Elanthian Vogue: Charlatos 5119
This Month's Edition
Editor: The Editorial Team in the absence of Rohese Bayvel-Timsh'l
Lady Autumnn Goldberry
In Edition 2, in the month of Charlatos last year, we celebrated the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of Elanthian women. It seems only fitting that we do the same this year, but with a slight difference: in 5119 we acknowledge those who choose to avoid lofty status yet still serve with honor and distinction.
Myasara Illistim, the most recent post-Lanenreat Argent Mirror, has reigned during a time of radical changes in Elanith. But rather than focus on the central woman in power, we take a look instead at the role of women behind the Peacock Throne, more specifically the Handmaidens, and the part they have played - and continue to play - in their sovereign’s shift towards idealism and egalitarianism.
It is no coincidence either that we chose to dedicate this edition to the Handmaidens when you consider that the night sky will soon be dominated by a constellation of the same name. Clustered tightly about each other, the six stars of Zelia’s ladies-in-waiting will shine brightly from day 21 of the month of Charlatos until day 3 of the month of Olaesta.
The stars in general have always held us in their thrall. Some of us look to them for power, others for answers, and others just in sheer wonder, but there is something about those twinkling points of light in the night sky that are just plain fascinating. Lady Autumnn Goldberry, a sylvan spiritcaller and gifted hydromancer, shares her insights into what the rest of the year has in store for those born under the six spring Constellations of the Northern Sky.
Lifestyle: Life in Service
"You call to me, my Shining City,
Beyond thy sapphire gates.
That's where my feet will carry me-
And where my yearning abates."
The House of Illistim seat of power is within the Ta'Illistim Keep and currently held by the Argent Mirror, Myasara. Capped with silver and blue glaes-tiled domes, her residence is breathtaking in its architecture but then this is no surprise for a city that has been hailed in poetry as "The Shining City."
We took our seats in the Council Salon. The ladies thought it would be fun for us to sit and talk in its exalted surroundings, but perhaps that was because they hoped the sheer size and scale of the opulently furnished chamber - with the stunning diamond-inset avian mosaic above - would be a distraction. They were right!
After several glasses of a rather delicious aged blackberry wine, nerves were settled - mine mostly - and the conversation flowed, despite an interruption from the Seneschal who left his nearby office briefly to hand some official-looking papers to both ladies.
Handmaidens, or ladies of the Argentate, are usually single elven ladies of noble birth who serve as loyal companion, confidante, and advisor to the Argent Mirror. Their duties vary but generally include proficiency in the etiquette, languages, and dances prevalent at court, dealing with correspondence, embroidery, painting, music making, wardrobe care, personal needs, and keeping their sovereign abreast of activities and personages of note in her presence. Whilst it’s not necessarily part of their so-called job description, they can also be relied upon to know the latest gossip and discreetly relay messages – being the eyes and ears of the Mirror.
Lady Amalexia Amalathia Illistim, a veteran at Court, was quite at ease from the outset, having already served time as a Handmaiden. Apparently, her interview with the Mirror was more of an informal chat on Ta'Illistim’s Green.
"I did not really realize I was being interviewed at the time!"
Amalexia – or Lexi as she prefers to be called by her friends - made no secret of the fact that she is fond of her employer and wished to ensure she had someone she knew and trusted by her side.
You see Illustrious Lady Amalexia Amalathia Illistim the Handmaiden to the Argent Mirror. She appears to be an Elf. She is shorter than average. She appears to be young and sprightly. She has subtly slanted, argent-flecked cobalt eyes and smooth alabaster skin. She has thigh length, immaculate pale silver hair reminiscent of spun moonlight. She has a delicate face and long, shapely ears that sweep back and taper to slender points. She has rich mulberry red polish brushed onto her lengthy fingernails. She has a series of tiny metal spikes set along the slender tips of her pointed ears. She is in good shape. She is wearing a trio of red-tinged purple sapphire rope necklaces, a cloth-of-silver pelisse clasped with myriad thin chains, an asymmetrical mulberry silk gown with a single strap of obsidian satin rosettes, a lily and tome crested silver signet, a brilliant cloth-of-silver reticule, a pair of black rose lace stockings, and a pair of blackberry satin spike-heeled shoes with silver toes.
Dressed from head-to-toe in a delicious berry and silver concoction, the diminutive elf was keen to share that her shoes were made by the talented Laphrael Miran'ta – a former Cordwainer to the Argent Mirror. She also gave a nod to both Laphrael and the glamorous Lady Corlyne Lancre (interviewed in our Lormesta edition) in the design of her gown.
With similar coloring, the Lady Silima Oneriel Illistim also opted to wear dark hues, which perfectly complemented her silver hair and pallid skin. It seems both Handmaidens know a thing or two about making a statement with their attire; such elegant young ladies!
