Imperial Combat Attire
The official GemStone IV encyclopedia.
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: Imperial Combat Attire
Author: player of Avalera Lesander
You politely say, "Good evening." You introduce, "My name is Avalera Lesander." You continue, "I hail from the county of Trauntor, which is in the eastern region of the Turamzzyrian Empire." You loyally add, "I'm also a member of the Order of the Silver Gryphon, a chivalric order based in Wehnimer's Landing, where I currently reside." You place your hand on your enameled bracer. You incline your head. You tilt your head up. You say, "This evening I will be discussing the attire one might expect to find on knights and warriors in different climates and terrains in regions west of the Dragonspine." You clear your throat. You begin, "Some may believe that there is no fashion in battle." You continue, "By some standards, there may indeed be little that would be considered stylish."< You add, "Much of what we wear has a purpose - protection from our foes." You note, "It may be said that gleaming gauntlets and polished platemail are the only garb of any import to a gallant." You continue, "That mud-splattered or blood-spattered is the standard embellishment of a warrior's wardrobe." You say, "To some extent that may be true." You nod slowly. You assert, "Yet there is some measure of fashion found in all ensembles, even in those of a fighter." You clear your throat. You remove a tall glass of fresh water from on an arboreal linden wood lectern. You take a drink from your fresh water. You put a tall glass of fresh water on an arboreal linden wood lectern. You say, "Before I proceed with the topic, let me preface my comments with the following." You state, "Generally, fashion in the empire follows the prevailing trends set by the aristocracy of a given region." You say, "And those fashions may even be different across any given barony or county." You say, "What you see today may be gone next week." You say, "The nobility can be a bit whimsical in that regard." You orate, "That said, I will begin the evening with the mode of dress one might typically find in the eastern region of the Empire - specifically, the Barony of Dragach." You say, "Given the harsh winters and the fierce winds of the region, one would expect to see warriors of the highlands dressed in furs, and rightfully so." You say, "Many of the items a warrior of Dragach wears likely come from a beast slain by their own hand, such as bear or buck." You add, "The furs are then used to line and trim cloaks to protect the warrior from the biting winds the prevail in this area of the Dragonspine." You note, "During the harshest of winters, one may well find a warrior from the highlands layered completely in furs as they venture forth to protect their family and lands from incursion by both beast and barbarian." You say, "Bits of bone may be seen as embellishment or used as catches or buttons for clothing, as the people in the highlands find use for every bit of the creatures they slay." You say, "The abundance of bighorn sheep in the area makes wool another common material used in the highland warrior’s attire." You explain, "When the weather has warmed, the sheep are shorn, and the wool is processed before being woven into cloth." You say, "Cloth can then be padded and quilted. This to be worn under armor, not only for protection against the cold but also as extra padding to protect from the strike of a sword." You say, "Wool is also used to weave a more lightweight yet sturdy cloth that is found in more mundane items such as tunics and leggings." You say, "Something that is common in the region is the use of tartan fabric." You continue, "While giantkin clans are known by many, it may be less well-known that the people of Dragach also form themselves into clans." Rohese quietly remarks, "Oh I do love a tartan." You smile. You say, "You will find them in abundance in Dragach, to be sure." You explain, "Tartan fabric is created with the use of dyed wool. The wool is woven into criss-crossed bands, forming a distinctive colored pattern." You add, "Fellow clansmen may be identified by the color and weave of the tartan fabric they wear." You say, "It's my understanding that brightness of hue is often indicative of the more noble clans, but the people of Dragach seem to be less formal in this regard." You note, "Kilts aren't uncommon in the region, and are worn more in the warmer months and to clan meetings and other formal events." You add, "Kilts are generally knee-length," She pauses a moment as she moves her hands towards her back. "...pleated at the back and constructed of tartan or other wool fabric." You say, "Alternatively, there is the great kilt, which is a large piece of fabric that is loosely gathered, wrapped around the lower half, and secured with a belt; any remaining length of fabric is wrapped and draped around the upper body and pinned in place." You amusedly say, "Given