Red Feather Regalia

They put a cloak of red feathers on her shoulders and a necklace of beads and fangs on her neck. She stands raising the Blade of Callisto above her head and calls down the lightning with a song. The cloak spreads on her back, becoming wings of red fire. Her tattoos glow gold and she leaps triumphantly into the sky. The heavens roar their approval.

—The Coronation of the First Red Feather Battlemaster

The best war mages in the world enter the ranks of the Red Feather Battlemancers. Their leader, the Battlemaster, wears the Red Feather Regalia, a set of magic items won in battle, acquired as gifts, or custom crafted by one of the world's arcane orders.

When the current Battlemaster dies, retires, or ascends beyond the Divine Gate a contest is held to replace them. Every child knows the name of all the Battlemasters by heart. Most grow up dreaming of one day winning the Red Feather Tournament.

Red Feather Battlemancers

An order of war mages who put duty to the world over allegiance to school, country, or ancestry.

Red Feather Battlemaster

Leader of the Battlemancers, winner of the Red Feather Tournament, which is judged by the Crimson Quills.

Dance of Red Feathers

Red feathered wings,
A gilded sarong,
Crown of lightning,
Callisto's Blade strong,
Orb of pure light,
Dance full of joy,
Master of Might,
Our foes destroy.

The Regalia of each Battlemaster is unique to their rise to the title. The epic song "Dance of Red Feathers" describes the typical pieces of a Battlemaster's Regalia and describes the most famous collections in detail.

The stories about each item, how its owner acquired it, and how they used it becomes part of every Battlemaster's legend.

Every child knows the stories: how the Blade of Callisto was lost and found, the song of Voban's lute, and how Zahvin tricked the Minokawa into giving up its feathers.

Rise and Fall of the Red Feathers

The original Battlemancers were followers of Callisto Redwing, the first Dean of Evocation at Wizard's Peak University. She taught a style of battle magic relying on flight, ranged attacks, and light armor.

Callisto and her Red Feathers dominated the field of battle during the War Against the Far Realm. The arrival of red wings in the sky were a symbol of hope for ground forces on the verge of defeat.

The aberrant generals sent a group of renegade warlocks to hunt the Red Feathers. They discovered the base where Callisto and her followers were headquartered. Callisto was assassinated and her followers wiped out in the Night of Black Feathers.

The Red Feather Battlemancers never recovered and the War had to be won without them.

Red Feathers Reborn

The memory of the battlemancers remained in stories of the War and the imagination of children. Two human generations passed with no Red Feathers in the sky. They were a fond memory of a bygone time.

Meanwhile, warlocks had been hunted to the brink of extinction. All warlocks were blamed for their betrayals, the near-destruction of the world, and the loss of the gods.

In the early years after the War, the Pit was not yet fully tamed. The arcane orders squabbled amongst each other allowing an invasion from the Abyss to spread beyond the Zone.

It took a warlock, Melosa Metias, the New Red Feather, to unite them with her pact weapon, the Blade of Callisto. The mages rallied at the sight of her fiery Red Feathered wings. They anointed her the First Battlemaster of the modern age.

Melosa's Red Feather Regalia

Melosa Red Feather, Battlemaster followed the voice in her head to rediscover the Blade of Callisto. She formed a pact with the blade, becoming the first modern Battlemaster and reigniting the arcane order of Red Feather Battlemancers.

Melosa Red Feather
Melosa Red Feather, Battlemaster by Sin Posadas

Red Feathered Flames

Melosa's fiery wings manifested from her connection to the spirit of Callisto. Multiple wings of pure flame propelled her through the air, inspiring awe in her allies and fear in her foes.

Wings are a custom warlock invocation.

WingsOfFire.jpg
Wings of Fire by Sin Posadas

The Fangs of Fiends

Melosa collected the teeth of fiends and monsters she slew as trophies of victory. She dipped them in gold and strung them between her jade and gold earrings. The Fangs were enchanted to abjure fiends, aswang, and undead.

Uses Talisman of Pure Good stats.

