason why you can't embrace the current trend with statement gloves – the winter accessory that has gone beyond its functional use with bright colors and fancy embellishments. Statement gloves can add a bit of excitement to any look.

Lady Winter

It was no surprise that the Lady Arenglae Amalathia suggested we meet in the Hall of Magic in the Library Aies. Surrounded by the tall ebonwood bookcases, we both felt more at ease wandering the circular room and talking as opposed to being seated somewhere.

You see Lady Arenglae Amalathia Illistim the Antiquarian. She appears to be an Elf. She is average height and has a lithesome, nimble build. She appears to be of a tender age. She has subtly tilted argent-sheened celestial blue eyes and impeccably radiant lotus white skin. She has very long, silvery arctic white hair that falls down her back in an austere style, save for two gathered locks pulled forward to drape over each shoulder. She has a gently sloped aquiline nose and elongated outwardly curved ears. A subtly strong chin offsets the smooth, soft features gently rounding out her face. She has a quintet of niello silver teardrops inset with everfrost shards in the upper ridge of her left ear. She is surrounded by a circle of crystalline ice shards. Swirls of pale silver snowflakes fall slowly across her form, glistening faintly as she moves. She is wearing a filament-threaded choker of pave diamond constellations, a side-laced hourglass corset of niveous chainsil over an off-shoulder white cotton blouse with billowy sleeves, a twisted blue vaalin signet ring bearing an elven crest, a bustled peacock blue skirt side-split over white gossamer, and some ethereal blue silk-threaded brocade slippers raised on vaalin-barbed heels.
The ring, exquisite in its simplicity, bears an Elven crest set upon a field of deep azure encircled by an aureate frame. Centered upon the crest is a nine-tailed fox crowned by a blue-rimmed white diamond. A flourish of intertwined grey and white surround the fox, beneath which rests an Elanthian snow rose twisted with a dog rose atop a closed silver tome flanked by a cratered eahnor sphere eclipsing an argent moon. The right flank remains bare, save for an additional flourish of grey and white wisps. The ring is made of vaalin and has a design of a sitting arctic fox with nine tails haloed behind it engraved into its face.

Little is known about this quiet young elf and Arenglae seems to prefer it that way. She appeared pensive at first as she considered how to respond to my general inquiry about her background.

"I was raised by my father, though I learned relatively recently that my late mother was an Amalathia. This was actually discovered by thorough investigation by my cousin, Amalexia, and as a result have found myself identifying with them."

After a little hesitation, she continued, her words accompanied by a rather faint smile.

"As far as where I was born, I wish I could say. Father did not speak much about it as Mother died in childbirth, so much of that was shrouded in silence. I could not say for certain when my birthday falls, either, as a result."

After covering the basics, and what appeared to be a topic she was reluctant to discuss in detail, she moved onto how she became a mage.

"Oh, I proved to have an affinity towards magic, though...one may say I was not exactly the strongest in my craft. I preferred water, and was specifically drawn to ice and snow as I found them to be beautiful. While I was under the tutelage of my instructors, they did note my focus but often mentioned in feedback and reports to Father that I...hmm, how was it that they worded it...I lacked focus in other areas of study. This was because I had no interest in the other elements, simply the purity of water and the draw of the cold and winter. Father had encouraged me, as a result, to not rely on my magical studies so much for defense and offense and preferred I consider them to be more utilitarian in nature. Which is fine, I suppose. I learned the sword and bow alongside spells, though I lean more into archery these days as my shots are swift and sure."

We paused at a bookcase containing a series of antiquated tomes. I allowed her a moment to collect her thoughts as she still seemed a little apprehensive. Arenglae looked away to study a volume or two on a nearby shelf before quietly continuing.

"I suppose it is a good thing that they did not wish me to focus so heavily on my preferred element. In recent years, we saw the destructive power of a never-ending blizzard in Ta'Vaalor...and there is the history of the Witch Winter in the Empire, as well. The areas unused to such weather conditions do suffer as a result but it does not make the world less beautiful when it is buried under a blanket of pure white."

Having mentioned winter, I took the opportunity to ask what the season meant to her. At this, her face lit up but, while she appeared to answer with delight, her responses were still measured.

"Winter is multi-faceted to me. On the surface, it is as simple as a world painted white. That first fall of snow turns everything into the purest shade, with hints of pale blue in the shadows. The trees bare of their leaves extend their branches laden with snow towards a sky of cotton-like clouds...bodies of water frozen in time beneath a surface of ice, though further down, life remains mobile. This can be further punctuated later in the season where the snow melts through a cycle, turning to ice as it drips from roofs or those same branches, creating crystalline knives angled toward the ground." "Some would see it as death, for most of what the world sees are those same trees, now barren, land unable to be sown and plowed for food...game hidden in their burrows and caves. Perhaps I could view it that way, too. Food is scarce, and it is hard to live in such climes if you are unused to it. However, it is here that we partake of the harvest promised in autumn, sown in spring, and nurtured in summer." "It is also when the sweetest of wines is cultivated, ice wine, as the grapes are frozen and their sweetness enlivened by the cold." "There is more to it, of course, for these are times of great celebrations amongst many cultures. It is a time of giving, especially closest to the Solstice. There are feasts, balls, galas. Even when there are not more fanciful gatherings, there are smaller occasions and reasons to spend time with others. So much happens during this time more than others." "It is also the promise of rebirth. The calm before life returns in the spring." "It is all these things to me and more."

