Appropriate hats

Hello!

I’m thinking about creating a hedge-witch type character for the Marches and I can’t get the image of a tattered woolen witches hat like this:

or this:

Is this style of hat too classically fantasy-esque/magic-heavy for the Marches? I don’t want to be suspected of bad sorcery!

Thank you.

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My only observation is it’s a bit Varushkan. Marcher garb tends to be more grounded in real-world Tudor clothing.

That said, I’m sure you could make it fit the Marches quite easily, depending on the rest of your costume.

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As @thresher says, they’re somewhat of a Varushkan thing (it’s stated that volhovs are often recognisable from their pointy hats). But you can probably find a way to “Marcher” it up, especially if you stick to a slightly lighter colour material and cover it in plants (okay, perhaps not cover but something like around where the hat band normally goes), then pair it with the rest of your Marcher kit.

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The Marcher Look ‘n’ Feel for magic users is remarkably sparse, from memory it is something like “mummers wear bright colours, landskeepers sometimes dress in robes like friars”. Also almost all of the traditional fantasy elements that would be associated with a witch or wizard are specifically mentioned on some other nation’s Look ‘n’ Feel. Pointy hats and talismans are Varushkan, runes and danglies are Wintermark, ornate staves are Dawnish, simple staves are Urizeni, tattoos are Navarri.
If you try to create any of the look of a traditional fantasy witch you will therefore end up treading on aspects of other briefs. So do so, lots! Tread on several, keep it simple and avoid the more distinctive other aspects. Pointy hats may speak Varushka, so make sure to avoid the patterned edging and use the Marcher palette. My character carries a mask, which may seem League, but it is made from straw and beads. My character wears runes, which may seem Wintermark, but they are pyrographed and floral. Also Poppets. Poppets are really easy to make and very distinctively Marcher.
Finally you’ve specifically mentioned Hedge Witch, this is great, and that is a magic user attached to a house. You may wish to think about how this attachment is telegraphed through the costume. Do they carry a simple belt sash, do they wear the house tabard?

I feel like Professor Sprout style pointy hats are more Marches. I think it’s the straw and hessian look.

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The shape in the bottom image is definitely Varushkan - in character, I would absolutely call that a volhov hat. The first image sort of walks the line (and would make a great piece of transitional kit for a former volhov who switched nations and became a landskeeper). The less severe brim, the rough-looking material, and the bend in the point lean it towards looking more like a marcher witchy type (Tiffany Aching is namechecked on the main Marcher wiki page, after all). So my top tips for rocking a witch hat in the Marches:

  1. Stick to Marcher colours and materials, and make it look a bit well-worn and well-loved. The Varushkan brief tends towards looking fancy and neat. A marcher is much more likely to wear a patched-up dusted-off old hat with pride. (Which is not to say that volhovs are preening, but they have important meetings to attend with monsters and have to look their best)
  2. Baffle that silhouette, baby. The wide, horizontal brim and the long, straight upwards point form the iconic volhov hat silhouette. Bend it, warp it, strap stuff to it. If someone looks at it from a distance, they shouldn’t immediately recognize the shape of a volhov’s hat, the way they would with the second picture.
  3. Think about why your character wears this hat. Is it just something practical to keep off the rain and the sun? Are they intentionally putting a marcher spin on the volhov hat, as a way of conveying magical and social power (mildly iffy considering the egregore bond and Marcher stubbornness, but not totally off the table, I think)? Do they simply want to stand out from non-mages by wearing a unique headpiece? Maybe they’re trying to visually evoke a cornucopia (which would be Marcher as heck)? Maybe their hat used to belong to an actual volhov, and they’ve made it look a bit more Marcher over time? The story of the hat will inform how it fits in with your character and with their nation, and what it ends up looking like.
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That first one is pretty much spot on for one of the hats suggested here (top row, middle)

https://www.profounddecisions.co.uk/empire-wiki/The_Marches_costumes#Hats_and_caps

So you’re spot on. But adding some Pewter badges will make it look even more Marcher :slight_smile:.

Like the Pilgrims Badges and Empire specific ones on this site - https://www.bespokepewter.com/ourshop/
or this one - https://www.lionheartreplicas.co.uk/
(Just avoid anything obviously Christian :slight_smile: )

You can see a bunch of them on this Marcher hood:

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Top one looks pretty spot on, batter it a bit, add some Marcher flair like badges and maybe a carrot under the band or similar for later. Prof Sprout is also pretty spot on :slight_smile:

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