“And you will be sent this side of the sea and beyond, into places which will not please you, and you will have to go there. It will be necessary therefore to abandon all your desires to fulfill those of another and to endure hardships in the Order, more than I can describe to you.” —from the address to candidates entering the Knights Hospitallers
In terms of protectiveness versus pointless sexualization, I find that lady cleric portraits are pretty hit and miss as far as smart armor and adventuring gear goes. Rather than treat their clerics with the respect due the chosen servants of the gods, some apparently prefer “priestess of Ishtar” over “vows of chastity.” I suspect that this goes back to the overemphasis on “heavenly bodies” in fantasy artwork. Not valuing these women for their piety and virtue, some wankers… I mean, uh, some fans prefer to cynically view lady clerics as fallen doves to be corrupted and tainted by worldly desires.
Josh’s art might be the most epic portrait of a cleric I’ve ever seen. The pic is for an in-development card game called Duel of Legends, by Mightcoulddo Entertainment. Our cleric is one of ten character classes available for players to choose from. As one might expect, the Cleric Class is about healing, with an ability that allows her to convert a spell into additional hit points. In DoL, our cleric faces off against rangers and thieves, barbarians and knights, wizards and necromancers, in head-to-head duels to the death against up to three opponents. While all of Josh’s art for the project is amazing, it was the cleric who stood out to me as the most imposing character.
Our flaxy-haired cleric’s armor was what stood out most to me. Firstly, I like the Greco-Roman styling in the short sleeves and leather harness. The mail itself offers excellent and flexible protection from her opponents’ spears and blades. The leather pauldrons offer deflection against the ranger’s arrows and padding against glancing blows from the knight’s warhammer. The leather harness itself offers a solid anchor for the pauldrons as well as additional deflection against enemy blades. Additionally, the harness holds the chain mail in place, keeping it from shifting during combat, potentially throwing her off balance. Lastly, the armor’s studded leather strips help protect from disabling blows to her hips and upper legs.
I like the white-knight feel of our heroine’s vestments. It merges well with the chain mail and strengthens her image as a holy crusader. The white with gold and blue trim emphasize her strength and devotion to her chosen deity. Her hood is a symbol of her clerical calling, as well as protecting her head from rain and weather while traveling. Our cleric’s bracers keep her arms safe from severing blows, and her fingerless gloves reduce wear and tear on her hands without hindering her mace-handling. Kudos to Josh for the excellent attention to detail and character in our lovely cleric’s outfit.
Josh did a stellar job as well with our comely crusader’s weaponry. Reminiscent of the Roman scutum, her tower shield gives an aura of imperial authority, standing strong against the heaviest onslaught. Her mace, meanwhile, could pass for a clerical sceptre, with the added benefit of braining necromancers or smart-mouthed thieves. A formidable ensemble indeed.
I found it kind of awesome that our heroine’s mace, shield, and armor are all items in the game. They look like holy arms and armor given to members of her order to hunt and slay evil wherever it should lurk. All in all, I’d say our cleric is well equipped for her next battlefield or legendary duel.
Thanks again to Josh for letting me borrow his Cleric for the blog. Feel free to take a look at his other art on Facebook, Blogspot, Tumblr, and Darkfolio. As always, thanks so much for reading, folks! Take care and stay awesome!