Erithi Fashion

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Erithi Fashion is an Official GemStone IV Document, and it is protected from editing.

Erithi Fashion From Formal to Casual

A lotus-embossed scroll tied with malachite silk sent to the Loremasters of Ta’Illistim for immediate dispatch to all interested parties

Several years ago, I sought out one of our talented tailors to provide guidance to the rest of Elanthia on traditional erithi garb. These most common and sought after items have been perfected far and wide, and now, it is time to yet again ask Vithalan to provide details on other erithi styles. Please enjoy some further insights into erithi fashion.

Signed this date 24 Ivastaen 5121
Isienaka, Chief Scholar of Atan Irith

A Note from the Author

In my first missive in 5107, I described some of the most common garb worn by the erithi. I then spent several years working with Elanith tailors to perfect their techniques in fashioning erithi styles, and I am pleased with the variety and new fashions that are developing across Elanthia.

Erithi are no different than other races; we have a wide variety of attire, styles, and tastes. Our more adventurous sorts are now clamoring for a wider availability of erithi fashion in Elanith, so I am writing this to provide additional information on our fashion. In addition, I shall once again travel from Atan Irith and work with tailors with the hopes of teaching others the intricacies of creating authentic erithi fashion.

A Guide to Erithi Fashion

Formal Attire

Atanika, nanjir, kanjir...all of these items can be both casual and formal as already discussed. In addition, there are also several types of erithi formal wear. The items highlighted here are almost always used for formal occasions and there are not typically casual options. For example, one could make our formal jacket style out of burlap but we would never call it anything other than a regular jacket, as it does not meet the criteria for the formal version. Keep that in mind when designing your attire.

The taosan is a formal jacket; it features a stiff collar similar to the isiqiri, and the jacket is always worn open. It also always has a toggle or button system which gives the illusion it is meant to be buttoned up, but the edges are set too far apart to ever do this. Materials are always of the highest quality cloth, linens or silks typically. The toggles can be carved from wood or elaborately knotted materials. The most formal examples of taosan are all one color, sometimes with a visible pattern, such as a black-on-black silk taosan patterned with roses. However, elaborate embroidery is also perfectly acceptable.

Next we have the jirlan. These are formal pants, typically worn with an isiqiri and a taosan. To stay fashion forward, one should match or complement the materials between jirlan and taosan. The pants are loose, but not billowy, with excellent lines and elegant simplicity. If there is any threadwork or embroidery it is simple, subtle, and in the same color as the pant.

When a dress is desired for a formal occasion, none is more coveted than an elegantly cut xiala. The xiala is a form-fitting, sleeveless dress that hits either at or just below the knee. These are most frequently heavily and intricately embroidered, but with the right material and dyes, one may eschew additional adornments.

Lasai are elegant slippers made to accompany the xiala or other dresses. They are flat-soled and can be made of leather, suede, silks, or velvets. Embroidery or adornments are minimal. The intent is to clad the feet in simple style and let the rest of the outfit speak volumes.

Planning a formal outfit
The taosan is typically layered with an isiqiri and paired with jirlan. Formal nanjir may be used, but the jirlan is most common. While richly designed yatane are the footwear of choice, Elanith-style shoes are making an appearance among the erithi elite. Jewelry and headwear vary from person to person.

Most frequently, the xiala is worn alone or with a simple wrap of complementary cloth; in colder weather, a warmer atanika may be worn for travel but is removed upon arrival. The shoe of preference is a lasai or an elegant Elanith slipper for those with access to imported goods. Jewelry is as varied as the wearer. The Tichan Dai enjoy metal-worked upper arm bracelets, for example, while the Nathala tend toward simple jade bracelets and an elothrai.

Casual Attire

Vatajir and vatalik are loose, comfortable garments akin to pajamas (vatalik being the top and vatajir being the bottoms, colloquially can be referred to as vatas - as in, "I am going home and putting on my vatas and reading a good book."). While they are made in a variety of materials and range from simple to decorated, these would never be considered anything but the most casual of clothes. They are typically worn in one’s own home, are often slept in. Slightly dressier versions may be acceptable for a casual run to a market or the beach, but little else.

Tanori are casual sandals woven from rushes. The rush or reed base is often dyed, painted, or accented with embroidery, and the sandal straps can be quite varied. These are acceptable footwear for around the home, casual outings, a day at the shore, and so on.

Satala is an under-robe which can range from casual to formal. Worn alone, it is limited to the home. Typical usage, however, is to layer under other garments, such as an atanika. The satala can be simple or elaborate. The most longstanding fashion is to keep the satala in simple, pale hues such as ivory or the faintest of pastels and then have it hand-painted. The over-clothing is then layered in such a way that key components of the satala are visible-a hint of the hand-painting, the embroidery, the lushness of the material, etc.

Lotus Silk

Erithi enjoy all types of materials, but silk is often a favorite, and no silk is more coveted than lotus silk.

Using the stem fibers of lotus flowers, lotus silk is a luxurious material that is time intensive to weave and much coveted across Atan Irith. The weavers of Atan Irith are well-known for lotus silk, but the process exists anywhere sufficient lotus growth is found. With the increased trade between Elanith and Atan Irith, erithi-woven lotus silk is beginning to make its way into the more forward-thinking of the Elanthian fashion scene.

In addition to the typical freshwater lotuses, Atan Irith boasts the only known saltwater lotuses. The stems of these flowers tend toward a softer, more supple weave and hints of their unusual silvery green coloring dot even the best dye job, creating a unique material we call naraina. The term naraina is only used for lotus silk woven from the saltwater lotus found on the Lotus Sea, and its exportation has been strictly forbidden. At long last, the leaders of Atan Irith have allotted a small amount to be exported for special occasions.

A Note on Lotuses
A botanist friend of mine provided a brief treatise on the erithi lotus flower that I wished to share as well.

The True Lotus - Aquatic Lotuses
Across all of Elanthia, lotuses thrive in still, fresh waters, such as lakes and ponds. There are also several hardier lotuses found in the shallows of streams and rivers throughout Atan Irith. Like their other Elanthian counterparts, erithi lotuses come in a multitude of colors as well as a few petal configurations, such as the spear’s point lotus (a lotus where each petal comes to a sharp point) and the teapot lotus with chubby, rounded petals.

In addition to these freshwater lotuses, however, there is a varietal specific to Atan Irith. Known as the xan’ayra (loosely “blossoming sun”), the saltwater lotus is found only in the Lotus Sea, a shallow bay on the coast of Atan Irith. The xan’ayra have distinctive jagged-edged petals and gigantic, silvery green lotus pads. They come in the same colors as freshwater lotuses, as well as an unusual dappled gold and cobalt blossom.

The Lotus Sea itself, while not an actual sea (being more the size of a moderate bay of the type one may find only on detailed and specific coastal maps), is a fascinating ecosystem in its own right, in no small part to the unusual and unique xan’ayra. There is also a rumor that a deep water "lotus sea" exists, a place where a large patch of the ocean is inexplicably filled with xan’ayra that strand any ship that sails into it. Erithi sailors tell tales of it, and when a ship never returns, it is often said to have been drowned in the Lotus Sea.

Mountain Lotus
Found at high elevations, the mountain lotus (also called the snow lotus by the Yachan) is not really a lotus but a flowering bush whose blossoms closely resemble an aquatic lotus. Left to their own devices, the bushes grow into small trees. The wood of a naturally deceased tree is reclaimed by the people living near it and fashioned into small trinkets and jewelry. It’s considered good luck to have an item made from this wood.

Creation Notes

  • Written by GM Xynwen, May 2021