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Bisland Fashion, Traditions and Superstitions

Question: Could I please get relevant details regarding House Bisland's Fashion, Traditions and Superstitions? (Kaia is House Bisland's Minister of History and would appreciate it if more detailed information regarding such topics could be provided.

Answer: Bisland fashion tends to follow most Grayson trends (see 'lore grayson fashion'), though their closer proximity to the Oathlands has some sometimes militaristic emphasis, with decorative armor-like looks occasionally being in fashion.

Clothing Standards And Extremes

Question: We have examples of what standard fashion is from many cultures, but what do people who are looking to shock do with their fashion choices? More skin than usual, like the kinds of dresses we might see on the red carpet? Actual exposed skin? More meshes and sheers than even your typical Lycene, covering parts that would normally be covered with something opaque?

Libertines usually try to identify themselves by their clothing, so how can most Arvani tell at a glance?

(This is all with the understanding, of course, that anything that would be uncomfortable for other players wouldn't have attention drawn to it beyond 'this is what the clothing is' and no further description of why it is scandalous past that.)

Answer: Honestly, because the game design goal for Arx was to disallow/heavily discourage slut shaming, we've maintained that the scandalousness of Lycenes is rooted in their willingness to lie and deceive, and pretend affection (and then possibly stab epople in the back!) They do certainly present, stereotypically, as seductive, but I'm very hesitant to define what constitutes 'immodesty' or "titillating'. It also varies from region to region. If one wanted to be a libertine Crownlander, one would wear impractical clothing, a libertine Thrax - gaudy and bright or garish clothing. If one wanted to be a libertine Lycene, one Lycene. If one wanted to be a COUNTERCULTURE lycene, one might dress as a northlander would, in leather and fur. It's less about skin exposure and modesty, across the board, than it is about bucking the social order. I hope that makes sense.

Exotic Pelts

Question: Q: The crafting material list describes exotic pelts as, 'pelts made from extremely rare, almost mythical animals -- the pelt of a white hart, for example.' What other animals would be considered rare enough to be almost mythical?

A: There's a number of very rare animals that aren't common to central Arvum, but live in rare habitats. Whitebears of the Everwinter (ie polar bears) are one example, where their pelts are prized for rarity. Alligators in some Lycene swamps, and crocodiles in the saffron chain. And then dire-varities of all major animals, which are essentially giant versions of the same thing, and most people in Arvum think of them as just unusually large versions but not intrinsically magical.

Fireweave And Steelsilk

Question: Is fireweave and steelsilk stain resistant like umbra and aeterna? Are they waterproof? Do they make laundry day a PITA?

Answer: You'll stain or dissolve before they will, typically.

Grayson Fashion

Answer: Generally the most eclectic, men and women of Grayson (and the Crownlands) wear whatever they like, with individual expression trumping temporary trends. To make a very vague generalization, they tend more towards a casual/sporty vibe, with explorers donning comfortable, practical clothing (and often, ridiculous amounts of belts, over the top hats, or colorful scarves. Whatever takes their fancy.)

Inquisition Fashion

Answer: Lower levels of inquisitors often have a badge - their insignia is a dark red flame. It is an interesting inversion of the white, or white and gold flame of Lagoma's mercies. Higher ranks often don long red leather coats that button up high and hang down to the knees when about official Inquisition business, many of them choose a style with hoods, leading to their nickname among the smallfolk - the 'hoods'.

Pantheon Fashion

Answer: For most ranks of clergy, their service is indicated with a tabard that can be worn over their own clothing. Usually white, sometimes with a simple gold border or the insignia of their particular faith, if they specialize. The higher ranks have fancier gold edging, and the highest wear pristine white robes or tailored longcoats (after their own tastes). The symbol of the Faith of the Pantheon, as a whole, is three interlocking rings.

Personal Sigils

Question: Q: Are personal sigils a thing? Is it something any noble can grab and start using, as long as it's relevant enough to their house sigil as to be recogniseable?

A: Someone can have a personal sigil, though they don't use the word 'sigil' to avoid confusion. Typically 'personal device' is most common, though emblem or heraldry are fine. It's a little bit uncommon for nobles to do so, since it is considered pretentious with the power held in the hands of the head of house. It is, however, useful for nobles who have significant interests that are separated from their house, such as a noble who is acting as a voice for their liege's house, who wishes to sign things with their own personal device to make it clear they are not in fact speaking as a plenipotentiary for their liege.


Question: Q: I apologize if this has already been asked! I know we've discussed tattoos and that they are considered a bit barbaric, typically something the Shav or Abandoned do. But what about piercings? I know we have earrings as a recipe for jewelry so I assume that at least ear piercings are generally fine, but what about other piercings-- nose, tongue, belly, lip, etc? How does the compact feel about those?

