Leaf Shield, by Tony Foti

leaf1Leaf Shield, by Tony Foti

I found myself confronted with a dozen or so excellent spell-caster images when trying to decide what to go with for the final writeup for mage-month. I finally just narrowed it down to a few that I knew I could talk on, then rolled a d4 to pick a picture. The die came up 2, which was Tony Foti’s awesome painting “Leaf Shield” for Wizards of the Coast. Excellent choice, d4! (And somehow thematically appropriate, given that she’s a D&D character.)

Not sure what it is about Tony’s heroines, but I tend to find myself wanting their phone numbers. The comely brunette here with the swanky braids is a halfling warlock for Dragon Magazine back in 2011. The link on Tony’s DA no longer works, unfortunately, so I’ve been unable to learn more about the character. (Not that I ever let this prevent me from speculating wildly… um, I mean… analyzing thoughtfully…) From what I’ve seen, our warlock looks both smart and determined, confident in her abilities and competent with her spell-casting.

leaf2I think the aspect I like best about Tony’s warlock is that even though she’s a spell-caster, she doesn’t rely strictly on magic to protect her. While the leaves protect her from arrows, she wears armor to further safeguard against projectiles. Her torso is well protected by a leather cuirass—providing excellent deflection against arrows and decent absorption in light melee. Where a wizard or sorceress would be handicapped and vulnerable were her magic exhausted or hindered, our handsome halfling retains a certain amount of combat defense.

Our caster’s arms are protected by leather bracers, with no gloves to hinder her spell-casing movements and gestures. Her dress is loose enough to not hinder her movement in traveling or combat and is short enough to not drag the ground and get underfoot. Finally, her shoes are smart and durable for traveling, and pointed, suggesting they may be for riding as well. All in all, an effective outfit for traveling and adventuring.

Besides her magic, our winsome warlock is armed with only a carved totem of some kind. The totem might be a focus for a particular spell, or it might help focus her magic in general. (Is that a warlock thing? I’ve never rolled one, so I have no idea how the class works.) It should be pointed out, too, that as a spell-slinger, it’s probable that any part of our halfling’s ensemble may have magic properties. Her bracers may improve her casting or dexterity, while the simple diadem at her brow might improve concentration checks. Those bands around her biceps might protect from poison and her armor itself might improve her resistance to ice or fire.

Massive thanks to Tony for lending me his warlock. Feel free to check out his online galleries and Facebook page for more of his awesome work. Thanks for reading and stay awesome, folks!

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