Crafting Motif 101: Ivory Brigade Style

Author (in-game): Captain Rian Liore

A guide to crafting armor and weapons in the Ivory Brigade style

Throughout history, the city of Leyawiin has been able to rely upon the protection of the Imperial Legion. Alas, those days appear to be over. With the collapse of Imperial authority and power, each province of the Empire has been left to look after itself. If we are to protect Leyawiin from the depredations of pirates or invasions by the warring alliances contending for the Ruby Throne, we must raise an army of our own—an army of the Blackwood—to deter aggression and keep the peace.

As the commander of Leyawiin’s forces, the task of organizing this new army has fallen to me. I have always felt that the first step in making soldiers is to teach new recruits that they serve something greater than themselves, and to take pride in that service. To put on a uniform is to proclaim an allegiance and forge a bond of loyalty with those who wear that same uniform. At the same time, a prudent commander must consider the tools his soldiers will need to carry out their duties, and the resources available. To that end, I will now enumerate my expectations for the proper equipping of the army of Leyawiin.

For our coat of arms, I have selected an ivory horse on a field of green, the ancient symbol of Leyawiin. And from this brave device our army takes its name: the Ivory Brigade, defenders of the good folk of Blackwood.

Axes come in many different patterns, but the axe of the Ivory Brigade is a single-bitted weapon with a brass haft designed to stand up to damage in battle. Opposite the blade is a reinforced beak that can pierce the heaviest armor.

Like the Imperial armor designs from which Ivory Brigade armor is derived, brigadine belts feature a short, weighted skirt of boiled leather to protect the groin without impeding mobility. Round steel buckles are a distinctive Blackwood embellishment to the pattern.

Form-fitted plates of bronze (or boiled leather, in the case of lighter armor sets) provide excellent protection to the brigadine’s shins and knees. The smooth surface is less likely to snag in Blackwood’s heavy underbrush than more ornate designs.

While the Blackwood is home to magnificent forests, few of the trees native to the region produce wood ideal for self bows. Instead, an Ivory Brigade bow is a compound weapon made from two pieces of cured white oak, reinforced by brass caps and joined by a leather-wrapped center grip.

As one might expect, the armor worn by the Ivory Brigade is derived from the traditional design employed by the Imperial Legion for centuries. Bronze is somewhat heavy, but it is softer than iron and bends rather than shatters under a heavy blow. Lighter chestpieces replicate the same design in tough, boiled leather, which still offers good protection against slashes and glancing blows.

A leaf-shaped blade of good steel, the Ivory Brigade dagger retains enough weight near the tip of the blade to be effective in chopping strokes without detracting from its fine balance. The design saves on weight by dispensing with the crossguard.

Vambraces of boiled leather or bronze protect the Ivory Brigade soldier’s hand and forearm. In the case of heavy armor, these vambraces are joined to full gauntlets to cover the fingers and cops that protect the elbow.

A brigadine’s helmet is an open-faced helm of bronze, providing excellent visibility for the wearer. A proud horsehair crest—usually scarlet in color—signifies the wearer’s rank. Heavy helmets include a steel visor that can be lowered to protect the face.

Ivory Brigade soldiers often must contend with the dense, tangled underbrush of the Blackwood and Black Marsh. Consequently, brigadine leg greaves are rounded and close-fitted to avoid snags. The rounded plates also tend to deflect rather than catch enemy blows.

The primary bludgeoning weapon of the Ivory Brigade is a brass-hafted sledge, with a cleated striking face to prevent a blow from glancing off curved armor. Hammers have always been popular in Leyawiin, no doubt because of the prevalence of Zenithar’s worship in the city.

Since the Ivory Brigade fights both afoot and mounted, a brigadine shield must combine good coverage with a shape suitable for a warrior on horseback. A sturdy steel heater is the best compromise, and offers an excellent place to proudly display the Ivory Horse of Leyawiin.

Plain, overlapping bands of bronze or boiled leather protect the shoulders and upper arms of an Ivory Brigade soldier. The design is familiar to any warrior who has served in the Imperial Legion—if it’s good enough for a legionary of Cyrodiil, it’s good enough for a brigadine of Leyawiin.

Priests and mages are an important adjunct to the fighting ranks of the Ivory Brigade, and it is important for our spellcasters to be as well-equipped as our footsoldiers. An Ivory Brigade staff is a light but strong brass rod with grips of forest-green leather. The head of the staff is a triangular steel crozier, simple and utilitarian.

A sharp, sturdy blade of good Blackwood steel, the Ivory Brigade sword is distinguished by its subtle leaf-shaped widening near the point. This shifts the weapon’s center of balance up from the hilt and lends weight to chopping and cutting strokes. A handsome crossguard of brass and a grip of green leather lends the sword beauty to match its strength.

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