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The Noble Sash

The Sash worn by nobles of the Empire of Lumiaron can identify one's rank and house affiliation at a single glance, to those who know how to read the Sash. This item of clothing is sometimes called: The Blooded Sash or The Sash of the Blood as well.

The concept of the Sash was brought to the Blutben by the Consang people who wore the Sash to indicate that they were Habieurs, magic users. The Consang and the Tribal people of the Blutben unified into one people over time and this resulted in the embroidered badges of the Tribes being added to the Sashes of nobles, as the nobility of the Blutben were now exclusively of Consang heritage and were all Habieurs.

At first, the two badges, one indicating kingdom, one indicating family, were worn at the shoulder and the hip of the Sash respectively and were called Heart's Badge and Sword Badge. That which you love, that which you are willing to die for.

After Claudin unified the kingdoms into the Empire of Lumiaron and the kingdoms became Duchies, the sword badge was moved up to be a smaller badge under the heart's badge, rather than being two distinct badges.

Someone who is exiled from their barony / county / duchy is stripped of their badge, but not their sash. Someone who is exiled from the Empire is stripped of their sash.

This sash would be worn by the Baron of Somfaux of the family of du Mamel. He is married and holds no military rank other than his baronial noble rank. He hails from the Duchy of Etendulat and his magic is restricted to habi.
by Daya Avery

Mechanics & Inner Workings


Cloth Base

The Sash is made from a heavy cloth base that is dyed as follows:
  • Sitting Duke (or the Emperor): Purpure (Purple)
  • Sitting Count: Murrey (Mulberry)
  • Sitting Baron: Sanguine (Blood Red)
  Any other noble: the shade of their primary Ducal association:
 

Borders and Tassels

The borders and patterns of the Sash indicate the blooded status in the house.

A close kin blood relative of the sitting noble, such as a son, is indicated with a hatching pattern on the edge of the sash in the color of the sitting noble (purpure for dukes, mulberry for counts, sanguine for barons).

The designated heir of the sitting noble will have their noble color striped with the color of their house.

In the ducal houses, passing the Trials of Dusang is indicated by replacing one of the tassels which are in the color of the house with a Gules (red) tassel.

Sometimes a person who is sharing the status of their spouse (they took the sash) will display their original house colors in their tassels.

 

Ranks & Titles

Coat of Arms
On each Sash, there are 2 embroidered badges. The one is the coat of arms of the duchy to which the wearer belongs, the other is the coat of arms of their noble house. The coat of arms may sometimes be altered to fit onto the smaller badge. This is known as the Sash Badge. For most houses, the Sash Badge and the Coat of Arms are the same, but occasionally there might be variation. All variation must be approved under the Heraldic Rules of the Bardic Guild.

The one badge is larger and is referred to as the Heart's Badge. This badge is indicative of the part of your heritage which you feel closest to.

The other badge smaller, sown below the Heart's Badge and is referred to as the Sword’s Badge. This is indicative of the part of your heritage you would fight to the death for.

The coat of arms is governed by the Heraldry of the Empire of Lumiaron.

 
Noble Ranks
Noble ranks are indicated by ordinary insignia embroidered beneath the heart’s badge.
  • Duke - Saltire Parted Fretty
    saltire-parted-fretty.png
  • Marquis - Fret Couped
    fret-couped.png
  • Earl - Fret
    fret.png
  • Count - Triple Chevrons
    3-chevrons-+.png
  • Viscount - Double Chevrons
  • Baron - Triple Chevronels
  • Chevalier - Single Chevronel
 
Military Ranks
Chevaliers especially can hold military rank beyond their noble rank indicative of battlefield command or honors. These ranks are indicated by additional ordinary charges below their noble rank.

  • Lieutenant - two palets
    2-palets-+.png
  • Captain - two bends
    2-bends-+.png
  • General - three bars
    3-bars-+.png

Significance

The sash indicates the rank and house of nobility, as well as military rank. Any person who wears a sash has to be capable of wielding habi magic.
A noble might be exiled from the lands of their birth, but they would retain their right to the sash, however they would no longer display the coat-of-arms of their house. If they found work with a guild, they might add the guild badge to their sash to show their allegiance.
The lord did climb the hill,
Him and his sash and his thousand men.
But his sash was stained, stained red with blood.
And so his people threw him down.
And the lord never went up again.
- Lumiaron Nursery Rhyme
Item type
Clothing / Accessory
Rarity
Use of this article of clothing by those who do not hold the appropriate rank carries a penalty of twenty lashes. Impersonation of the rank of Duke carries the death penalty.
Dimensions
15cm in breadth, long enough to be comfortably draped across the shoulder in length.

