Due to the warm and hot climates of the empire, clothing is usually kept to the bare minimum of what is needed to be functional while preventing overheating or fatigue from the heat or protection from the sun. And in some locations of the empire, protecting from abrasive dust storms. Clothing design is designed in a way where the material is thin to allow air flow should it cover large portions of the body.
Or if the clothing is thick, it often has many different strategic openings. around the pits, the inner thighs, the chest, deep collars, no sleeves, and so forth. These openings are created in many different methods. Absence of material creating large holes or non-existing parts. Asymmetrical designs, where an entire section of clothing can be missing. A wicker like weaving with thick bands of chord formed from leather thongs or rigid wool. Or perforation.
The common civilian will often employ very utilitarian clothing that is cheaply afforded. Ranging from the use of breach clouts, skirts, drapings.
With the more well off citizens and nobility, there is a culture of fashion that is evident. Fashion in the empire is often a mixture of form and function that plays with the eyes and makes use of the note just above. Note that for an article to be considered fashionable in the empire it must not only be visibly appealing, Simple in design, but also be quite functional and simple to use.
Below is a fashionable Kobold. The leggings are Chausses, and the gloves are Bridal Gauntlets.
Art Credit to KritKobold.
Much of the Empire's sense of fashion is inspired heavily from outside influences, or from soldier attire.
Common articles of clothing in fashion are...
Chausses: A pair of leggings originally derived from use in armor and mounted leg protection, chausses shares a similar appearance to chaps. They can be made out of any durable material that holds shape well like wool. The defining appearance of this article is that it is two separate leggings with a tight fit under the knee. The groin, the inner thigh region half way down are cut out. A rear section is rarely included. But sometimes it exist as a flap of fabric tied to the tail, or for human modesty to cover the posterior. Humans most wear additional clothing for modesty. The upper leg region tends to bulge outwards near the knee and tightens as it goes up to the thigh, and finally attaches to a belt that holds the leggings in place.
The Havah: The Havah was a feminine garment that existed in one of the many nations the Empire had consumed in it's expansion. Originally, it was a robe like dress with an asymmetrical design. The right sleeve could be completely missing or cut at varying lengths but never past the wrist. While the left sleave always extended far past the left hand called "The safe hand". It was a hand that was always covered out of modesty and is considered as shameful as full nudity to expose it. This sense of modesty has been lost with the destruction of the nation that created it. The garment fascinated the empire's civilians and it was quickly adopted into fashion by both females and males. This single feminine garment has also inspired a movement to cover up the left hand with gloves or sleeves. The basic design ideology has remained the same with time. But the styling has seen massive changes. Within the nobility, the Havah is often made of multiple parts featuring bright billowing cloths, sashes, waist wrappings, and so forth.
Bridal Gauntlets: A foreign article of clothing that was introduced to the empire through a seasonal event it holds. The monster hunting event invites contestants of all nationalities, along with merchants, and people who wish to view the events from the many different viewing platforms setup in the uncharted lands. It was during this event it was spotted, and was well received. Within the month these gloves had been wide spread. Bridal Gauntlets are usually made out of some sort of cloth material that can hold it's shape well. They are similar to finger-less gloves, but stretches completely up the forearm and halfway up the bicep. They often have many different designs, but the most popular are tightly fitting designs.
Wide Brimed Hats: Wide Brimmed hats are a common item of fashion. And represents the ultimate cross between form and function to the empire. It's popularity was a result of the Kobold populace. Many of the Kobolds have severe sensitivity to light, and find the sunlight completely unbearable. A common form of eye-protection was a cowel like drapery that fitted over their eyes and part way down their muzzles. Unfortunately, not all kobolds can comfortably secure these in place as it had a dependency of horns. Which not all kobolds had a sizable length of. It was an enterprising Human merchant who had gotten horribly lost and managed to end up five months past his destination that had introduced the kobolds to these hats. Not only did it help block direct sunlight but it also acted as a means to assist in securing the cowl. The human left a rich man, and the wide brimmed hat became a popular staple.
Harness: Another instance where a piece of military equipment had garnered popularity. The harness is a set of straps originally designed to assist in the mounting of a soldier's splint mail to their body. As in many cases an Aketon was not worn due to the heat and a draconian's scales being thick enough to not chafe and act as a lesser gambeson. When soldiers were off duty or relaxing, they'd often roam around with just the harnesses on. As they also served as a good means of holding a large amount of items. Over time, the harness has evolved into many different eye catching designs, with the origional function remaining or being enhanced. Fashionable harnesses often includes a breach clout, kilt or wrappings of cloth.
