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Feather Dress

The feather dress is a sacred piece of clothing used by the people of Rishinile. Linen covers the arms, shoulder and upper body, from which cascades long interwoven drapes of bird feathers, almost giving the impression that the wearer has wings. The feathers do not have to be uniform in color or size, so they can look somewhat motley. Those that include roc feather's usually has it hanging down the back where there is more space available, as roc feathers are big enough that hanging one in front would put one at risk of tripping.   When the Rishine were gifted their freedom by the jinn, they still kept many cultural traits from their servitude, including a reverence of rocs and the world hearts they guard. The feather dress was initially worn by priests to allow them to serve as a stand in for rocs in ceremonial worship, as it was very rare that one of the massive avians themselves had any interest in participating in human ceremonies. Eventually, many of these religious Rishinile began dreaming of flying among the skies with the birds they so cared for. They preyed to their idols that their uniforms be blessed with some of the birds' essence. And they soon found their prayers to be answered.   This lead to the first feather dresses, now known as a traveler's feather dress. Over decades, the priesthood became the roc scions, their dreams of becoming rocs themselves becoming more and more intense. They began pilgrimaging to sites where rocs had been seen, to worship them in person and beg for blessings and boons to ascend. These devoted journeys resulted in the roc scions slowly developing avian features through their worship. As they ritualized these changes, they also wove more prayers into their feather dresses, usually devoted to the roc that blessed them. Once roc feathers were incorporated, it lead to an even more powerful feather dress, reserved exclusively for the roc scions as signs of their completed pilgrimages and ascension from humanity. These are know as a roc's feather dress.   The traveler's feather dress allows the wearer to fly with some training. They are quite ubiquitous among the Rishine and they even sell them to outsiders who visit their land. It is considered traditional to either buy one for your kids or gift them an old feather dress once they reach about seven to eight years of age. Other than recreation use, it also sees use in many forms of work. Rishine soldiers use it for scouting missions and messaging, hunters for chasing prey, traders for transport of items of low weight and so on.   The roc's feather dress allows for even finer control while flying and are incredibly resilient, able to survive damage that would shred metal plates. As symbols of ascendancy and holiness, there has been very few cases of outsiders being allowed to have them, usually in cases were those outsiders seek to become roc scions themselves. If these feather dresses are found being sold, odds are they've either been taken by force from the owner or perhaps scavenged from the post-mortem. The Rishine are known to graciously reward outsiders who return such wayward dresses to them.   Traveler's feather dresses are often passed down through families and may be gifted to others, but roc's feather dresses are very personal. The feather dress of a roc scion who passes away is ceremoniously burnt on a sky altar during daylight, that its essence may return to the world heart.

Manufacturing process

Feather dresses are made by hand and with as few tools as possible. The very act of making it is seen as an act of devotion and the idea of attempting to automate it reeks of blasphemy to the Rishine. Once made it is finally ceremoniously blessed at one of the sky altars by a roc scion.

Significance

The feather dresses are incredibly important to the roc worshipping Rishine people. They are seen as a way to emulate them and become closer to them. Traveler's feather dresses are made for children so that they may know the joy of the skies and fly among the many birds of their island home. The roc's feather dress is even more important and are almost exclusively worn by the roc scions, Rishine who seek to cast off their humanity to become more like their avian idols. To become a roc scion, a person has to undergo a personal journey to seek out the blessing of one of these mystical birds. And only upon returning with such a boon is one allowed to wear the feather dress of the scions. Thus the roc's feather dress serve as badge of office and are regarded as holy items.
Item type
Clothing / Accessory
Rarity
Designed and enchanted on Rishinile, the feather dress is common among its people. Feather dresses are occasionally found elsewhere, usually brought by the hands of adventures, travelers and traders. These tend to be the less powerful though still enchanted traveler's feather dresses, which the Rishine are usually more willing to sell to outsiders.
Weight
1-3 kilos
Base Price
150 for the traveler's feather dress. Roc's feather dresses are not sold by the Rishine, but those that make their way to outside markets can usually be bought for about 600 coins depending on the seller
Raw materials & Components
The feather dress is composes of a very simple linen base, upon which many bird feathers are sowed. These feathers must never be forcefully taken from a bird, as this is considered sacrilegious. They are instead either collected from the aviaries or birds who have passed away. Sometimes, Rishine druids will ask for a feather from a bird they are close to, which is considered to bring good luck. Roc's feather dresses must include at least one feather freely given by a roc. One seeking to become a roc scion will usually receive a feather from the same roc they seek a blessing from.

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Comments

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14 May, 2021 15:26

Very cool concept. It must be quite something to see one drees that uses many different colors in intricate patterns. I wonder though for the Roc dresses how long are the feathers? Do these feathers touch the ground when the are worked in a dress? In all good read!

Feel free to check out my River challenge article and my Secrets in the swamp Adventure article if you want to see what I am up to!
15 May, 2021 14:02

Good questions. I'll elaborate a bit on that.

18 May, 2021 13:24

Nice read! My only suggestion is to add some pretty pictures, I want to see these things!

Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
19 May, 2021 11:22

Great article! These sound like very lovely dress :D So other than the roc feathers, they can incorporate feathers from any other birds? Are some of them preferred for that? DO they have different properties depending on the original birds? Do they also seek to gain those other feathers from willing birds or do they not care?

To see what I am up to, see the list of my Summer Camp articles—my favourite is Sentient Cells.
21 May, 2021 12:27

They can incorporate feathers from any birds. They tend to be from local avians, which tends towards tropical species, though it is not unheard of for someone to seek out specific birds for personal reasons. Feathers from magical birds can give the feather dress extra properties. And yes, all feathers must either have been shed to willingly given up by the bird.

20 May, 2021 20:38

I'm tempted to draw fan art for such a beautiful and unique garment! What colors are rocs in your setting, and would feathers for such a garment ever be dyed, trimmed, or curled?

21 May, 2021 12:34

The rocs that live in the area tends towards sandy and golden colors, so that would be the most common. The feathers would be as unmodified as possible, unless it would cause discomfort for the wearer for one reason or another.