the windy nature of the region, one might question the wisdom..." Rohese smiles quietly to herself. You shake your head. Rohese clears her throat. You remove a tall glass of fresh water from on an arboreal linden wood lectern. You take a drink from your fresh water. You put a tall glass of fresh water on an arboreal linden wood lectern. You distractedly ask, "Yes, umm...where was I?" You gaze with interest at the cognac leather volume in your hand. You quickly say, "Ah yes..." You continue, "Tartan fabric is also often used in the making of trews - high-waisted trousers that are worn both in combat and as formalwear." You say, "Trews worn day to day are frequently lined in some sort of leather - particularly along the inner legs - as a way to decrease wear and tear." You say, "Both kilts and trews are often worn with a simple laced shirt. Shirts are usually worn under something else such as a doublet or jacket, particularly at formal functions." You note, "For great kilts, that coverage is provided by the fabric that is draped around the body." You say, "Like many regions of the empire, boots are commonplace in the area." You note, "Boots worn in the mountainous regions of Dragach are typically taller than those found other places, and often fur-lined for warmth." You add, "Also, riding boots are not uncommon, particularly among the cavalry unit known as Tornak's Irregulars." You explain, "Tornak's Irregulars is a provincial army of Dragach lead by Commander Selgrid Tornak, a woman of some renown in the region." You say, "It's interesting to note that Commander Tornak was offered knighthood no less than three times, and declined, as she apparently takes exception to the use of spurs on horses." You explain, "Spurs are awarded to a warrior when they are knighted, and she feels the use of such is cruel to the horse." You say, "On that note, on a recent trip I took notice of a painting of Commander Tornak hanging in Krinklehorn's moot hall. I took the liberty of making a sketch of this painting to share today." The page, written in Common, reads as follows: Commander Selgrid Tornak Tornak's Irregulars Centered below the inscription is the drawing of a woman mounted upon a dappled grey charger. Strands of the woman's wind-whipped hair brush across her face while the length of her dark tresses ripple behind her in thick waves. Draped across her shoulders is a thick fur-trimmed cloak. The cloak, clasped on her left with a red, green, and white brooch, flows down the woman's back and across the horse's hindquarters. Beneath the cloak is the hint of an etched metal breastplate, which ends where blue and green tartan trews begin. The trews are belted at the waist with a thin strip of black and attached to the belt is a warhorn fashioned from a sharply curving ram's horn. Her trousers are tucked into low-heeled brown riding boots, the color of which resembles the leather-trimmed inseam of her trews. You put a patinated cognac leather volume on an arboreal linden wood lectern. You ask, "Can anyone not see the picture?" You give your eyebrow a little workout. You say, "Don't be shy, raise your hand if you can't see it." You smile. You nod once. You say, "Symbology is important throughout much of the empire." You note, "As you see here..." She lifts the book and carefully indicates an area of the woman's shoulder before replacing the volume. "...the brooch she wears is a symbol. A crest of Tornak's Irregulars, that of a red bear on a field of green and white." You add, "If we were able to see more of the armor beneath her cloak, we would likely see that the etching is either a family crest or the crest of Dragach, which is a right-facing red bighorn ram in front of white mountains on a green field." You remove a patinated cognac leather volume from on an arboreal linden wood lectern. You continue, "Let us now turn our attention now to Jantalar." You wryly say, "Because who doesn't..." You shake your head. You clear your throat. You begin, "The Barony of Jantalar is a hilly region located in the northern region of the Turamzzyrian Empire." You note, "The city of Jantalar began as an imperial outpost meant to guard the northern portion of the empire from attack by barbarians and other humanoids, such as orcs and trolls." You state, "Given that history, it is not surprising to find that the barony is rather militaristic in nature. I would say that the terms warrior and solider are nearly synonymous in Jantalar." You add, "At least historically, so." You say, "Upon the death of her brother, and her subsequent in vesture in his place, Baroness Delphinuria Hochstib began to demilitarize Jantalar." You say, "While some changes were drastic, others were subtle, and old habits aren't easily changed." You say, "The fashion of a warrior or Knight throughout the Empire often includes combat gear, almost to the exclusion of any other day to day wear - in the case of Jantalar, this is particularly so." You rub your chin thoughtfully. You