“New Spring” Altaran and Saldean Fashion

 

This post contains spoilers for New Spring
 

The fashions of the various nations are described in New Spring. While some are explored in greater detail than others, it still provides a more complete depiction of the people of this world.
 
Altara
 

In general, the people of Altara are described as olive-skinned, but they are varied. Myrelle Berengari, from Altara, was “olive-skinned and beautiful” and nearly as tall as Siuan (p. 44). There was a Green Warder who was “very dark, perhaps a Tairen or a southern Altaran” (p. 115). “Tarna Feir was from the north of Altara, close to Andor” and had “pale yellow hair” and “cold blue eyes” (p. 47).
 
Embroidery and bright colors were emphasized in Altaran fashion. “Altaran men in heavily embroidered coats, Altaran women clutching their cloaks, bright red or green or yellow, to shield what their low-cut dresses exposed to the icy air” (p. 64).
 
Saldaea
 

A main feature of those from Saldaea was their eyes. Natasia, a Blue Aes Sedai, was “a slim Saldaean with dark tilted eyes and high cheekbones” (p. 171). Another Blue Aes Sedai from Saldaea, Sheriam was “fire-haired” (p. 202).
 

Very little is offered with regards to their actual fashion. A “skinny, hook-nosed fellow” from Saldaea was a “coatless groom” (p. 261). A Saldean tradesman or craftsman wore a “plain woolen coat” (p. 63). It is possible that in general they tended toward plain attire.

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Arafellin “New Spring” Fashion

 
In “New Spring,” we are provided with a few glimpses of Arafellin fashion and its appearance in general. Those from Arafel were apparently dark haired, incorporated silver bells into their hair, even as decoration to their clothing, and liked bold colors.
 

An Arafellin man wore “his black hair dangling down his back in two braids decorated with silver bells” (p. 64). One of the Green Warders wore “silver bells in his dark Arafellin braids” (p. 115). A Yellow Aes Sedai, Yuan, was from Arafel and was described as having gray eyes. The dark hair is evident, but it is unclear if fair eyes were common, or a rarity.
 

Their fashion seemed to like bold colors and emphasized decoration of the sleeves. An Arafellin man wore “a coat with red-slashed sleeves” (p. 64). The style of Arafel was also adopted by others, such as Ryne Venamar, a Malkieri who was raised in Arafel since he was 15 years old. “His hair fell in two long bell-laced braids, and more silver bells lined the turned-down tops of his boots and ran up the sleeves of his yellow coat” (p. 224).
 

References to Arafellin fashion are limited in “New Spring.” However, we can see the emphasis of the braids decorated with silver bells and that these same bells can also adorn their dress.

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The Horses of “New Spring”

 

Horses play an important role in “New Spring.” They are companions to characters and serve as a main source of transportation. Various characteristics are described, including build and coloration.
 

The rider from Tear rode a horse that “had the arched neck of good Tairen bloodstock” (p.7). Meilyn Arganya had a tall dappled gelding, and Elaida rode a “fine-ankled bay mare” (p. 84). A bandit rode “a white-stockinged brown gelding with a look of speed about him and a prancing step” (p. 292). When Moiraine entered Chachin she arrived in “a yellow-lacquered carriage behind a team of four matched greys” (p. 326).
 

Some of the equine encountered were named and served a greater role. Bukama had a “yellow roan gelding, Sun Lance” (p. 10). Moiraine rode Arrow and Lan rode Cat Dancer.
 

“Moiraine had purchased Arrow to celebrate attaining the ring” (p. 59). The bay mare “was not tall” but “could keep running long after larger horses had tired out. A fast mount was good, but a mount with endurance was better. Arrow was both. And she could jump fences that few other horses would even try” (p. 59). When Moiraine left Tar Valon on the vessel “Bluewing,” the mare was “hoisted aboard by a long wooden boom, with straps beneath her belly” (p. 210). She rode Arrow while in search of the reborn Dragon.
 

Lan’s Cat Dancer was a bay stallion. He was half-trained, but “even a half-trained warhorse was a formidable weapon” (p. 10). The stallion was “standing still and alert” while Lan dealt with guards when entering Canluum (p. 217). During a bandit attack, Cat Dancer remained still “knowing what dropped reins meant” and so waited for “the pressure of knee and heel” (p. 284).
 

Horses served an important capacity in “New Spring.” Some, like Arrow and Cat Dancer, were named and described in greater detail. Others, such as those hauling carriages and ridden by bandits, still served a role.

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TVTT VC Edition – Call of the Pack

 
 

When I first joined TarValon.Net, I was happy to have found a community of fans who enjoyed the world created by Robert Jordan. I became a Citizen, and then applied to join The Tower. As a Novice, I continued to read the series and meet members of the community. Upon passing my test, I became Accepted and began my Guesting journey.
 

As an Accepted, I continued my education. I participated in Classes and in various Events and activities. I was sure my goal was to be Aes Sedai and find which Ajah would be my home. Guesting is as much about self exploration as it is about exploring the groups that make up the community. I was determined to be open minded and explore all the groups.
 

