I don't know if I'm alone in this, but when I'm reading, I don't think very much about what the people in the book are wearing. Maybe that's a fault of mine (I don't think so), or maybe I'm just not very visual but anyway, it never occurred to me to think about how weird it was that Dante had on a leather jacket in the cover images. Now that I'm here, I can say confidently that no one else here wears a whole leather biker outfit, it's really just him. But I've seen other things - leather pants paired with corsets and capes, that's pretty fun. Not for me! But... fun?


As the jewel at the heart of Amaya, the Court of Ruavine - colloquially referred to as the Crimson Court - is a place of decadence, extravagance and, ideally, intense beauty. This beauty, dark and at times sinister though it may be, extends through the intricately carved buildings, the endless fountains and the water of the Lonely Sea, which houses half the city.

That being the case, it should be of no surprise that the highest echelons of the population is as concerned with their own presentation as they are with the presentation of their surroundings.

In pursuit of beauty, the people of the Crimson Court spend an inordinate amount of time grooming, keeping up with trends, primping... making themselves beautiful, yes. All the better to attract the right kind of attention, be they friends, lovers, allies... or enemies. That is the nature of life at the center of power, isn't it?

The (in)Constant Tastes of Demonkind

The Asther Aesthetic

by Pandora9

It is common for the most powerful and prominent families to have a signature style used over time. This can be expressed throiugh clothing, choice of fabric, or the decorations used - even hairstyles. These styles can tend to influence the fashion of the people around them.

In Amaya, of course, the most important family is the House of Asther, and they do, indeed, have a signature "look."

The lace-like texture seen on various members of the family is the single, arguably subtle, marker of the Asther family's signature look. This lace can be fabric (as seen on Isis or metal, as most often sported by Samael. Even Gorgo had this texture carved into his armor and embroidered onto his clothing.

Court Beauty Through Time

Demons vary significantly in appearance from subspecies to subspecies - skin tone, hair and hair type, the presence or absence of horns, or wings, of claws or fur, or stony skin makes it difficult to determine a strict standard of clothing for all people. Though, they certainly did try. Furthermore, what constitutes attractive or fashionable clothing varies over time, even within Ruavine alone However, there are a few relative constants, driven by the nature and culture of Amaya, as well as demonkind as a whole.

Constants of Beauty at Court

Demon society as a whole carries a strong emphasis on the importance of power in all its forms: social, financial, physical, etc. This general proclivity that exists across all of Incaendium is especially pronounced in Amaya due the personalities and history of its ruling family, the House of Asther, which has been deeply involved in many wars of conquest.

The importance of power and status means that Amayans are, as a whole, attracted to the appearance of strength. This means people who carry themselves confidently and boldly, often athletic and muscular regardless of gender, age or species. These traits are therefore reflected through their choices of clothing, hairstyle, etc.

This can be done in a number of ways: scanty or skin-tight clothing are popular, for example, while armored pieces and visible weaponry are often used to convey the sense of readiness for battle.

The interest in showing off their formidability has also given rise to cultural quirks such as the tendency to choose outfits that display or suggest the specifics of their powers subtly or not so-subtly; a necromancer using bones in their jewelry, a water elementalist decorating themselves with liquid water suspended in patterns across their clothing, a runic mage with magic symbols on the hems of their clothing - these are all things that would immediately draw attention and a measure of respect. The more complicated the display, the more attention and respect a person is likely to garner.

These are relative constants, but the specifics of their most popular expression varies, as below.

Current Clothing and Jewelry

Like much of Incaendium society, fashion trends will tend to conform with the personality and personal style of the current ruler. During Gorgo Asther's reign, for example, the trend leaned toward displays of battle gear - bits of armor, visible weapons, etc - a result of the court's conformation to Gorgo's emphasis on physical power. With Gorgo's death and the rise of his son, Samael, however, things began to change dramatically.

Despite being perhaps even more of a conqueror than his father, Samael's actual presentation is aggressively sensual - he rarely wears full shirts, for example, and he decorates himself with jewelry and accessories. These "quirks" have shaped the trends of the past several thousand years, leading to less overt battle gear and a greater emphasis on sensuality and clothing that reveals flesh or figure.