muse, "In fact, I can't think of a time that I've even seen a Knight - or any soldier from Jantalar, even - out of what might be considered a uniform." You note, "While the political climate has changed in the barony over the past several years, that militaristic history is still reflected in the garb one might find a warrior don." You say, "For the Jantalarian, more often than not full platemail will be reserved for times when a campaign is specifically planned, and battle is soon to commence." You add, "Of course, this is true of most regions, but..." You continue, "With such a hilly and rocky terrain, warriors of the region are often clad in more flexible armor, such as chain mail, or even a leather scale armor, and often times leave the legs uncovered to allow for freedom of movement." You say, "Given the climate and terrain of Jantalar, delicate fabrics such as silk and brocades are generally reserved for more formal occasions, such as court sessions. As with Dragach, the fabric of choice for many in the region is wool." You say, "For more daily wear, in the colder months they may wear thigh-length woolen tunics over leggings and boots." You say, "When the weather warms, simple shirts, leather jerkins, and trousers or breeches are seen frequently." You explain, "Simple clothing such as this allows a warrior to quickly don his armor and return to the field." You say, "Often their cloaks and tunics are emblazoned with the crest of Jantalar - a black triskelion on a field of red and gold." You continue, "Different methods of weaving wool are found across the empire, but worsted wool is seen often in Jantalar." You explain, "Worsted cloth is woven from wool yarn that has longer, thicker fibers, making it not only sturdy but lightweight - attributes that prove to be invaluable in a region which such rocky terrain." You continue, "Thick, tall leather boots are worn to protect the feet, ankles, and lower legs from rocky ground; the soles are made to be flexible yet durable to provide protection and support." You say, "For formal occasions, you might see something like this..." The page, written in Common, reads as follows: Sargent Maldon Wellsbourne of Jantalar Valley of Gold, 5119 Sketched beneath the neatly penned inscription is the image of a human male. The man is clad in a black cloak that flows over dark chain hauberk. Thin, lightly drawn lines indicate a receding silver hairline, and are in contrast with the heavy, darker lines that surround his mouth and grey eyes, and crease his forehead. Thin squiggles around the chin offer evidence of a neatly trimmed beard. The figure's trousers have been drawn using a heavy hand, with a sheen reminiscent of black silk. Tall, buckled black boots complete the ensemble. Both the dark chain hauberk and the man's cloak bear the only color on the image - that of an intricately drawn red-gold triskelion on the left breast of each. You put a patinated cognac leather volume on an arboreal linden wood lectern. You tap a patinated cognac leather volume on an arboreal linden wood lectern. You say, "Let me know if you have a hard time seeing the drawing." Rohese softly notes, "Ooh, very dark." You nod. You say, "The sketch you see here is of the founder of the Order of the Silver Gryphons." You explain, "At that time he was Sir Maldon, but he relinquished his title and rank for personal reasons." You say, "You may note that the crest on his cloak is rather detailed for this sketch, which I recently drew from memory." You say, "The crest of Jantalar is a red-gold triskelion on a field of black, yet when I saw him, he wore the colors reversed." You tap some creamy vellum pages in a patinated cognac leather volume. You frown. You cough. You say, "That is to say..." You correct, "The official crest is a black triskelion on a field of red and gold." You say, "As I mentioned, however, he wore them reversed." You note, "It's unclear at this time if this bears any significance." You remove a patinated cognac leather volume from on an arboreal linden wood lectern. You quickly say, "Oh, another thing often seen in Jantalar is the use of wood for adornments." You explain, "Jantalar is known for having master woodcrafters. Generally speaking, their work is on large items such as furniture." You say, "As well as large ornamental pieces." You say, "However, they have been known to use leftover small pieces for such things as wooden baubles, trinkets, and clasps." You say, "And these items are quite intricate, I might add." You add, "Another item that has become commonplace is a silver-studded crimson sash." You explain, "Baroness Hochstib moved quickly with her plans for change in Jantalar, leaving many Knights and soldiers with few options after the loss of their positions." You say, "While some turned to crime," She pauses for a moment, gazing earnestly across the gathering before continuing. "...and remember, these are soldiers and Knights who had no other profession and no