Saturday, 17 February 2018

Faun Fashions

Some of you may recall that I suggested the Faun or Satyr (I use the term 'Caprine' may be used for the category of both) as a replacement in fantasy RPGs for Gnomes, Halflings or anything in that nippy and nimble/semi-magical/fun-loving mould.

An idle thought hit me when running over the Faun concept. What do they wear? Frequently, of course, caprines are portrayed wearing little. But unless you want fauns to magically carry round with them the warm clime of Arcadia, they will probably wear something, sometimes.

Moreover, it is generally recognised by fauns that a) other humanoids generally like certain portions of the body to be covered up and b) it is sometimes worth covering up vulnerable portions of the body (IE, when cooking, working in the forge or in melee combat).

Having goat legs, however, is good in that it is sufficient to keep off the worst of the weather - but fauns enjoy being relatively unhindered leg-wise: free to dance or leap or climb. This is not generally objected to in humanoid society; if you want caprines doing caprine things and doing them well, don't hamper them. Trousers and britches are out; skirts and kilts are a little too constrictive still. Yes, caprines can wear them and work in them - but this makes them look too similar to humans: disagreeable as one working at worldbuilding - or as a faun who is not shy about being a faun.

Therefore: the underlayer of caprine costume is something we may refer to as a 'modesty tabard'. It reaches to mid-thigh or lower, bears a certain resemblance to a white shirt and covers up what needs to be covered. (Speculate on any garments underneath at leisure - and elsewhere).

The upper torso can then be dressed much as a human upper torso [Probably a most sinister sentence in isolation]. However, a few further things to note.

Firstly, the modesty tabard can be further concealed or decorated by an ornamental apron. That is, further deflecting away attention from the tabard and transforming the utilitarian garment. Naturally, a satyr cook will wear a plain apron; goat legs do no resist hot soup.

Secondly, the garments on the upper torso are generally cut quite short, so they do not impede the legs. For example, a faun is more likely to wear a waist-length poncho than a slicker to keep off the rain. A faun is more likely to wear a tight pea-jacket than a long overcoat.

A caprine will not, under most circumstances, wear shoes. However, if attending a formal event or in a finely decorated house with expensive carpets, a caprine may wear galoshes to keep the mud and dirt of the street from their hooves. These are removed on entrance to the house.

Headgear presents a difficulty: caprines have horned heads. Horns that can vary in size, shape or position. A hat proper must be made to measure, bespoke; to best accommodate brim, dome - and horns. Thus it is more likely to see low-income fauns - or satyrs in some job where the hat might be lost or muddied - wearing turbans, shawls or other forms of more flexible headgear.


Naturally, caprines must sometimes wear armour. By their nature, they are more likely to serve as light infantry or scouts than as heavy infantry.

(Caprines can ride horses. However, they must ride them side-saddle. Satyr cavalry is therefore either chariot based or mounted infantry in the dragoon fashion.)

Caprine armour might extend down the flanks - pteruges are not uncommon; greaves might be worn. But the faun must be able to move rapidly. Particularly heavy or cumbersome plate armour is largely unknown among caprines, even on the torso.

Helmets pose a similar difficulty to hats; a conscript satyr is more likely to be issued a series of metal bands that cross the head, leaving the horns poking through - rather like the leather-bound steel caps of the Early Middle Ages, but with strategic gaps. Helmet making among caprines is a rather specialist enterprise. The skilled helmet maker must accommodate the horns without making them into awkward prongs that direct a blow toward the skull. This can produce some extraordinary creations.


I believe this covers the basics of caprine costuming - largely on the logistical or mechanical side of things than this season's styles. If anything further crops up, I shall let you know.

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