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Éadaí lile uisce


Robes do not make a person. Robes are the person.
— Cymrian proverb

General info

By just looking at the Éadaí you could tell the region they were coming from, their rank and expertise in the field [of weave and harvesting]. Mind that each embroidery was special. One could not fake a connection with Ædean realm. No man is known to possess such skills.
— Achtár, a nettle tailor from Gáláwá
 
Lotus_harvester_clothing.jpg

Lotus harvesters are known in Cymru for two special skills: harvesting high quality silk from the blue lotus and weaving their bodies with the unique Ædean representation of the blue lotus. It is owning to the latter that the Éadaí form a strong connection to their lotus fields, making harvesters themselves exhibit characteristic plant traits, e.g., regeneration, hibernation. There are limits of course and a trick to it, connected to the blood lotus ritual but it's not a common knowledge. And since not everyone sees the Ædean paths, the story is passed down in many variations more befitting a colorful legend than a real-life truth.

Blekitny_lotos.jpg
Blue lotus emblem by Angantyr

The Éadaí takes resemblance after the blue lotus, a water plant very often found in shallow lakes and ponds all around Cymru.


 

Second skin and more...

First impression

One of them had a barely visible lacing on their forearm resembling a pale blue lotus with a pair of darker petals, characteristic of the northeastern Cymru. You could tell they came from an old line of harvesters but did not make a name for them yet. It is a common custom to embroid a link of oneself to the lacing. And that one... conveyed no feeling whatsoever.

Unless the harvester wears a cloak, the garment resembles a blue lotus at bloom. Its colouring is very characteristic as the dyes with such intensity are not frequently used. The closer the wearer comes, the more details emerge: blood red droplets of the blood lotus, the number of petals, the wooden pegs, the light and mat second skin...

The layering

The garment can be broken down into several layers:

  1. inner - sometimes refered to as the skin layer, second skin or blood layer; this is made exclusively from the silk whose seedling was nourished with the blood of the wearer.
  2. middle - protecting the body from external conditions, e.g., physical damage.
  3. external - a cloak with a hood

The second skin is very thin and flexible, forming a firm contact with the born skin, responsible for transpiration and responding to the atmospheric conditions, i.e., the pores adjust in number and size to enhance transpiration during the dry&hot weather as opposed to the humid&cold. At some regions, especially near the Summer Forest, a common addition is to include the root fibers to gather and guide the water that does not transpire fast enough. It speeds up the drying process as well.

The middle layer is formed from eight sections that overlap in the lower part, resembling the second crown of the blood lotus's petals, that become a single once sliced through the side and fastened with 12 wooden pegs (four on the side, eight on the chest). This is the part, where the most precious tools are kept. Traditionally the heart tools are kept close to the heart. The others, e.g., the harvester knives are placed in special horizontal pockets that trace the lines of the ribs so as to not constrain the movements. The shape and colouring of the lotus petal crown is region-characteristic.

Special feature, often exploited in the garments are the flexible pockets. They are made of two skin layers, sewed together at the sides. Each layer has a set of parallel slits through which skin tapes are interlaced to form separators. The pockets can be moved freely. A more rigid approach uses wooden or bone separators.

MARMOT.jpg
PLACEHOLDER MARMOTS by PxHere (edit by Angantyr)
 

Second glance

...and while we were travelling to Ceg-yr-Afon I learned a lot about my co-travellers from Cymru. Things, that I did not, maybe even could not see at the first glance, but now became so apparent, I could not unsee them. There is more that meets the eye, they say, but the outfits...

While the general cut of the Éadaí may be similar throughout the regions, each and every one of them is filled with small details that make it unique, though many may be hidden from plain sight. A popular trend is to influence the thickness of the second skin, creating a scar-like plant motifs. At times specially prepared laces or embroidery are used. As the first Éadaí are weaved right after entering adolescence, they tend to be more more obvious and simple. Consequently, the most complex patterns are found on Éadaí of older harvesters, especially those who earned a place in the first two Petal Crowns of the Gathering..