Cadin'Sor: The Cadin'Sor "Working Clothes", roughly translated, was originally the Empire's Cadin'dai "Battle Dress" in its years of creation. It is a uniform of sorts that had fell out of use for years and have resurfaced in popularity for civilian and official use. Despite the name, it is not used by the common populace, but is used in slight variations by hunters, trappers, desert rangers, scouts, highway patrols, and bandits. The clothing often consists of loosely fitting earth tone shirts, vests, and leggings best suited for the race employing them. There is also a head wrapping and a veil used to cover the wearer's face and protect them from the glaring sun as well as prevent sand from being inhaled. Soft and laced boots made of leather are worn and usually extends up to the knee and folds over. A sash is often used with many different color variations. However, red is reserved for military use. And dark green for Rangers and Wardens. Wearing either of these colors without proper identification will often result in an execution under the assumption of being a highwayman. The styling of clothing assists the wearer in staying cool while also providing the ability to easily hide among the sands and rocks of the desert.
The Tsoroshar empire has a very strict class system that can be split into three separate parts. With each part having several smaller parts. Synondairshar and Aeshar both have ten ranks in them called "Siveh". The lower the number of the Siveh, the higher they are above others.Syondaishar
- Often called The Blood. The title translates into by 'Birth and Glory'. Those who exist in this class are of the nobility. By the translation it can be inferred that this class is awarded by inheritance, or awarded by glory. Those of the blood of at least the sixth siveh can elevate those of the Aeshar into the blood by purposefully tearing a scale free and dropping it at the targets feet. Or if scales are not possible, the right most finger nail on the right hand.
The Siveh of the blood is openly displayed through a variety of means. The most common, is a marking of appendages or bodily accessories up to the count of ten. Claws and Nails are often lacquered with a color of their choosing. Evens on the left hand, odds on the right. In some cases, spines along the facial ridges are used. And in others, horns are painted with bands of color. Those of significantly higher status will usually not directly speak to someone who is far below them. And instead will employ the use of a voice. It is forbidden to look a member of the blood who is higher than you directly in the eye unless otherwise told so.
All dragons, regardless of allegiance to the empire are treated as the second siveh. Placing them just under the emperor.Aeshar
- The Citiziens. The title translates roughly into "The Blood of All". This class is most commonly made up of contractual slaves, penal slaves, commoners, merchants, tradesmen, and soldiers. Unless otherwise stated, it is forbidden to look a member of the blood in the eye. The most common siveh in this class, is of the Sixth Siveh. This is a grouping normally given to all civilians born inside the empire. With greater citizenships being inherited or awarded to the family. This grouping is where the full rights of citizenship is awarded.
Falling to the seventh or lower siveh often means that the family or individual has made a great mistake. These lower sivehs are used for prisoners, contractual/penal slaves.Da'Covele
- True Slaves. The title translates roughly into "Those who are property". This class is a mixed bag. In some cases, it is considered to be a great honor to be made a Da'Covele. In other cases, it is used as a grave punishment far worse than execution. It varies from position to position. All legal rights are revoked. However, these slaves are rarely abused.
There are several examples for when this is a severe punishment. When used as a punishment, the position often results in merciless and severe abuse. Many times, these slaves will not be allowed to do productive work. And instead or forced to do meaningless tasks that can be quite dangerous.
- A member of the blood can be sold as a Da'Covele for the cost of a great dishonor or failure, where they are not permitted the honor of death to avoid personal embarrassment.
- A Traitor of State will often be sold as a Da'Covele.
- Failure to hold to a powerful oath given to the Emperor's Service.
There are several examples for when this is considered a great honor. These slaves are well cared for, and never abused. The positions of the voice and the herald grants the unique "Right of Truth" which permits the slave to humble their master and patrons with complete immunity, as long as they speak the truth.
- When being purchased as a Voice. You are permitted to look your master in the eye, and speak for your master directly to subjects whom would normally be higher than yourself.
- When being purchased for recognition of their beauty or appearance being pleasing to the eye. These slaves often wear shear near translucent silks that hide little on their bodies. When these slaves master dies, they often commit suicide to follow service into death.
