Armor in Allarya
There are many types of armor in Allarya used to protect the wearer from harm during combat and battle. They vary both in the materials used to make them, and how the materials are shaped and put together.
Padded Armor, sometimes known as gambeson, is armor made by stuffing cloth, hay, or animal hair into quilted cloth. It is incredibly cheap and easy to produce, making it perfect for peasant levies, brigands, and guardsmen. Additionally, it affords decent protection from cuts and slashing, as well as near immunity from most bludgeoning damage an opponent could deal, but its greatest weakness is piercing attacks, such as arrows or thrusts. It is also incredibly uncomfortable to wear anytime other than cold winters. Despite this and due to its ease of production and defensive qualities, it serves as the innermost layer for most heavier armors.
Leather Armor is made from tanned animal skins. It is also easy and cheap to make, and is very resistant to many types of damage. However, leather armor's greatest failing is that it would wear out after a certain number of attacks. It will often be overlaid with some form of metal for better defense. It is not used typically used to armor large numbers of soldiers due to the effectiveness of mail and plate, but leather armor is a favorite of many for its cheapness and mobility, including adventurers, roguish characters, rangers, and those low on funds in general.
Splint Armor is made by sewing very small metal or leather plates in certain manners. Scale Armor attaches them to a cloth or leather backing, allowing them to hang freely in a scale-like pattern. Lamellar Armor sews the plates to one another instead, without them hanging loosely. Scale armor is the more flexible, but lamellar affords more protection. Splint armors are effective against slashing and bludgeoning, but weak to piercing attacks between plates, and the lacing holding the plates together is susceptible to wear. While metal plates are more effective against slashing and piercing than leather, it is weaker against bludgeoning.
Mail Armor is made of many interlocking metal rings, and can be incredibly effective against most types of damage. It can even handily prevent injury from piercing attacks from weaker metals, though it is not invincible. Over time, it can still be damaged and penetrated. Sometimes mail is reinforced with metal plating sewn into the chains to help prevent being pierced. Mail is typically worn over a protective layer of cloth, often padded cloth armor, and is sometimes covered in plate armor.
Studded Armor, sometimes called brigandine, is not cloth or leather with metal studs, as some think. In actuality, the studs are rivets which keep an interior metal plate lining in place. It is not a light armor, but a fairly tough and durable one. It is, like padded armor, heavy and uncomfortable, however.
Plate Armor is armor made of metal plates covering parts of the body, worn over padded cloth or mail, or both. It is typically expensive and is relatively rare. Due to the cost and the sheet weight of the armor, typically it can be seen in various decrees of coverage:
- Quarter Plate is the lightest and least protective version of plate, covering only about a quarter of the body with metal plating. Often this is only a chest- and back-plate covering the upper torso, possibly with small plates on the forearms and shins.
- Half Plate covers about half of the body with plates, covering the shoulders and thighs in addition to what quarter plate protects. Typically half plate will still not have any overlapping plates aside from on the chest and shoulders.
- Three-Quarters Plate covers most of the body. It adds plating over the abdomen and lower torso and starts to focus on covering gaps between plating. Typically, at this point plate armor begins involving complex harnesses to ensure the armor fits and hangs from the body properly and requires assistance to don and remove.
- Full Plate offers the most coverage and is the most difficult to pierce, but is very rare. Typically every inch of the wearer is protected by overlapping armor, and is wholly resistant to most forms of damage aside from weapons specifically designed to pierce or crumple plate.
Contrary to what one might think, in most cases even full plate does not hinder the wearer's movement much, as it is designed to allow for full range of motion. It is, however, still very heavy, and requires training and endurance to wear three-quarter or full plate. Very rarely armor will be heavy and thick enough to hinder movement, focusing more on invincibility at the cost of quick movement.
There are specific types of armor for protecting each part of the body, which can be made of combinations metal plates or leather:
- Helm / Helmet - Protects the head.
- Neckard - Protects the neck between the helm, pauldrons, and cuirass.
- Pauldrons - Protect the shoulders, sometimes large enough to guard large parts of the upper arms and chest. Sometimes they extend up high enough to block attacks at the head or neck.
- Heralds - Small shield-like plates affixed to the pauldrons or cuirass to help protect the armpits, so called due to their traditional use of displaying the wearer's heraldry or allegiance, or specific iconography or symbols.
- Upper Vambrace - Plating which protects the upper arm. Typically supplements pauldrons in heavier armors.
- Elbow Guard - Protects the elbows, sometimes wrapping around the joint and overlapping with the upper and lower vambraces.
- Lower Vambrace - Plating which protects the lower arm, typically not extending beyond the wrist.
- Gauntlet - Armor which covers the hands and wrists, composed of many small parts to maintain flexibility in the hand.
- Cuirass - Made of the chestplate/breastplate and the backplate, intended to protect the torso. Sometimes covers the entire body, from neck to waist, but will sometims only cover the upper torso to help with flexibility.
- Under-cuirass - When the cuirass is limited to the torso to help with flexibility, it will sometimes incorporate separate plating on the stomach and lower back, which will run up under the cuirass.
- Tassets - Protect areas around the pelvis, such as the hips or groin.
- Thigh Plates - Protect the thighs, especially the outer thighs.
- Knee Guards - Protect the knees, sometimes wrapping around the joint and being overlapped by the thigh plates and greaves.
- Greaves - Protect the shins and lower legs. Sometimes the front of the greaves will extend upward enough to afford some protection to the kneecap.
- Tarsal Plates - Plates which wrap around and protect the top of the foot.
Special Materials Used for Armor in Allarya
- Dragonskin - A type of cured hide/leather made from the skin of a dragon. It last substantially longer than normal leather and is more resistant to heat and fire, but still wears away over time.
- Dragonscale - Dragon scales can be magically smelted and refined into a shimmering, colorful, metal-like substance which is far more resistant to damage than most steels. Unfortunately, it is costly to make, requiring many scales to produce even a small amount of the material.
- Mithril - A favorite material of Dwarves for armor and weapons. It is rare, but relatively easy to smelt and shape. It is also lighter and harder than all forms of steel, and resembles silver in color.
- Ironwood - A type of silver-gray wood native to the Drydals of eastern Dorida, which is as tough and durable as iron, though it cannot hold an edge well enough to be used for weapons.
Culturally Distinctive Armorsa
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