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Night Guard Armor

Armor of the Human Empire's Finest

Written by RiverFang

As long as the Human Empire has needed protection from those on the fringes that wished to harm either the rulers or the Empire, so has existed the Night Guard, a well-trained force of men and women that took their duty to their country far more serious than anyone else. So too has existed the somewhat extravagant and recognizable armor that these soldiers have worn since the earliest days of the Empire. The intricately shaped armor of black and a deep blueish-purple is the mantle of the Night Guard, a symbol of their devotion to the Nightbreeze Family and the Empire they rule.   The armor of the Night Guard is seen as one of the most well-known and best crafted armors of the many militaries of the Northern Continent. It is said that few armors are crafted as exquisitely as those of the Human Empire and the Dwarven Kingdom, both armors created by the hands of Master Dwarves. This armor is a labor of the Elder Races, often requiring the work of many to complete to the standard that the Nightbreeze Family and their retainers hold.  

Evolution of the Armor

The armor of the Night Guard has greatly changed throughout history, beginning as simple padded cloth armor during the early years of the Eldritch War and evolving into the well-known armor of today. While the Night Guard has existed for centuries, the history of the armor only reaches back roughly 300 years to the beginning of the Eldritch War.   Armor from circa 10 E.A. consisted of light colored gambeson armor with leather pants, boots, and hood, as well as simple cloth wrappings to protect the hands. The Night Guard at this time were known for carrying longswords or greatswords with a simple longbow kept on the back. Within years of the Eldritch War beginning, this armor was seen as not nearly enough for protection, but would stay around for over five decades.   Armor from circa 75 E.A. consisted of studded leather or raptor hide armor. This armor was darker in color with light accents, a color palette favored by many from past generations of the Nightbreeze Family. The upgraded armor also brought a slight change to the weapons wielded as all Night Guard members strictly carried greatswords and longswords. This armor would stand throughout the end of the Eldritch War and for decades past.   Armor from circa 147 E.A. consisted of partial plate armor with a heavy chest plate and plates on the upper and lower legs. Metal bracers were also common with this armor, while the upper arm was left unarmored. The Night Guard wielded longswords and shortbows with this armor as well. For nearly five decades, this was the common armor for the Night Guard due to the Emperor's love for polished plate armor, but it was not always as effective as many hoped.   Armor from circa 204 E.A. consisted of heavy plate armor that protected the body fully, to include armored greaves and an enclosed helm. Continuing the love of polished plate armor, the armor was highly polished and members of the Night Guard wielded polished weapons in the form of longswords and lances. This armor would be common for nearly a century and is considered the closest in nature to the current armor worn by the Night Guard.   Upon taking the throne, Catherine Nightbreeze and the Grand Duelist set out to renew what had become a somewhat corrupt and disorganized military. The first step was to change the armor that the Night Guard was known for and turn it into something that denoted safety and purpose for those of the Human Empire. The color palette, armor, and the majority of the Night Guard was moved away from what had been reminiscent of the complacency of the past towards recognizable and useful things.   Armor from circa 300 E.A. consists of a variety of heavy armor based upon the level of the Night Guard that a member is a part of. Variations in the armor allow for women to be part of this special unit for the first time in history, while also providing extended protection to the wearer. This is the first set of armor for the Night Guard that is imbued with magic for protection.  

Nightbreeze Insignia
Nightbreeze by RiverFang
The symbol of the Nightbreeze Family and their legacy is often a simple drawing of the Nightbreeze in either black or a blueish-purple color. This insignia can be found on many assets of the Human Empire, to include armor and weapons.

Significance

Armor worn by the Night Guard is made to be easily distinguishable from others wearing armor throughout cities in the Human Empire. First created by the Nightbreeze Family, this armor, and the insignia it bears, have become a staple throughout the Empire. The black armor of the Night Guard has often meant peace and safety in times where none could be found and the men and women that don the armor are often seen as saviors and heroes.  

Insignia

The symbol of the Nightbreeze Family, a flower that bears the same name, can be seen on the helm and the left shoulder of every member of the Night Guard. Etched into the metal using either black or a blueish-purple dye, this insignia serves a greater purpose on the armor than just marking it as an asset of the Human Empire. The insignia is also the key to the enchantments placed upon the armor during its creation.  

Creation

The process of creating this armor is kept rather secret, but it is known throughout the Human Empire and beyond that this armor cannot be created without the aid of a Master Dwarf, an Elf Rune Mage, and a Human Cleric. Only non-humans seen as loyal to the Empire and the Empress can aid in the creation of the armor.
 

Variations

The Night Guard has units and members of various skill levels that serve specific purposes. Each level of the Night Guard wears unique armor, allowing passersby to easily identify those that could aid with certain issues. Some individual pieces of the armor, such as the gauntlets, that do not vary between the levels. All armor is colored using the colors of the Nightbreeze Family, but some sets are more colorful than others.  

Level 1

The Level 1 armor features a simple enclosed helm with a low comb. Large simple pauldrons are common along with accented chest plates. This armor is known for thinner plates and leather to protect the wearer.  

Level 2

The Level 2 armor features a more decorative enclosed helm without a comb. Lower profile pauldrons cover the shoulders and a more defined chest plate provides greater protection. This armor is known for greater protection while still maintaining a great range of movement.  

