Flintlocks & Fireballs
Just as the development of firearms has transformed combat, the development of quicksteel has transformed armour. Quicksteel is a metal which, which first smelted, is liquid at room temperature, but which sets on contact with air into a hardened form tough enough to slow down or stop bullets. This allows it to be produced in the form of tough, flexible threads as well as moulding it into plates. The moulding process makes it tricky to craft quicksteel items that are terribly large, so it hasn’t replaced corrugated iron as a construction material. For crafting weapons, armour, and other metal items that need to be hard-wearing, it has quickly become de rigeur.
Light armour consists of armour where only spun quicksteel is used; because threads of quicksteel are fairly flexible, they don’t encumber the user too heavily.
Leather Armour is replaced by steelweave: Steelwoven leather is the simplest form of light armour, and consists of a jacket or coat which has been reenforced with threads of quicksteel. This keeps the jacket fairly light and flexible while providing at least a little defence.
Hide Armour is replaced by webweave: An enhancement of steelwoven leather is webweave. This takes a steelweave coat and shores it up with an exoskeleton of thicker, tougher threads.
Heavy armour uses quicksteel in a less flexible form, preventing the user from moving as nimbly as they otherwise might, but also providing greater protection.
Chainmail is replaced by mesh: Where steelweave is a leather coat or jacket with threads of quicksteel reenforcing it, mesh armour consists entirely of woven quicksteel threads. Mesh is light but tough; while it’ll bend a little, a plate of mesh can still be difficult and restrictive to use.
Scale armour is still scale armour: Scale armour is the type that has changed the least: it’s fairly quick and easy to manufacture small plates of quicksteel and fix them to a backing coat.
Plate armour is replaced by carapace: It’s a tricky task to pour quicksteel into a breastplate-sized mould quickly enough to make it take the right shape before it sets, but it can be done; what it gets you is a hardened, inflexible carapace of quicksteel that fits snugly onto the wearer; some carapace is even tightly-enough fitted that it can be concealed beneath a cloak or coat.