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Author Topic: Savage Age: Argyrian Empire  (Read 106314 times)
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« on: November 30, 2009, 05:41:44 PM »

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Out of Character

What this is about:

As I have come to view the Savage Age as more of a master setting or a framework that encloses several subsettings, I've chosen to focus on a particular part of the world for the time being. In this way I can hopefully bring some much-needed cohesion and direction to my work. Thus I am starting this thread to compile information on the Argyrian Empire. It is large and complex enough to effectively work as a full-fledged setting on it's own, so it makes for a good choice to focus on.

In developing Argyrian culture I have taken copious inspiration from the mythologies and history of ancient Mediterranean peoples: Greeks, Romans, Phoenicians, Etruscans etc. Other significant sources of influence are found in sword & sorcery fiction, adventure movies and TV series (notably the HBO/BBC production "Rome").
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« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2009, 05:42:44 PM »

Primer to the Argyrian Empire

In Character

"The great empire of the Sons of Argyros is an empire many times fallen. No matter how devastatingly should it crumble, it always seems to appear anew... like a persistent plague."
- Kebrios of Erytania

In the far and half-forgotten past, when Mankind was young and the very stars shone brighter on the face of the eternal sky, the sun-baked shores of the Helikian Sea witnessed the birth of a race of heroes and thinkers and artists, a race with the very essence of thunder instilled in it's spirits - that unquenchable drive to conquer and dominate, to build and prosper. This is the race of Man known as the Argyrians, whose Empire has throughout ages been famed for it's fabulous wealth and it's many delights and wonders, and infamed for it's corruption, decadence, and brutal tyranny. Though they have been brought low by many a foe (rather often by themselves), never have the Sons of Argyros lost their determination. Time and again their Empire has gone down in flames, only to rise up like a phoenix from the fires of history, to stand tall like a towering behemoth amidst the kingdoms of Man.

Ancient Civilization
Proud and confident, the Argyrians are bearers of an old and sophisticated culture steeped in a thousand years of tradition. Through centuries of refinement they have mastered such arts as music, poetry, architecture, theatre, gardening, sculpture and philosophy. They have achieved outstanding feats of engineering, erected cyclopean monuments of bronze and stone, and established a complex civic bureaucracy to pacify their subjects.


Colossal Cities
Argyrian cities are old and imposing, standing strong and fast as monuments to careful planning and skilled construction. Yet they are affected by the rotting touch of venerable decay - that subtle weight of countless cycles which is wont to slowly crumble all the works of Man.

The cities are filled with many wonders and delights, from lavish palaces of polished marble with their lush gardens and ornate pavillions, to the enormous colonnades of stately public buildings, and opulent temples roofed with gilded domes. Streets are paved with ground stones, hiding underneath them a network of vaulted sewage tunnels which drain away filth and rainwater, while aqueducts course through the surface providing fresh water to the citizenry via public fountains. On the other side of the coin one finds the overcrowded slums and ghettoes, where multitudes of the poor live crammed in many-storied tenement buildings of questionable construction; miserable shanties riddled with crime and discord, neglected by corrupt bureaucrats.

Despite their faults, cities are the very heart and soul of Argyrian culture, the places that gather the people and businesses, places where all the important events and political machinations take place. They are places teeming with life and activity: from bustling markets filled with the cacophony of incessant haggling and the fragrant odours of perfumes and spices, to crowded avenues lined with myriad shops and wine-houses, and great open plazas adorned with statues and monuments that overlook the eloquent speeches of philosophers and demagogues.

Wild Frontiers
Though life in a city may be dangerous, their stone-faced walls nevertheless offer protection from the greater perils of the outside world. Beyond the city limits lies rustic farmland and pastures, and beyond them the untamed wilderness. Where the Emperor's law does not reach, all manner of dangerous beasts, marauding brigands and savage tribes are still free to roam. Past the Empire's borders are found foreign kingdoms and barbarians - peoples yet to be properly subjugated.