Spouses

After the marriage, the partner who is "getting married" (also called: taking the sash) will get a sash that matches that of the partner who got married (also called: giving the sash). The partner who takes the sash will wear the sash on their left shoulder.
Marriage is indicated with an Or (gold) hatching pattern upper border of the sash.
Should a partner who took the sash be widowed without children, they return to their family and their old sash. Should they be widowed with children, they retain their marriage sash, but replace the Or hatching with Sable hatching. Should a partner who gave the sash be widowed, they may add sable (black) hatching where they previously had gold hatching to indicate their mourning for a partner.

Children

Children of nobles go by the generic title of lord or lady and use the sash of their parent with gules (red) chevron hatching on the borders until they reach the age of majority when they are given their own sash. Children also wear their sash from the left shoulder, not the right. During the ceremony of majority, the child will receive their sash from their lord to be worn from the right shoulder. Children who pass the trials of dusang get a Gules tassel.

Behind the Sash

Each castle has a special Sash Hook that indicates the noble quarters in the castle. Anyone whose quarters are located behind the Sash Hook is noble and is said to be "behind the Sash". A peasant therefore lives "before the Sash". A peasant may work "behind the Sash" if they are appointed to work directly beneath a noble.


Without the Sash

A noble who is in public without his Sash is considered to be not a noble. In such a case, no insult can be taken by that noble if they are not recognized or treated in accordance with their rank. If they are without their Sash, their actions are also not accrued to their House during this time and none may seek recompense from the House for actions taken by a noble who wears no Sash. In some parts of the Empire it is considered to be a gaff to acknowledge someone as noble if they don't wear their Sash. This does not hold true in the North, which is considered something of a backwater by the rest of the Empire.


A Sash Duel

A sash duel is a no-holds-barred duel to the death. It is fought by nobles and always initiated with the words: "You are not worthy of your Sash and I will strip you of it." These words are said while holding out your own tassels to show that you are willing to risk your life and honor to prove your words true. A sash duel is typically fought as soon as the challenge is issued, as long as the participants have the permission of their respective lieges. One may only challenge down the noble ladder, not up. So a Marquis may challenge a Baron, but a Count may not challenge a Duke.
The only way to avoid fighting in a sash duel is:
  1. Your liege refuses you permission to fight, this carries the implication that they don't think you would win, but you are too valuable to risk; or
  2. You cut off your own sash, return it to your liege and leave the lands you are currently in as a penniless outlaw peasant
Should a liege refuse their subject permission to duel, the matter under dispute is considered unresolved and the liege owes the other party of the duel a boon as compensation for denying them satisfaction. The liege would be required to wear a tassel in the color of the victor until the boon is delivered. These boons are called "Tassel Boons" and may be traded between nobles.
The winner of the duel will cut off the sash of the loser and return it to the liege of the loser. In return, he will be given the tassels from the loser's sash to keep as a trophy.
This has resulted in the sayings:
  • Tassel collector: Someone who has killed often in duels.
  • To the victor go the tassels: The winner is the one who is in the right.
  • He wouldn't risk his tassels: He has no honor, he is a coward.

Hatching Patterns

Hatching patterns are used in place of colors in order to ensure that the Sash doesn't turn into rainbow. The hatching used by the Empire Heralds are detailed below:

The Sash Explained

by Daya Avery
Purpure Hatching Border: The wearer is a close blood relative of the incumbent Duchess of Laroche.
Gules Tassel: The wearer has passed the dangerous Trials of Dusang and is capable of using dusang magics
Crest: The wearer is a member of de la Roche family and hails from Laroche Duchy.
Fret Couped: The wearer holds the noble rank of Marquis

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Cover image: by Daya Avery

Comments

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Grandmaster KajetanWrites
Kajetan Krakowiak-Świątnicki
17 May, 2021 11:26

Interesting article. I would only recommend giving some explanation about the types of duchies

Check out the worlds of Veneficia, Magic Earth and Yastr
Master MarieMullany
Marie Mullany
18 May, 2021 04:27

Thanks :). The notes for the duchies are currently all mixed up with spoilers which is why I haven't added them to world anvil yet! I'll try to get it done before the competition closes!

17 May, 2021 20:38

This is such a detailed article, and such an interesting one! I love how the Sash shows exactly who each noble is - and that it's a faux pas to treat a person as a noble when they aren't wearing their Sash (except in the backwaters of course lol). There's a clear richness to the culture at play here, and the details of the Sash feel very organic and real. I love the illustrations too! Great article :D

In Gormhan, an ancient magic-using nobility clings to its power in a high-tech 1950s-inspired world. There are dragons too!
Master MarieMullany
Marie Mullany
18 May, 2021 04:28

Thanks so much!

Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
17 May, 2021 22:52

I love this article and the traditions surrounded the sashes :D The design of the sashes and the style of your drawings are all very pretty, and I like the way the different information are transmitted through the different crests and symbols, their locations and the colours.   " In some parts of the Empire it is considered to be a gaff to acknowledge someone as noble if they don't wear their Sash." I love all the worldbuilding implications and story potential there :D   " These words are said while holding out your own tassels" I like this image :D The traditions you have surrounding the duels are very cool. Are there laws surrounding duels? From the rules, it seems that if someone is a talented duellers, they can cause havoc among the nobles by provoking anyone they can and nobody can avoid them… which in fact may not be too entirely different to how it used to be :p Although in France for example our kings attempted to forbid duels because all the nobles were killing each other and their families had to be prevented from dying out XD

Feel free to check my list of WE articles.
Master MarieMullany
Marie Mullany
18 May, 2021 04:31

Thanks so much! There are laws around the duels, for example you can only challenge down, not up. So the higher on the totem pole you are, the safer you are. More importantly, there are traditions. The Empire reveres the shadow arts, even while declaring them illegal. And if you can manage to kill your enemies while keeping your own hand so secret that only a very few know the truth, that is counted to be the highest form of political art. Killing your enemies in a duel can result in you actually losing some standing as it can be seen as a crude tool. Unless of course it also furthers your agenda in other ways :)

18 May, 2021 09:46

Great article! You have added much detail and world background. I love the 'Behind the Sash' statement it really indicates how deeply ingrained the sash is in your culture. Also the way the different colors work or how it looks children and marriage is really well thought out. Good read!

Feel free to check out my Bard Challenge article and my Worldember Overview if you want to see what I am up to!
Master MarieMullany
Marie Mullany
19 May, 2021 03:38

Thanks so much :)

25 May, 2021 17:11

I love the design of the sash, it's beautiful. :D

Master MarieMullany
Marie Mullany
26 May, 2021 16:52

Thanks so much :)

29 May, 2021 20:03

This is a very cool idea. I appreciate how each of the badges has a different meaning behind it, and how the placement changed to change the meaning. The differences in what people are stripped of depending on their exile is also a nice touch of detail in there. Every piece of the sash has so many intricacies behind it, it’s really quite fantastic. Not to mention it just looks absolutely stunning, which is always a good plus.   The intricacies of the sash in regards to marriages are very interesting and detailed. Is there any specific law or rule of who gives and who takes the sash, or is that decided amongst the two parties once the marriage is decided and set in stone?

Come and take a look around my world, Totania!
Master MarieMullany
Marie Mullany
31 May, 2021 05:06

Thanks Jared :). Part of marriage negotiations is the status of the new couple. Now you'd think this is just about titles, but titles like Marquis can't be inherited so it's better for a married couple to have a title like Baron rather than a title like Marquis which their children will see no benefit from. Marriage negotiations in the Empire is quite complex because the bloodlines also have to be considered. There are 3 races that from the basis of the Empire and the full magical potential of a human is only realized if they have a mixture of at least two of them (the Tribal blood and the Consang blood). The Rullara are too few and too rare to really impact anyone except the Northern duchy. So when you're negotiating marriage it is in part about the status of the new couple and in part about the blood their children will carry and in part about land and inheritance :)

1 Jun, 2021 09:18

Oh wow, this is a really great piece of work! I absolutely love the art you have going on. The fact that a noble not wearing their sash isn't considered as a noble in the present instant is really interesting, and I wonder how this might be used by both nobles and commoners.

Author of Interarcanum
Master MarieMullany
Marie Mullany
1 Jun, 2021 09:58

Thanks so much :) Yeah, the dynamic of leaving the sash behind makes for some fascinating story. You can get up to all kinds of shenanigans without it reflecting on your house, but you also don't have any protection from your house.

6 Jun, 2021 20:01

This is really well thought-out. Your art is gorgeous, and I really like the hatching patterns, the insignia you've developed, and that the tassels hold so much meaning as well. One note is that you really should credit yourself as the artist, either under the pics in the File Manager, or as part of a Global Copyright Notice

- Hello from Valayo! And Happy WorldEmber 2021!
Master MarieMullany
Marie Mullany
7 Jun, 2021 09:45

Thanks! The art is a little complicated as I did the initial designs but commissioned a graphic artist (that I only know in discord) to clean up my basic sashes. My photoshop skills don't rise to the level displayed here. So while I own the photoshop files and the design is fully based on my design and initial drawings, the final product was put together by someone else. I'm not quite certain how to handle that from a copy right perspective. For myself, I'm more about the words of the sash since it's a core element of the world in which my upcoming fantasy series is set. Do I credit the artist by discord name?

7 Jun, 2021 16:01

I'm not entirely sure, and I suppose that depends on how they want to be credited, but a screen name is better than nothing. Some people do try to link to the other person's WA profile when they can. You could even add some note at the bottom of the screen if you wanted that said something like: original design by Marie Mullany; finished art by username.   I don't mean to discourage you or anything. The art is both lovely and well-designed.

- Hello from Valayo! And Happy WorldEmber 2021!
Master MarieMullany
Marie Mullany
8 Jun, 2021 04:33

Thanks! I'm in no way discouraged, I'm glad to learn and thank you for the compliment!