Anyuvin kobu (armor) of this period was designed to be light and easy to move in. The early Anyuvin warriors were mounted lancers and the small ketašo (keh-tah-shoh) they rode (think Mongol horse) would not bear the weight of heavy armor. Favoring speed and endurance, the Anyuvin used minimal tack and limited themselves to a bridle and a light, flat, leather saddle.
Generally, the armor was made of hardened ašo hide and djucažok cord. Djucažok was a slow growing, but extremely tenacious vine yielding incredibly cut resistant fibers. It would eventually kill any tree it grew on, so controlling it had the dual benefit of saving the tree and providing the raw material for armor. Fortunately, djucažok was somewhat susceptible to fire and a serrated steel knife, heated red hot, would eventually cut through it.
The kobu itself consisted of a special robe composed of two layers of tightly woven ašo wool – an soft inner layer and a coarser, outer layer reinforced with djucažok knotwork sewn to it in a fashion resembling old Terran “jack chain”. A double or triple row ran across the shoulders and down the outside of the arm to just above the elbow. Other rows ran from the underarm, down to the waist and along the spine as well. Below the waist, the outside and front of the robe had lighter djucažok cord sewn to it. The lacing was often of bright colors and sewn in knotwork patterns.
The solid armor was generally made of hardened ašo hide. (Iron and steel were not unknown, but considered far too heavy to make suitable armor. Not to mention being incredibly expensive.) A chest plate covered the front of the ribcage, often bearing the totem of the warrior’s family. Arm protection consisted of gadovin, vambraces similar in construction to a bazuband, which were worn under the sleeves of the robe. Finally, the feet and lower legs were protected by a soft leather boot that came up above the knee and incorporated rirovin, or heavy leather shinguards.
Full helms were not unknown, but generally disdained in favor of the inoba, a net of djucažok cord that hung down over the warrior’s mane and shoulders much as a chainmail coif would. The djucažok cord net was often decorated with metal beads and might have a length of colored ribbon woven through it – a favor from a loved one. If more protection was desired, a covovi, or face plate, could be worn. This resembled a chamfron for a horse and ran from between the ears down to the tip of the muzzle. It covered the top of the muzzle, but not so much as to prevent the use of the teeth as a weapon. It fastened to the inoba with straps.
The primary weapon was a lance about as long as the individual weilding it, lightweight and somewhat flexible, with a long, slender steel head. The haft was usually wrapped in braided cord at the balance point. Warriors often had a small buckler strapped to the off hand in such a way as to allow the warrior to hold the ketašo’s reins when mounted or grab an enemy when face to face.
The secondary weapon was usually a short sword. Imagine a cross between a kukri a Japanese wakizashi – the general shape of the former with the grace of the latter. Like the Japanese, the Anyuvin had mastered the art of folding steel.
Bows were also used, but rarely, as the Anyuvin believed one should only kill someone you were close enough to smell.
© 2015 LeeW