While the cradle of Argyrian civilization is found within cities, it is on the cruel and unforgiving frontier that the strength of that civilization is frequently put to the test. Whether the Empire will triumph over it's foes and extend the Emperor's law ever further or falter before the onslaught of the barbaric foreigners, is often decided far from the comfort and luxuries of the cities. The cold and rugged highlands of the North, the sun-scorched deserts of the South, the wicked and ancient mountains of the East, and the dreaded uncharted waters of the West have all known the steel and blood of the Sons of Argyros, as the Empire's armies have marched and warfleets sailed to push the borders out to all directions. The frontiers are where great heroes are made, whether through fame and fortune or a tragic end, whose names will be remembered in songs and legend long after their passing away.


Political Intrigue
The world of Argyrian politics is a world of intrigue, abound with paranoia, poison and treachery. Noble houses and mercantile collegiums control the lucrative trade that generates the wealth of the Empire. These factions are perpetually engaged in intricate games of subterfuge and shifting alliances, vying for ever more power. Secretive cabals and occult societies silently steer events to serve their enigmatic goals, while corrupt judges turn the blind eye to illicit operations of organized crime, closely tied to prominent aristocratic families. Above all this the Emperor reigns as an absolute tyrant, content to let his subjects dabble in these lesser plots, while he busies himself with the more essential machinations of high politics: The grand game of thrones where kingdoms rise and fall, and mighty heroes and proud noblemen are but pieces on a chessboard. In Argyria, hardly anyone can rise to an important position without owing allegiance to anyone and working for the benefit of some faction or another - knowingly or not.


Trade and Exploration
Argyrians are very accomplished merchants and seafarers. Their ships are a familiar sight in ports of distant and exotic lands, their cargo-holds laden with precious metals and jewels, pearls, silks, sandalwood, spices, ivory and incense. Armed with their knowledge of astronomy and navigation by stars, their well-tuned water clocks and mechanical instruments, Argyrians have become capable of exploring and charting coastal waters and chains of islands far from the shores of their homelands. Although the open sea remains a frightening and impassable obstacle, maritime trade is nevertheless flourishing, promising untold riches to the captains and crews brave enough to face the perils of piracy, storms and dread monstrosities which lurk in the lightless depths.

Overland trade routes, though less lucrative, have also been long tread under Argyrian sandals. Caravans haul goods from town to town, connecting ports between seas and reaching areas deeper inland where ships cannot moor. They dare ancient forests, parched deserts and desolate mountain passes on their journeys. Bandits are the bane of the caravaneer, to the point of making most overland routes more dangerous even than the pirate-infested waters. The Empire makes a point of patrolling it's major roads, providing way-stations and watchtowers to protect travelers, but these measures provide only partial relief.

Interests of politics and commerce encourage ever more daring expeditions to open faster trade routes and discover heretofore unknown lands. Such a climate provides excellent opportunities for aspiring heroes - though these may very easily turn into good opportunities to die a gruesome death.

Athletics and Games
Though patrons of arts and philosophy, Argyrians have not ignored pursuits of the body in their appreciation of the pursuits of the mind. Athletics is considered an essential part of a proper life and included in the education of every aristocrat. Strength and skill of young men is honed in gymnasiums, where traditional forms of athletics - often intimately tied to the martial training of warriors - are passed from each generation to the next. Athletic games, which are considered religious festivals, are held in major cities on regular basis. They gather ambitious athletes from the region with the promise of honour and Glory (for there are no material prizes for the victors), though some will inevitably suffer the shame and dishonour of failure.

By far the most popular form of competition is that of chariot racing. More than just a seasonal sport, the races have become common entertainment that appeals to the masses of ordinary citizens, though it's popularity is quite universal, extending up to the highest tiers of society. Chariot races take place on lofty circuits known as hippodromes, found in every major city. They are hosted several times every year, sponsored by prominent aristocrats. The races are grandiose spectacles where brave drivers make laps around the sand-covered tracks on ornate chariots, defiant of the danger of terrible death or injury which often result from the collisions and accidents, a commonplace phenomenon in these events.

