“They locked you in the tower and they threw away the key,
But this tower’s no match for a wag like me.
I’ll be sneaking to your gate, I’ll be peeking ’round the corner,
Well I’ve come to take your daughter, don’t you say I didn’t warn ya.”
—Gaelic Storm, “Scalliwag“
Adelruna’s rooftop rogue actually caught my eye a long while back and I’ve been meaning to offer a writeup for a while now. There’s a certain elegance to Jane’s work in both the characters she creates and the backgrounds she designs. I was taken enough with her art that I commissioned a portrait of one of my own characters a while back and would definitely consider her for future commissions, given the opportunity.
One of the things that stood out to me about Adelruna’s rogue here is that the outfit is timeless—it could work in a High- or Late-Medieval setting or even during the Renaissance. The location and outfit look either Middle Eastern or Mediterranean, but could represent any number of fantasy settings from Tolnedra to Tashbaan to Amn. It’s a smart (masterwork?) piece of leather armor effective for light melee or even a brief skirmish.
Even a relatively thin set of leather armor is effective against glancing blows in melee or errant projectiles. The leather spaulders will effectively deflect the bite of a dagger or rapier and provide fair cushioning against disabling blows to our heroine’s shoulders. Her bracers, meanwhile help prevent severing blows to her arms and wrists without hindering her swordsmanship. Her torso and vital organs are well-protected by a leather cuirass, keeping her internal organs internal against rapiers and other light melee weapons, as well as deflecting glancing attacks from heavier blades. Her greaves, meanwhile, cushion and protect her legs from enemy blades and maces.
While the armor is snappy, I love that our rogue doesn’t wear the archetypical black or dark grey tights so common among thieves and spies. Her shirt is loose-fitting white linen or cotton, for unimpeded flexibility and swordplay. Her navy-blue pants are silk or soft linen offering full movement of her hips and knees. Her silk veil does a fair job of disguising and distorting her facial features.
I like that our rogue’s armor could work for any number of mission profiles. She might be a hired assassin, waiting to pounce on her unwitting prey, or a covert bodyguard, watching her client’s back for assassins, shadows, or spies. Or perhaps she’s a spy herself, listening to a covert conversation through the open window of the building below. Or is she a burglar, waiting for the last of the building’s tenants to clear out before she slips in and helps herself to the jewelry box? I can even imagine her as a kidnapper, waiting to swoop in on the wealthy nobleman’s bodyguards and escape with his only heir. There are a thousand possible stories to tell from this picture, and Adelruna hints at them smartly in her elegant artwork.
Huge thanks to Adelruna for her enthusiasm in letting me borrow her characters for the blog. Feel free to check out her Tumblr galleries as well. Thanks so much for reading folks! Take care and stay awesome!