On Sitting: A Treatise on the Common Chair Item in Istralar | World Anvil

On Sitting: A Treatise on the Common Chair

This document was located in the back rooms of Thrinda's Arcanium during a seasonal cleaning session. It is unknown who authored it, but it seems to be a recent creation. We have removed large sections for readability.
  Amongst all the many different species upon our star, from the diminutive halflings to the grotesquely muscular orcs, there is but one pervasive common thread binding us together. Unfortunately, it is not a thread strong enough to stifle the screams of racial war, but it shall have to suffice.   All beings capable of thinking yearn for comfort, though that comfort comes in many forms! One form being, obviously, the relief found in sitting down at the end of a long day. There is naught that can compare to the comforting touch of pillow upon rear - though I find myself digressing.   Legs are not intended to be used all hours of the day. That is why we developed sleep and rest: that is why chairs were born. But with all of the differences in our beings, the chairs we use also hold significant difference. Allow me to expand on this by focusing on a few of the more widespread species.
Types of Chair discussed in the Treatise  
  • Halfling
  • Human
  • Dwarven
  • Dragon
  • Elvish
  • Gnomish
  • Orcish to be discussed in the future.

    Racial Diversity in Chairs

      As each culture has grown around the myriad of species involved with their birth, so too have chairs been developed in different mannerisms.  
      The halflings, for instance, focused on crafting small stools out of lightweight woods. Their bodies are small and need no significant support: there was no necessity of anything fancier, and none of the halfling groups I am aware of felt the need for anything extravagant.   Their simplistic design does not preclude variety. The plain wooden design to the left is but one kind of chair: others have soft cushions, leather seats, and wooden backs to ensure their bearers do not fall over. Some even retain the human concept of armchairs.
      Humanity has potentially the most well-known variety of seating devices known to all due to the extreme differences in human culture. The Meihuans - or, nowadays, those descended from the former Empire - preferred ornately lacquered seats in bright shades of pink and red, or in glossy deep jades.   Across the world, Hvalgora prefers to focus on sturdy seats made of reclaimed wood. Multi-person sofas crafted from former ships and cushioned with velvets are in high fashion there. If we then travelled to Aletheia or Medimia, it would be another two stories again. We shall sum humans up as 'oddly multifaceted' in this regard.  
      Dwarves, even according to their own creation myths, are from the stone and the caves. It is oddly fitting that they would work their seating habits into this obsession with the earth's mineral bounty. Most everyday dwarven chairs are carved entirely out of stone, with some featuring cushions and/or metal inlays. Sometimes metal chairs are used, but they are seen as less comfortable and a waste of metal.   The richest of dwarves, however, are able to procure impressively ornate almost-thrones entirely carved from gemstones and inlaid with the finest materials. To add some comfort to these glimmering thrones, portable cushions are usually used.   I have yet to receive an answer about whether the beards of the dead are utilised in these cushions: Gildómar has yet to rescind my ban from their country.
      I had intended on inserting a section detailing draconic chair usage across varieties of dragon. Unfortunately, whilst I was able to barter some information from a metallic dragon, the notes were subsequently destroyed (as were many of my belongings) when the chromatic dragon I sought out took umbrage with my line of questioning.   They don't use chairs, for the most part. They use piles of gold, comfortable areas of rock, clouds, lava, and other geological or glittering formations. Would that I could add more to this! I shall bring an assistant next time, to distract the chromatic beast as I study his living area.  
    The elves (and their halfbreed descendants) share a taste in chair across cultures. The current running theory in the Arcanium is that their previous planet was far smaller and more unified, and their ingrained love for their former home inadvertently bends all of their architecture and design towards those same flowing lines and pieces. My personal theory is that they are simply unimaginative.   Elvish chair design tends towards a high-backed and intricate style utilising polished wood, glass, and precious metal for its frames. Stone chairs are uncommon. They are almost always padded with some sort of cushion, and rarely have useful armrests. This design is encouraged by their excessive height and need to showboat. Richer elves will augment their seats with tastefully embedded gemstones.   Amusingly, for as much as the elves claim they have grown completely separate from the drow, their seating designs are incredibly similar. Drow simply choose a darker colour palette and make the addition of spikes (and occasionally torture devices) to distinguish themselves. Elvish colours lean towards greens, blues, and browns for the most part - particularly in Galasthin - whilst drow cultures prefer deep purples, reds, and blacks.  
    An addendum to this: It should be noted that these notes on elves and drow particularly pertain to Aletheian Empire citizens, despite the mention of Galasthin and other elven cultures. They also make assumptions on the beloved elven homelands, something considered highly offensive in elven culture.
    — disgruntled researcher
      Attempting to sum up gnomish design would be a fool's endeavour. Gnomes are by far the most creative and varied race with their seating design, and I have no wish to incite a gnomish war by pretending that one group's manner of design applies to the whole. This seems particularly prudent when considering the warlike behaviours of the Polyhedral Gnomes.  

    Final Words

      I hope this study has provided some insight into the differences of chair between species upon Istralar. In the future, I shall expand this to focus on the different uses of chairs and, potentially, shall be able to add further details. For instance, the R'kal orcs endeavour to forge their seats as veritable weapons so that even when 'unarmed' and relaxing, they have an easy way of engaging in combat.   For now, I believe my own seat is calling to me!

    Cover image: Throne by William Krause


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    1 Aug, 2019 02:04

    A great work of art - made me think of the Spanish inquisition... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAxkcPoLYcQ&t=144

    1 Aug, 2019 11:41

    Yes. This is great. Very comprehensive explanation from chairs. I would have added the distinction between chairs and stools, and definition what constitutes as a chair. I think that would have been interesting little touch. <3

    Can I have a cookie? | Come and snoop around Melyria
    Dr Jimothy
    Jimmy Shrekson
    1 Aug, 2019 19:17

    Next time on Chairs Documented, our first ever live episode: "It appears I started a 192-way war among gnome-kind over what chair is the best and would very much like some help as I have been captured by a group that does not appear to like my opinions on chairs."