Lowland, by Leo Black

lowland1Lowland, by Leo Black

“What the ancients called a clever fighter is not only one who wins, but excels at winning with ease.” —Sun Tzu

His Lowland soldiers portrait is the remaining piece I’d wanted to cover from Leo Black’s concept artwork for Unwritten: Echos of Twilight by Druid Gameworks. While women warriors abound in fantasy artwork, stories, and role-playing games, I find that women soldiers are considerably harder to find. My personal distinction between warrior and soldier is that a warrior trains more for personal combat, but can function as part of a unit when need be, while the soldier trains to function as part of a group, but can handle personal combat. As such, the warrior is more concerned with personal glory, where a soldier stays more focused on the survival and unity of her fellow fighting men and women.

I like that Leo’s Lowland infantrywoman is armed and armored identically to her male counterpart. Same sword, same armor, same uniform, same colors. The outfit looks like a dress uniform of some kind, though this doesn’t rule it out as combat attire. The navy cloak and surcoat might indicate that she’s an officer, though I don’t see any manner of insignia or broach to confirm this. She looks serious and competent—definitely the sort of fighting woman I’d want at my side on the front line.

lowland2Our heroine’s cloak is all-purpose traveling attire. As well as looking dapper, it protects our heroine and her armor when traveling, adventuring, or campaigning. Similarly, her matching surcoat provides full body protection from the elements and covers whatever mail she’s wearing underneath. Though we can’t see what she has for torso armor, my guess is some form of chain-mail shirt or hauberk—though a breastplate or brigandine are similarly likely.

I like as well the plated protection on her arms and legs. Her upper arm is protected by segmented plates, with an elbow pad to take care of the joint. Rather than a steel gauntlet, she wears a leather glove for unimpeded swordsmanship in the thick of battle. Her elbow and knee pads can also be used offensively against enemy noses or crotches when the fighting gets up close and personal (improvised bludgeoning weapons, FTW!). Her lower legs are further protected by greaves strapped over her leather boots. The lack of spurs or pointed toes on her boots identify our heroine as an infantrywoman, rather than a Lowland rider.

Lastly, our heroine’s sword is surprisingly small and light, suggesting to me that either (a) she’s an officer not expecting to be in the thick of things or (b) it’s a sidearm and her main weapon is not pictured here. Given her outfit, I can easily imagine our heroine as a swordswoman, halberdier, pikewoman, or even a musketeer.

Huge thanks to Leo for the use of his Lowlanders. Please check out his Tumblr as well. As always, thanks so much for reading, folks! Take care and stay awesome.

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