Things to remember

There are two types of lotus silk threads, that one can harvest, i.e.:

  1. heart silk - from the stalks that end with flowers
  2. palm silk - from the stalks that end with leaves
The "magic" thread comes from the heart stalks and there are 3 at most from a single plant. The thread starts as rather stiff and can be softened only when the person connected to it reaches the flower in Ædeos and connects the concept of stiffness to the concept of delicate form of the coloured petal. Then the thread, initially white, takes in the colour of the petal and becomes smooth as silk, while maintaining its initial thickness. It is a custom to make embroidery, especially the lotus symbol, solely from the heart silk, and only from the first plant nourished with the blood.

 

Cultural reference

A widely spread and known among the commonfolk reference to the lotus harvesters, comes from a trickster skald - Scathach.

After she became a skald, Scathach did not abandon her link to the lotus harvesters. It showed on her lute and harp - she used the heart string to be entered into the strings, along with 3 of 'er hair, which reminded of the trial of Svis. The 13 petal lotus remained on the back of her coat. A single glance at it showed it was recognized by the Artbearers and that it had witnessed many Blooms. It gave away a vibe of a person you knew for a number of years, and experienced at entering the Æter's turmoil.

What Scathach did, was undoing the embroidery made from the heart thread and separated it into three smaller ones, embroiding three lotus flowers. One was left at the back of her cloak as the tradition suggested. One was laced into the second skin on the upper part of her chest. And, finally, the last, as part of the tatting lace, replaced the rosette in her lute.

Potential threats

When wet their cloaks become as slippery as an eel, so I'd suggest avoiding them lot at that time. Unless you want to break a love spell. Then it works like a charm.
— Anonymous co-traveller

Éadaí was shaped carefully by many generations of lotus harvesters and it shows visibly when examining the cloak. The material is thin and flexible, darkish green in colour and mat, very much like a linen fabric... Until it gets wet. Then it becomes glossy and slippery, a trait which not only keeps the wearer dry. It ensures that the cloak does not get in the way, should the wearer be forced to swim in it.

Though rare, history recorded several incidents of people drowning, in all cases which was the result of the current owner of the cloak not aware of the property.


Cover image: by Toan Phan

Comments

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4 Jun, 2021 19:20

'this is made exclusively from the silk whose seedling was nourished with the blood of the wearer.' Well, that's terrifying.   I absolutely love the concept of this and the detail that you've gone into about the construction of it. The whole article makes me feel rather uncomfortable... but I like it more because of that. :D

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
4 Jun, 2021 20:26

Lol... :D The concept of blood sacrifice has indeed a bad PR, so I'll have to write more about it to give it a more... gentle and casual feel.   Only now that you mentioned how it makes you feel, Emy, I realized that the reader may think of the "second skin" as something creepy and living, sort of like a bug... but worse. :D

People venture to Ædeos-the world of ideas and concepts to gain knowledge, craft... magic. Not every mind can bear it. Not every mind cares...
4 Jun, 2021 21:27

*horrified face*

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
4 Jun, 2021 19:33

Very cool concept! It really feels like quite the special method by using one's own blood to grow it. It is also quite interesting how it looks like a lotus when not worn. nice read!

Feel free to check out my costume entry. :)
4 Jun, 2021 20:46

Thank you! :D

People venture to Ædeos-the world of ideas and concepts to gain knowledge, craft... magic. Not every mind can bear it. Not every mind cares...
Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
4 Jun, 2021 21:12

Great article :D I love the concept of the people being their clothes :p Using root fibres for better control of sweat is a great idea! And I really like them feeding their blood to the lotus, as well as the pockets and the significance of where they are positioned and which tools go where :D   "weaving their bodies with the unique Ædean representation of the blue lotus." This sentence near the beginning tripped me a bit and I think you should add a tooltip to explain what the Ædean is.   "connects the concept of stiffness to the concept of delicate form of the coloured petal. " I'm guessing this refers to your magic, but I feel this asks for a bit more explanation.   In the layering section, you only give details about the inner layer/second skin right? What about the middle layer? Or are they both attached together to form only one garment?

Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
4 Jun, 2021 21:14

Adding that after seeing your answer to Emy, I have a similar idea for one of my world, people feeding their magic or blood to plants to get more potent fibres out of them so as to make great magical clothes, so the idea seem perfectly natural and not creepy at all to me :p

4 Jun, 2021 21:26

That is all true. The whole concept of Ædeos deserves an article, even a short one. The middle layer has it's own paragraph, but the beginning is confusing. (It should be clear now)   But... in the heat of WorldEmber 2020 I sort of hover around the subject. :D   More positive blood magic!

People venture to Ædeos-the world of ideas and concepts to gain knowledge, craft... magic. Not every mind can bear it. Not every mind cares...
Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
4 Jun, 2021 21:41

Ah yes, the middle layer is clearer now! I was wondering if indeed there was some title/introduction missing there! :D

Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
4 Jun, 2021 21:41

Ah yes, the middle layer is clearer now! I was wondering if indeed there was some title/introduction missing there! :D

Sage SailingOcelot
Sailing Ocelot
5 Jun, 2021 03:40

Interesting article! It surprised me to see Cymru being used as inspiration material. While I have not heard of lotus and self-blood letting being a Welsh Celtic tradition, there was probably a lot of sacrifice.   The description of the layers of the item are wonderfully described, and I like how gritty and grim it can be. The link of the item to a profession of a lotus harvester is also a very cool idea. Nice work :)

~~~~~~~~ SailingOcelot
5 Jun, 2021 08:56

It wasn't suppose to be grim. :D   Yeah, there's a lot of Celtic inspiration in the Saveni region (Cymru included). My *unconscious* is pulled towards it, so... I never heard of lotus in Celtic tradition, too. Maybe water lilies as flower sacrifice? Hmm...

People venture to Ædeos-the world of ideas and concepts to gain knowledge, craft... magic. Not every mind can bear it. Not every mind cares...
Sage SailingOcelot
Sailing Ocelot
5 Jun, 2021 12:24

Ahh~ It's probably only grim to me as I am anaemic aha. Old Cymru and Celtic traditions are very interesting to me, and there is a great emphasis on the local lands and environment. As these harvesters are very proud of their tradition of using these local plants, I think that can be on par :) May you remain inspired!

~~~~~~~~ SailingOcelot
Sage samsaratg
George Sanders
5 Jun, 2021 16:05

You put together a lot of deep lore here, great details on how the outfit works!   One piece of feedback, I've noticed myself do this so it stuck out to me, there could be one or two more details in the last paragraph to round the description of the danger. That is a hook to couple stories there, and you are leaving us hanging with just one sentence! :)

Lavani started a trend with Fashion from a Fey during the Costume Challenge.   Keep up to date with my article tracker in my Summer Camp 2021 Pledge article.
5 Jun, 2021 20:52

Lol, thanks so much George! :D   The last part are some loose ideas that popped into my head at the end. I cannot see the details clearly, but yeah, the fact that there were only a couple of accidents makes them for a good plot knot.   The world is getting to a point with many loose ends, so it's high time I start bundling them up.

People venture to Ædeos-the world of ideas and concepts to gain knowledge, craft... magic. Not every mind can bear it. Not every mind cares...
7 Jun, 2021 09:02

I sat here and read the article surprised and happy that you included Gaelge/Gaelic. I love the cultural flavourings. The Celtic influence is spectacular.

7 Jun, 2021 10:34

Thank you! :D To be fair, I sometimes fear that people who do understand the names in Gaelge/Gaelic will find it mispronounced. The language itself deserves a well-fleshed article, but I cannot get myself to learn Irish/Manx on which it will probably be constructed.   There will be much and more about Scathach and Svis, but it's a big story. :D

People venture to Ædeos-the world of ideas and concepts to gain knowledge, craft... magic. Not every mind can bear it. Not every mind cares...
9 Jun, 2021 20:19

That even when she became a Skald, Scathach kept the connection, really shows how important this is to them. I like that touch there. Also interesting how they connect so much to make this.

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young   Costume Challenge Entry: As Superpowered troops on an alien planet, the Battle Spears wear a uniform capable of handling all they face
9 Jun, 2021 20:52

It's funny how on the Ædean level (concepts/properties) everything is so much more connected than it initially seems.

People venture to Ædeos-the world of ideas and concepts to gain knowledge, craft... magic. Not every mind can bear it. Not every mind cares...