After drawing a rough version of Enkhaelen’s outfit as a reference for the Book 3 cover, I started thinking about the other Silent Circle mages in my story. I describe their attire a bit, and mention that robes are the mark of a mage, but I’d had just a vague idea about how they looked. So I pulled out the paperdolls.
My other artist friend, Alexandra Fitzgerald, made a base male paperdoll for me ages and ages ago, but I never got around to tinkering with it until now. I have no female paperdoll…perhaps I should pester her.
I started off with a mage that was supposed to be Summoner Archmagus Salandry, a Trivestean, but who ended up a bit more colorful than that specific character should be.
If I’d done this just in blues, greys and maybe a little bit of green, this would be more Salandry. Anyway, the under-robe here is a typical Summoner cut, with short sleeves to show off the bracelets and rings a Summoner uses to bind and control elementals. The over-robe is a light summer-weight version, also with the typical Summoner sleeves.
These colors could be used by a rather gaudy Trivestean civilian mage (not that there are many of those), or a mixed-heritage Trivestean/Riddish or Trivestean/Amand. A southern Trivestean would be more likely to use it than a northern one.
In contrast, the next one ended up being a Trivestean military Evoker. This is more Salandry’s color scheme, since he’s rather militant, but he couldn’t wear an Evoker style because Evokers bar the use of most jewelry. Since Evokers channel energy through their arms and hands, they need loose/openable sleeves, and most wear bell-shaped sleeves that are long enough to obscure the movements of their fingers.
The over-robe also has an example of military fledges on the shoulders. Those are specifically captain’s fledges. Also, the loops at the shoulders of the under-robe are for tying up the sleeves.
This is a much more typical Trivestean color scheme and basically the only colors a Trivestean military mage of any discipline will wear, no matter their point of origin or otherwise-mixed heritage.
Next, I managed to get a character more or less correct, huzzah! Psycher Archmagus Qisvar, below, may be a member of the Silent Circle, but he’s not an Imperial or a northerner — and he likes to make a point of it. He prefers a sloping southern cut to the straight-across northern cut of the robe, and uses aggressively Padrastan patterns and colors.
I really like his under-robe, okay? As a mentalist, he can do anything with his sleeves that he wants — all he needs is his mind. Therefore he has some nice warded arm-guards, and a stylishly voluminous over-robe, which would be more voluminous if I had any skill at it. He also wears his over-robe fully closed, which is the southern standard; northern mages tend to wear theirs open, perhaps as a statement that they’re better than the weather. (Or just more casual.)
The last one thus far isn’t a character (yet), but a counterpart to the Trivestean mages. I think I’m going to try to make a mage for every country, because combining all the details into a couple outfits is just as indicative as any of the Culture Composites I was doing before — but obviously that will take some time.
This is a civilian mage from Riddian, the country just north of Trivestes, with which it shares an army — not for lack of objection. I’m considering the mage above a Warder, but really he could be any non-summoner. The one thing that’s definitely true about him is he’s a nationalist and a clansman, since the colors and sash he wears are from the Riddish flag and his own clan’s banner. Wearing this outfit is an aggressive move, but fairly typical for a Riddishman, as their rivalry with the Trivesteans has never gone cold. If he was in the army, he’d be forced to wear something like the dark blue outfit above, and it might not end well.
As a final outfit, I decided to make a Riddish non-mage — just to show what standard dress looks like in that country. It ended up being light leather armor, but frankly that’s almost standard; all the men wear at least a bit of defensive gear, because whether they live in rural backwaters or mixed cities, Riddish clans are always fighting each other.