The Zonya is the traditional dress of the Eiterans living in flying City of Qal-Nayan, and is only only rarely seen outside the city's walls. The 3-element ensemble, consisting of inner, middle, and outer layers, is worn throughout the City as a part of daily life. There are no class, race, or standing restrictions on the Zonya in Qal-Nayan society, any citizen of the City has equal right to wear it, and even families reliant on the city's subsidy to survive may own very fine examples handed down from generation to generation. However, the choice of how a Zonya is styled and worn can provide an astute observer with much information about the wearer.
After the City has visited a world, it's not uncommon for aspects of the Zonya to become popular fashion for a time. Citizens generally accept this with some some light amusement, though anyone thought to be mocking the Zonya or appropriating it for their own selfish whims would do well to avoid Eiterans when doing so.
HistoryThe Zonya, as defined today, is not ancient in of itself; instead it is considered the present evolution of dress which the Eiterans have worn since before their exile and renaming. When their ancestors still lived on the black sand of their fiery desert home plane, the 2-layer Dzor was common amongst the then-nomadic Daeyan. A black outer layer helped them conceal themselves against the black sands, while a more colorful inner layer provided individuality and comfort. Among other adjustments to exile on the world of Emyn and the barely-habitable City they came to inhabit, adapting their clothing to the harsh conditions produced the Dzoan. A new underlayer woven from the soft, light, and warm fur of mountain antelopes was worn against the skin. The Dzor's colorful underlayer was now worn above this and came to incorporate structural elements to keep the new underlayer in place against the skin, provide padding and attachment areas for armor, or both. Topping this off was a new outer layer, dyed black as the Dzor had been, which was much heavier and covered more skin than its predecessor. To fully protect against winter storms, the Dzoan's cloak could be worn fully "closed" with little more than the eyes showing. After the city revived and lifted to the stars, protection against the cold was no longer an all-encompassing concern. Rather than revert to the Dzor or abandon their distinctive costume entirely, however, the now-named Eiterans sought to combine elements of the past with those of their newly prosperous present.
Inner LayerThe Zonya's inner layer, the "Haub," is a light, soft, snow-white sleeveless tunic worn loosely. A fairly simple tube in shape, length can vary to taste, although it is most commonly worn so that the hem hangs mid-thigh. It is pinned at the shoulders, or at one shoulder if the wearer is exchanging modesty for more freedom of movement, and while the fabric is traditionally a solid color the pins can be quite decorative. Citizens seeking more protection or security may bind their chests or loins beneath the Haub, and those seeking to display a more risqué side may tantalize by wearing a sheer Haub.
Middle LayersAbove the Haub and below the Fynella are collectively known as the Eyl, or expressive, layers. There is a wide variety in specific shapes and construction, but in general the Eyl are how a citizen defines their silhouette, expresses their individuality, and addresses their comfort. All Eyl layers tend to be constructed highly decorated silks, satins, and fine linens, with patterns running the gamut from ordered and geometric to organic and abstract. Eyl decorations frequently feature fine metallic embroidery, beadwork, sequins, and other surface decoration. The most basic Eyl is a simple, wide sash which is tied to hold the Haub in place against the body and provide a place for bags, weapons, or badges of office to be placed. This sash can be as narrow as a hand's width, or so broad that it covers most of the abdomen. Especially long Eyl sashes can be worn so the ends drape in the front over the groin. Other Eyl options frequently still feature a sash at the waist. Stepping up from the sash are "structured" Eyl. The city guard, as well as citizens seeking to emulate their look, favor an armless doublet which is wide at the shoulders and narrow at the waist to give their torso a v-shape. This is constructed of stiffened though not inflexible leather, and includes mounting points for the guards' armor. Windows are usually cut in the shoulders to prevent the doublet pressing against the Huab's pins uncomfortably. Frequently paired with this are matching leather breeches which accommodate leg armor mountings. For those favoring elegance over martial appearance, an Eyl corset is a popular choice. These start at the size of a large sash and even the largest generally stop below the bosom. Boning is thin City steel, in the present fashion they are worn "snugly and comfortably, not excessively tight." Closures vary, but are usually visible at the front. When not constructed of metallic fabric, dark colors are favored for their contrast with the Haub and Fynella's brighter tones. A flowing skirt, a lower body wrap, or gathered pantaloon often completes this look. Those seeking to express modestly or solemnity may opt for a full Eyl gown. Usually unstructured, this is a light silk or satin garment worn so it hangs somewhere past the knees. Hook-and-eye closures running down the front are hidden by a vertical panel which is often quite richly decorated. Colors are chosen to the wearer's taste, or to pair with the Fynella's interior. An Eyl sash is the preferred means of securing such a gown in place.
Outer LayerThe outermost layer of the Zonya is the Fynella, a loosely-worn over-garment. Recalling the robes of the Dzor and cloak-like Dzoan, the outside of the Fynella is midnight black. But unlike its predecessors, the interior lining of this cloak is boldly decorated. Bright colors and cloth of gold or silver are mixed in geometric patterns with meaning to the wearer's station, family, or just individual preference. The House of Spires favor triangular patterns, the House of Allies prefer circles, and members of the House of Stars are, unsurprisingly, often found wearing a variety of multipoint stars. The Fynella's shape is that of a half-circle, fitted versions are usually constructed of 3 panels which allow the cloak to drape over the front and back equally well. A single clasp may be used to hold the two sides of the clock closed below the neck, or the wearer may use their arms to gather it fully closed. But in everyday life the Fynella is most often worn open, revealing the full Zonya's rich decorations inside. The hood of the Fynella is frequently pierced with two holes for the Eiteran's horns, and the "neutral" state of the garment is to wear it as it hangs from the wearer's horns. Humans, Elves, and other hornless species who've gained the right to wear Zonya make more frequent use of the clasp to keep the Fynella in place. The edges of the cloak, as well as the holes for Eiteran horns, are trimmed and reinforced with metallic thread which is matched to that of the interior. The thread is often embroidered in patterns matching in miniature that of the interior, though solid bands of color are not unheard of. On special occasions a Fynella may be worn reversed, with the interior decorations outside. An Eiteran wedding ceremony will feature many companions of the couple wearing reversed Fynella as they stand in support during the exchange of vows. Forgetting to hang up your Fynella before the feasting and dancing begins is seen as a faux pas, especially if one manages to stain it.
Example, The Arq'onArq'on Ranyea Tanis, descendant of the House of Shields and elected leader of the City for over a decade, favors the following ensemble with minor variations: She prefers a traditional Haub, loose with a slight V to the top edge which allows her neckline to dip lower, pinned by miniature City Guard shields in gold. Her elegant golden circlet crosses high across her pale blue forehead, supported by her horns. Metallic earrings, horn ornaments, and upper arm cuffs echo the shield and circlet shapes to reinforce her station. A striking black corset Eyl bearing elegantly embroidered silver filigree cinches her waist, crossed by a golden sash bearing her ceremonial dagger. A matching black tulle skirt flows out and down to just past her knees. Her Fynella is trimmed in elegant silver, and the cloth of silver lining bears the symbols of every City house. When draped from her horns, the carefully constructed Fynella fames her face and warm golden eyes to perfection, though she is known to prefer the cloak tucked behind her arms so that her jewelry and glacier-white hair are easily visible.
Wearing a Zonya indicates Citizenship in Qal-Nayan.