Morcaenan Noblewear

The nobility of Morcaenan [unlike other countries of Benalt] are not privy to the niceties and luxuries of Cirenean silver and glittering gold. And why would they be? They are men and women of honor and valor, in a place where a sword means more than a ring.
— Book of Morcaenan History
  The Nobility of Morcaenan is the chief ruling class of the Kingdom of Morcaenan. Unlike the rest of Benalt, the nobility of Morcaenan rely on practical and functional clothing. Their outfits are made of many layers and utilize fur and leather adornments with the relatively rare use of decorative jewelry. Because of Morcaenan's unique meritocratic warrior culture, duels have become a cultural norm among the nobility, which only enforces the need for practical clothing further.

Cultural Affiliation

Duels in Morcaenan, unlike duels in the rest of Benalt, do not have to stop at first blood and can continue until death or surrender. Despite being an option, death is a rare thing in duels. Both men and women are allowed to fight.

When someone loses a duel, they must give their sword to the victor. Upon surrender, the victor will give a "Bashful" or "Cowardice" to the loser. Whichever is given is decided by the audience in a stance of showmanship.
— Riada Bruis the Scholar
Nobles prize the functionality of clothing over what most Morcaenans see as unnecessary luxury. Their clothing is often made of thick wools, leathers, and furs. Decorations, such as cultural patterns and clan marks, are embroidered into the fabric. These markings are made of energetic circular patterns, triskeles, and spirals. Symbols - such as rounded runic lettering, plant symbols, and human figures, also appear in clothing, though more rarely.   Jewelry holds very little ornamental value, though items such as circlets, torcs, rings, and bangles are still worn throughout the noble class as symbols of status. This is in contrast to the Cirenean Empire, which decorates its nobility with metal masks, eccentric headpieces, and gold woven into their clothes.

  Circlets, both silver and gold, are reserved solely for the heads of noble families. The only exception is the high royal family of Morcaenan who wear golden coronet-styled crowns. Gold circlets are often worn by higher ranking nobility, while silver is worn by mayors, barons, and settlement leaders.    

Masculine Style

Male noblewear is a heavy affair and consists of three layers. The first layer is the undergarments, or underwear, and consists of a white linen or silk undertunic with trousers made of the same fabric. This is worn to help trap body heat and keep the body warm. The second layer is a large doublet made of wool, with fur accents around the wrists, the neck, and along the front seam. The doublet will most likely have ornamental embroidery of clan symbols around the waist and the neck region. Along with this, leather or wool over-trousers are worn with almost knee-high leather boots. These boots can have fur accents along their cuff and are tightened using straps or lace.   Optional layers for male nobility may be worn over the previous layers. This could include a leather jerkin or slicker, which is worn in stormy weather. A hooded cloak made of bear, wolf, or dragon skin and decorated with fur or scales is also optional. The cloak is held in place by a silver or gold chain, with a clan symbol forged into the pattern.  

Feminine Fashion

Female noblewear, while made of lighter materials, is still a very heavy affair. It consists of three to four layers of clothing. The first layer is the linen undergarments, like a chemise, with a low cut neck piece and trousers made of the same fabric. These undergarments help keep the body warm. The second layer is an over gown made of many thick layers. It has a box-styled neck pattern as well as a leather corset around the waist, which tightens around the body using lace. Decorative patterns are more common here, with sometimes even the entire upper body covered in cultural patterns and clan markings, but the most common places are around the waist and neck region.   In addition, the skirts of the dress are made in two parts, with a hand-width sized piece of fabric in the middle. This panel can be pulled under the legs and tucked into the belt, raising the skirt and providing more movement.   Unlike their male counterparts, women are more prone to wearing shoes made of rabbit or doe skin, with wooden soles. Fur accents are common, though not always visible, around the cuff of the shoe.   Optional layers for female nobility may be worn over the previous layers. This could include a thick woolen jacket with fur accents around the neck, the wrists, and along the frontal seam. This jacket can also have a thick hood with fur trim to keep the face warm. Another option is a hooded cloak made of doe, rabbit, or wyvern skin, with cultural or clan markings on the back, and a fur or scaled ruff and fur on the hood trim.  