My first round of Guesting was complete, and I had multiple groups I felt very comfortable in. Guesting allowed me to find appreciation for aspects of all the groups. I went through a second round. I was determined to find my home. I still felt there were multiple places I could fit in. This was with Ajahs and Companies.
 

The Mistress of Accepted and Soldiers (Kitan Tataru) and my mentors (Alenya Al’Roran and Ashara Koh’inor) were wonderful. They helped me find ways to reflect on my discoveries so that I could determine where my home was. Our home is not just where our friends are or where our ideal self would be, but is a place that we can serve and help to form the whole.
 

The Pack had chosen me. Deep down I knew this long before I actually admitted it. Once I came to that realization, I eagerly submitted my request to Aspire to the Val’Cueran. Thankfully I did not have to wait long. I am still excited to know I have found my home.
 

They welcomed me from the start. I had become a part of the pack before I even started Guesting. They emphasize Brotherhood, Loyalty, and Honor. They are the Heart Guard of TarValon.Net. And at some point the concept of They had become We. We are there for one another and are there to protect and serve. We are there to light the bonfire that draws us together, to celebrate victories and to face challenges.
 

Activity with the Pack might wax and wane, but its values remain. We know how to have fun, and when to be serious. I will enjoy the bonfires and the s’mores and happily provide coffee and steaks to my pack mates.
 

I am happy to say I am an Aspirant of the Val’Cueran. Someday I will be proud to be Gaidin. But for now, I am honored to be part of the Pack and to have my “Brothers and Brosters” around me. I will continue to train and to strive to be worthy of my place with the Company.

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Cairhien ‘New Spring’ Fashion

new spring fashion cairhien

 

This post contains spoilers for New Spring

 

During my read of “New Spring” I was able to take particular note of the women’s fashions of Cairhien. We were provided so much detail on the clothing of Moiraine Damodred, who was born and raised there. We were provided a general glimpse of the citizens of Cairhien as being of pale complexion and shorter stature. There was reference to “dark-clad Cairhien, easy to pick out because they were shorter and paler than nearly everyone else” (p. 64). Additionally, they were viewed as calculating, especially due to their connection to Daes Dae’mar or “Game of Houses.” “In Cairhien, even servants and farmers knew how to maneuver for advantage and deflect others from their own plans and secrets” (p. 45).
 

Even as an Accepted, Moiraine wore dark accessories when permitted. Her good riding gloves were “dark blue leather with just a touch of embroidery on the back” (p. 57).
 

When Moiraine underwent her Testing, we were provided a clear image of Cairhien fashion. At one point she was in a dress “in a dark, shimmering green, well cut and meticulously sewn. Bars of red, green, and white, each two inches wide, made a narrow line of color down the front of the dress from the high neck to below knee-leve;l” and “looking over her shoulder to do up the tiny mother-of-pearl buttons by her reflection in the stand mirror” (p. 141). She observed that “only having her hair arranged in elaborate coils on the sides of her head could have made it more” appropriate (p. 141). Additionally, we got a view of her father in a “long coat of a style at least a year out of fashion, with the House Damodred colors marching from his high down to his knees” (p. 150).
 

The use of House Colors was very important in Cairhienin fashion. Once becoming Aes Sedai, Moiraine visited a Seamstress in Tar Valon and ordered “riding dresses, in the strictest Cairhienin style, which was to say dark, though she did not put it that way, each with six slashes across the breast in red, green, and white, far fewer than she had a right to” (p. 193). Later, when Siuan Sanche posed as Suki, maid to Lady Moiraine, she wore a “dark grey dress of fine wool, entirely plain except for collar and cuffs banded in Damodred colors” (p. 326).
 

Dark colors, high necks, and embroidery were common elements to the dresses Moiraine typically wore. On leaving Tar Valon she wore a dress “suitably dark blue, with a few leafy silver vines climbing the sleeves to encircle the high neck” (p. 208.) Her cloak was lined with black fox. Later in her travels she wore a dark blue riding dress “embroidered on the neck and sleeves in a golden pattern like Maldine lace” (p. 260). She had pockets sewn inside her cloak.
 

One unique aspect of Cairhienin fashion was the kesiera. Though she could not wear it while a Novice or Accepted, Moiraine resumed the practice upon her Raising. “Her hands remembered how to weave the thin gold chain into her hair so the small sapphire hung in the middle of her forehead” and “now she looked the Lady Moiraine Damodred” (p. 171). It was likely the kesiera came in different colors, but the sapphire was associated with Moiraine.
 

Overall, the fashion of Cairhien appeared to be dark. Men seemed to wear long coats with high necks and extended at least to their knees. Women wore high necked dresses, often with embroidery on the sleeves and necks. House Colors represented by bands were important to denote their class and association. Though personal taste certainly had some influence, it appeared that these rules were generally followed.

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