There are a set grouping of laws farmed directly by the Imperial Family that are active across the entire empire. These laws are the most obvious and basic laws that ensures loyalty, and of course minimizes the most extreme crimes.
Each province has their own laws and punishments. Such as prohibitions against gambling, limitations to sentient-life trafficking, definitions of murder, definitions of when petty thievery becomes considered large scale. And so forth.
And finally there are rights and privilages created by the empire that can be revoked.The Right of Travel:
The right of travel gives citizens of the most basic rank the ability to move freely within the borders of the empire. No border within the empire may turn them away. This gives who are at least of the Sixth Siveh of the Aeshar cast or better the ability to leave their lord, and allows them to save themselves should the Lord fall and be consumed by local politics. This right is also lost when a citizen becomes a soldier, but is restored when they retire from service.The Right of Training:
Most citizens of the empire are given the right to an education for any one profession. A lord may not force a citizen into a profession outside of a lottery of necessity.The Right of Challenge:
The Right of Challenge is usually exclusive to the Blood. However, those of the Aeshar caste are able to make an appeal to a higher figure to take the right to challenge a lord, if the lord in question did not originally accept it. This allows citizens and lords a chance of justice against someone whom had wronged them, if the law for what ever reason prevents that individual from being touched.
Famed Artistry and Styles
A by product of the emperor's own unique eccentricities... these practices have spread across the empire in a tidal wave. Many of those in the empire have a fascination for art and fashion.
Articles of clothing were often made of silk, and wool and vary from simply utilitarian to beautiful depending on status.
Delicate sculptures of sandstone, stone, and granite can be found decorating many of the Cities. And much sturdier bulkier sculptures can be found along the roads. These sculptures also serve as a function for windbreakers when the seasonal high-storms come and go.
Glass is also a common medium for art. Artist will often dye their glasses by mixing various metal powders into their work while it is still hot. And even an abstract form of art has rose involving the use of colored shattered glass often of sapphire, ruby, or earth tones. This came into popularity for the Emperor's beautiful scales, and of course the capital of the empire which sits in an area called "The Sundered Planes". A series of sandy peninsulas ravaged by seasonal storms. When viewed from a high vantage point, it looks like a beautiful mosaic of shattered glass.
The official and National langauge of the empire is Draconic. The language spoken by dragons and their decedents. Originally, the language did not have a written form. As dragons often do not feel the need to write things down. Their loyal servants, the Kobolds were the ones who had formed the written language.
In writing, the language is a set of precise ideograms formed by simple strokes and very few long flowing ones. Unfortunately, the language was created by kobolds. Creatures who form complex and winding, confusing tunnel systems. Creatures with an incredible sense of direction. Creatures who find safety in complexity. This means that the language its self is a convoluted mess of patterns and shapes that strains the untrained eye. Worse yet, is the written language is region dependent for those who spent only a short time to learn the language. Too many, the language is a cryptographer's inspiration. To kobolds it's just simple writing.
For sanity's sake. The empire's chosen written language is the language of traders "Common". However, mostly draconian and kobold communities will usually default to draconic. Common is added to signs as well.
The accent of the empire is very distinct. And has even found its way into the tongue of the resident minorities. When common is spoken, the accent takes the form a very slow slurring drawl. Words are said in a manner that almost sounds like the individual is speaking huskily under there breath.
Any time their emperor is directly mentioned, the empire's citizens will always unconsciously add "may he live forever" directly after the word before continuing on.
Over time, the language of draconic has evolved into it's more modern state. The language does not often have a word for everything, so usually concepts like a uniform is created by description and combinations of words. "Cadin'Dai" Roughly translates directly into Battle Dress. Cadin meaning Clothes/Dress and Dai meaning battle. Cadin'dai is a Military uniform. The language also borrows specific words from other langauges.
"Tai'shar" is a greeting phrase used as a good omen of respect. It is most commonly used among warriors, rangers, and the like to refer to a fellow warrior. Enemy or Not. "Tai" Meaning True, "Shar" meaning blood. "Tai'shar, Gu-Wei" means "True Blood of Gu-Wei".