I then asked if she had any connection to Lorminstra, the Goddess of Winter, or any other Arkati for that matter. Given her reaction, I was mistaken in my assumption that she was now more comfortable answering personal questions. She halted, somewhat taken aback by my question and hesitated before responding.

"I...well, no to both questions. I...Well, I understand the roles of the Arkati, or the spirits as a whole, but I do not personally find it effective for me to be affiliated with them. I suppose the closest definition for how I view things is that I am agnostic, but even then it does not actually properly describe my viewpoint."

I had the feeling that she was choosing her words wisely.

"One may consider myself jaded simply due to rather poor...experiences in the past with certain circles of influence, and I simply abstain from participating in more religious perspectives."

Keen to put her at her ease again, I moved to a lighter topic of conversation and asked her how winter influenced her fashion choices. She responded with a genuine smile.

"In truth, it perhaps influences me too much. The natural colors of winter, blue, white and silver, happen to correspond wonderfully with the colors of House Illistim, so I find it quite easy to dress for both. I am sure it is quite easy to tell by my attire today. I have been mixing it up only slightly by adding darker hues in… greys and blacks, on occasion, as winter nights tend to be fairly bleak and dark. It is not simply the colors, however, as I rather love the luxurious feel of furs, as well. Granted, I may be wearing those less often now due to the influence of another in my life, but they have not been removed entirely from my wardrobe."

After some pressing, Arenglae kindly agreed to share a few examples and pulled out her manifest.

❄ a soft gossamer cloak cut to cascade in misty white folds
❄ a plush cape of carefully joined marbled fox pelts
❄ a plush ptarmigan down cape draped from sharp crystallized glaes epaulettes
❄ an off-shoulder niveous lambswool sweater
❄ a deeply plunging vaalin-hued silk gown with pale circular swirls rising up the trailing hem
❄ a backless white dupioni silk gown with a sweeping gossamer train pinned by an ornate crystal snowflake
❄ a strapless gown of flowing white silk painted with silver and sapphire snowflakes
❄ a visage-framing headpiece formed of expansively spread glacial blue vaalin feathers
❄ an intertwining circlet of tiny white windflowers confined in ice-like crystals
❄ a thick vanilla mink handwarmer tied with sapphire lace bows
❄ a snowy polar bear fur handwarmer lined in smooth glacial white silk
❄ some icy blue sparkling crystal shoes inset with silver iceblossoms

I confess that our conversation around her elegant wardrobe lasted quite a while and we touched on Elanthian Vogue - the autumn edition on arts and crafts in particular - which prompted me to ask if she was interested in such things. Her enthusiasm was obvious, despite her attempt to hide it.

"Actually, I had just learned how to knit last year. It was all due in part to what I learned was tradition in Ta'Vaalor, where you knit socks for the legionnaires to send out. I was not very good at first. I think one pair had a sock with six and four toes, but I have since honed my work. In fact, my unicorn, Tosho, wears a blanket I made for him...and a garland I wove." "So, I weave, as well. I think I have now gotten into the predicament of being unable to decide what to make since I have started collecting supplies. Frozen, as it would be, by indecision. I do enjoy them, though...and it gives me something to do with my hands." "In truth, I find most social situations rather...daunting, so if I can keep myself busy with knitting, or weaving, it is rather calming and allows me to focus on something other than my thoughts during those times."

Looking rather abashed, she continued.

"That is a confession I did not think I would make, but I suppose enough know it already, so it does not matter." "I have recently started learning how to make shoes, as well. I am not very good yet, and most end up with one foot longer than the other still. Miss Akenna has been rather patient in teaching me, and much like the yarn and...the weavables, I find myself going on sprees collecting necessary materials. Of course, when the time comes to use them, I will be once again frozen by indecision on what to do. It is the bane of my existence, sometimes. The desire to create, but not knowing what to make." "I have made a few pieces I wear myself. My favorite are the hair accessories. I can wear my hair in some many different styles with just one snood. It is wonderful! However, most of the things I make, I end up gifting to others. I find more joy in doing that as opposed to keeping my creations."

It was almost dark by this time and I reluctantly had to bring our interview to a close. There was much I was still curious about so I took the liberty of offering an invitation to tea at a later date; it is my hope to befriend this delightful young lady and learn more about what motivates her!


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Winter is a time of celebration with many balls and galas organized around the Solstice.

One such eagerly anticipated event is the annual Silver and Gold Wintertide Celebration that takes place in the Ta'Illistim Keep. Hosted by the Argent Mirror and House Illistim, guests are invited to dance the night away in glittering splendour. Mark your calendars for the evening of the 16th day of Eorgaen and I hope to see you all there.

With this being our last publication for 5122, and for the foreseeable future, I would personally like to thank everyone who has supported Elanthian Vogue over the years. You are all invited to join me on the Day of the Huntress, the 30th day of Eorgaen at a reception to celebrate its success and to raise a glass of champagne to the exciting prospects of the new year ahead.

Listen out for announcements from the TownCrier of other parties, balls and celebrations as we get closer to the end of the year. It won't be long before your calendar is filled with exciting social engagements and we hope we have given you some insights into what to wear.