real family go home to..." You continue, "Some instead organized, calling themselves the Warlords of Kai." You say, "They wear that sash as an honor to the great Kai. Over the intervening years, this group has grown, and is now seen across most of Jantalar." You say, "The symbol of the Warlords of Kai is of a crimson axe on a field of silver." You inquire, "Are there any questions before we move on?" You say, "Moving on then." You say, "Our next visit, if you will, is to the County of Torre." You say, "Torre is found on the western coastline of the empire." You say, "While the region if generally temperate, the onset of spring brings prolonged periods of rain." You remove a tall glass of fresh water from on an arboreal linden wood lectern. You take a drink from your fresh water. You put a tall glass of fresh water on an arboreal linden wood lectern. You say, "As a result, close attention is paid to fabrics that are used in cloaks and other outerwear." You say, "Oilcloth - fabric made with a tight weave and then soaked in linseed oil - is used in the construction of rucksacks, pouches, and other bags." You add, "While it is used less often in clothing, it wouldn't be unusual to see a warrior or Knight wearing a greatcloak crafted of the stuff during the peak of the rainy season." You say, "Given the mild temperatures, layers of clothing are often seen during the rainy season - items can then be shed as they become sodden." You say, "Also, these layers of fabric coupled with a good deal of weapon oil help to protect armor from the rain and sea air." You say, "This brings us once again to one of the most commonly used fabrics of the empire." You continue, "Wool is extremely versatile. It has great ability to absorb moisture, which keeps rain away from skin and armor." You say, "Boots are necessary during the rainy months, as other types of footwear become waterlogged fairly quickly." You exclaim, "Nothing worse than wet socks or hose!" You idly scratch your neck. You say, "Broad-brimmed hats, or hats with curving sides, are popular in the area." You explain, "The curving sides direct the water away from the body, helping to keep the wearer dry." You say, "Or, at least drier." You say, "In regard to style and fashion, given the regions numerous ports of call, nearly every sort of attire imaginable can be found across the county." You say, "On a recent trip, I spent a bit of time meandering along many a boardwalk." You say, "While doing so, I happened upon a fellow in buff and blue - a member of the Royal Torren Guard." You say, "I took the liberty of drawing the scene from memory to share here." You put a patinated cognac leather volume on an arboreal linden wood lectern. You say, "This sketch shows the way a typical sentry for the Guard would dress." The page, written in Common, reads as follows: The Guard and the Red Hat The image below the inscription is that of a dark-haired man standing at the foreground of simple seascape. A half-cape of ultramarine blue is draped across his shoulders, partially concealing a bronze jack-of-plate. His buff colored trousers are tucked neatly into knee-high leather boots, and one gloved hand rests upon the hilt of his weapon. His stern and serious gaze gives him an air of authority as he stands alone on a busy boardwalk. Myriad people mingle about the boardwalk, yet the only other discernible figure is that of a dark form in a red hat. A.L. You note, "I didn't include it in the drawing as it was more detail than I could manage, but the emblem on the left of his cape is that of a white stork clutching spear tips in its feet with wings spread upward on a field of blue and yellow." You tap some creamy vellum pages in a patinated cognac leather volume. You nod once. You say, "Far too small and intricate." You say, "It is a variation of the county's official crest, which is a white stork on a field of light blue." You remove a patinated cognac leather volume from on an arboreal linden wood lectern. You say, "If you look just here..." She brings the volume to her chest, tapping a red area near the left. "...you will see what I saw that day." You carefully place a patinated cognac leather volume on an arboreal linden wood lectern. You say, "You might wonder the significance of this. It's possible this man a member of a group known as the Red Hats." You explain, "Torre has a storied history that includes all manner of smugglers, pirates, and rebels." You say, "The Red Hat movement started in Fairport with freedom fighters with anti-imperialist sentiments. Now they are little more than a criminal organization and are found throughout Torre." You say, "Of course, he could just be a man trying to get a rise out of a local guardsman." You chuckle. You inquire, "Are there any questions?" You casually observe your surroundings. Rohese glances around the room. You say, "This brings us, finally, to the Duchy of Aldora." You begin, "Aldora is found in the southern empire, and has a climate