"Los nor, Shen da Jaboera! Carai an Tsorovan’m’hael! Tsorovan’m’hael!" - "Rend forth, Blue Fang! For the honor of the Throne of Tempests. The Throne of Tempest!" The Warcry of Vaalteralde the Kobold. Mercenary Captain of the Band of the Blue Fang.
Due to the lack of lumber in the desert, the heat, and frequent storms, the architecture of the empire has evolved in reflection of this. The empire's various cities and towns sports a mixture of deep subterranean chasm cities, and above ground cities with a heavy focus on verticality.
The primary building materials in the overground are bricks, tiles, and cement. Bricks are often made of sandstone, but richer locations can also be crafted out of granite. Impurities are added to the sandstone during the shaping process to add color. Rust is often used for the color of red, mica is used for white, and so forth. Structures created with cement are usually sweeping shapes designed to allow the wind to easily blow around and over the structures during high storms. And often enough, simple homes are often fashioned out of bricks in stretched triangle shapes to break the winds and divert them away.
Overground sectors of cities tend to be difficult to find as the favored location for their constructions are within plateaus that act as natural barriers to the high winds, as well as provide shade to the city during large sections of the day. The cities also tend to be a bit difficult to navigate, as they prefer a verticality construction over spreading out. The verticality structure of the cities will often bring many of the roads onto rooftops several stories high.
The more obvious cities are built near oasis, rivers, and sections of the desert where vegitation is high.
All major above ground cities have an underground sector to them. And these underground cities can exist on their own without an overground pairing. There are various gates and means to enter the underground city through stair wells. These cities are often mined out, or make use of pre-existing tunnel systems. Various ventilation systems are added to help cycle air. And the empire cities make use of glass, lenses, and mirrors to redirect natural sunlight into large chambers and warrens. This sunlight is then diffused by massive chandeliers to help scatter the light and provide natural illumination. While it is not needed by draconians, lanterns are hung and lit in strategic places to reduce the clutter, and to enhance the beauty of the craftsmanship.
Rather than introducing foreign building materials, a large majority of these underground cities will be carved directly from the stone. dwellings, and chambers are carefully drafted, roughed out, and carved into beautiful shapes featuring arches, arcades, curves, steps, and what ever else is needed. There are very few attempts made to keep the natural appearance of the caves. As tunnels are usually wide open, and various carvings are made into walls to provide aesthetically pleasing textures and to help diffuse sound and reduce echos. Walkway tunnels are often wide, and are paved with polished material.
Small hidden tunnels are peppered throughout these massive chasms. Large enough for kobold use only. These are often used as highways by the smaller draconids. These tunnels are used for various reasons, as maintenance shafts, highways, and passages to private dwellings if the kobold prefers isolation or to stay with kin. But the primary reason for these small tunnels are for defenses. If the under city is invaded, attacking armies will find themselves harassed from all fronts. Above, behind, on either flank, and in the front by draconian forces.
Views on Other Races and Cultures
The overarching view of other culture's and races is mixed. The Tsoroshar Empire often find themselves respecting warrior like races and civilizations, or civilizations revolving around craftsman. And more interestingly, should there be conflict with Dwarves and the Draconians, the dracos would find the conflict oddly companionable.
For humans, respect is come and go. They see many of the humanoids (Humans, Dwarves, Elves, Halfings, gnomes, etc) as frail creatures. The soft skin, lack of scales, anatomy, tends to baffle the predominantly draconian empire. And even become a general curiosity. The lack of androgyny is also found alluring. When not seeking romance, a sizable sum of draconids often seek a night with other races. A practice that isn't frowned upon, but is often met with jealousy.
Muha Elves, however, are met with a rage and scorn that transcends mere xenophobic hate. But a blood grudge that reaches back to the time of the empire's creation. Where other cultures merely hate, the draconians would desire their annihilation, and happily be the bringers of it too. Because of this, all elven activity inside the empire is heavily limited and regulated. Including non-Muha. Out of safety, and out of hatred. Elves are disallowed citizenship, and even entry into the country without significant reason. An armed escort must accompany elves who enter the lands at all times, and must redirect the elves back to the border when the period of their stay is over.
And because of the high Kobold population, Gnomes are advised to take caution when entering the empire's borders. They will be provided an armed escort, namely in the protection of the gnomes. For the kobold's hatred can approach unreasonable levels where personal safety is no longer a concern. And may actively seek to lynch the gnome no matter the cost.