Weapons of the Nobility

The poor fool’s sword was clipped in half during the duel, cracked near the hilt when he guarded. I assume he will think better than to wear such bold colors at a gathering any time soon.
— Morcaenan Noble Gossip
  In Morcaenan, weapons are much more than a simple tool. They are representative of a person’s skills and merit. While all classes of people in Morcaenan can possess a weapon, it is the wealthy and noble classes who are able to afford the decorative flourishes, such as gold hilts, jeweled crossguards, or wrapped grips.   Weapon styles vary throughout the country of Morcaenan. In the north, where the country meets with the Cirenean Empire, nobles are known to carry estoc-styled longswords decorated with red cloth wraps and Cirenean silver on the hilts and crossguards. The sheathes in this region are also made of thick animal hide and decorated using Cirenean silk to create fine embroidered patterns and clan markings.   In the mountains of the central heartlands, nobles are known to carry broadswords with thick gold plating on the crossguards and hilt and green, yellow, or blue cloth wraps. If cloth is not used, pure dragon bone and scales are used instead, with a leather grip. The sheath is made of leather or animal hide and decorated with thick wools or furs. Clan markings and embroidery are uncommon, though some high nobles do use them on the sheath.   On the southern and western shores, called the Siren Coast and Storm Coast respectively, arming swords and bearded axes are commonly found among the nobility. The handles are made from the famous ironwood trees and decorated using monster bone or whale bone. Wraps use purple dyes made from oysters and clams commonly found here. Sheaths are made of leather, but utilize iron scale patterns, mimicking fish scales with decorative embroidery seen on the broad sides of the sheath.

Significance

Morcaenan culture is heavily based around the concepts of meritocracy and warrior ethos. Due to this, many of the clothing styles amongst nobility still maintain a fighter mentality. The heavy use of layers is not a coincidence, as the thick furs, wools, and leathers act as a form of cloth armor. Jewelry also plays this role, as it is worn in places where blows and strikes from swords would be the most debilitating. From this, it is clear that nobility wear clothing that can easily defend them in a duel or fight at any time, should one randomly take place.
Morcaenan Noblewear
Morcaenan Noblewear by Heroforge
Item type
Clothing / Accessory
Owning Organization
Rarity
Morcaenan noblewear is considered a rarity due in part to the quality and amount of fabric and jewelry required of noble status.
Weight
10 lbs to 15 lbs

The Colors

The main colors of noble garb are green, blue, red, yellow, and black. Though many speculate the reason for these colors, the common answer remains that Morcaenan has a long-standing connection to nature and these are what appear most naturally in the region.
  • Green & yellow are common colors. Green symbolizes skill, while yellow symbolizes merit and reward. Green and yellow dyes are made of various common plants in Morcaenan.
  • Black and silver mimics the color of Morcaenan ale and beer and symbolizes celebration and indulgence. Black dyes are made from charcoal.
  • Blue, though context has been lost to time, is worn by those who wish to prompt a duel or be prompted to one. To wear blue to a gathering is considered bold and attractive. Blue is made from woad.
  • Red is symbolic of blood and death. It is worn as a funerary color. Interestingly enough, it is considered gauche to challenge someone in red to a duel. Red is made from ochre and mixed into a darker shade.
    — Riada Bruis the Scholar


  • Torc Neckpieces

    Snettisham Torc
    Snettisham Torc by The British Museum
    Torcs in Morcaenan nobility are often made of a single forged piece of gold, rose gold, white gold, or Cirenean silver. The main body of the torc is forged and twisted to appear like rope with animal heads depicting birds, dragons, wolves, or bears on each end. They are made for near-permanent wear.


    The Laws of Wealth

    The Kingdom of Morcaenan, despite being a meritocracy, utilizes a system of sumptuary laws to ensure the distinct lines between classes are held. However, this does not mean it is impossible to move out of one's station in life. If one is skilled or works hard, their talents can assist in their achievement of a greater life. But, the ability to simply "buy" one's way out is prohibited and certain noble titles can only be given by a higher noble.
    — Book of Morcaenan History

    Cover image: Unnamed by Paweł Furman

    Comments

    Please Login in order to comment!
    12 May, 2021 20:32

    Nice read! The heroforge image is well made and gives off a nordic vibe. The descriptions of each part are on point as well. You asked in discord for anything to add. If you want to you could add how the clothing evolved over time or how it came to be.   Another thing you could add is side information such as what the nobility in the realm is like which you could put in the sidebar. You could also add the manufacturing process or how the materials are gathered. But that depends on what you find a nice addition. It is already a fine article :)

    Feel free to check out My Ship entry if you want to see what I am up to!
    14 May, 2021 15:53

    Thanks for the advice and input! You are awesome!