Note

There can be no better way to communicate the intended feel of Argyrian chariot races than refering to the chariot sequence from Ben-Hur. Besides capturing almost perfectly the aesthetic and athmosphere I'm after, it is also one of the most awesome cinematic action scenes ever filmed.


Martial Heroes
Argyrians would never have become such a feared and influential people without possessing the power to enforce their will upon others. In the cruel world of Savage Age, wealth and civilization are fleeting things, like delicate flowers in the midst of a raging fire, and can only be preserved through the strength of steel and vigilance. A very essential feature of Argyrian culture is the concept of a Hero, an exemplary model of a warrior.

A hero can take many forms, but always possesses certain defining qualities. Of these the foremost is martial prowess; the skill and ability to make battle, and the necessary will and intelligence to face the hardest of challenges. Heroes need not always succeed or survive. Indeed, great many are the famed songs and theatrical plays which recite the tragic stories of fallen heroes. Though they may seek fortune and power, Glory remains the only true measure of heroes' worth - for it alone transcends death, immortalizing the hero's name. Those who seek long and comfortable lives at the cost of Glory are doomed to be forgotten, while those who are willing to sacrifice ease and longevity to achieve greater Glory will be remembered forever.

To be considered a hero a warrior ought to be highly skilled, accomplished, persevering and dignified. But not morally upright. Heroes are not a force of "good" (not that such a concept even holds much of a relevance in Argyrian philosophy). They can be self-serving, ambitious, greedy and cruel. A hero is just as likely to lead the sacking and burning of a town as one is to defend it against such an attack.

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« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2009, 05:44:44 PM »

Out of Character

Feel free to reply to this thread with any feedback, comments or questions you may have!
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« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2009, 09:18:20 PM »

Well laid out, BTW.

I am enjoying reading this.  I think (and comprehend) your idea of using SAvage Age as a MAster setting, within which you can create many sub systems.

What is the relationship with other empirs and civilizations?  How do the Argyrian's compare?  Greece had her Persia, and before that Troy, the Romans their CArthage, what ar the rivals for this crew?
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« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2009, 06:24:05 AM »

LordVreeg


What is the relationship with other empirs and civilizations?  How do the Argyrian's compare?  Greece had her Persia, and before that Troy, the Romans their CArthage, what ar the rivals for this crew?


In the "present" age, Argyrians are springing back from their latest downfall and are, so it appears, on the verge of a new wave of aggressive expansionism. They currently have no direct neighbours that could rival them in power, which is prompting their foes to look for alliances, whereas Argyrian diplomacy focus on countering this reaction. Among their traditional enemies are the Praeconians (name might be changing) with whom they have fought many hard wars, the South-Eastern kingdom of Erytania, which in past times has been part of the Empire but is quite a powerful state, and the warlike Minarians.

Major naval wars have been fought in the past with the mighty Daliristan to the West, but that land is too far away to be relevant for the time being, and is in a state of chaos after being invaded by nomadic tribes from the Endless Plains.

There are at least two other empires in the world currently that are larger and stronger than the Argyrians, but both are far too distant to be direct rivals.
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« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2009, 01:55:54 PM »

Bathing

Bathing is a very important part of Argyrian culture. It is much more than just a means of improving one's hygiene and cleanliness; it is a time to meet with old friends and make new acquiantices, to relax and socialize. Proper bathing isn't simply jumping into a pool or tub and scrubbing hastily. One must take time to observe and appreciate the serene atmosphere and aesthetic of a pleasant bath, and follow etiquette to show respect to one's peers. How people conduct themselves at bathing is considered an important measure of their civilization.

Volcanic Springs

Argyrians love bathing in springs. Natural springs, particularly those heated by volcanic activity, are believed to be magical places wherein dwell benevolent nature-spirits. Bathing in such springs is thought to have invigorating and curative effects. Some of the more famous springs have come to attract so many people from near and far that flourishing spa-towns have sprung about them. The leisurely upper classes of society often head to these springs when they feel the need to escape the hectic life in cities.

