December 12, 2016

World of Outcast Shadows: Chiaroscurans

Chiaroscurans physically resemble humans in most ways, except for having long, pointed ears and completely different coloration. All Chiaroscurans have snow white hair that runs the gamut from straight to curly to kinky. Due to their dark blue blood, their black and white skin has a slight blueish tint that becomes especially pronounced when they blush. The only color other than this to be found on their bodies is in the eyes, which can be shades of blue or yellow.

Perhaps their most distinctive features is their black and white markings, which generally appear as defined stripes or cloudy spots. Rarely, a Chiaroscuran will be born with the circular markings similar to those found on ribbon seals, but such markings are about as rare as albinism in humans. Since Chiaroscurans tend to be vain, many use cosmetics to alter their markings. Performers will often give themselves graphic make-up in the shapes of flowers, stars, or crescent moons.

Chiaroscuran clothing generally includes button-up tunics and dresses that resemble ao dai, qipao, or gakuran, with trousers underneath. Originally, women wore long, elbow-length gloves, but over the centuries the length has varied greatly, and men sometimes also don gloves. Keeping with their culture’s monochromatic aesthetic, most clothing is made in black, white, or blue. Other colors are reserved for members of specific professions: doctors wear purple; members of the Chiaroscuran Order of Law, which includes palace guards and police, wear red; milliners, haberdashers, and hat station clerks wear green; architects and engineers wear yellow; and members of the Council wear orange.

Because the first Chiaroscurans were “classically educated”, they hold art in the highest regard. The Chiaroscuran aesthetic is reminiscent of many styles across the globe, both human and goblin. Their love of art, music, and writing can be seen in a selection of Chiaroscuran surnames:

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