Arms and Armour in their Modern Context

Excerpts from Arms and Armour in their Modern Context by Professor Dukan Thor:

Excerpts 1-5. GlassCrete

‘It is here that I must make reference to the unfortunate Professor Finnigan. The outspoken historian claims that this new technology is not modern at all and that it had previously been developed far more effectively by the Old Ones. He should return to the ruins of Des Moines, for the material that our armourers graft, which I grant has superficially similar aspects, will be shown to bear no relation to that which he refers to as ’fibreglass’. The proof is in the very accounts that he gives us of the Old Ones’ use of it: the idea that they built the items he claims from a material so difficult to work with as GlassCrete is unbelievable when it is such a chore for us to build a simple plough.’ – Page 34

‘The manufacturing process of the glass fibres themselves is beyond my ken. There are only two sources, both of which guard their methods. The less charlatan mages provide small quantities (and this is in fact the only reason that I can see why they are permitted to continue their abominable researches) to certain merchants and lords. Meanwhile, those elves who are willing to violate their Emperor’s prohibition on the trading of what is essentially an elven military state secret may obtain large quantities of whiskey for whatever elements they can provide.’ – Page 39

‘The differing mixes of resin are the chief cause of the vast variation in performance of GlassCrete items. All the manufacturers I have spoken to have used rape seed oil as a chief component, but with what to do with it from here, their instructions varied vastly. It was easy to tell which armourers had good mixes however: they were the ones who refused to let me put their instructions in my book!’ – Page 58

‘Despite its advanced nature, GlassCrete is still not perfect. It will not retain its cutting edge, so for that we must add new materials. Bone edges, cast into the main blade, are sometimes used but these are rather poor performing and, in my opinion, it is a waste to put bone shards on a well made GlassCrete blade. It is to other forms of glass that we should turn, specifically super glass, one of our strongest materials, as cutting edge as GlassCrete. Even Professor Finnigan freely admits that he has never seen or read of super glass amongst the Old Ones’ civilization. Here we see the truth of who is really great. We outlast them and we outdo them.’ – Page 72

‘One half of all GlassCrete blades must be thrown away, for they are useless! Of those that remain, in most cases there are defects in one of the many layers that reduces the durability of the weapon. These are the bulk of the products on the market. But one in a thousand blades is an item of unsurpassed genius, worthy of a king, the equal of ten soldiers armed with other weapons. It is at this point that we see GlassCrete as it truly is: the shining, leading edge of a civilization that surpasses any other that has ever existed on this world!’ – Page 80

Excerpts 6-10. Armour Types

‘In modern day Isalfyrne there are five main types of armour in current use. The cheapest and least protective is leather armour. It is easily made and can be tailored to fit very comfortably, providing the highest level of free movement. Another light armour is that made from the hides of certain beasts. Though much more restrictive, hide armour is warm and relatively resistant to damage. These light armours are by far the top sellers, but for warfighting something a bit more resilient is needed – the heavy armours of insert, scale and plate.’ – Page 117

‘Insert armour adds pockets to conventional leather armour into which protective GlassCrete or Chobham ’inserts’ can be stitched. The chest and stomach receive the most protection, with inserts covering most areas, whereas the back only has sections to cover vital organs, so as to save weight. Though the inserts are often damaged during combat, the pockets are easy to unstitch and the inserts replaceable. Insert armour can be made tougher (but also heavier) by increasing the number of pockets.’ – Page 121

‘Scale armour begins with a cloth baselayer. Over this, small scales of rawhide, horn or toughened leather are sewn individually in linked, overlapping rows. The resulting garment has no bulky inserts, allowing more freedom of movement than insert armour. It is also light enough that much more of the body can be protected. Scale armour is a favourite of wealthy soldiers and adventurers but, since each scale must be created individually, its lengthy production time makes it unsuitable for mass manufacture.’ – Page 128

‘Plate armour is the most protective and costly of all. It is made by slowly carving bone (usually sourced from ivory beasts) or carefully bludgeoning hot GlassCrete into shapes that can be worn by men. Production is limited mostly by resource availability, though the low number of armourers with adequate strength and dexterity to shape plate is also partly responsible. Plate armour is only worn by generals, elite soldiers and the Knights of Arcelor. It is so heavy and restrictive that capable wearers are in short supply, and even they must undergo extensive training before using it on the battlefield.’ – Page 134

‘I am proud to say that in the last twenty years Gerelden has had a renaissance in the art of protection. Armourers today are constantly coming up with inventive new ways to increase the fortitude of their wares. I recently learned of a technique where GlassCrete, bone or horn is embedded within two layers of leather to create an upgraded leather armour that has the defensive capabilities of hide without its penalties to movement. Combine such costly innovations with magical enhancement and the war with the Beantanns will soon be over.’ – Page 171

Arms and Armour in their Modern Context

The Whisperer in Darkness Wistark