Bathhouses

When lacking the opportunity to slip into a natural spring, an Argyrian will turn to the next best thing available: public bathhouses, known as thermae. Such places are found in every town and city in Argyrian lands, and are accessible to every free citizen. Men, women and eunuchs do not bathe together; they may only visit the bathhouses at times designated for their gender.

Commonly these baths contain three types of pools: for cool, mild and hot water. Access to the bathing pools is free of charge, as the places are run by public funds, but other services usually cost some money. Thermae can be quite large and sophisticated, where enough economic support is available. Small towns lacking wealthy patrons tend to have only modest baths, while the burgeoning metropoleis can have multiple large bathhouses of elaborate construction. The greatest of baths have been sponsored by Emperors themselves and are architectural marvels, built of veined marble and decorated with bas-reliefs, mosaics and frescoes, with sculptures and statues placed in corners and niches.

Water is constantly fed into the bathhouses from public supply systems, heated with furnaces before being directed into the bathing pools, and finally drained into the sewer network. The water flows nonstop through the baths in this manner, keeping them fresh and preventing the accumulation of filth. The most advanced thermae have expertly engineered hidden pipes coursing through the walls and floors so that the structures remain pleasantly warm to the touch even through the coldest months of winter. Water can be made to stream out of the mouths of statues leaning by the pools, providing the bathers with luxurious showers.

Besides actual bathing chambers, thermae often include other facilities such as gymnasiums, heated sweating rooms, enclosed fields for outdoors athletics, massage rooms, libraries and reading rooms. The bathers can dress and undress in changing rooms, where they leave their belongings under the watch of a slave. Some bathhouses also host prostitution, which is conducted in the privacy of backrooms, although it isn't uncommon to see harlots making rounds through the baths to attract customers.

Out of Character

Many scenes of social interaction will take place in the baths. Politics and business matters are often discussed whilst bathing and being massaged, leading to good opportunities for eavesdropping. Thieves can get there hands on some great loot if they manage to distract the slaves guarding their rich masters' belongings. A quiet hour at the baths devoid of witnesses could provide opportunities for assassins to frame a "natural" death of a VIP.
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« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2009, 01:54:47 PM »

Transportation and Communications


Maritime

Common forms of maritime transport are boats, sailing ships and galleys. These vessels are rigged either with triangular lateen sails, or with a combination of lateen and square-rigged sails. Civilian boats and ships favour sails over oars, but merchant galleys are still common in areas where the winds are unpredictable.

Urban

Most cities within the Empire have paved streets, but place restrictions on their use: Only men of noble status are allowed to ride on the streets (with exception to mounted messengers, and soldiers during parades), and the transportation of heavy loads is only allowed to take place between a city gate (or harbour) and the nearest warehouse block. Animal-pulled carts can only traffic the streets during certain hours of the day, and caravans of pack animals must keep to a special caravan district.

The majority of citizens go about their business on foot. Most wear sandals, but the poorest must make do barefooted. The aristocracy displays it's lofty station by riding a horse, driving an ornate chariot, or being carried in an opulent palanquin by slaves.

Overland

People travel overland by walking, riding, or being pulled on a wheeled vehicle. Common mounts are horses (for the rich) and asses (for citizens wealthy enough to own one). Nobles may drive chariots. Trade goods and other materials are transported either on the backs of pack animals such as asses and mules (and in southerly regions, camels), or on carts pulled by heavy draft animals such as oxen or mules.

Navigable rivers provide alternative methods of transportation. Boats, barges and rafts can carry passengers and cargo with ease, though they can only take you to other places along the river.