FangsOfFiends.jpg
Fangs of Fiends by Sin Posadas

Tattoos of the Sun

Ancestral tattoos hand-tapped by her grandmother. Her first tattoos signified great beauty. She earned the later ones for heads taken in battle.

They glowed with golden sunlight, warding and enhancing her.

AC 18 and contain up to a 5th level spell.

TattoosOfTheSun.jpg
Tattoos of the Sun by Sin Posadas

Callisto's Ginunting

For Melosa, the Blade manifested as a curved sword, a ginunting, in honor of the dead moon goddess. A formidable sword master, she wielded blade, spell, and flame with equal ease and deadliness.

A Flame Tongue and Vorpal +3 short sword.

CallistosGinunting.jpg
Callisto's Ginunting by Sin Posadas

Since the time of Melosa, the mightiest mages in the world from all the arcane traditions compete in a Grand Tournament to earn the title of Battlemaster and the right to wear the Red Feather Regalia.

The Crimson Quills invite the most powerful mages from across the world to compete. The price of entry is a red feather from a powerful magical being given willingly to the entrant. The contestants compete in trials by combat, flying competitions, a display of talent, and a live interview.

Donating or creating a piece of the Regalia is a high honor. The arcane organizations of the world vie with each other to sponsor a prize. They play political games to craft a piece or award one as a prize.

Gyrard absolutely dominated the Grand Melee, but he tanked the all-contestant group dance performance. L'Dante sang his heart out during the talent portion and he's the best flyer in the bunch!

— Commentary From the Last Red Feather Tournament

The Regalia of L'Dante

Battlemaster L'Dante Antonel Katigbak currently serves as the Commander of Chagroth's Tower. L'Dante's voice booms over the battlefield as he calls down evocation magic. His song rallies the Battlemancers to war.


The Blade of Callisto

The Blade manifests as a short sword, called a barong. Not actually a skilled swordsman, he only wields it ceremonially.

Uses Flame Tongue stats.


The Phoenix Cape

L'Dante came to the Tournament with a bundle of phoenix feathers as his entry fee. Those feathers cemented him as the early favorite. The efreeti Rajah Harqiss, proud of his illegitimate son, gave him the feathers.

Uses Wings of Flying stats.

Red Feather Battlemaster

L'Dante Katigbak is a fire genasi war mage, the current Red Feather Battlemaster, and Commander of Chagroth's Tower.


The Salakot of Defense

This armored hat, a salakot, was carved from a magical gourd and inlaid with adamantine. It protects the wearer from psychic attacks.

+1 AC & resist psychic damage.


L'Dante's Thunder Gauntlet

L'Dante's gauntlets are an arcane focus made from the leather of an ibingan, a water dragon that almost killed him.

+3 spell attacks and save DC's.


The Gilded Sarong

L'Dante wears an elaborate jacket and sarong woven with the traditional patterns of his mother's Talino people.

It is gilded with gold and silver but enchanted to be as light as silk and as strong as steel.

Uses Robe of the Archmagi stats.


The Pieces of the Regalia

The Cloak of Red Feathers

Battlemancers take their name from the magical red feathers somewhere in their clothing or gear. The Battlemaster is known for the splendid cloak of red feathers that they earn by winning the Tournament. The capes transform into red metal wings, granting the ability to fly.

The Crimson Quills choose a different arcane academy, guild, or coven to create the Cloak at the beginning of each Tournament. The group of mages use the entrants' feathers to craft the cloak. They take inspiration from the contests and the contestants as they proceed through the Tournament. The enchantments and rituals that create the cloak finalize with the victory of the new Battlemaster.

Each tournament is unique, starting with the feathers that the competitors bring and continuing through each of the trials. We weave the story of the contest into the cloak: every fight, every song, the failures, and the final victory. By the end of the tournament, the Cloak fits the Battlemaster perfectly.

— Crafter of Feathers - the Crimson Quills Lead Weaver

The Blade of Callisto

Every Battlemaster wields the Blade of Callisto Redwing, the founder of the Battlemancers. The rediscovery of her sword led to the reemergence of the Battlemancers and their return as the foremost warrior mages in the world.

