Purple Crayon

The discovery that made purple available to the common folk of Melior.

World / Appendices / Technology / Purple Crayon
Purple used to be an incredibly rare colour and was restricted for exclusive use by nobility in Garronay. Thankfully, all of that changed thanks to Satrum Septel discovering a wonderous species of bean that produces the most vibrant purple pigment ever known. After making the bean famous, Septel went on to develop wax crayons that were high quality AND affordable for all folks to be able to use and reclaim this colour and use it to express their culture and creativity.  

A Historically Exclusive Hue

The colour purple was historically the rarest colour in The Jolundrian Empire due to the painstaking process of pigment procurement from an exceedingly rare species of sea snail. As such, only the nobility could afford it for dyeing their clothes or having their artists use it in their portraits and it quickly became a luxurious status symbol throughout the world of Melior.   If any common folk were caught with anything purple, it was assumed that they had stolen it and they were severely punished.  

Satrum Septel and the Bean

Rifts to unkown realms opened up across the world during the events of The Rupture fifty years ago, and Satrum Septel saw this as a great opportunity for artistic inspiration. He visited many rifts and many realms in search of fascinating new subjects to paint.   Whilst searching many long hours in one of these strange new realms, he decided to stop for the night and set up camp with a small fire to toast his bread on. In his haste for adventure, he had left some of his provisions behind and had nothing to put on his toast. With a grumbling hungry stomach, Satrum foraged around at night in the nearby bushes and found a bean plant. He cooked them up in a pot of water over his fire, then drained them off and mushed them on his toast - a favourite meal of his that reminded him of home.   He woke up in the morning and went to pack up his tent only to be shocked a the sight of his fingers that had turned a concerning shade of purple from squishing the cooked beans. Even the back of his wrist and hand were purple too from where he'd wiped his mouth!   He took several cuttings of the plant (along with freshly picked beans) back home to study and experiment with and learnt how to cultivate the plant in native soil in order to grow more.   In the following months, Satrum managed to strike up several business deals which led to the large scale farming of purple beans and the production of Septel's Wax Crayons.  

Royal Revolt

In a rare occurance, the noble families of Garronay banded together and used their wealth to bribe their way into forming a new law to ban the distribution of purple crayons within the country.   They decided that, to further flaunt their wealth and nobility, they would write it with the longest, most complex words that a legal document could be written in so that when the common folk tried to read it (or had it read to them) they woud feel belittled and unintelligent. The law could not legally prevent folks from using the colour, so they made sure that no common folk would be allowed to buy it.   Unfortunately, in their haste to set this law in motion, one part of the phrasing created a loop hole that Satrum Septel immediately spotted.  
...as such, the sale or exchange of purple hued pigments given freely or at expense is forbidden on Garronayan soil.
  Thanks to this phrasing Septel's Wax Crayons were still widely available across the country and all of The Jolundrian Empire, they just needed to be sold via floating markets and trading boats staying on water in the docks of Garronay, as technically the law only applies to soil and not waters.  

Purple for the Plenty

As a promotional marketing stunt, Satrum Septel moored a bright purple boat in the docks of Fentrus, the busy capital city of Garronay, and gave every person who visited (except for any nobility or friends of nobility) a free purple crayon which they could keep if they promised to use it and draw a purple bean shape on their front door.   Purple crayons (and their beans) quickly became a powerful symbol for the common folk of Garronay. To further stick a middle finger up at the nobility, newborns (regardless of sex) were clothed in soft purple fabric to show that it doesn't matter where you're born or who your parents were, purple is for everyone to enjoy.   Garronayans have become slightly obsessed with the colour purple and use it freely throughout their culture and crafts.  
Crayon Creativity
The wax crayons were originally marketed at leatherworkers as a way to visibly mark leathers and hides, but it became a universal writing tool used in schools, for fine art, and also for expressive temporary graffiti.   Due to the existing distribution law, Septel's Crayons are manufactured in the neighbouring country of Karovek.
Item type
Discovered and developed by
Satrum Septel
Bean Discovered
Dimday 12th Feldturn 515 2A
Pigment Developed
Setday 28th Feastcall 515 2A
Septel's Crayons founded
Setday 14th Snowturn 516 2A
Law established
Thirday 10th Seedfall 517 2A
Septel's Crayons relocated
Setday 28th Seedfall 517 2A
Marketing stunt
Dimday 12th Blumecall 517 2A
The Rupture
Military Conflict | Sep 19, 2021

The catastrophic and unforeseen event that wrought havoc upon the world, plunging it into complete and utter chaos on an unfathomable scale.

Articles under Purple Crayon


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11 Jul, 2021 16:10

Nice one! The real world history of colour is so fascinating and you beautifully recreated a bit of it in Melior. The legalese biting back the rich is very satisfying and I adore Satrum.

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E. Christopher Clark
11 Jul, 2021 19:50

Nice work! That said, the dumb American in me kept waiting for an Easter Egg in the form of a character called Harold (because of the children's book Harold and the Purple Crayon, you see).

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13 Jul, 2021 14:37

So much symbolism in one little color. Amazing, I love it :)

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Amélie I. S. Debruyne
14 Jul, 2021 12:03

Very fun story! I love everything that happens just because of one colour :p I especially love how everyone got obsessed with it just to stick it to all the nobles XD   Can the nobility not just change the law to cover the loophole?

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23 Jul, 2021 02:55

I love how you explored the history of purple and how it became a sticking point between the nobility and the common folk. Also enjoy a good loophole!

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7 Aug, 2021 20:43

I love this article so much. Lots of little stories and culture stuff here. <3

13 Mar, 2022 21:33

Oh man, what "bad laws" can do. In this case, they lead to obscure situations, but otherwise prevent nothing apart from amusement. Funnily enough, there are plenty of examples in history for this pride of place, so that people could recognise who had what position, etc. Anyway, a very nice article. Thank you for it.

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