Yavmir is an ongoing project, where Michael and Radiostorm work together to build a slavic-themed fantasy setting. More information can be found at the WoR Wiki.
At the suggestion of many folks on the Paizo boards, I thought I would take some time to research a few traditionally Slavic armor-types for the world of Yavmir. Some of this equipment may be familiar to those who have played D&D and its variants, but I have tried my best to give them a unique twist by integrating them into the lore of the world.
During the Radiant Age of Yavmir, iron was plentiful and metal armour was supplied to nearly every rank of solider in the armies of man. Although plate mail was a rare sight (usually reserved for higher ranking generals), knights and infantry were equipped with high quality variations of chain, scale, and splint mail. Some commonly used armour-types included:
- Kalantar: Square or circular plates of steel embedded in chain mail, positioned to provide additional protection to the front of the body. Highly regarded for its versatility and stopping power.
- Kol’chuga: A variation on chain mail, made with carefully arranged rows of metal rings. Heavy rings protected vital areas while lighter ones were used in areas that were less exposed (such as the left arm, which was presumably hidden behind a shield).
- Mirror Armour: A type of heavy armour consisting of large metal plates connected by straps, and usually coated with polished gold or bronze. Named for its arrow stopping prowess, as well as the common belief that the gleaming center plate could repel supernatural forces.
In the Mortal Age, low iron supplies have forced a much less metal-centric approach to armour crafting. Armies rarely equip their soldiers with full metal armour due to the prohibitive costs and dwindling reserves. Instead, soldiers rely on a patchwork assortment of leather, cloth, and metal to protect themselves on the battlefield.
- Kuyak: Similar to Kalantar, but instead of a chain backing metal plates are instead mounted onto thick leather or canvas shirts. Warriors will often pick metal plates off their fallen adversaries after a battle, affixing them to their own armour to increases its protective power.
- Quilted Armour: Perhaps the most common protection for militias and town guards, quilted armour is a simple padded defensive jacket. Although easily penetrated with sword and arrow, quilted armour is cheap to produce and carries the additional bonus of being functional cold-weather gear.
- Shields: Although used throughout the history of Yavmir, shields – particularly metal ones – are of great value in the current age. With little proper armour to protect the body, shields are often the first and only defense for a front line soldier. Usually almond or circular in shape, shields usually carry the mark of a soldier’s nation or a symbol of strength such as the Kreutzet or Simargl.