The weapon adapts to the strengths of each Battlemaster, becoming a dagger, a ginunting, a greatsword, or whatever form best suits its new wielder.

Unknown to most, the spirit of Callisto still acts through the blade, influencing the organization she founded from beyond the Divine Gate.

When a new Battlemaster is needed, the towering Crimson Quill Statue, bearing six incarnations of the Blade of Callisto comes to life. It flies to a large arena in a great metropolis and floats above it. The Statue hovers silently, the unformed Blade of Callisto floating before it until a new champion has won the Tournament.

— Clash Arcana - Book of the Red Feather Tournament

The Crown of Dawn

The wizards and artificers of Wizard's Peak University claim the right to create a unique piece of headgear, referred to as the Crown of Dawn, for every new Battlemaster. It isn't always a crown, sometimes it's a simple headband, an ornate headdress, or an armored salakot.

The enchantments on the crown sometimes tie the wearer to a particular element, serve as a scrying device, or turn the headpiece into a weapon.

Some Battlemasters never have a crown. Some bring their own headgear to the role. Others turn down WPU's contribution in favor of one from their own guild.

The Kirinal Pit grants us its power at dawn. The Battlemaster stands at the Pit in defense of the world. Through the Crown, they gather power to make their voice heard through the heavens. That power rattles the bones of the world.


The Battlemaster's Focus

Callisto's Blade, Voban's Lute strung with ki-rin hair, M'Celyna's Red Feathered Rod, L'Dante's Thunder Gauntlet; all the different tools used by arcanists fit this category. Each Battlemaster usually brings their own arcane focus to the role.

Members of all arcane traditions: wizards, warlocks, sorcerers, bards, and artificers have held the role through the last 100 plus years.

This unique item becomes synonymous with the legend of its owner. It often becomes a shorthand way of referring to each Battlemaster.

Callisto's Blade blazes flame, through Voban's Lute the ki-rin came. Deliten with his Orb renewed, Melosa's sword through demons hewed.

— Dance of the Red Feathers
Red Feather Rod
The Red Feathered Rod by Chris L

The Gilded Garb

The Battlemasters famously bring their distinctive style to the job. Being the leader of the Red Feathers requires a flamboyant nature and a complete lack of shame. The current Battlemaster, L'Dante Katigbak, can be seen coming from a mile away in his golden lamé jacket and sarong embroidered with the colors and patterns of his mother's Talino family.

In the past, others have worn red mithral chain shirts, flowing red robes, or magic tattoos that glowed with power. M'Celyna the Beautiful was known for entering battle in a gold and white ball gown that remained magically clean, no matter how hard she fought.

M'Celyna the Beautiful darts above the fight in a spotless gown of gold and white. She laughs aloft, her heart is pure. With sword and staff, her aim is sure.

The Anthem of M'Celyna
M'celyna The Beautiful
M'Celyna the Beautiful by Sin Posadas

Comments

Author's Notes

The whole Red Feather concept is based on the Red Feather beauty pageant held in the Philippines in the 60's and 70's. My mother won the pageant in 1970 and I loosely based M'Celyna the Beautiful on her!

Here's a picture of her from when she won in 1970. I found it doing a web search for anything about that pageant and got back this faded picture of her on a plaque in her family's home city. What an odd thing to find of your own mother!


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16 May, 2021 22:02

Nice article! It is a cool concept to have many of the items linked to the battlemancer role but still have some items that they determine themselves causing each generation to have a different set. That Callisto's spirit is still influencing through the blade is pretty interesting as well!   One not for a sentence I found strange 'They all have in common the ability'. I would just drop the 'in common' here since it seems redundant. In all good read!

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17 May, 2021 02:28

Thanks for the detailed response! You're right, I made the change. Definitely more work to do before it's done.

17 May, 2021 11:43

Great read. I love that each individual part of the outfit has its own lore behind it.   Also, the layout here is fantastic; makes it very pleasant to read.

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18 May, 2021 02:26

Awesome concept! I love the history and tradition that brings all the characters and regalia to life!

20 May, 2021 04:36

The poems spread throughout are a very nice touch. I think they're my favorite part, they just add so much character!