Roads and Bridges

The Empire actively maintains an extensive road network. The most important routes are of rather good quality: elevated from the ground level and paved with stone tiles. Depending on their importance to the state, roads are built and maintained either by the central government or by regional administration, and conform (at least in theory) to minimum standards enforced by Imperial edicts. These roads have milestones at regular intervals to inform travelers of their location. The rest of the road network consists of dirt paths and some paved roads of lower quality, built and maintained at the expense and initiative of the local populace.

Where roads must cross rivers, they either do so at shallow fords, or have a bridge built across the obstacle. The quality of the bridge usually matches the quality of the road; the better-made bridges are wide, endurable and rest on strong masonry arches erected on stone piers.

As with most other expensive and complex infrastructure, many roads have tended to fall in disrepair when ever the Empire has been experiencing periods of decline, only to be rebuilt once again during times of prosperity.

Roadside Housing

There are buildings along the roads that allow people to stop and spend the night under a roof, sheltered from the elements and protected from wild animals and bandits. The most common of these are simple huts, providing small rooms for travelers and perhaps a fencing or a shed for their animals. Larger and more luxurious establishments exist, often containing a cozy hostel, a full-fledged taberna, stables and a cartwright's shop.

Imperial Messenger Service

There is no postal service in the modern sense of the word to be found anywhere in Savage Age, but some of the more advanced civilizations have made attempts to bring some order and efficiency into communications. The Imperial Messenger Service is one such attempt. One of the most expensive and burdensome creations of Argyrian bureaucracy, it is nevertheless a vital tool for maintaining a centralized state that spans over such large stretches of land and water.

The Messenger Service is a vast network of way stations established along the major roads connecting cities, each offering a secure resting place, free provisions and fresh horses for the mounted couriers who deliver scrolls and minor packages. Due to the ability to switch to a fresh horse at necessary intervals, the couriers are capable of moving at remarkable speeds. It is common for them to travel some 35 Argyrian Leagues (about 79 kilometers, or 50 miles) per day, although critical messages can be delivered much faster. Letters of less critical nature are transported on carts, and delivered much slower. The network also serves the needs of diplomats and other officials traveling as part of their work.

The service was created to enable fast and reliable transportation of information between the central and regional governments, and generals commanding armies on the field. It is meant to be used only for official communications; hence only high-ranking bureaucrats and officers have the privilege of dispatching couriers. They frequently abuse the system to relay private letters, items and passengers.

Civilian Post

Civilians cannot use the Imperial Messenger Service, but wealthy nobles have special runner-slaves to deliver letters as needed. Ordinary citizens can pay traveling merchants to deliver messages (written or oral), with the usual arrangement being that the receiver is responsible for covering half the cost.
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« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2009, 10:47:16 AM »

Weapons

The following is a list of weapons used by Argyrian warriors. There is significant regional variation in the commonness and availability of these weapons. Even the actual style of the equipment may vary between different parts of the Empire.



Dory (Spear)

The basic one-handed infantry spear is by far the most common primary weapon among Argyrian soldiers. A Dory has a flat sharp-edged spearhead and a stout buttspike attached on the ends of some 2½-3 meters of shaft.

Contos (Two-Handed Lance)

The weapon primarily employed in a mounted charge. The Contos is widely popular among warriors of nomadic tribes, and has been copied by virtually all the peoples that live within a raiding distance from the Endless Plains. It is one of the most powerful weapons invented by Man, capable of penetrating through the bodies of multiple armoured warriors in a single thrust, pinning them together. The great length (4-5 meters) of the weapon and the superior accuracy of attacks enabled by the two-handed grip place Contos-armed horsemen at an advantage over one-handed lancers.

Xyston (One-Handed Lance)

An older type of lance used with one-handed grip. Largely superseded by the Contos; used primarily by poorer horsemen who need the additional protection of a shield to make up for inadequate armour.

Xiphos (Sword)

A short-bladed sword, useful in a pitched close quarters melee but disadvantaged against longer weapons in other situations.

Spathion (Arming Sword)

The common arming sword, 85-95 cm in length. Double-edged and one-handed, equally capable at delivering cuts and thrusts. Spathions used by horsemen have slightly longer blades than those used by footmen.

