Darkstalker by Akeiron

dakerstalker1Darkstalker, by Akeiron

Gah! Sorry about these day-late updates, folks. Lots of stuff going on and I’m just not very organized right now. I wish I could promise it will get better, but I try not lie to my readers. (I might speculate wildly, but I try not to lie.)

My next dwarf for the month is this Darkstalker, by Akeiron. I honestly love the idea of some badass dwarf who has taken it upon herself to cull the Underdark of its massive bestiary of evilness. Miles beneath the surface, she prowls the caverns in search of Drow patrols, Duergar slavers, or wandering Beholders. In this portrait, our heroine makes a trophy of the head of an unfortunate Dark Elf who happened across her path.

I have to wonder if our fiery-haired huntress is a criminal or an exile of some sort. Like the Troll-Slayers of Warhammer or the Legion of the Dead from Dragon Age: Origins, it’s not unheard of in fantasy for dwarven society to sentence criminals by sending them away to fight every enemy they can until they die spectacularly in battle. It’s possible that our has a similar shady past to atone for and has been sentenced to fight the denizens of the Underdark until she finally succumbs in battle.

dakerstalker1I like the layered feel of our huntress’s armor. Steel plates protect her chest, shoulders, arms, and legs, while her padded arming shirt and breeches provide additional cushioning and minor deflection against enemy weapons. I like, too, the dark coloration of her ensemble, blending in well with the pitch of the vast subterranean caverns. Her thick, leather gloves are excellent dwarven make for high protection with unhindered axe-handling. Those leather boots should hold up well for dungeon crawling or spelunking.

My one issue with our stalker’s armor is the sculpted breastplate. While I’m reasonably sure that the cleavage isn’t deep enough to break her sternum if she takes a blow to the chest, the sculpted boobs still run the risk of deflecting blows that fall between them back up into her heart. While the chances are minimized when she’s moving around in combat, it still presents a risk and should be noted as a design issue. (Think proton-torpedoes and Death Star trenches: if there’s a weakness, a competent foe will exploit it.)

I really like the design for our heroine’s axe. Long handle for reach attacks against foes, but with a grip behind the head for when the fighting gets up-close and personal. The butt-end is spiked, as well, for dispatching wounded foes at her feet or for use as an impromptu spear. The hooks chained to her belt function as a place to display the heads of unfortunate Duergar or Illithid who wandered across our dwarf’s path, though I suspect they could also function as a harness our huntress might use to anchor herself to the back of some flailing Umber Hulk or Hook Horror while she hacks at its head.

Huge thanks to Akeiron for letting me borrow his stalker for the blog. Feel free to check out his other online galleries. Thanks for reading, as always, folks! Take care and stay awesome!

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