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    Fashion in the Flanaess - Dyes
    Posted on Sat, April 01, 2006 by Dongul
    gvdammerung writes "Color. We take it for granted but color, of any significant hue, is the result of dye. Dyes may be commonly found but dye that will hold its color and possesses a rich vibrancy is rare indeed. This short article provides basic information about dyes in the Flanaess.

    Fashion in the Flanaess - Dyes
    By: Glenn Vincent Dammerung, aka GVDammerung, with able assistance from S. Katherine Dammerung, aka SKDammerung
    Posted with permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

    Cloth, thread or yarn of whatever nature can be colored through the use of dyes. Plant dyes are nearly universally known. Practically every region and every climate has plants from which colored dyes can be extracted. This process usually involves a soaking of the plant in water with the addition of some type of fixative to hold the color, salts and vinegar are common fixatives. Examples of common dye colors and plants in the Flanaess include:

    Red - Madder root

    Orange - Sassafras

    Blue - Woad

    Purple - Red Maple bark

    Yellow - Weld or Goldenrod

    Green - Ragweed of Fiddlehead Ferns

    Brown - Black Walnut husks

    Grey - Iris roots

    Black - Sumac leaves

    The problem with most simple plant dyes are twofold. They do not hold their color after prolonged exposure to the light and their color is not usually vibrant. This is where certain dyes that do not have these issues become sought after and expensive. Vibrant dyes that keep their color well include:

    Crimson - Cochineal, an insect, is found in southern temperate, sub-tropical and tropical areas.

    Scarlet - Kermes, an insect, is found in northern and middle temperate zones.

    Purple - Murex, a mollusk (this is the source of the famous Imperial Purple), is found in southern temperate and subtropical regions.

    Blue - Indigo, a plant, grows in tropic, sub-tropic and the southernmost areas of temperate zones

    Yellow - Saffron, a plant, is found in middle temperate regions.

    Each of the foregoing are rare dyes in the Flanaess. All of them can only be found in the Amedio Jungle, Hepmonaland or the southernmost Hold of the Sea Princes or Tilvot Peninsula. To the West, they may be found in Zindia, the Celestial Imperium and the Bakhoury States. The Bakhoury States, despite their northerly climate, enjoy a warm temperate to subtropical climate thanks to the oddly heated currents of the Dramij Ocean.

    In the alternative, alchemical dyes or processes may have made resort to natural dyes nonexistent or nearly so at a DMs discretion. In my campaign, alchemical dyes exist but they do not have the same luster as the rarer natural dyes. Thus, dye becomes a particular type of treasure that may spur adventures.

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    Re: Fashion in the Flanaess - Dyes (Score: 1)
    by Samwise ( on Sat, April 01, 2006
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    If kermes and saffron are from middle temperate regions, they should be found north of the areas you note.
    The other distributions look about right.

    Re: Fashion in the Flanaess - Dyes (Score: 1)
    by GVDammerung on Sat, April 01, 2006
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    In the lower Flanaess, its elevation and micro-climates, a desire to make these rare so there is a reason to move out of the main nations and go adventuring, and a desire to keep prices elevated.  In the Baklunish West, all bets are off, as the climate is by canon abnormal and hence variable or otherwise susceptible to micro-climatic zones, plus the noted desire to keep these rare and expensive, potentially generating adventures.  Ultimately, much as in the real would "alchemical" dyes will prevail - at first generating their own adventures, before they become commonplace, if they ever become commonplace.  DMs season to taste. 


    Re: Fashion in the Flanaess - Dyes (Score: 1)
    by smillan_31 on Sun, April 02, 2006
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    Very nice. It's the little things that make a campaign really come alive. Thanks Glenn.

    I would add sepia, from the common cuttlefish, used primarily for ink.

    IMC the Lordship of the Isles is the only known source of, and has a monopoly on Murex.

    Re: Fashion in the Flanaess - Dyes (Score: 1)
    by GVDammerung on Tue, April 04, 2006
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    The Lordship of the Isles would be a perfect candidate.  Along similar lines, IMC I make these resources limited to spur trade/adventures.  I didn't specify specific locations, only some general guidelines, as I see this more as a DM toolkit type thing.  DMs can take the information and apply it as best fits there campaigns.


    Re: Fashion in the Flanaess - Dyes (Score: 1)
    by Anced_Math ( on Sun, April 02, 2006
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    It looks like much of this is abstracted from some of the discussions held in one of the threads several months back.  The climates you have outlined is more acurate for the "Natural Climate," of each.  Many of these have been cultivated far outside their normal growing range.  Indigo comes to mind, which was historically cultivated on the North Carolina Coast.

    Re: Fashion in the Flanaess - Dyes (Score: 1)
    by GVDammerung on Tue, April 04, 2006
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    I can't recall the extact genesis as this submission was written some time ago. 

    I've no argument with your "natural environment" thought.  Same with cultivation.  It is a DM toolkit kinda thing.  Season to taste. 

    IMC, I'm not big on cultivation outside the natural ranges, as I don't want these to become too commonplace but every campaign probably assumes a different level of development of this or that.


    Re: Fashion in the Flanaess - Dyes (Score: 1)
    by Anced_Math ( on Wed, April 05, 2006
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    Well, the thoughts that immediately bubbled to the surface was that the southern region of GM is a cloth and dye center, and they would cultivate certain dyes, particualrly something such as indigo, which requires wetlands.


    Re: Fashion in the Flanaess - Dyes (Score: 1)
    by GVDammerung on Thu, April 06, 2006
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    Certainly possible.  I think we here get into how we each see particular areas of the Flanaess.  No right or wrong answer.

    I see the Rushmoors as essentially untamed in a way that they can be adventure generators for the GM and, more importantly northern Keoland, which might otherwise appear very tame.  To that end, I would not immediately see the cultivation of a specialty crop in the vicinity.  I would see more staple or subsistence crops, given the denizens of the Rushmoors and their predatory habits.  However, that would just be my view. 

    Cultivation is certainly possible and would not even be antithetical to some monstrous problems remaining within the Rushmoors.  I, however, see things wilder, in part based on the presence of Far Realm incursions.  See e.g., Quadruparte Dungeon Adventure (I forget the issue), describing Shiboleth and the near Rushmoors vis a vis the Far Realm.


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