You see Lady Silima Oneriel Illistim the Handmaiden to the Argent Mirror. She appears to be an Elf. She is taller than average. She appears to be youthful. She has silver-filmed pastel blue eyes and milky white skin. She has very long, lustrous argent hair swept up into an elaborately plaited chingon, her tresses held by a triple-chained vaalin geldaralad suspending a pale grey shadowglass briolette. She has a plain and narrow face, a thin, sharply pointed nose and very long, tapering ears that culminate in severe points. Her neck is exceedingly spindly and of a delicacy that contributes to her overall gaunt, and wan, appearance. Perched on the bridge of her nose, she wears a pair of narrow dark grey-tinted spectacles that perfectly frame her eyes and lend her a studious air. She is in good shape. She is wearing a cowled ash velvet cloak pinned at the shoulder by a lacy vaalin brooch, a silver-caged absinthe oblong crystal strung on a long chain, a soft grey wool robe hemmed in flowing blackwork, a high-collared cotehardie fashioned of Illthorn-hued dupioni, a black vaalin ring cradled in white eahnor, a black vaalin signet ring, and some grey dupioni slippers.
The Lady Silima Oneriel Illistim is fairly new to life in service but, despite her youth and timorous nature, carries herself with considerable poise and grace. The dark tint to her spectacles, however, could not hide the mischievous glint in her eye when pressed about her interview for the role.
"It was a very quiet and simple affair where the two of us talked with one another on our thoughts and ideas."
Like her companion, this equally shrewd Handmaiden was not prepared to divulge much else for our readers.
Coming from a long line of Oneriel women with a history of becoming Seers and Oracles in Illistim, she is well-versed in many forms of divination and is a known artist with the privilege of having Lysistrata Scio as her patron.
Humble to the last word, she considers it an honor to serve House Illistim and delights in the company of those around her. As a firm believer in the current Mirror’s ideals and points of view, it is clear that this young lady is going places and already making her mark in the right social circles. For those wishing to follow in her footsteps, she has a few words of candid advice.
"I know many want this position because it gains you and your family some notice and it is a chance to serve the House. While we all do want to serve House Illistim, please remember The Argent Mirror is a person with thoughts and feelings and they carry a heavy burden and, in some things, you too will experience it.
Be honest in your interview and application, it is what I did, and I don’t regret it. I think many try to guess at what The Argent Mirror might want to hear. I was honest about my thoughts, about my status and about who I was, and I believe the manner in which I presented myself was respected by The Argent Mirror."
Amalexia nodded along in agreement and added her final words of wisdom.
"At the risk of using an overworked phrase, be yourself. Should you seek and gain such an appointment you were selected because of who you are, not in spite of it.
She is the Reflection of all of House Illistim, including you."
Tools of the Trade
Extremely rare and coveted by ladies in high society, a forehead gem is the perfect accessory for any court function. It is worn carefully positioned between the eyes allowing it to cast a subtle sheen across the face.
Some of these sought-after gems are steeped in history and priced accordingly. For those with a taste for high-end jewelry, and the bank balance to match, they make the ideal heirloom for any lucky young lady.
Retrieved from the ocean depths a decade or so ago, several revealed their provenance to be none other than the gems bequeathed to Chesylcha Sukari Faendryl, the daughter of Rythwier Sukari Faendryl, Patriarch XXXVII of House Faendryl, and her handmaidens on the occasion of her ill-fated wedding to a prince from House of Ashrim.
Another set of four highly-prized gems came into existence 10 years ago that carried the tale of a tragic love story and two special edition gems were more recently given out by King Qalinor Vaalor at his coronation to honor service to the crown.
Should you be fortunate enough to be gifted or awarded such a gem, wear it with pride.
Spring into Summer
Get "wardrobe ready" with our glimpse into the ten fashionable colors for the upcoming seasons.
The spring through summer trend takes two opposing directions: on one side towards a strong, vibrant palette that recalls the bold artwork of Miruhe Maraille Illistim, the other towards pastel hues on light and de-structured garments for a more ethereal look.
All nuances from lavender to pink are on trend and take center stage in feminine and chic ensembles with lavender dominating the whole summer season. Romantic yet elegant, it can be worn on formal tailored jackets and pants or light billowy garments.
Purple is a color that intrigues with its hybrid, mysterious nature and association with nobility and magic. Experimentation is key though to find “your” best way to wear it!
Rose, not a magenta or crimson but a full, intense pink shade. Combine it with sheer, light fabrics for maximum effect.
Sky blue, a fresh color that evokes a serene sky. It’s great on blouses or full-length gowns and works particularly well on fabrics with a glossy sheen, like satin, organza or velvet.
Light green is back for the summer but this time with a delicate and fresh nuance. Pair it with navy or white for a crisp, clean look.
Military green can be considered a neutral hue, just like beige, and used to create an elegant look with other military style pieces. It can also be worn head-to-toe by fashion-forward men and women who like to make a statement.
Milk white: a full, warm hue. Nothing to do with pure white, which has a silvery brilliance or cool tone. This shade works well on light, natural materials and garments designed for travelling.
