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.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.
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.
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.
Masculine StyleMale 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 FashionIn 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.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. 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.
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.
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.The Colors
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.
Torc NeckpiecesTorcs 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.Snettisham Torc by The British Museum
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.
The Laws of Wealth