    Please check out my article for the Costume Challenge!
    15 May, 2021 15:40

    Oh really nice new additions and art! The new theme works pretty well too.

    Feel free to check out My Ship entry if you want to see what I am up to!
    5 Jun, 2021 15:32

    Has been a while since I revisited and you added a lot of nice stuff again. Nice job! ^^

    Feel free to check out My Ship entry if you want to see what I am up to!
    Eternal Sage AmélieIS
    Amélie I. S. Debruyne
    12 May, 2021 20:44

    Like Kefkejaco has said, this is already a nice article and you could leave it like that. However, here are a few ideas/comments so that you can see if there is anything you want to add:   "The gambeson can vary in color, depending on the choice of the noble or their rank in society. " are specific colours linked to specific ranks?" in fact, do we actually see the gambeson or is it hidden by the tunic?   "the torc which was a common noble neckpiece." I think you mean "is" here as it's still being worn in your world :D   One thing you can do is talk about the origin of the leather and fur. Do you have sumptuary laws or can anyone with the means to do so dress like that?   How did the trend develop? Was it someone influential who started to do that or was it something that came progressively as variations from warriors' outfits?   "There is very little use of jewelry outside of circlets, torcs, rings and bangles as they prize skill and merit over luxuries." I think you need to add a "relatively" and give some examples of what the opposite would look like, because when it's given as a list like that this sounds like a lot of jewellery. So you can give the example of another country and say that they wear jewellery sewed all over their clothes for example.   Another thing you can add is what people outside of their culture think about them. For example, the aforementioned culture wearing lots of jewellery. Do they think them shabby? What about the people over which your nobles are ruling?

    14 May, 2021 16:01

    This is a lot of helpful advice! I will definitely consider these as I adjust the article in the future! Thanks for the advice!

    Please check out my article for the Costume Challenge!
    Eternal Sage AmélieIS
    Amélie I. S. Debruyne
    19 May, 2021 16:03

    I love all the new edits you've made to this article, and how you've highlighted different cultural aspects :D   Just one remark "Commonly, an estoc was worn by nobles in case of duels while longswords were worn in times of war. " is in the past tense, should that not be in present tense since you don't talk about this tradition changing?

    Eternal Sage AmélieIS
    Amélie I. S. Debruyne
    4 Jun, 2021 20:58

    I like what you've done to the article. The use of quotes and tooltips work really well :D Though check the tooltip for cowardice, you have typos in it. The whole text reads very smoothly too, great job :D

    Grandmaster KajetanWrites
    Kajetan Krakowiak-Świątnicki
    15 May, 2021 18:36

    Saw it on WriterGreg's stream and love it!

    Check out the world of Veneficia
    Feel free to check out my Shipwright Challenge entry
    15 May, 2021 20:17

    Thank you so much! I greatly appreciate the feedback.

    Please check out my article for the Costume Challenge!
    Journeyman Gege16
    Gege Escriva
    17 May, 2021 02:01

    Very amazing article! I think it is already complete as it is very detailed. I liked a lot the Hero Forge figures and how you linked it with the culture of the Morcanean people (and how you used the quotes for this purpose) and the traditions and lifestyle of their nobility. I agree with Kefkejaco, you could add some information about the manufacturing process, but at overall is a very complete article, you did put a lot of effort on it. Well done!!

    Explore the Kingdom of Moskova with me!   Is time for  Summer Camp!  
    20 May, 2021 04:03

    You know, I've tried writing the manufacturing process. But it's a lot of information because of its medieval nature and it ultimately just feels unnecessary and crowds the article.

    Please check out my article for the Costume Challenge!
    17 May, 2021 11:30

    Love the detail here - the colours, materials, and combat-based meritocracy are giving me heavy celtic/nordic vibes. The colour symbology in particular is really interesting.