that is harsh and hot." You note, "Aldora is also home to many religious orders, most notably the Southern Order of Voln and the Ronanite Order of the Night's Blade." You say, "Much of what is worn by warriors and knights harkens back to those orders." You add, "In Aldora, that is." You say, "Armors crafted of metal often worn, and given the climate of the region, that metal can become quite hot." You continue, "As such, surcoats are often seen, and may be considered a necessity." You say, "It may seem counterintuitive, wearing extra clothing when it's already so hot." You explain, "Metal heats up quickly in the sun. Wearing fabric over such armor keeps it out of the direct sunlight, and significantly cooler against the skin." You say, "Linen clothing is worn under wool and helps to keep the body cooler by transpiration." You say, "Like Dragach, Aldora has an abundance of mountain goats and sheep, and yes, wool is used quite frequently there." You chuckle. You say, "We do wear more than wool, by the way. Just, not often." You say, "What is different in Aldora, however, is what they do with it." You say, "Weaving houses are a prominent fixture in even the smallest village, and it is there that master weavers craft Aldora's renowned brocade." You continue, "Dyes are imported from the coastal regions, the cloth is woven, then exported through the empire." You say, "The fabric is then used for various and sundry fashion wear from Mestanir to Trauntor and everywhere in between." You say, "Within Aldora, brocade is used for myriad clothing items." You say, "Surcoats and tabards for the holy warriors, robes for the mages and scholars of the Hall of Mages college found there." You say, "Wool and brocade is so important to the region that even their dukedom's crest reflects it - that of a gold ram's head facing left within a crown on a field of two horizontal black and white lines." The page, written in Common, reads as follows: The Night's Blade Heavily drawn in the very center of the page is a cluster of five men. Four of the men in the grouping are dressed in hauberk, each visible silvery link painstakingly drawn, from the chain coif down to the mail boots. Over their armor they each wear a silver-edged black surcoat emblazoned with a black sword on a field of silver and white. The fifth man stands to the side, a half a head shorter than his fellows. Bright silvery-white eyes provide a striking contrast to his dusky bald pate, as do several faint silver symbols that cover his skin. Dressed in silver-edged black robes and weathered black boots, the image of this man has an almost ethereal quality next to the dark lines used for his companions. You put a patinated cognac leather volume on an arboreal linden wood lectern. You continue, "Here you can see an example of how those in the Order of the Night's Blade have been known to dress." You frown. You remove a patinated cognac leather volume from on an arboreal linden wood lectern (Avalera pauses for a long moment, her gaze fixed on the drawing. Abruptly, she shakes her head, her attention returning to the present.) You focus your thoughts and try to concentrate. A brief, dark image flickers on the edge of your consciousness and you lose your concentration with an involuntary shiver. You put a patinated cognac leather volume on an arboreal linden wood lectern. Rohese looks at you with concern. You shakily say, "Given the pious nature of many in the region, wool prayer bands are commonly worn." You lean against an arboreal linden wood lectern. Rohese bites her lip. You clear your throat. You say, "I actually wear one myself; if you'd care to take a look, feel free to ask." You place your hand on your prayer band. You clear your throat. You remove a patinated cognac leather volume from on an arboreal linden wood lectern. (Avalera pauses for a moment, a with knitted brow begins rifling through the pages of the cognac leather volume.) You say, "Well, I had hoped to offer more insight into fashion of a warriors and knights." You amusedly say, "Perhaps I have only reinforced the assumption that we are just armor and weapons." You say, "In any case, I do hope I've presented a broader perspective." Daevian says, "And wool." Rohese beams at you and claps her hands together in delight! Daevian applauds you. Ithilwyn applauds you. Tocsine applauds. Ithilwyn smiles. You agree, "And wool." Aculina applauds you. Talanta applauds. You state, "I hope I've shown that some essence of who we are and who we serve is evident in our mode of dress." Kaldiniel applauds. Azaton applauds. You graciously say, "I'd like to thank The Looking Glass for having me, and all of you for sharing your time with me this evening." Rohese softly exclaims, "Wonderful and most informative, thank you Avalera!" Mirithae applauds. Talanta says, "Well done." Aculina smiles. You note, "That said, I have a few sketches of members of the Order of the Silver Gryphon I'd like to share if anyone is interested." You