Morrowind Codex: Armor

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Librarian Note:

These descriptions were posted on during the time of TES3: Morrowind. You can see an archived version of this page here.

Here are only a few of the various Western and Eastern armor styles popular in Morrowind. The native armors are presented first, in relative order of expense and rarity, and then the Western styles.

Netch Leather
Most outlanders adopt the comfortable and affordable native netch leather armor style when they come to Morrowind. The intrinsic durability and flexibility of netch hide, combined with the elaborate articulation of the Dunmer design and painstaking craftsmanship, make netch armor far superior to the heavy, inelegant leather armor styles of the West.

Made from laminated insect shell glued with organic resins, chitin armor is also superior to any comparable Western light armor designs. Chitin armor gives better protection, but is lighter and more comfortable, than Western light leather and reinforced leather armors. Here, as in most native style, a scarf protects the neck and mouth from blowing sand and ash while campaigning.

Also known as ‘Great House’ armor in Morrowind, bonemold is a medium weight armor affordable only by Dunmer nobles. Each piece is assembled from many pieces of softened shell, molded into shape, then bonded and reinforced with resin glues. The example shown here features a distinctive House Redoran gah-julan (‘great-benefit’) helm with the protective cowl deployed for ash wastes travel.

Indoril armor is the ornate heavy armor style worn by Ordinators, a military order of knights in service of the Tribunal Temple. Gold leaf details the pauldrons, bracers, and helm of this insect-shell laminate armor. So many Ordinators come from House Indoril that the armor style is known as ‘Indoril’ armor, though knights of all Great Houses may serve as Ordinators.

The Dunmer are the masters of light armor design, and the glass armor is the pinnacle of that design. Inspired by traditional High Elven ornate armors, this very expensive armor is studded with native volcanic glass. Remarkably light and flexible, glass armor absorbs and distributes shock better than steel.

The secrets of Dwemer armorcraft are long-forgotten. All examples encountered are thousands of years old, salvaged from ancient Dwemer ruins. Dwemer armor is heavy and cumbersome, but Dwemer craftsmanship and metallurgy are unmatched in any modern metal armor style. Enthusiasts pay fabulous prices for individual pieces, and the few complete sets are in the hands of collectors.

Iron Plate
Western-style iron plate provides good protection, but is so heavy and uncomfortable that despite its modest cost and wide availability in Imperialized Morrowind, adventurers and mercenaries quickly upgrade to better-quality metal armors or adopt the lighter native laminated shell armors when they can afford them.

Imperial Guard Heavy Armor
Imperial Guard armor is a more expensive and decorative version of the common Legion veteran’s heavy infantry armor. Chain is worn over leather padding, with steel greaves, pauldron, cuirass, and helm.

Templar Heavy Armor
Officers of the Imperial Legion and knights of the various Imperial military orders are privileged to wear this armor. Plate cuirass and greaves and a reinforced steel helm are worn over leather padding and chain. Though heavy and uncomfortable for campaigning, this armor gives excellent protection in melee combats.

Orcish Medium Armor
Based on High Elven designs, orcish armor is an ornate but remarkably light steel plate worn over cloth padding. Light and comfortable by contrast with other steel plate designs, orcish armor commands premium prices from campaigning mercenary officers and style-conscious nobles.

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