Navigator's Guild Uniform

The Navigator's Guild is one of the longest-standing non-religious organizations in the history of the Manifold Sky, with antecedents in the Old Voxelian aristocracy and luminaries like Eqai Voiranoi whose accomplishments echo through the ages. As befitting such a long and influential history, the uniform of that venerable organization has come to symbolize competence, adventurousness, impartiality, and sheer economic power.

Significance

The Navigator's Guild uniform denotes the one who wears it as a member of that organizaiton, from the low-level Trainees, Navigators, and NavGuard all the way to the upper eschelons of the Guild Board of Trustees at the Castle of Aurorae. Additional devices, such as chevrons beneath the epaulette, the presence or absence of a longcoat, and a certain degree of wear indicate the individuals relative seniority within the organization.   Unlike many other uniformed forces, a slightly battered (but still maintained) uniform is not considered a mark of poor dress. While brass must remain polished, for example, dents in it are a sign that one has carried the uniform through many difficult times and, as such, can generate a modicum of respect.
Compass Rose.png
Guild Compass Rose by BCGR_Wurth
A Navigator's Guild Compass Rose motif. Often displayed as a shoulder patch on Navigator's Guild uniforms, the Compass Rose may also be embossed onto brass uniform buttons or used as lapel pins or cufflinks by those above Trainee rank.
  As an example of this respect for wear patterns, Navigators and NavGuard who join the Order of Cosmeon are expected to have uniforms which show the telltale leather hardening of exposure to vacuum. Similarly, patches denoting one's status as a Seeker of Misfortune or Courtier of Ironies are acceptable shoulder decorations, but a clean patch might prompt someone to ask if the wearer has stopped travelling for some reason. Eqai Voiranoi's uniform jacket is still somewhat dangerous to handle to the neophyte Navigator - not only because it's a piece of Guild history, and therefore too valuable to risk damage at the hands of the unwary, but because the foreign pollens of the far-flung Distal and Caudal Tesseracts are still caked into its fabric.

Standards

The Guild's internal Code of Uniforms and Equipment (CUE) defines what every official Guild uniform must consist of. In general, this consists of a flight suit, sturdy boots, and an insulated flight jacket (also colloquially known as a 'bomber jacket') and thick ascot for cold weather. Members of at least Instructor rank may replace the jacket with a wool- or fur-lined longcoat, in the style of classical cold weather explorers or naval captains, though they are not required to do so.  
The colors of the uniform are specified as high-saturation cyan-green (around 500nm, chosen for being near the middle of the human visual spectrum) and bright gold (reflective or metallic if possible, around 585 nm yellow-orange if not). These colors are intentionally ostentatious for a number of reasons, including to improve identification against terrain or foreign (often not blue) skies, as a form of organizational aposematism - no one wants to anger the Guild by attacking its craft or personnel - and because they just look nice. Modern uniforms are often colored with flourescent dyes to make their colors 'pop' in the near ultraviolet light of the Distal sun. Experiments are also ongoing to create durable, non-toxic dyes which glow in the particle radiation of the Northern and Southern Tesseracts.  
NAV screenshot.png
by Hero Forge
A Verdial navigator demonstrating proper uniform standards. Note the headset and eyewear to protect against conditions which may damage his species' senses, such as those found on a bright Medial Tesseract flight deck.
Because Navigator's Guild members are expected to operate in adverse environments, the CUE is constantly being broadened to include useful equipment. Aviator shades are the most common accoutrement in all environments, as sight is one of the Navigator's most important senses. Earmuffs or radio headsets are also common. As technology has advanced, permitting access to the near-vaccuum of the inflection layers, uniform flight suits have increasingly incorporated pressure suits, thick goggles, helmets, and respirators.

 

Materials

Traditionally, Navigator's Guild uniforms are comprised of organic materials - often linen, leather, and wool - to reduce the difficulty in sourcing them from foreign environments. In modern times, however, synthetic fibers and rubber have made their way into the repertoire to better protect the wearer and provide increased durability.

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Navigator's Guild Standard by BCGR_Wurth
A Navigator's Guild epaulette. The number of gold chevrons (not shown) affixed below and aligned with the angled bottom of the epaulette may indicate relative rank within the organization:
  1. Trainee
  2. Navigator
  3. Instructor
  4. Chapter Master
  5. Guild Board Member
Item type
Clothing / Accessory
Manufacturer
Related Technologies
Rarity
Navigator's Guild Uniforms are generally not sold to anyone outside of the Guild, and even then, they are typically only sold or maintained by Guild-approved outlets or guildhall staff themselves.   While a navigator in good standing may purchase additional uniforms for laundry-day convenience or for replacement purposes, Guild archivists make note of how many are purchased by each member to help prevent cases of 'stolen certification': when someone not approved by the Guild appears in public wearing the uniform in an attempt to fake membership. To be caught in a case of stolen certification is to forfeit one's ability to utilize Guild services, whether as a direct contractor or as a passenger. This level of punishment is usually sufficient to prevent incidents on its own, but uniform purchase tracking does help prevent those cases where member collusion is involved (i.e. people smuggling).
Weight
3-20 lbs (depends on level of embellishment and additional equipment carried)
Base Price
300 NGC


Cover image: by BCGR_Wurth

Comments

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3 May, 2021 21:24

I enjoyed the thought you put into these, particularly controlling what happens if someone tries to imitate a member by dressing as one. The image is a nice touch.

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities, and Vazdimet, its darker spacefaring future.
5 May, 2021 18:15

I really like the idea that a slightly battered uniform can mean extra respect for the one wearing it. That's such a nice detail.

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
6 May, 2021 12:30

This is great. Have you considered adding a short quote about a particularly dangerous incident that added a few dings?

Feel free to check out Garb of the Acolytes!
6 May, 2021 17:20

Nice article, the emblems look great! It's interesting that worn out clothes are valued more as a sign of experience. Does that mean that some people are trying to make theirs look more worn a little more quickly than it would happen naturally? XD   I also like that they keep track of all the clothes they sell to avoid smuggling.   "These colors are intentionally ostentatious for a number of reasons, including to ease long-range identification against the blue of the sky" But are they really? I agree that they look nice, but would red not be more visible? Blue-green looks like it would be too similar to the blue of the sky. And the gold is probably too small, although if it's reflective that can catch the eye.

Feel free to check my costume challenge article :D
7 May, 2021 00:01

Thanks for the feedback! Actually, in my haste, I see now that I've made recursive errors with this description. Blue-green would not stand out very well against a blue sky, so yes, this justification is bunk now that you mention it. However, I also didn't consider that not all the skies in the setting would be blue (i.e. in the airspace over the Red Velvet Desert) and that the org came about before the advent of air travel (i.e. bright reflective materials would stand out in the woods, so the color choice is less the problem than the reason I gave for it. Either way, I'll make sure to fix this phrasing along with some other typos I'm seeing now on my next edit pass.

7 May, 2021 23:37

Intresting uniform! I am getting some Dune vibes of this Navigator's Guild which is always nice because I like those books very much ^^ It is funny how they are still valued if they look very worn out.   Also a nice touch to make them use certain colors to counter the environment of some places. Nice read!

Feel free to check out my costume entry. :)