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Illustration by Jason Chan for Magic: the Gathering

To me, any kind of gilding on armor tends to suggest parade armor or officer’s armor—armor that’s not intended to see a great deal of combat. This isn’t to say that gilded embellishments in any way subtract from the over-all protectiveness of the armor. Plus it adds to the knight’s camp-cred and is potentially more intimidating when our knight rides down upon the evil, unwashed hordes. And perhaps most importantly, flashier armor makes that much more spectacular an impression the lords (or ladies, if our knight prefers) of the court.

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