Longboots

Solid footing

I've little doubt that Romit could have borne the indignity of defeat. But when I heard that they stripped him of his longboots, I knew that he'd be dead, by his own hand, in a matter of days.
Erlend Kuusk, Chevian writer, 2153 AoR
L
ongboots are easily the most universal article of clothing amongst all casterways, in all nations, throughout all cultures, across every nook and cranny of Excilior. Although they may seem to be merely a humble, functional, and basic accessory, they hold an honored place in casterway lore. The long in longboots varies by region and culture. Some barely pass the ankle, but they rarely fall short of mid-calf. Most stop just short of the knee, but it's not that unusual to find them reaching clear up to mid-thigh.

Manufacturing process

T
he vaunted role of longboots bestows a type of reflected respect upon the village cobbler. Crafting a new pair is a near-religious process that is deemed to require an intimate knowledge of the future owner. Restoring a seemingly-destroyed pair is a loving act for which a skilled cobbler can gain great acclaim. In some rural communities, the town cobbler occupies a dual role as both shoesmith... and de facto shaman. In most cultures, becoming a master cobbler requires decades of careful apprenticeship.

Significance

O
n a planet that is beset with rain and layered with muddwoods, a solid pair of boots is no luxury. But even for those who live amongst the mountains, or the sea, or even in the Ontorlands, longboots serve many purposes. Amongst the lower classes, their longboots are often their most prized possession (and sometimes, their most expensive). Casterways are typically fitted for a pair of longboots as a rite of passage - a tangible symbol of adulthood and social responsibility. Most people wear a single pair for their entire lives, caring for them fastidiously and having them lovingly repaired whenever necessary. When the fit allows it, they can be passed down from generation to generation.  
Status Symbols
Urban life would seem to have less use for longboots. But even city folk put great worth in a solid pair. Rural folk - or those who occupy the laboring classes - typically take pride in the fact that their boots are worn, scuffed, and bear the marks of honest work. But while they deride those whose boots are overly-clean, even laborers will not allow their longboots to fall into wanton disrepair. Donning shoddy longboots is seen as a mark of shame - a sign of slovenness, or carelessness. Because of their association with the bearer's worth, stripping someone's longboots is seen as a mark of deep degradation. Many conquered captives have been marched through the town square - barefoot. Being stripped of one's longboots is symbolically tantamount to losing one's personhood. Prisoners are almost always granted nothing but strappy sandals and when the guilty are executed, they are always marched to the gallows free of any footwear whatsoever.  
Legends
Folk tales are replete with legends of magical longboots, or haunted longboots, or boots that somehow grant special powers. "Stepping into someone else's shoes" simply describes the process of seeing something from someone else's perspective. But "stepping into someone else's longboots" is a phrase that denotes a mythical experience of donning someone else's personage or mannerisms.

Pronunciation LONG-boots
Item type
Clothing / Accessory
Rarity
Ubiquitous

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