Stileto (Dagger)

The basic dagger has an overall length of 25-30 cm. Relegated to a status of secondary or tertiary weapon, but carried by practically every warrior.

Pelecus (Axe)

Eurian axes meant to be used as weapons are balanced for one-handed use. They have long and narrow axe-heads that penetrate armour well.

Paramerion (Sabre)

The sabre was brought to Euria by nomadic tribes some 200 years ago. It has since been adopted by the native peoples of the region, primarily by mounted warriors. Paramerions have gently curving blades, with some length of false edge on the back of the tip to enable effective thrusts with the weapon, although like all sabres they are primarily cutting swords.

Ropalon (Mace)

The common mace with a wooden handle and an iron head, measuring 60-80 cm overall.

Bardoukion (Flanged Mace)

The Bardoukion is a heavy flanged mace primarily used by horsemen. The triangular flanges are arranged in 6 or 8 rows protruding radially from the cylindrical metal head.

Rhomphaia (Scythe-Bladed Sword)

The concave-curved two-handed sword of the Acherians and the Minarians. This weapon is famed for it's ability to cut through weaker armours and cleave off limbs with frightening ease. The Rhomphaia is very long for a sword, it's 60-80 cm long blade mounted on 50 cm of handle making it almost polearm-like. It requires both hands to wield effectively.

Acontion (Javelin)

A 1.8-2 meter long spear designed for throwing.

Plumbata (Dart)

The Plumbata is a weighted military dart, featuring a heavy barbed spearhead and flights.

Toxon (Bow)

A variety of bows are used throughout the Empire. They can be divided in three types by their construction:
    * Simple
Self-Bows are peasantly weapons, primarily used for hunting and protecting livestock from predators. Their cheap construction costs and relative ease of use make them a feasible choise for poor mercenaries, conscripts and the like. Their short range and lack of armour-piercing power make them somewhat unuseful as weapons of war, however.
* Composite Bows of the early, symmetric form are the favoured weapon of professional archers. Assembled from components of wood, bone and sinew held together with fish glue, composite bows require plenty of time, specialized materials and skilled craftmanship to construct. They are truly powerful weapons with high draw weights, often requiring considerable strength to use.
* The latest and most powerful design on the market is the Asymmetric Composite Bow, a common weapon on the Endless Plains but only recently introduced to Argyrians. The upper limb of the bow is made longer than the lower one, increasing the power of the bow while keeping it practical for use on horseback.
[/list]
Other Weapons

There are of course more unusual weapons than the ones described above. Clubs, staves and various farm implements might be wielded by slaves, peasants, muggers and the like. Slings, though cheap and potentially powerful, are difficult to use. Slingers are never formally trained warriors, but people (such as shepherds) that learned to use the weapon on their own.

There are no crossbows, halberds, pikes, longswords or flails (other than the agricultural tool) found in this region.
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« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2009, 02:00:57 PM »

I don't want to be a dick (even though this is a dick move), but your rhomphaia is actually a falx. rhomphaias are straight or ever-so-slightly curved.

Otherwise nice weapons selection. I also thought that arms and weapons and armor and junk got over looked in settings and everyone ended having the same DnD roster. very nice *thumbs up* Any chance of an armor roster?

also, will each weapons pertain to the Savage Age variant of the general culture types they were used in historically? (Spatha = Rome/Med, rhomphaias - Balkan barbarians, etc.) or will they be wide spread?
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« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2009, 04:43:25 PM »

Leetz


I don't want to be a dick (even though this is a dick move), but your rhomphaia is actually a falx. rhomphaias are straight or ever-so-slightly curved.

I wanted to have only one forward-curved sword in the selection, so I pretty much rolled these two into one. I imagine the actual degree of curvature of Savage Age rhomphaias to be varying a lot - the illustration shows just one possible instance of the weapon.

