Fading Suns Codex
Fashion in 5002
From childhood, members of House Hawkwood learn the importance of projecting the proper image – one which inspires confidence in subordinates, admiration among peers, and respect from foes. This attention to “style” comes not from devotion to superficiality, but from an understanding of the interplay between mind and body. (LotR 20)
Eschewing the transient fashions for “classic” attire, both men and women of the house cultivate stylish conservatism in their dress. Even young members of House Hawkwood are expected to conform to the “house look,” and excess in any aspect of clothing or hairstyle receives strong disapprobation from the older generation. Many Hawkwoods affect a military or quasi-military cut to their clothing. Not for them are the daring couture of Decados or the exotic flair of al-Malik. The portraits of past Hawkwoods that hang in the gallery of the family’s palace on Delphi are sometimes referred to in jest as the “Gallery of Style,” but the joke contains more than a grain of truth. With only minor changes, the Hawkwood styles of the last several centuries can easily stand alongside house fashion. Combat dress tends towards chain or plate mail, usually the highest available quality (LotR 20).
Although there is considerable physical variation among Hawkwoods due to intermarriages with most of the other Royal Houses, most members of the house tend to have regular features and dark brown, red, or sandy-colored hair. Strong jaws, aquiline noses, and wide brows are common facial characteristics, with brown or green eyes predominating. Hawkwoods place great emphasis on physique and fitness, encouraging its members to train their bodies for peak performance – whether in combat or on the ballroom floor. Nevertheless, the more sedentary members of the house often acquire certain portliness, particularly as they age (LotR 20).
Decados nobles are expected to adhere to a uniform code of dress: form-fitting black material adorned with the house’s mantis symbol. Beyond this template, however, some degree of variety is allowed. The uniform’s material may vary depending on climate, though most nobles tend to prefer leather (from a variety of beasts), or stiffsynth if available. Likewise, the mantis-symbol may vary in placement, size, or material, from a belt buckle to a shoulder patch. Other touches, from the number of belt straps to the shape of buckles, make each uniform truly individual – a paradox which the vain and clannish Decados are proud of (LotR 36).
Few Decdos truly live up to the image of the inhuman freak which has become their house’s stereotype. Certainly most Decados nobles value individuality and experimentation, and more are likely to engage in body alteration than most nobles – but this is typically limited to the occasional prosthetic or pigment change (incidentally, sometimes a unique feature is the result of an ancestor who dabbled in genetic modification). Only rarely is a Decados likely to reach the excess of Prince Demeter Decados, whose fingers were replaced with a dozen synthetic digits resembling tentacles and whose massive tattooed torso was sustained by a hovering platform that uncontrollably discharged liquid body waste and engine oil with unsettling frequency (LotR 36).
As a last note – always remember, when seeing a seemingly unarmed Decados – there is no such thing as an unarmed Decados (LotR 36).