    Drake's Dozen | Magic and Innovation and Identity, oh my.

    20 May, 2021 04:02

    Interestingly enough, a lot of this culture is based off of North Sea tribes so the vibe is fair

    Please check out my article for the Costume Challenge!
    21 May, 2021 02:49

    That was an interesting read! You managed to squeeze a lot of information into the article. But in a really good way.

    Summer camp! Check my pledge here. There is a list of all articles in there too.
    25 May, 2021 15:14

    Thanks for the comment! I really appreciate feedback.

    Please check out my article for the Costume Challenge!
    24 May, 2021 08:33

    Awesome work! I love the detail you have for this costume, it makes for a really realistic piece of clothing. I really like how you connect it to different aspects of Morcaenan culture, its really cool!

    Author of Interarcanum.
    25 May, 2021 15:14

    I always feel that customs and traditions help make clothing feel more real than anything.

    Please check out my article for the Costume Challenge!
    24 May, 2021 23:12

    Man, as a noble I'd definitely train like crazy, then wear red all the time. o_O That kinda duel-thing is just... Eep. Also, the outfits are wicked!

    Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
    25 May, 2021 15:13

    Thanks so much! I had to do a lot of research for this. It was a lot of fun.

    Please check out my article for the Costume Challenge!
    Sage eccbooks
    E. Christopher Clark
    25 May, 2021 21:17

    There's a reason this article has more likes by far than any I've yet read: it's just that good. Your knowledge of clothing, whether gained just for this challenge or in place for years, is apparent, and it's neat to see someone write so fluently about clothes while also holding my attention as a lover of fantasy/sci-fi/spec-fic.

    Don’t miss The Antagonist, my entry for The Shipwright’s Challenge!
    26 May, 2021 15:28

    Coming from the amazing E. Christopher Clark, this comment has made my newly renewed writer heart flutter! Thank you sir!

    Please check out my article for the Costume Challenge!
    Sage eccbooks
    E. Christopher Clark
    27 May, 2021 11:40

    Yay for heart fluttering!

    Don’t miss The Antagonist, my entry for The Shipwright’s Challenge!
    26 May, 2021 02:51

    Great article! I really enjoyed the different styles that the masculine and feminine versions of the outfit had! Even with similar costume pieces, they are able to stand out as varied versions of the outfit while not deviating too far from each other. That's a very nice touch.   I also have to say the section about duels was very interesting and tied nicely into the overall framework of the article. It gives a nice idea of some minor cultural bits about the outfit, amidst the more major things pointed out beside it.

    Come and take a look around my world, Totania!
    26 May, 2021 15:29

    Oh yeah. I had originally put it as a whole section but it felt like it was talking MORE about the duels and the laws for it than the clothing. So I minimized it to a small section and later I will add a sidebar item for Morcaenan Dueling Law. Thanks for the comment though! You are awesome!

    Please check out my article for the Costume Challenge!
    26 May, 2021 03:45

    Nice article! The photos work really well and there's a lot of fun details. My favorite is the color blue. "We don't remember why but let's fight!" is entertaining.

    26 May, 2021 15:30

    Exactly! I found it funny too. Thank you for the comment!

    Please check out my article for the Costume Challenge!
    28 May, 2021 00:15

    Looks good!

    28 May, 2021 16:56

    Thank you so much!

    Please check out my article for the Costume Challenge!
    28 May, 2021 15:14

    Awesome article! I have to admit, anything that is duel-related is bound to be of interest to me, so this article was a particularly fun read! Keep up the good work! (:


    Project: Amanic | Ko-fi | Twitter | My discord server
    Actually, just 1.7 cats in a trenchcoat!
    28 May, 2021 16:56

    Thank you for the comment!

    Please check out my article for the Costume Challenge!
    Grandmaster AzounIV
    Luca Poddighe
    30 May, 2021 13:18

    Very effective article, nice layout, beautiful images. The association between aesthetic and function give an impression of reality. Well done!

    Transform your quirks, in your strength! Join the revolution and visit Phaldorya (Eng)
    2 Jun, 2021 16:41

    Very nice article indeed !!! The hero forge figures look amazing and the article in general is very detailed so great work!!. I specially liked the connections between the Morcaenan culture and the costume itself!.