Leetz

Otherwise nice weapons selection. I also thought that arms and weapons and armor and junk got over looked in settings and everyone ended having the same DnD roster. very nice *thumbs up* Any chance of an armor roster?

Thanks! I'm hoping to get armours set up next, followed by some warrior archetypes.

Leetz

also, will each weapons pertain to the Savage Age variant of the general culture types they were used in historically? (Spatha = Rome/Med, rhomphaias - Balkan barbarians, etc.) or will they be wide spread?

While Savage Age cultures take a lot of influence from historical cultures, there is some deliberate mixing and matching, as well as anachronisms. Not to mention cultural exchanges between neighbouring kingdoms. Most of the weapons presented here will be found (not necessarily common) throughout the Eurian region.

I also decided to leave out many weapons (no pilums and kopises/falcatas, for example) that would have been included if I were following real history closer.
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« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2009, 06:19:11 PM »

Armour and Shields


Shields
Shields are widespread and count among the most important pieces of equipment for non-elite warriors. Only those who can afford good bodyarmour or whose role in the battlefield keeps them out of harm's way can expect to survive long without a shield.

Shield designs vary a good deal, but most Argyrian shields can be placed in one of four classes:
  • The Clipeus, a small round shield that usually features a metal boss.
  • The Aspis, a large round shield.
  • The Thureos, an oval-shaped shield of medium to long size, features a metal boss and a vertical spine.
  • The Pelte, a light crescent-shaped shield.

Bodyarmour
Argyrian bodyarmour either takes the form of a cuirass, or closely imitates it. A cuirass covers the torso from the waist to the chest and shoulders. This type of armour is often completed by the addition of pteryges, strips of fabric or leather (possibly reinforced with small plates of metal) hanging from the bottom rim to protect the hips and thighs. Shorter pteryges may also be hung from the shoulders to protect the upper arms.

Linen Cuirass
The lightest type of armour available, the linen cuirass is made from several layers of linen glued together, shaped like a tube to wrap around the wearer's torso and featuring flaps that bend over the shoulders. Linen provides good protection against cutting weapons but is much weaker at stopping spear thrusts and arrows.

Leather Cuirass
An alternative to linen, constructed in similar form but instead of layers of linen, hard-boiled leather is used. Leather armour is primarily found in northerly regions of the Empire; linen is prevalent in the south.

Scale Cuirass
Scale armouring consists of small pieces of bronze or iron sewn on a fabric backing (often a thin layering of linen). This is the easiest and cheapest way of constructing metal armours. A scale cuirass offers fairly good protection against both cuts and most thrusts, but due to the way the scales are attached to the backing it has a major vulnerability: An upward-angled thrust, such as might be delivered with a short sword or a dagger, can slide between the scales and puncture the armour with ease.

Maille Shirt
Maille is a mesh of tiny iron rings, usually connected together in a 4-in-1 pattern. Due to the flexibility of the mesh, many kinds of armour can be constructed from it. The most typical form found in Argyrian lands is the Maille Shirt, resembling a short-sleeved tunic that extends down to the thighs. A padded cloth is worn under it to protect the wearer from direct contact with the rings. An extra layer of maille is usually added to protect the shoulders, giving the armour an appearance similar to the cuirasses.

Maille resists both cuts and thrusts well, but it's flexibility makes it less useful against bludgeoning than the more rigid armours. It is also the worst kind of armour in terms of weight vs effectiveness: it's mass is great and poorly distributed, hanging mostly on the wearer's shoulders.

Maille can be used as a component in improving other kinds of armours. It's flexibility makes it ideal for covering openings in joints.

Lamellar Cuirass
Lamellar is the best type of armour available in the world. It consists of small plates of metal known as lames, similar to the scales of a scale armour. Instead of being sewn to a backing like scales are, the lames are riveted directly to each other. Argyrians commonly assemble lamellar into the common cuirass form, with extra shoulder guards. Some lamellar armours also include additional thigh protectors to guard against attacks from the sides; these of course are most practical to a mounted warrior. A layer of padded cloth is worn under the cuirass.