Level 3

The Level 3 armor features a high comb on top of a partially enclosed helm. A more ornate chest plate and pauldrons mark this level as trained Eldritch Knights. This armor is known for its lighter weight and its ability to handle a variety of spell casting and attacks.  

Level 4

The Level 4 armor features a decorative high comb on top of a more extravagant partially enclosed helm. The pauldrons, chest plate, and lower pieces are more decorative without lacking protection. This armor is known for its greater magical and physical protection.  

Level 5

The Level 5 armor features a more open helm without a comb. The armor overall is more decorative, reminiscent of dragon scales. This armor is only worn by the strongest and most veteran members of the Night Guard that have proven themselves against the likes of Dragons, Trolls, Giants, and other great creatures.
Item type
Armor
Related ethnicities
Owning Organization
Rarity
Rare even in the Human Empire. The armor of the Night Guard is an honor few earn.
Weight
30 - 60 lbs depending on the armor style
Height Limitations
The armor cannot fit anyone below the height of 5'2" or anyone above the height 6'2"

Enchantments

The Night Guard Armor has a variety of enchantments cast upon it by an accomplished Rune Mage, often one who is proficient in Permanent Script. Each level of armor receives different enchantments based upon where and how the armor will most likely be used, but certain members of the Night Guard have been known to have additional enchantments added to their armor based upon their specific uses.   One of the most important enchantments that can be found on all Night Guard armor is its ability to change shape based upon the size of the wearer. All armor created for this group is created in a standard size but is then enchanted to fit all body types and heights within the height limitations of the Night Guard. This allows the armor to fit a wide variety of people, but will also resize in order to safely accommodate woman and provide the correct amount of protection.   Minor protection enchantments are placed upon the armor to keep the wearer from suffering from fatigue, heat stroke, or other maladies of wearing heavy armor for long hours. These protection enchantments are also placed on key locations of the armor that may be seen as weak points, such as the under arms, around the neck, and the backs of the knees, to keep enemies from capitalizing on these points.   The higher levels of the Night Guard require much stronger enchantments, many of which deal with protection from magic. It is not uncommon for Levels 3, 4, and 5 of the Night Guard to have minor resistances to elemental magic on their armor as well as protection from their most frequently used type of magic. Those that use high powered magic may even have gems or other materials added to their armor and enchanted to allow them to store highly damaging magic or a number of healing spells.
 
This armor is the rebirth of the Night Guard. No longer shall the guard be the corrupt military of my forefathers, but it shall be the protectors of the people. This armor, in the colors of my family, shall be the marker of safety and hope in our cities and shall be the symbol of strength that keeps our enemies at bay.
Catherine Nightbreeze


Cover image: Artifacts Cover by Landscape via Artbreeder, created by RiverFang

Comments

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10 May, 2021 22:33

What a great article. Very nice layout and I love what you did with the slider images. It really helps to read the text and then just push the next button to see the evolutions and levels of the armor. You gave it a well thought out backstory and it seems pretty useful as well. I wonder though is their no way that a human can learn the skills that the Dwarves and Elves have for creating the armor? In all very nice read!

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13 May, 2021 12:35

A great article. I love the evolution. Have you considered adding what legionary smiths might be trying to develope in the near future?

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Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
14 May, 2021 10:23

Nice article, I really like how you use the image galleries and it's interesting to see the evolution of the armour :D   "this armor was seen as not nearly enough for protection, but would stay around for over five decades." Is there any reason why it stayed for so long if it was seen as inneficient?   "while the upper armor was left unarmored" you have a typo, you wrote armor instead of arm.   I’m wondering about the weak points of the armour since it's so heavily enchanted. What would be the strategy to attack? Just keep sending attacks and hoping to finally overwhelm the magic?

18 May, 2021 13:09

Super awesome read! I love the leveling. nice work


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20 May, 2021 14:32

Ooo I really love the historical evolution of the armour, and then also the hierarchy evolution of it. The images to illustrate both these concepts work so well! Such a well thought out article, and I love the details about the enchantments too. :)

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
23 May, 2021 23:13

Gosh what a massive piece of work!! This is awesome! I really loved reading the history of the uniform, and having actual visuals to guide me through is really awesome!

Author of Interarcanum and the Shakiraverse
29 May, 2021 06:38

I like the Night Guard Armor. It looks cool, it's functional, and it symbolizes safety and protection. All of this was conveyed very well in the article, and reading it was a pleasure for me. I also like how it's human armor, but they still have to rely on the other races to complete it. This creates interesting dynamics in your world to explore.   Awesome article!


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29 May, 2021 16:31

Clear evolution and background, and slider images are neat. But I am curious how those changes came to be, what circumstances led to each change exactly?

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young   Costume Challenge Entry: As Superpowered troops on an alien planet, the Battle Spears wear a uniform capable of handling all they face
3 Jun, 2021 17:59

I LOVE Your article. The art is great, the details are all interesting and the gallery on the sidebar is cool. I love seeing the slight changes in the armor. It makes me wonder the thought when these changes were made. I especially like the last one. Shiny shiny. The insignia is also super clean and everything just looks so incredible! Well done!

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6 Jun, 2021 00:43

I love this article! Especially the fact that each rank/level has its own costume! Now I think about it, that probably should've been something I did for mine. I'm also in love with the formatting of this article, compact without hurting my eyes. However, I did have to zoom in because I am blind as a bat :'D

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E. Christopher Clark
12 Jun, 2021 16:22

Great use of slider images here, along with well-done detail throughout.

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