Armor and weapons of the Namru
A brief introduction to the Namru:
Namru are the military class of the Seris Empire their name litterally means "ready to hit" (Nam or in old Seris Naam, means "ready", Ru means "to hit", its an alusion to his role as fast hitting horse archers.
They first appeared in the written sources in the 2nd century BP, when they formed the elite cavalry units of the kingdom, speciallized in horse archery and fighting against the nomads to the East. Although they couldn't avoid the invasion and occupation of half of the country after 148 BP, it seems that they grew in numbers and played an important role defeating the nomads of the Mervadid Dynasty, thus putting an end to the so called "Two Dynasties Era". With the ascension of the Sittakid Dynasty to the Seris throne in 4 AP, the Namru gained a lot of prominence and became a vital part of the Seris Imperial Armies in the centuries to come, for example during emperor Asurlan I reign and his campaigns against the Desert peoples and Sun Elves in the 3rd century AP or during the Seris-Ikarian war a century later.
As their power and influence rose and the central goverment in Sakouramish became weaker and weaker, the Namru not also began transforming into the most powerfull social class in Seria, but also, the wealthiest of the Namru became, first province governors and then lords of this very same provinces, transforming the country into a de facto feudal state.
Evolution of the armor and weapons
At the time of their first appearance the Namru seem to haven't worn very elaborate armors, some went to battle with reinforced leather armor or bronze armors reminescent of those on the bronze age. As time passed by and technology evolved the Namru started to wore more sofisticated armours. With the introduction of iron due to their contact with the Ikarians on the continent of Teria and other neighbouring peoples the Seris invented the iron lamellar armour, capable to defend the warriors against both arrows and sword cuts. From the 1st century AP onwards this armor became the most popular among cavalrymen. During the first three centuries AP this armor was quite large, and it was like a jacket protecting the warrior almost to their feets, its drawbacks where its weight and the lack of flexibility but it offered great protection against the weapons of the enemies that the Seris have to face, specially against the nomads.
After the 5th century AP plate armor became shorter and thus,lighter , reaching to the knees of the soldier, shoulder and arm protection decreased in favour of movility. It is around this time when we see Namru warriors fighting on foot and becoming extraordinary swordmen. And thus, with these changes, the Namru armor as we know it today was born.
About the weapons; for half a milennia the main weapons of the Namru were the spear and the bow, essencial for fighting the eastern nomads . They could use a long spear, or a two handed light spear, called Niyara in the seris language, that could be used in close combat against multiple opponents if handled correctly. Their bow was a composite bow a little bigger than the common composite bows used by the nomads for extra fire power and armor penetration. In case the Namru lost his spear he could use a short blade called Parfasi (meaning "little one" in seris). It is not clear that their wore any kind of shield at all, but some Blatian authors tell us about some Namru warriors fighting the ikarian cavalry with two handed spear and a little shield, which seems to have been adopted by the ikarian cavalry.
After the 5th century the Namru developed a new sword called Nagaia, it was a single bladed sword ideal for fighting from a horse and to strike also infantrymen. It was customary after this century for the Namru to be armed also with the Nagaia and a saber,mace or warhammer. The Nagaia became the main choice of weapon for the Namru fighting on foot.
Namru on foot, by Hero forge
Process of manufacturing and main parts of the armor and weapons
We shall start from top to bottom, first there is the helmet, which, as i mentioned, can be made also of iron plates or can have a connical shape. Many helmets also tend to have plates on the back to protect the neck, but this can also be replaced by chainmail .
The second part of the armor is the cuirass. It is also made of lacquered iron plates that are sewn to a leather jacket without sleeves one file after the other until the entire jacket is covered. Pieces for shoulder protection can be added to the armor and are elaborated the same way and using the same lacquered iron.
In contrast with other warriors across Yeia, like the Oronai Phalangites or the Blatian legionaries, the armour and weapons of the Namru are not produced in state armories. Instead they are produced locally by smiths in cities and villages where the Namru live. It is true that before the collapse of the Sittakid Dynasty in 527 AP the armor and weapons of most of the imperial army, including the Namru, were produced by the State, but now this state production disappeared, and only elite regiments of the Imperial armies have equipment produced by the Empire.
Namru warrior from the 5th century AP onwards (He wears a connical shape helmet with a piece of lamellar protection at the back and a phoenix, (one of the symbols of the Seris Empire) at the front of the helmet. Under the armor he wears a long silk tunic with the famous eight pointed star, a symbol of luck also asociated to the king of the gods that is very common among the davidovian peoples. His armor is made of lacquered iron plates, resistant to both arrows and sword cuts. His trousers are made of linen and his boots of leather. He protects his legs with oronai greeves, probably imported from the other side of the Sea. Finally he is armed with a single bladed Nagaia sword whose scabbard is suspended from his belt made of cloth and on his right side he has a quiver with a composite bow in it). Drawing made by meThe fact that their armours are produced locally doesn't mean that they are of inferior quality, on the contrary, seris smiths are very talented and famous across the known world and their swords are renown for their quality.
When an armor is complete it is presented to his owner, if he is satisfyed with the quality and decides to buy it, then its presented at the temple of Mithra, god of war and fire.
As for its sword and spear, while forged, the smith must recite a prayer to the god Mithra and Fillin, god of the artisans and blacksmiths, in order to the blade being forced correctly. Once the costumer agrees, it is also presented at the temple of these two gods.
The bow is also a vital part of the Namru's equipment, the finest are made of Sarillian wood, wood from trees of Seria's southern regions, that is both flexible and robust that allow the Namru to fire a very powerful shot. In fact, this is the type of wood elven bows were made in those territories.
Symbolism: The pride of the Warrior class
There is an old Namru saying that says: " Wear this armor with honor and courage so when it passes to your son he would wear it with dignitiy and pride".Namru armor is passed from father to son, once the Namru dies or becames too old to fight. No other unit inside the Imperial Seris army wears that type of heavy and embelished armor nowadays , yet alone the right to bear arms (only adventurer's guild members are allowed to carry weapons too.). Namru are highly respected by the lower class, as defenders of the realm and its people but also as bringers of justice, as they can use their weapons to execute criminals if needed. Its this status as the supreme warrior class inside the Empire and their way of life that is reflected in their armor .
Some armors and helmets might be decorated with animal figures like bears, eagles, lions... that are considered like totemic animals, others displays a variety of Seris Coat of Arms and others simply show the emblem or the emperor or their feudal lord. To the enemies of the Seris state the very own sight of these men in shinny plate armor inspire both respect and great fear, and many flee the battle (if they have enough time) after seeing a entire regiment of Namru warriors charging upon them. The Nomads to the East called them Sun or Light warriors (because of the light of the sun reflected on them).
There is also another element in the symbolism of the uniform of the Namru, but this time are their swords. Once a sword is fabricated, Namru believe that it contains a fraction of the power of the god of War and the god of fire ( Some sources even claim that through spells Namru swords can generate flames) that helps them fight their enemies. Also according to Seris mythology, once a Namru warrior dies, part of his spirit is kept on their swords, so they can protect their descendants, so loosing a sword is a great disgrace to a Namru, because they had let an enemy "capture members of his family" and according to their code of honor, they must go and try to recover his weapon by all means and it he fails, he should kill himself.
Last but not least, there is also female armor since women that are born into a Namru family are considered Namru too although they don't usually go to battle, only if the situation is desperate and the Empire needs more troops, if not, their main task is to defend their homes. They recieve military training as well as men and are equipped the same way, but they tend to wear a lighter version of the standard armor, usually made of leather and adjusted to suit better to the female body.