    Feel free to check out my costume challenge article
    2 Jun, 2021 18:05

    *cracks knuckles* ok, lets get this feedback started!!

    Intro

    I really like your opening quote, but I am a bit sad that its from an anonymous source, especially since it manifestly has some character behind it! Would be interesting to know where it comes from, or why its anonymous- is it from an old history book? Some anonymous author who didnt want to risk their reputation? Something else? Small details like that are really what brings a world to life imo.

    Cultural Affiliation

    Once again with the quote, I'd be curious to know who came up with the text, as it really feels like it comes from a character inside the world. I'm also curious about what the different embroideries look like. I would also move the section you have on fabric thickness to the later divided sections on masculine and feminine style.

    Masculine Style, Feminine Fashion, Weapons

    These sections are interesting! The information is very factual, I think it could be nice to have some descriptions that are a bit more evocative. I also think it would be nice to have some more info on the types of designs and patterns figured on the clothes.

    Significance

    For starters I would add an extra br before the Significance header and the previous paragraph. I do enjoy that you have practical reasons for why the clothes are made the way they are, though I do wonder what primes in outfit design- look or practicality?

    Colours

    Nice!! I always love the inclusion of colour symbolism and the like, I think its a great way to tie an outfit into a culture. I will say that having your section formatted as "Colour: is a x colour" is a little weird, I would either get rid of the ":" or simply go for "Colour: common", if that makes sense.

    I'm curious as to why these colours specifically though are important- usually colour symbolism has to do with two things: first is religion, second is wealth. Colours will be associated with divinities and the like, and expensive / rare colours (deep blues or purple for instance) were kept for the elite due to their rarity.

    The Torc

    Nice, short, efficient. I like the inclusion of this section! I'd be interested in knowing more about why torcs are important- even something as simple as "everyone has one, its just weird not to" can tell a lot.

    Law of Wealth

    Hell yeah, that quote is from a book! It does feel a bit like a weird description for an in world book though- it sounds more like one might describe the past of their country rather then current traditions.

    I'd also be more interested in knowing how exactly one might be able to enter the noble class, or even better, learn about someone who did. Because of the focus on combat I would suppose acts of bravery in battle or in hunting might be rewarded ("this man kill 10 wolves on his own that were plaguing this village" or smth)

    Overall feedback

    This is still a very interesting article! I would say you could definetly add more about the cultural life that goes behind the outfit- the production (is it a big deal to be asked to make one of those? a privilege reserved only to the best craftsman?), if there's any association between the outfit and some form of religion or spirituality, also- what do noble kids wear?

    Do they have their own version of the garb or do they receive their first one at a certain age (like, when they are of age to fight or duel for instance, or after passing "a test"). Anyway these were some thoughts from the top of my head, hope this helps!

    Author of Interarcanum.
    Master SamuLij
    Lleij Schwartz
    5 Jun, 2021 16:27

    I enjoyed this article! I like the layout and the use of HeroForge graphics give a clear idea of what the outfit looks like. I think the connection to dueling is interesting and sheds light on the culture of the people who wear these clothes.

    6 Jun, 2021 00:57

    Amazing read! I loved it! You squeezed so much information into the article. And in a good way too. Maybe it is because I like duels and the rituals surrounding them! (surprisingly, Izzy has not written an article on duelling yet) Nonetheless, it was brilliant!

    Your fellow madman and wordbuilder, Miss Izette!   Feel free to check out my world, Chasuria!
    8 Jun, 2021 21:11

    Very cool. I quite like how you fit in so much cultural information rather than strictly limiting yourself to the clothing alone.

    9 Jun, 2021 06:19

    Thanks so much, I pride myself on the cultural information the most because it was so hard to narrow it down while still talking about JUST the clothing.

    Please check out my article for the Costume Challenge!
    8 Jun, 2021 21:24

    The amount of those little details, and the well described differences between classes/gender are nice.   I enjoyed reading the article in its entirety, and the graphics, and the layout made it much more memorable.   Thanks for a good read! :)

    People venture to Ædeos-the world of ideas and concepts to gain knowledge, craft... magic. Not every mind can bear it. Not every mind cares...
    9 Jun, 2021 06:19

    I am glad you liked it so much!

    Please check out my article for the Costume Challenge!