Dan Barker 25/06/2011 – 00:20
So, to follow up on an earlier post, what would a human see if they stumbled upon a Mayfly Dancers And Butterfly Wars?
Well, to be honest, they may well think they were watching a barbarous mass execution. To the human the dancers may well be the least outlandish aspect of this spectacle. How so? We’d see a group of near naked trolls cavort around a large host of masked and apparently armoured folk, hidden under parasols, who are screaming and hooting. Every once in a while one of the armoured ones will attempt to jump up and probably accost one of the dancers, only to be pulled back, kicking and screaming by hooded and cloaked bystanders.
To a large extent we don’t have any good images of trolls in daylight*, and why would we? They are rarely portrayed outside of their comfort zone, but day wear is very different from normal dress. Contrary to popular belief, there are many reasons why a female maybe out in the sun, and when they do they will take extraordinary precautions. Due to their hypersensitivity to Yelms burning touch, they have to take greater measures than whacking on factor 40. For instance it is common for a human to mistake a Matriarch in her sundress for a fully armoured Kaargs Son**. Normally something akin to a burqua is worn, with gauze over the mouth/nose and ear areas to allow projection of darksense. In Fire season this is can be intolerable due to the heat. In the hot weather a special garment is worn. On to a loose net of spider silk is sewn beetle wing casess. To the human eye this looks like lorica squamata, or scale mail but it gives very little protection from blows, but does allow the passage of cooling breezes, while the covers are closely woven enough to keep most light off their sensitive skins. This garment is worn like a poncho and is worn (like most day wear) universally by both sexes.
In contrast actual, traditional armour is mostly made of thick chitin from giant insects. A long “cape” is worn across the shoulder and down the arms of the wearer. This is made of quilted skins, onto which is sewn large, overlapping chitin “sequins” to create a kind of scale mail arm protection down the arms. The body is made up of several, large plates of beetle chitin chewed into shape, with large “ribs” of chitin making up a skirt to protect the lower torso. Leg pieces similar to the arm cape protect the legs if available.
OK, so so far so what? We knew most of this already, right? Well, we know Trolls have very sensitive eyes. All pictures of them (by humans) have their eyes slitted against the light the artist uses to draw them. By their clothing, we know these pictures were drawn at night, so even torchlight is very bright for them. Due to the size of their eyes we can suppose that they have little to no colour perception. This is reflected in any patterning in their clothing. Designs will be worked in tonally, and not by hue, so to the human eye their armour or clothing is just a loud hodgepodge of colour with no rhyme or reason (and don’t see the meticulously laid out “I (heart) DI”, his mother made). These folks are as loud in dress as they are in life***.
So, how does this relate to the Orlanthi woman from my last post? Dang, I’ll tell you next time.
* the exception being the depiction of one on the Gods Wall of Dara Happa
** a little none fact: in Darktongue there is no difference between referring to a sun dress and to full beetle plate. They are bother called armour (or more literally, protection).
*** Sir Scissor stands out to players as he always wears human dress, so his colour blindness seems shocking. He dresses weirdly for a troll, but not outlandishly.