Despite that, clothing is not necessarily elaborate - at least not for the purposes of impressing others, though there is obviously variance based on personal preference.

As one of the more stridently hierarchical nations in Incaendium, Amayans are often preoccupied with displays of wealth and status.

Court fashion. Simple outfits can sometimes be "dressed up" by adding additional pieces like sleeves, capes or skirts.

Gold thread, heavy embroidery, jewelry etc are often woven into or atop the clothing, integrated into the outfit itself, sometimes even used in lieu of some articles of clothing.

Earrings are commonly worn regardless of gender, species or age -- assuming the person has ears, anyway.

Courtiers prefer elevated fabrics with interesting textures- heavy embroidery, quilting,lace, layers of muslin or silk organza. These outfits come in any color, and so any color can be found floating around the Crimson Court. That said, everyone is aware that Samael prefers a specific range of colors: dark, rich warm-tones or jewel-tones specifically (as well as black and grey) so many of the less confident or more eager for attention will build much of their wardrobe around those colors. The frequent and flagrant use of colors that are absolutely divorced from those preferences indicates a level of confidence in one's place.

The love for rich fabrics aside, clothing itself does not need to be elaborate; simple silhouettes are as acceptable as more complicated constructions.

The main goal is for the person to end up giving the impression of beauty, luxury and power through whatever means necessary.

Makeup and Hair

Hair is typically left loose or loosely styled. Long and short hair are both appropriate for any sex or species (aside from Gargoyles since they don't have hair). However "loose" does not mean "undecorated" - many will use metal clips or pins, or style their hair into twists or braids.

Physical cosmetics are readily available, though many will choose cosmetic enchantments to play up their better features over physical makeup. Generally speaking, it is discouraged to change one's appearance too much on a temporary basis - a light enchantment to cover dark circles is one thing, but it is expected that everyone remain basically recognizable on a day to day basis.

It is also common to simply eschew the use of cosmetics of any kind.

As evidence of battle, scars are typically left uncovered, save for during gatherings or events that emphasize elegance and beauty such as the masquerade balls common to Luto's Gambit.

Some hairstyles typical to the Court.

Outside Influences

Of course, like anything or anyplace, the Crimson Court is not immune to outside influences. Indeed, due to the size and power congregated in Amaya, Ruavine attracts an unusually diverse group of residents from every Realm and ever race. It also attracts the rare group of confound variables inside Empirica Sin - the Aedvectis, who bring the novel tastes of their homeworlds with them when they arrive. Some of the most influential outsider influences follow.

A functional Aedvecti-inspired leather outfit.


Arriving from the Otherworld, Aedvectis have often had an outsized impact on cultural and technological development in Empirica Sin. This holds true in Amaya, and in Ruavine - and thus inside the Court - as well.

Though the fashions they inspire are not as prominent as the more familiar designs of Demonkind, their influence must not be understated. How else could one explain the occasional sighting of seemingly anachronistic items such as leather pants and coats (a favorite of Dante Savoy, or denim jeans (more or less all Grigorius Bieloskytes ever wears)?

Other Aedvecti-inspired Trends
  • lace up leather "combat" boots
  • trenchcoats
  • denim clothes
  • leather pants
  • leather coats
  • straw hats
  • quilted puffy coats
  • high-heeled sandles
  • Note that in most cases these things are incorporated into outfits alongside more standard fashion - used for flavor, essentially. That said, functional items like pants and jackets are popular with mercenaries and out-of-uniform soldiers.

    Astrum and the Fallen Celestials

    Amaya has an unusual concentration of fallen celestials, including prominent members of court like Grigorius or Leviael Kythien. This has resulted in a minor trend of very modest clothes with clean lines and often layers of monochrome clothing - an aesthetic far more minimalist than the traditional garb of the Court.


    The Court in Celebration

    While all of the above is accurate,, there are different standards between the day-to-day doings of the court and, for example, presentation during festivals or balls. During these occasions, clothing becomes more elaborate and experimental, more jewelry is worn, and more cosmetics are used in both physical and magical forms. Furthermore, interesting accessories begin to make appearances: masks being one of the most popular additions to a wardrobe during special occasions.