Chocolate brown is back! Intense and enveloping, it is impossible to resist this shade, just like it’s impossible to resist a truffle or mug of hot chocolate.
Yellow: the same zingy shade found in lemons. A vibrant, energizing tone of yellow reminiscent of a summer sun and a little wild, too, just think of sunflowers and canaries! Yellow’s comeback for 5119, however, is strictly connected to the aforementioned purple, its complementary color.
Tomato red is quite frankly delicious. A totally bold, entrancing hue - not orange but not quite red – and easy for most skin tones to wear. Indulge in ample voluminous gowns or sophisticated shirts and blouses.
Something for everyone!
Communing with Nature
After what seems like an unending winter, the equinox is almost here and we’re getting ready to welcome spring. But what does this new season have in store for those of you born under a spring constellation?
In tune with the natural world, it is said that Sylvankind have the ability to gaze deeply into the depths of still water and find visions of life; the experience being akin to stepping through a window and witnessing what is happening in another time. I was privileged to bear witness to such an occasion recently when I spent an hour in the company of the sylvan spiritcaller and hydromancer, Lady Autumnn Goldberry.
Removed from the hustle and bustle of every day life in the Shining City, we knelt at the edge of the stream that runs through the Sleeping Wood. The garden was the perfect setting for a communion with nature, with its shady trees and fragrant flower beds. Autumnn filled her scrying bowl with the cold water from the stream and I watched as she gazed deeply into its depths to divine what some of you have in store.
Those born under the influence of the Handmaidens (Charlatos 21 – Olaesta 3) tend to be scattered, suffering from a short attention span, but also creative and energetic. The Handmaiden's influence is subtle, incorporating both genius and madness, creative energy and hysteria. The colors and shapes of the scrying bowl revealed an imprecise vision of a pebble dropping into a still pond. You will need to be patient especially during the month of Charlatos because Zelia could derail things and throw your daily life into freefall. The key to getting through these uncertain times is to smile and dare to be bold.
Those whose birth is influenced by the Hammer (Olaesta 4 - Olaesta 18) embody strength, reliability, and perseverance with a tendency towards shyness. The still waters of the scrying bowl revealed a veiled vision of a man dressed in black. Spring is going to be a positive season for you, even though you may encounter some relationship problems. You are very disciplined and will be able to accomplish your goals if you follow the rules. Should you feel stuck in a situation, Eonak may guide your hand, otherwise rely on your intuition to see you through.
Those influenced by the Cat’s Paw (Olaesta 19 - Ivastaen 2) are quick and powerful, revelling in the hunt and the stalking of their prey. With a tendency to be quiet, eyes ever watchful for opportunity, they can sometimes be considered lazy by those who underestimate them. A light touch of the cool water in the bowl revealed a shadowy vision of an archer suggesting that you could struggle finding your place this spring with misunderstandings leading to disagreements. Autumnn counsels that you share your problems with those closest to you and they will help you to see more clearly.
The Mistress of Adoration, visible from Ivastaen 3 to Ivastaen 17, influences people to be warm, loving, and caring. Those born under Oleani’s constellation tend to be romantics and dreamers, often to the point of making poor personal choices and giving too much of themselves in their quest for love. The colors and shapes in the scrying bowl revealed a muddled vision of a lone figure walking down a narrow trail. Spring will be marked by relentless determination and change. Oleani will take control and make the important decisions. If you are unhappy with how things are going, this spring is the best time to make a change and work towards new goals. Don’t forget to take some time out for you as well to make sure you are happy.
Those influenced by the Rat (Ivastaen 18 - Lumnea 1) are adventurous and energetic, dynamic and quick-witted. Like the rat, they survive and thrive in conditions others would find rocky. Their faults lie in being selfish and avaricious, sometimes quick-tempered, and they can often be impulsive or impatient. The gentle ripples in the scrying bowl revealed an enthralling vision of a ship tossed on a stormy sea. It is safe to say that there will be highs and lows for you this spring. Frustrations and unforeseeable problems will plague your life but don’t let this get you down. Try to change your tactics for better results.
The Dragonfly (Lumnea 2 - Lumnea 15) is beauty, and those affected by her influence are artistic and creative, usually graceful and well mannered. However, they often place too much stock in appearances, some might call them vain. The glint of afternoon sunlight on the bowl’s water revealed a shadowy vision of a great eagle soaring in a cloudless sky. Change is in store for you and everything is looking very positive. Spring 5119 will be a reawakening; you will be efficient, dynamic and creative, which means you have exactly what it takes to achieve your goals.
Interviewed by Elanthian Vogue last year, we are proud to support Lylia Rashere for a second term as Mayor of Wehnimer's Landing. We will be holding an auction on Restday, 10th day of Charlatos to raise funds for her campaign again.
Interested parties are invited to assemble in the Event Hall of Elanthian Elegance's Lily Manor at 2.00pm to peruse the catalogue and partake in a celebratory glass of champagne before the bidding begins!