put a patinated cognac leather volume on an arboreal linden wood lectern. The page, written in Common, reads as follows: Sir Geijon Khyree Knight-Errant Order of the Silver Gryphon A drawing of a very tall giantman with keen blue eyes is seen beneath the inscription. The man's long, golden brown hair has a few silvery strands, offering evidence of his advancing years. A long black surcoat emblazoned with a white shield hangs neatly over bluish hued field plate, the articulations of the field plate the color of rolaren. Around his shoulders is a white bearskin cloak, an onyx-backed nacreous shield clasping it at the shoulder. In the crook of his is a greathelm painted to resemble the visage of a red-eyed bear. The greathelm rests against a black enameled bracer attached to his arm, a silver gryphon barely visible against a ruby circle. Attached to reinfored black boots which are clasped with mother-of-pearl shields is a pair of golden spurs. A.L. You put a patinated cognac leather volume on an arboreal linden wood lectern. The page, written in Common, reads as follows: Sir Cryheart Thaxin Knight Banneret Order of the Silver Gryphon Below the penned title is a drawing of a tall man with golden-brown hair and blue-grey eyes. Perched jauntily upon his head is a black tam o'shanter, a touch of grey hair peeking from beneath it at his temples. Around his neck hangs a white swan-embroidered sage scarf, and attached to his obsidian black shirt is a silver-edged emerald green ribbon. A green and claret greatkilt twines around his body, a braid-trimmed black sash belting it at the waist. Also at his waist is a studded studded black sporran. Red kilt hose meet the greatkilt at the knees, ending in gillies that bear a pair of golden spurs. Mni quietly says, "Ooh." You smile. Rohese softly exclaims, "Sir Cryheart!" You nod. Mni nods vigorously! Rohese lets out a little squeal of delight. You chuckle. You remove a patinated cognac leather volume from on an arboreal linden wood lectern. You put a patinated cognac leather volume on an arboreal linden wood lectern. The page, written in Common, reads as follows: Bernadette Order of the Silver Gryphon Beneath the simply penned letters is the image of a green eyed giantwoman. Her short spiky red hair is cut in a pixie style, giving her a youthful appearance. Dangling from her left hand is a lion-etched vultite greathelm while her right hand rests on her hip. A brass-riveted tabard is worn over a thickly padded gambeson, and rows of spikes can be seen sticking out from beneath both. A black enameled bracer adorns her arm and a pair of thick studded gloves cover her hands. At her belt is a crimson drawstring pouch shot through with elaborate blackworking and a silver bound dagger sheath. Strapped to her thigh is an onyx-inlaid black sheath, and some metal-toed sturdy black climbing boots adorn her feet. You say, "And the last one." Rohese softly asks, "Oh, I don't know this young lady, who is it?" You say, "I'm not much of an artist, but I think I captured their image." Rohese purses her mouth, pondering a patinated cognac leather volume on an arboreal linden wood lectern. The expression on her face speaks volumes. You say, "She's a member of our order." You nod. You remove a black wool prayer band from your wrist. You put a black wool prayer band on an arboreal linden wood lectern. Silver braid trims both edges of the prayer band, contrasting starkly with the woven night black wool. Encircling the band are minute tapestry images following the life of a woman from birth to an untimely death. Interspersed among those images are several figures which include a rearing unicorn, a star-hilted sword, and the visage of a gaunt, heavy-lidded man, each image simply stitched in outline embroidery of silver thread. You tap a black wool prayer band on an arboreal linden wood lectern. You say, "My prayer band is in honor of my patron, the Lord of Dreams, Guardian of the Night..I could go on..." You remove a black wool prayer band from on an arboreal linden wood lectern. You attach a black wool prayer band to your wrist. You say, "Again, thank you for listening." Fixing your eyes firmly on the ground, you bow respectfully. Speaking softly to you, Rohese says, "An excellent lecture, thank you so much." Rohese softly asks, "Did anyone have any questions for our guest speaker?" Rohese glances around the room. (Avalera shakes her head ever so slightly as she gazes out amongst the gathered.) Speaking playfully to you, Rohese says, "I think they're all still digesting everything you've shared with us." Daevian says, "Or she was just very informative, so no questions are necessary." You say, "I'm often accused of being the strong silent type." You say, "Not today." You chuckle. Speaking softly to you, Rohese says, "And thank you for sharing those wonderful images as well, it really helped to visualise everything." You smile. Speaking appreciatively to Rohese, you say, "I'm glad you liked them."