A: Less common than tattoos, but they do exist. They tend to get extremely strong societal pushback from them due to how shav-like they are seen, as piercings are particularly popular among the most barbaric of clans that are extraordinarily warlike, particularly the ones that practice human sacrifice. It has some pretty bad connotations, and prodigals are strongly discouraged from keeping with it.

Redrain Fashion

Answer: The Northern citizens of Redrain are not, in truth, savages. They have access to the same trade goods and techniques available to the rest of the Compact, but many are proud of and embrace their wilder reputation. Here, as in Valardin (the Oathlands and the Northlands do share a close border, after all) metal and armor are also incorporated - though usually more for personal expression and protection than to make a sexy appeal to an observer's love of chivalry and all things Knightly. Feathers, leather, fur and bone accents are common, and Redrains have more tattoos than most other people - though they do not take to the tribal style facial tattoos embraced by many tribes of Abandoned.

Setting Inappropriate Fashion

Answer: This is a list of things that are not setting appropriate, that should be AVOIDED when playing fashion and dress up in Arx. We have a pretty permissive vibe, with acceptable fashion ranging from traditional medieval/fantasy/rennaissance to more MMO-style, outlandish outfits and armor, but there are some things I would prefer not to see.

1. Super high heels. No six inch heels, no stillettos. No giant platform shoes that are clear. IE, please no stripper/feitsh attire. No hate at all for exotic dancers, it's just not an aesthetic Arxian technology supports. This also means no thong underwear objects, please.
2. No super modern/synthetic/machined materials. No rubber, no latex, no pleather or vinyl clothing. No zippers.
3. Nothing that is named in a jarringly modern/geographical sense. This means, it's alright to wear a kimono, or a kilt, but they can't be called "a kimono" or "a kilt". A plaid wrap around skirt, or a silken wrapped robe with a thick belt and draped sleeves, etc.

Steelsilk Vs Fireweave

Question: Q: I was wondering what the differences between Steelsilk and Fireweave are. I know codedly it is mostly the same, and also they are from different lands. However, do they have any different looks, any different feels to them compared to the other?

A: Steelsilk feels almost liquidy in how smooth it is, while Fireweave feels pleasantly warm to the touch, and is fireproof. They can both be dyed any color, and steelsilk and fireweave are both extraordinarily hard to cut, taking truly master tailors to be able to work. Most people just can't do it.

Tartan Patterns

Question: I think Tartan patterns are a wonderful bit of scottish history, but do they have any cultural use by the houses of Arx? I won't go so far as to ask about kilts.

Answer: Probably more modern than you'd think at around 16th century, when mostly we're an analogue for 12th, 13th, etc, but I don't think it's a big deal. I don't think it's in very widespread use by in the Northlands, since it's not quite their cultural analogue, but one or two houses maybe. For anything specifically cultural like that, just can't use the names, but could desc it as essentially that. A tartan kilt, in other words, would be described as a plaid male skirt.


Question: Q: How advanced is the art of tattoo in setting? And is it something that all of Arvum might have? Or is it typicaly a shav or northern thing?

A: Medieval and reniassance era methods, so basically the same as the world over in terms of technology before the modern era (no elaborate inking methods). It's largely associated with shavs- sinec Arvum is not ethnically distinct by and large, it's quite popular for isolated Abandoned tribes, houses and clans to ritually tattoo their house words or sigils and the like. It is equally uncommon for the Compact to do so, since it's associated with barbarism and generally looked down upon, but the biases there are slight rather than overwhelming (it's generally seen as crass). There's no taboo against it in the Northlands at all however, while even Abandoned in the Lyceum tend to not practice it so much.

Thrax Fashion

Answer: Thraxians like black. And gray. Ladies often favor high-necked, fitted gowns, for Thraxians find beauty in severity. Neatly kept (and sometimes elaborate) updos and strong eyebrows serve to highlight to spare beauty of the face, and men often wear layers of wool or cotton with quilted clothing and oiled leather outerwear overtop it all. Seafaring-chic.

Valardin fashion

Answer: While most wouldn't think of the Valardin as setting trends in something as cutting edge and changeable as fashion, they have managed to highlight the practice of titillation through the incorporation of armored elements into their soft garments. Instead of a bare expanse of skin, an Oathlands lady might opt for an armored corset, metal epaulets or draping chainmail skirts. Jewelry that looks like weaponry, shields, and gauntlets is also very popular.

Velenosa Fashion

Answer: Silks and sheers and cool, flowing clothing. The ladies favor sexy silhouettes and soft, luxe fabrics. The men favor..also sexy silhouettes, though they usually attempt to look like they aren't trying. Surely they woke up like that, with their silk shirts perfectly rumpled and almost untucked beneath their smart leather jackets.

White shadowmeld

Question: Can shadowmeld be dyed? Or does it have that umbra effect?

Answer: Sure, I suppose. I think it might randomly change back or try to eat the wearer or something, but can say that some of it can be dyed.