Sartorially Smart Villainess: Succubus Philosopher, by Ekaterina Burmak

succubus1Succubus Philosopher, by Kate Burmak for Paizo’s Pathfinder series

Phew! Busy week. So, I have to apologize, dearest readers. I’d fully intended to have this writeup ready in time for Halloween. But due to various manner of work- and family-related snafu this week, I’m only just now getting it done.

With most fantasy races and creatures that tend to be hyper-sexualized in art and popular culture, I tend to focus on how unnecessary and dangerous this is to the character. However, given that a succubus is, for all intents and purposes, a demonic personification of dark, illicit sex, the sentiment seems counter-intuitive. Given, too, that demons have an entirely different physiology from humans, elves, and other non-abyssal races—and thus have different weaknesses and vulnerabilities—armor and other protections may be entirely superfluous. For me it’s not the non-sexualization of Kate’s villainess that I love, so much as the delightful irony of a fully-dressed, intellectual succubus.

It should be noted that succubi have the ability to polymorph at will into any humanoid shape they wish. It delights me that ours has chosen the form of an elven scholar. Rather than sultry, her expression is competent and perhaps slightly amused—like someone fun to chat with over coffee, rather than jump straight into bed with. She has an elegant figure and curves, with average-sized breasts and a realistic waistline. These little details are what make Kate’s succubus perhaps the most alluring demoness I’ve ever seen.

succubus2 I suspect that our succubus’s character class is wizard, given the spell book and magic scrolls. The skull on her belt suggests she might be a necromancer, but it could also just be a reminder of her demonic origins. Her primary garment is a wizard’s robe worn over a long, white dress. Though the frilly sleeves and long hem aren’t ideal for a dungeon-dwelling demoness, it should be perfectly comfortable for studying and moving about her library. Too, our villainess can fly—and may well be levitating in this picture—thus the risk of snagging on rocks and rubble is significantly reduced.

With any powerful spellcaster, it’s important to remember that anything she carries can possess magical properties. Her dress might protect from Holy magic, while her pendant might offer an armor bonus. The metal belt might be a focus for magic spells, or merely a convenient harness for her spell book and scrolls. Her book may be a standard wizard’s spell book, or it might be some tome of ancient arcane knowledge. Her scrolls might contain further arcane knowledge or spells.

I suspect that most adventuring parties would be taken aback at the mere sight of a fully-clothed succubus. “Adventurers?quoth she, with an expression of mild amusement. “How quaint. I’m in the middle of a ritual here, but I’m sure my summoned Hell Hounds and Imp familiar can keep you entertained until I’m finished.

Huge thanks to Kate for the use of her Succubus for the blog. Please check out her other works in her digital gallery and live journal. Thanks, as always, for reading, folks. Take care and stay awesome!

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