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Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
20 May, 2021 10:08

Great article! I like the story behind each element of the regalia and the power they have. The red feather cloak really sound great :D You also have a nice and clear outlay for the article and pretty images (I like the different styles and how you managed to make the hero forge images different enough from each other too) :D   And the idea of a tournament is very cool :D   One point confused me in the first part of the article, and I think if you move some details up there it will clarify that: 1) to enter the tournament they all need to bring special artefacts that are worthy of being included in the regalia, 2) and so the regalia evolves over time (that confused me a bit: "L'Dante entered the Tournament with an entire bundle of phoenix feathers"), 3) and there is no distinction between the people who make those artefacts and those that enter the tournament. (this bit led to me to think so: "Donating or creating a piece of the Regalia is a high honor. The arcane organizations of the world vie with each other, playing political games to craft a piece or award one as a prize.")   "It flies to a large arena in a great metropolis and floats above it." Does the statue float above until the end of the tournament or does it land somewhere?

Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
20 May, 2021 10:23

I didn't copy all of my comment properly and the end was missing:   "Being the leader of the Red Feather's requires a flamboyant nature and a complete lack of shame." XD

20 May, 2021 11:24

Thanks for the comment! I have another set of regalia coming before I'm done and then I'll do another pass for clarity. You're notes are very helpful, I'll be keeping them in mind.

23 May, 2021 16:37

This is a really lovely article! I really enjoy the art and layout for this work, its awesome. I love the inclusion of two different figures who have worn the outfit, it really helps cement the role the outfit plays within Battlemaster culture, and you nicely transition into the more general aspects of the outfit.   Overall this is really cool and interesting! All the outfits look awesome, as I've said, but I do kinda wonder what would happen if a Battlemaster came up with a really hideous idea for their garb. Would someone stop them? Would they have no choice but to comply and create an outfit that would be an insult to fashion?

Author of Interarcanum.
23 May, 2021 16:42

Nice thoughts there! I'm pretty sure that, since the Tournament is part beauty pageant, any truly ugly outfits would get winnowed out! I'd get into it, but maybe elven shoes territory? That maybe belongs in the article I'll write someday about the actual Tournament.

23 May, 2021 16:53

Tbh the question was more half-joke than actual question but I love that you have an answer! I think a little note on how "ugly" outfits aren't tolerated could be a nice touch, without going into too many details (because then it would definitely be elven shoes territory)

Author of Interarcanum.
24 May, 2021 06:57

I like the idea that this set piece of clothes & items is not set, but rather, representative and belonging to each individual battlemaster.   However, it is not clear up until the second half of the article that that is the case. I suggest moving the section "The Regalia" at the beginning and leaving the examples for the second half.   Also, neat touch with the contributions that people make: like the cloak makers, making sure each cloak represents the new battlemaster, the crown not always being a crown but sometimes a mere headband, and sometimes even rejecting the crown from Wizard's Peak University. I think that stands for some future animosity between the individual battlemaster and those wizards xP   PS: I use the term battlemaster as it seems the most common one, but be aware that you also use the term battlemancer throughout the text.

24 May, 2021 08:46

Thanks! I was just realizing that I have to rearrange my article and do some clarification before I went to bed! Thanks for the confirmation and I now know what I'm doing today!

24 May, 2021 10:46

I love all the art! It was a really clever idea to pick out bits from the main illustration to show off individual elements.   This is such an interesting article - the lore throughout brings it to another level. :)

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
25 May, 2021 23:25

Thank you for the comment. As always you're very thoughtful and considerate. It's always appreciated.

24 May, 2021 19:38

This is an amazing article, but it is a little hard to read with all the images. It feels like the images distract from the article and makes the information a bit hard to follow. But overall, it is an excellent article!

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24 May, 2021 21:09

Thanks for the comment!

26 May, 2021 01:06

This layout is really, really fantastic! I absolutely love the method of introducing the full image of clothing, and then breaking it down into specific parts where you then go into detail on that specific area. It's really well done! This is a great article overall, and I love all the care and thought into it. The poem at the start and the quotes throughout are really nicely done.

