Elanthian Vogue: Eoantas 5118
This Month's Edition
Editor: The Editorial Team in the absence of Rohese Bayvel-Timsh'l
Let's be honest, most men are hesitant to embrace "fashion" and, in turn, probably disinclined to read Elanthian Vogue. The term itself has connotations of gowns, petticoats, shoes, make-up, and ... did I mention gowns? Yet, despite the disappointing lack of readily available garments for men, there are some fashionable males out there that are worth checking out!
Like any high art, fashion can be understood better when you look past the frivolous associations with "frills and froof" to the concept of distinctive style so, this month, we are devoting our publication to men and their interests in the hope we can inspire you to become more fashion-conscious and Vogue-aware!
In this edition we will also be introducing a new section called Lifestyle and our first foray into the aspirational finer things of life will be to explore the allure of a good cigar and the notion of being a true gentleman. We take a closer look at the smoking jacket and its place in the modern-day wardrobe, as well as exploring a hidden gem in the Shining City of Ta'Illistim.
The epitome of aristocratic pursuits must surely be hunting, shooting, and fishing. We have managed to track down two of Elanthia's finest gentlemen to learn more about their passions and gain an insight into their differing lifestyles.
As always, don't forget to send us your comments on any of the articles in this month's publication or suggestions for future editions.
Lifestyle: The Mark of a Gentleman
"Being a gentleman is a lifestyle. You must live it, not just simply act like one when needed."
Gentlemanliness - for want of a better word - is an elusive trait. Most of us assume that we would simply know a gentleman when we saw one but a definition or some guidelines on how to measure a candidate for the moniker would be helpful.
I recently posed the question to some passers-by on the streets of Wehnimer's Landing and was offered some interesting suggestions. One posited that "a gentleman always puts more into the world than he takes out." Another thought that a gentleman was "someone who never hurts another’s feelings unintentionally." I imagine that there’s an intriguing story behind that personal observation! My particular favorite, however, was that "the only infallible rule is that a man who is always talking about being a gentleman never is one."
All reasonable opinions but, for the sake of clarity, let’s take a closer look at the attributes of a supposed gentleman, in particular, his mien and pursuits.
First and foremost, they come from all walks of life. Titles, honorifics, wealth or landownership are not prerequisites to being a gentleman and they certainly do not ensure the gentlemanly qualities of self-deprecation, generosity, tolerance, thoughtfulness and a sense of humor.
Appearances count, but not in the way you might think. Naturally, a gentleman is never under-dressed nor does he over-dress - and certainly never to show off. All the fancy cravats and Yansio-tailored hats in the world do not a gentleman make.
Can you be a leather-clad warrior and a gentleman: absolutely! It is not the preserve of nobility or chivalric orders. Would a gentleman get drunk at Helga's Tavern? Probably not. Drinking copious amounts of whiskey or ale is fine – the key is doing it in an appropriate setting.
This all substantiates the notion that you'll know a gentleman by what he does and not by what he says. A gentleman will put you at your ease. He engages with everyone – no matter what their standing in society. He has a cheerful disposition and a sense of propriety. Most importantly, he never makes a public nuisance of himself. He enjoys the company of others but is equally content with solitude, having a number of pursuits to keep him occupied and about which he can extol in well-mannered conversation.
So, what constitutes a gentlemanly pursuit? A traditional school of thought is that a gentleman does nothing but lead a life of leisure but this does not hold true in Elanthia where adventure awaits you at every turn.
"I’m hunting – shooting – fishing Ahead of the pack, I keep an eye over my shoulder But I never look back"
One only has to look – quite literally – at High Legionnaire Kakoon Arakhor to see the perfect example of an elven gentleman.
You see High Legionnaire Kakoon Arakhor the Marksman. He appears to be an Elf. He is very tall. He appears to be in the prime of life. He has austere, slightly narrow green-grey eyes and flawless dark bronze skin. He has very short, thick auburn hair. He has an angular face, a small nose and long pointed ears. He has a clean-shaven face that compliments the manicured lines of his grey-dappled, burnished red goatee. He has a red and gold Legionnaire's tattoo on his wrist. He is in good shape. He is wearing a dark crimson jacket adorned at the shoulders with four gold braid knots, an insignia-set black suede vest, a gold and braided red eahnor wedding band, a small silver pocketwatch, a pair of charcoal twill trousers with sharply defined front pleats, and some knee-cuffed jet black leather boots.
