|See Also||Lore version|
|Crafting Style||Sapiarch Style|
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The distinctive style of the robes of the Sapiarchs has not been designed so much as it's been refined, the style distilling the clothing choices of a hundred generations of the Wise. Every detail has its own deep history, all memorialized, of course, in the Apparel Archives of the Crystal Tower. The lighter styles of robes are for research in controlled environments, while the heavier, armored robes provide protection when a Sapiarch must do research in the field.
Though the bearing of weapons is usually delegated to research assistants, and their main function is as symbolic representations of authority, our arms are also supremely practical as weapons. Take, for example, our majestic eagle-claw axe, with its razor-sharp three-pointed blade. Most effective.
Our belts are simple, the most pragmatic item of clothing we wear, because what matters to a Sapiarch is not how a belt holds their garments together at the waist, but what accessories and scholarly implements it can carry. This varies a great deal depending on the sage's specialty, but writing pouches and scroll travel-tubes belong in every Sapiarch's equipage.
My favorite subject! Sapiarch boots are calf-high leather with turned-down tops, often patterned with metal studs that serve the dual purposes of ornamentation and protection. The same is true of the boots' metal toe-caps, which are often wrought in shapes that evoke the flow of Magicka.
The Sapiarch's composite bow is made of horn, bone, and Summerset yew, carefully crafted to rigorous design standards formulated and refined by centuries of Altmeri bowmer. The fletching on the arrows isn't feathers, but rather thin, aerodynamically-curved pieces of chitin from coral mudcrabs.
Upon accession to a Seat of Knowledge a Sapiarch is invested with their formal robe, its yoke and placket adorned with mystic symbols of knowledge, wisdom, and Elven heritage. Of course, beneath this robe may be a layer of enchanted chainmail, depending on the dangers of the Sapiarch's researches.
For most Sapiarchs, a dagger is the only weapon they'll ever need carry, and even then its function is mainly ornamental and ceremonial, so our daggers are justifiably ornamental and impressive. Of course, we leave the major weaponry to our defensive assistants, whom we trust to handle martial affairs when they come up.
For both spellcasting and fine laboratory work, it's of paramount importance that a Sapiarch's fingers be unencumbered, so we wear only fingerless demi-gauntlets that protect the back of the hands and the wrists. The armored versions may be crafted of lobstered steel.
The hood is the universal headwear of the scholar or sage, so naturally our light robes are topped with embroidered hoods of the finest material. However, when engaged in perilous studies, we don't scruple to wear a skullcap under the hood, or even replace it with a full visored helm. (Why do you think we're known as "the Wise"?)
Though hidden by long robes, our legs don't go unprotected, and are sheathed above our tall boots in cuisses of leather or light mail, with metal poleyns at the knee. The fabric of the lower robe is also some defense, especially when inscribed or embroidered with warding runes.
The end of a Sapiarch's mace is a globe, representing the acknowledged fact that a Sapiarch is the leading sage and scholar in all Nirn in their field of expertise. The spherical mace head is also studded with eight diamond-shaped spikes to augment its menace as a weapon.
Sapiarchic shields are light metal plate, heavily reinforced by defensive runes, and decorated with elegant shapes that evoke the flow of Magicka. The central boss recalls the Resolute Diamonds that are the keys to the gates of the Crystal Tower.
The yokes of our upper robes extend over our shoulders, beneath which we wear sturdy but unobtrusive spaulders of leather, chitin, or metal. Heavily-armored robes may have additional plates atop the shoulder yokes.
The upper ends of our spellcasters' staves specifically echo the shape of our symbolic home, the Crystal Tower, surmounted by Magicka-flow brackets holding a finial Nirn-globe, representing our global leadership in all the arts of scholarship and knowledge. The sphere also serves as a focusing lens for magical projection.
Sapiarchic swords are elegant, straight, and tall, like the Altmer themselves, with superb ornamentation that is both refined and restrained. Our sword has two edges, for all questions must be looked at from more than one angle, but a single point, for in the end one answer is most correct. Such is our creed.