Arm and Leg Armouring
Since the cuirass mostly covers the torso, separate pieces of armour are needed to protect other bodyparts.

Greaves
Greaves are leg-protectors made from bronze or steel. They wrap tightly around the legs, crafted in their shape, and can be quite ornate. On the front side they extend upwards to cover the knees.

Laminated Cheires
The Cheires consists of overlapping strips of bent metal, extending from the shoulder down the outer side of the arm, all the way to the wrist. It is typically used in combination with lamellar cuirass, especially in the context of heavy cavalry. The inside of the arm can be covered with maille for greater protection.

Bracers
Bracers are tube-shaped pieces of armour that cover the upper arm from wrist to elbow. They can be made from leather or metal. Archers often use bracers to protect their bow-arms against snapping of the bow string.

Helmets
Argyrian helmets are either made from a single piece of metal or assembled together from multiple pieces. They can be conical or bowl-shaped, depending on where they were crafted. Most include attached cheekguards and some kind of neck protection; typically an aventail of felt or maille. They never include nasal guards or visors. Most helmets are open-faced, but the more heavily armoured warriors might cover their faces with either a "veil" of maille or a solid mask of metal. Such battle-masks can be highly ornate, shaped in a resemblance of a stylized human face. Many Argyrian helmets can be decorated with plumes and horsehair crests.

What is not available
Kite shields, visored or "full" helmets, and plate armour of any kind are not found in Argyria.

« Last Edit: September 23, 2011, 12:39:04 PM by Ghostman » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2009, 08:37:43 PM »

very nice. I don't want to steal your thunder here, but that's what I'm aiming for (kinda-ish) for Arga. (especially the shields)

but seriously, visuals are key to a setting, and yours work great. I still have to read a bit more into savage age, but if i have one criticism, it would be it's over-adherence to history. a little strangeness would be interesting to see

but once again, great armor/arms. I especially like the emblems on the shields.
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« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2009, 11:59:45 PM »

Do do those drawing yourself? Their very good.
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« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2009, 07:40:09 AM »

Leetz


very nice. I don't want to steal your thunder here, but that's what I'm aiming for (kinda-ish) for Arga. (especially the shields)

That would be expected, since we're both drawing inspiration from same sources. I don't see any problem with this though. There's no shortage of settings that conform to a medievalesque aesthetic, and they manage to coexist just fine.

Leetz


but seriously, visuals are key to a setting, and yours work great. I still have to read a bit more into savage age, but if i have one criticism, it would be it's over-adherence to history. a little strangeness would be interesting to see

I agree that this is a weak point. I'm hesitant to mix strong elements of strangeness into the setting out of fear that it might break the feel I'm aiming for. It's also partly because SA is a "low fantasy" world where magic and other supernatural stuff is supposed to be limited.

Survivorman


Do do those drawing yourself? Their very good.

Thank you! I draw using a tablet, taking advantage of a rather large collection of reference material. The snake on the pelte shield, for example, is based on the animated graffiti in the intro of the 'Rome' TV series.
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« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2009, 09:03:05 AM »

"I agree that this is a weak point. I'm hesitant to mix strong elements of strangeness into the setting out of fear that it might break the feel I'm aiming for. It's also partly because SA is a "low fantasy" world where magic and other supernatural stuff is supposed to be limited."

There are still lots of things to take inspiritation from that have little to no magic. Conan the Barbarian is an obvious source that I'm sure you've looked into. But all manner of strange cults, traditions, organizations, and other stuff have existed in our real history that seem like they were made up. Romans bathing in cattle blood is one thing that comes to mind (as you menitoned Rome earlier. A governing council of eunichs, people that wear iron maskes seared to the faces, or fervent beleif in a god-emporer all can happen without a drop of magic.

you could also blur the line between magic and belief in the SA, make the reader wonder if it is actully magic, or just strange superstition.
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