A career soldier based in the fortress of Ta'Vaalor, Kakoon balances his time between training with the Crimson Legion, honing his archery skills, and enjoying quiet time with his wife and family. When he's not giving commands to reservists on the parade ground, his favorite pastime is hunting in Grimswarm warcamps, and one could argue that he even does that with panache.
"The nice part about archery is being able to eliminate my enemy without being seen. I can remain hidden behind the various outer buildings and brush, to keep the warcamp confused and guessing as to where I am. As my enemies approach I am able to eliminate half the group before they are able to reach me and I must focus on dodging their attacks."
One could be forgiven for thinking he was boorish with his keenness for military combat and blood sports but his dashing good looks and impeccable appearance show a gentler, more artistic side, which is also evident in his skills at fletching and dedication to his family. During our brief chat, he shared some gentlemanly words of wisdom for those aspiring to be a skilled huntsman.
"Go into the fight knowing you will come out of it alive. Even a little doubt can grow and lead to panic when an unexpected situation arises. Should things go unexpectedly, there is no shame in stepping back to recoup, regroup, and approach the situation again at full strength."
King of the Gambling Hall and Master of the Fishing Rod, Beldannon is no stranger to the vagaries of Lady Luck. Those who are fortunate enough to know the ebullient dwarf cannot help but fall for his gentlemanly charm. An eternal optimist, he shrugs off his misfortune at the gambling tables and relies on time at the fishing pond to restore his spirits – except perhaps when a record-breaking 56 pounder breaks his line. He can be forgiven for being a little sad on that occasion but every good angler needs a tale to tell about "the one that got away."
With his wicker fishing creel and rod in hand, I was able to waylay the distinguished angler briefly on the Caligos Isle to learn more about his pastimes and positivity.
Quite simply, Beldannon loves to fish and gamble. With a silvery gleam in his grey eyes, he admits to me that his interest in both was sparked by the lure of prizes; no gentleman dwarf would pass up the opportunity to win a cache, whether that be in coins, scrip or seashells.
"I will gamble anywhere, I don’t really have a favorite place, just where there’s gambling!" "It is much more fun to have other people to see your big wins, or to have proof of the one that got away! Also, just to have people to chat with is great!"
His preferred game of chance is Let it Ride! so when he's not relaxing on the Landing's Middle Dock, he can usually be found on the Silken Mist in Mist Harbor. He doesn't limit himself to just one location for either though as he prefers to be with a group of friends – old and new.
You see Master Beldannon the Gambler. He appears to be a Dwarf of the Kikthuum Clan. He is taller than average. He appears to be very young. He has red-rimmed grey eyes and ruddy skin. He has very long, braided grey hair worn in elaborate braids. He has a wrinkled face, a broad nose and a long braided beard.
"True luck consists not in holding the best of the cards at the table; Luckiest is he who knows just when to rise and go home."
Smoke and Mirrors
A Gentleman’s Guide to Cigars by Vincien Chase
Imagine sitting in an aged-leather armchair, wearing a new jacket, a glass of whisky in one hand, a cigar in the other, and a group of like-minded friends to spend some time with. Sounds perfect, doesn't it?
Smoking cigars has long been the social pursuit of gentlemen and they have recently seen a resurgence in popularity with tobacco vendors appearing all over Elanthia.
Cigars epitomize a luxurious lifestyle but one that is affordable and something all gentlemen – and ladies too, of course - can enjoy. So, for those needing a nudge in the right direction, here is the gentleman's guide to cigars.
While many gentlemen smoke cigars, not all cigar smokers are gentlemen. The mark of a true gentleman is his ability to smoothly navigate any social situation. To do this, he must familiarize himself with the etiquette that governs the smoking of cigars.
First, he has a social obligation to ask permission from those around him before lighting a cigar, unless he is in a suitably designated environment. It is important to remember that not everyone derives enjoyment from cigars.
