Balazaring Appearance & Dress

Physical Appearance

Balazarings and Votanki are a sub branches of Pelorians, with usual Pelorian traits of fair skin and light or brown hair. However due to their lifestyle they are a lot more weathered than most Pelorians so skin will tend to be bronzed most of the year, paling in late Dark and Storm season.

Eyes are often brown and blue, but can vary greatly due to the impact of various animal spirits. Also these same spirits give a more extensive range of natural hair colours from fair through brown and black.

Very few Balazarings are either over weight or of weak build, most being well muscled and athletic. Balanced healthy diets ensure that most Balazarings are in good health most of the time, rotten teeth are rare and complexions are usually healthy.

Physical features of clans totem spirits can have profound effects on clan members physical appearance and , sometimes changing some traits beyond what would be considered human, such as animalistic eyes, fangs, ears, or claws instead of nails. These features are seen as normal and attractive to Balazarings, even if not to other humans.

Balazaring Clothing

Balazarings clothing and appearance is largely determined by a  number of factors;

Available Materials

Traditionally Votanki clothing, textiles and decoration has been made solely from the skins of prey animals or from gathered grasses and plants. Textiles and fabrics have not been available, they still are not manufactured in any volume in Balazar. This has lead to very high skill levels in skinning tanning, fur and leatherwork within the clan communities.

However the existence of the citadels has created trading centres to which textiles are imported and more civilized clothing can be purchased if at a high price. At Dykene and Trilus these are  more primitive and straight forward garments, at Elkio a much greater range of textiles and garments are available at more reasonable prices.

Broadly speaking Votanki will use traditional materials as will clans from Trilus and Dykene for the most part. Clansmen from the Elkio area  may be seen in a mixed array of traditional and more civilized garments, especially those friendly with the Lunar administration. Citadel folk will usually be seen wearing a mix of traditional and civilized garb, expect in Elkio which sees mainly Lunar and Tarshite clothing styles  worn by most citadel inhabitants.

Clan Tradition & Totem Spirit

Most Votanki and Balazaring clans will seek in some way to reflect its totem spirit in the dress style and personal decoration of its members, this can be done through skins and pelts used, cut and style of dress, use of dyes,  tatoos, feathers and other decorations.

This can lead to vast differences in appearance between neighbouring clans of the same tribes, it has been noted that the clans further away from the influence of the citadels tend to be more extreme in the visualisation of their tribal spirits. Those closer to citadels seem to be plainer in presentation.

It s also worthy to note that to most Balazarings hunting is a sacred act and they will dress and prepare ritual clothing and markings for significant hunts whenever  practical. This also means that most ritual decoration is helpful in camouflage.

Shamans as a whole are more extreme, diverse and to be frank weird in their  appearance often including bones, mummified remains, dung, blood and death masks as part of their ritual and some times daily regalia.

Generally Balazarings are not overly prudish when it comes to bare flesh and in the hotter seasons scant clothing is very common across many clans, however certain spirits maybe more conservative and also the Yelmalian influence around Dykene does creates pockets of Balazar where large amounts of bare flesh may not be tolerated as much.

Climate and Weather

Its changeable climate brings as much variation to appearance in Balazar as any other factor with its continental weather patterns of hot summers and bitterly cold winters, tribal preference and decoration may have to take second place. In the deep cold of dark and storm season heavy furs, cloaks and coats are common across  all tribes and clans.

Fire and Earth season see very light practical clothing being used, with higher degrees of body painting and decoration being used.

Personal aspiration and spirituality

A Balazarings spirituality and direction in life will also show through in attire, hunters and clansmen are content to wear traditional garb. However those who are embracing foreign Gods and seeking spiritual power through them do tend to reflect this in the way they dress.

Leaders of the Yelmalio cult in Dykene are eager to mimic the styles found in some of the larger Sun Dome Temples which can be found  in Saird, Holay and Trash. With ceremonial armour, short linen tunics, long cloaks and bare legs being preffered attire.

Upwardly mobile  Elkoi citizens do all they can to mimic Lunar dress and styles, with long gowns and ornate decoration for higher ranking individuals, and short toga like tunics for the practical requirements of  more mundane workers.

Those from Trilius who are embracing the Orlanthi Gods are less set on  imitating style than embracing new powers ideas and capabilities. However metal armour is worn when available, and more practical forms textile clothing are used but tend to be homespun Trilus garments or Lunar styles amalgamated with more traditional hunter garb.

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