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26 May, 2021 01:22

Thank you! I really enjoy your world, so that means a lot coming from you. I really appreciate it!

26 May, 2021 02:37

What a stunning article! :D I love the everything about it, from the quotes, to the tiny focused details and transitions through a historical timeline and origin of the regalia, to the art (Melosa is beauuuutiful!). Nicely done!


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26 May, 2021 03:25

Thanks for the kind words and support. Glad you enjoyed it!

26 May, 2021 14:36

Amazing article indeed!! i was very entertaining to read and i loved the details about every part of the costume and certainly the poems add an special" touch" to the article. to the article and the history of this costume!. Also the art is astonishingly beautiful!

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26 May, 2021 14:49

Thanks for the praise. I worked hard on this and I'm glad it's coming through.

26 May, 2021 15:10

This is great! The history of the Battlemasters is very intriguing, and I love the concept of the outfit changing. That way, the evolution of the outfit seems very natural while still keeping the pieces outlined at the bottom.   I really enjoyed the different Battlemasters as well. They all felt so unique which is helped by allowing their individual styles to shine with the outfit. Having the stats for the items in the costume as well was a nice addition as well. Great article!

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26 May, 2021 15:34

Thank you for the comment! As I started writing it, I realized that the "battlemaster" is a heroic title that goes through time, similar to the Doctor or the various lineages of superheroes. Some of the stuff stays the same, but it always gets individualized, and that opened up the article lore for me!

27 May, 2021 09:15

This got a like just for the origin of your creation, because that bloody sweet and your mother should be proud of how this article is written and laid out. Absolutely amazing.

PatheticBarrel, Logo by Sai
27 May, 2021 09:43

Thank you! I wasn't going to even mention it, but Sable suggested that I should!

28 May, 2021 01:18

Cool article! I loved how the regalia changed from person to person. I also liked the touch of how the feathers for the competition had to be given willingly.

28 May, 2021 01:25
29 May, 2021 03:14

First of all, I want to say that Sin Posadas' illustration is absolutely stunning! Diigi Daguna's is also great, but Melosa's design has to be one of my favorite designs of the challenge.   I love how detailed you go with the whole history of the Battlemacers/master and the focus you give to each piece of the Red Feather uniforms. Really lovely stuff!   btw it's a beautiful picture of Miss Red Feather 1970 and a wonderful source of inspiration!


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29 May, 2021 11:50

Thank you! The author's note was a late addition. I wasn't going to have it on here, but another Anvilite convinced me that I should add it.

29 May, 2021 21:16

Look up in the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane, it's the Red Feather, who's bringing the pain   Love the art and the details on how this evolved, and the history of each aspect!

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
29 May, 2021 21:24

Thank you! I liked your Battle Spear article as well!

3 Jun, 2021 13:59

I love this article, so indepth, well laid out and just... WOW

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3 Jun, 2021 14:02

Thank you Siobhan! Means a lot!

6 Jun, 2021 00:51

I love, love, love it! Very interesting indeed! And the formatting is definitely better now I have to say. One thing though is that I find the amount of images used a little cluttery, if that is even a word, although that might be just personal perference!

Your fellow madman and wordbuilder, Miss Izette!   Feel free to check out my world, Chasuria!
6 Jun, 2021 01:05

I suspect that my widescreen 3 monitor setup may not be serving me well when it comes to sizing my images. I may do some adjusting for my "small changes and edits".

6 Jun, 2021 01:09

And thank you for the comment!

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E. Christopher Clark
12 Jun, 2021 15:41

I mean, I love the whole thing. But in case you want to know just how early you earned the Like and the comment from me, I was sold at "Every child knows the stories: how the Blade of Callisto was lost and found, the song of Voban's lute, and how Zahvin tricked the Minokawa into giving up its feathers."   There's a great music to the language here, a fantastic rhythm. The names you've picked for things and where they're placed into these sentences—that makes all the difference in the world. It makes me believe this is a real place, and it makes me want to spend a lot of imaginative time here.

12 Jun, 2021 18:24

Thank you! Thanks especially for the compliment on the use of language. It means a lot coming from another writer!

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