Secondly, always brings enough to share. The sharing of cigars should be wordless and you should never beg or hassle someone for one. If you want a cigar that badly, you should be carrying your own. Likewise, when you offer someone a cigar, the offer should be made silently.
Thirdly, a gentleman knows how to hold his cigar. Under no circumstances should you use your cigar to gesture or point at another person or at an object in the distance, nor should you talk with a cigar in your mouth. At best, it's rude and at worst, it sounds like you're talking with a mouthful of marbles and makes otherwise intelligent conversation difficult.
Lastly, smoking a cigar is a leisurely activity. It should not be something you do when you're already occupied. There’s no point in smoking a cigar if you're so distracted by whatever else is going on that you forget to appreciate the flavor and experience. An aspiring gentleman should also be careful not to draw on his cigar too often; a true gentleman takes his time.
To wear a jacket or not? That is the question! Synonymous with a gentleman's comfort, the smoking jacket has long been a traditional coat reserved for elegant occasions but it is rapidly becoming a style staple to wear as you sip your whisky and enjoy the pleasantries of a cigar in less formal surroundings.
There are many styles of jacket that are often called smoking jackets. The classic jacket, however, is simply a mid-thigh length jacket that is made of velvet with a quilted satin collar, turned-up cuffs, and sometimes finished with a tasseled belt. An essential feature of all smoking jackets is the inclusion of a pocket reserved for cigars and other accoutrements such as a cigar tube, cutter, and matches.
As a veteran or aspiring gentleman, it's time to slip into a jacket, pop a few cigars into the pocket, and check yourself out in the mirror. Now head to your nearest lounge confident in the knowledge that not only do you look the part but you also know what you’re doing.
Continuing with our theme of the finer things in life and cigars in particular, this month's Hot Property features Gentlemen's Leaf, which is to be found at the junction of Kaerinar Way and Erissian Var in Ta'Illistim. Despite the Smokeshop's cramped interior, the rich, pungent smell of tobacco doesn’t detract from its dignified ambience.
Equally dignified, the proprietor, Tearlach, stocks a small range of good quality cigars and pipe tobacco, as well as a few basic accoutrements. Most customers tend not to linger over his limited catalogue for long though because the main reason for entering the building is what awaits the discerning gentleman beyond the velvet-curtained archway.
With walnut furniture and leather seating, the well-appointed Lounge is perfect for those seeking sanctuary from the city's hustle and bustle. The welcome addition of a dartboard is enough to ensure the clientele linger and enjoy a cigar with their glass of fine brandy.
Off the Shelf: Town and Country
The Style Team at Elanthian Vogue have put together two casual and affordable outfits for both town and country. All the items selected were purchased in established outlets and we hope they inspire you to get involved with "fashion" and look the part!
TOWN He is wearing a loosely knotted cream jacquard cravat, a thin-chained dark suede waistcoat over a fitted white linen shirt with unbuttoned sleeves, some muted dark mahogany tweed pants, and some tall brown suede boots.
To complete the outfit, why not add a haon-toggled rust suede satchel available from the Island Boutique in Mist Harbor and a spiral-cut ebonwood cane capped with a smoky glimaerstone from A Twist of Roses in Ta'Illistim.
COUNTRY He is wearing a twig-buttoned ecru linen waistcoat over a loose natural linen shirt buckled at the wrists, a pair of undyed doeskin pants with leather ties, and a pair of dark suede boots.
These more casual items are available from Marienna's Market in Kharam Dzu, Elaraeyn's Boutique, and A Twist of Roses. For the hunters among you, add a pale doeskin back quiver from Ariebaela's Archery Nook or a small fox-embroidered sack from the Treetop Market – both in the small town of Cysaegir.
With the end of the year looming, Elanthian Vogue will be looking to mark its first year of publication with something a little extra special. Our next edition, and last for 5118, will include a Vogue Gallery to recognize and celebrate those in the public eye who embody the spirit of community; those who act with honor and dignity or carry themselves with elegance and grace. Who will it include? You will have to wait until Eorgaen to find out!