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So, Clanfriend, you are curious about our clothing? You wonder how such simple, nomadic barbarians can come to have such elaborate and sophisticated garments and tools? Then learn this: for the Ashlander, simplicity is a choice, not a necessity. We follow the precepts of the Good Daedra, and our practices and preferences are in accord with their teachings. We have other, deeper secrets which I will not reveal now, but the making of our apparel and arms are not among them.
The crescent moon is an ancient and holy symbol for us, used sparingly but with significance. Our axe blades are edged crescents, though incomplete at top; our tales say that, should certain prophesied events occur, the crescents shall be full once more, and our axes will be wielded in a time of hardship and glory. It may yet be so.
Our belts are always several, fashioned of strong leather and crossing each other on the diagonal, the better to support our tools, arms, and tassets of chitin. The buckles are ornamental rather than symbolic, decorated at the wearer's choice, and may be of chitin, carapace, or even metal, if one leans to the ostentatious.
Our boots are of supple leather, usually guar, but with chitin knobs and plates to protect the toe, instep, and shin. This chitin is affixed to the leather beneath with a powerful and permanent adhesive we derive by boiling kwama cuttle and (when we can get them) horse's hooves. The rest of the horse goes into the stew pot.
Our composite bows are constructed of limbs of ash willow and trama trunk laminated together with cuttle glue, and faced with chitin or claws from mudcrabs or, if possible, dreugh. Our arrows are fletched with gristlewing or racer plumes.
Ashlanders armor their torsos with layers or bands of guar leather, augmented with chitin, carapace, horn, bone, or even vvardvark shell. The bands are sewn together with twisted thread made of kresh or roobrush fibers, often waxed with desiccated scrib jelly or dreugh wax. Colorful enamels may be applied to display tribal or cult affiliation.
The sacred crescent appears again in the wavy blade of the Ashlander kris. For us the kris is both a stabbing weapon and a handy tool, with a strong point for prying and thick-backed edges for scraping. The hilt is of heartwood from trama or fungus trunk.
Our gloves are thick, of several layers of hide, for we live in a volcanic land and must protect our hands from burning stone and boiling liquid. On war gauntlets, the forearms are protected by chitin plates, affixed to the gloves' leather by cuttle glue. These plates may have spikes or flanges.
Our hoods and helms cover the entire head, for safety in the harsh environment of the Ashlands, particularly when Red Mountain's mood is ugly. A mask or filtered visor keeps ash from nose and mouth, and goggles protect the eyes from soot, embers, and fume. The skull is protected by overlapping bands of rigid chitin, sometimes knobbed or crested.
Like our cuirasses, Ashlander greaves are made of bands of guar leather sewn together with waxed and twisted thread made of kresh or roobrush fibers. Chitin or carapace poleyns may be attached at the knees. In this way our legs are protected not just from weapons, but also from thorns, scathecraw, and jagged volcanic rocks.
We tip our maces with heavy heads flanked by dual edged crescents, creating weapons that can both cut and crush. The long trama-trunk hafts are wrapped diagonally with leather strips to provide a sure grip. The base of the haft ends in a pointed ferrule of metal or bone.
An Ashlander shield is made of several large pieces of light but rigid carapace cuttle-glued into a single unit, and studded with spikes of chitin. The edge is lined around the back with a metal rim that prevents chopping blows from splitting the shield.
We Ashlanders make our shoulder cops from half-cones of thick guar leather boiled for stiffness. In the heavier weights of armor, small or even large plates of chitin may be affixed to the leather with cuttle glue. Such plates may sport sharp knobs or spikes.
An Ashlander spell staff is not only a magical weapon, but a ceremonial crosier, and thus its decoration is fraught with symbolism—at least for us. Each staff is tipped with one, two, or even three symbols of the Good Daedra, surrounded by a double crescent of chitin and bone. The haft ends in a pointed ferrule like that of the mace.
Our swords have sinuous blades, with edges that curve and snake like crescent serpents or razor-edged frozen flame. There is a full crescent on each side of the crossguard, and the tang is seated in a hilt of heartwood from trama or fungus trunk. Baring a blade is a significant act, and an Ashlander will rarely return a sword to its sheath without using it first."