“Do not repeat the tactics which have gained you one victory, but let your methods be regulated by the infinite variety of circumstances.” —Sun Tzu
I don’t get requests very often, so I was pretty stoked to get one over my Tumblr from a user named martinjh99. I have a submissions page on my Tumblr, but it occurs to me that I don’t technically have one on WordPress. I’ll have to look into adding one in the future. Regardless, I’m happy to add Martin’s request for “Reward,” by Andrey Vasilchenko to my lineup for Sartorially Smart Heroines.
I’ve seen Andrey’s great work throughout the fantasy art community, and “Reward” is one of several of his pieces I’d been considering for SSH. I always enjoy seeing lady warriors as mainline fighters or solo-adventuresses, rather than as sidekicks, romantic interests, or support casters. If I were to guess, I’d place our lovely fighter at somewhere around level 5–8: that stage where the average D&D or Pathfinder character has a decent set of gear and even a few pieces of masterwork equipment, but where pretty much any magic ring that drops is an excitement-worthy find.
Our heroine sports what I find to be an excellent set of all-purpose adventuring armor. It’s clearly not a matched, tailor-made set, consisting of pieces she’s purchased or looted separately throughout her travels and adventures. Her torso is very well protected by a breastplate/chain-mail layered armor. The breastplate cuirass offers excellent absorption and deflection in melee or against arrows, while the chain shirt offers additional absorption against blades and bludgeoning weapons. Plated spaulders protect her shoulders from disabling blows, while segmented tassets protect her upper legs.
Along with the magic ring she’s about to add to her adventuring gear, our handsome fighter opts for what I find to be a very effective outfit for almost any sort of journey. Her red cloak looks to be fairly new; perhaps with magical properties, or perhaps merely a traveling cloak for protecting from the weather and the long road to wherever she’s going. Her arming shirt looks durable for her travels and provides a buffer between her skin and armor. Her pants are well-traveled and loose for unhindered movement during combat. Those hardy leather boots should hold up well when traveling, campaigning, or dungeon-crawling.
I’ve long preferred sword-and-shield combat for an all-purpose fighter, over something fancy like fencing or dual-wielding. The shield is useful as a bludgeoning or shoving weapon and offers better overall defense than an offhand blade—particularly against enemy projectiles. Our redhead’s sword looks to be a bastard sword of some make—a versatile one- or two-handed weapon depending on the situation. The only recommendation I have for our heroine as a solo adventuress might be a short bow or crossbow for when skirmishing with ranged opponents. On the whole, though, I’m deeply impressed with our heroine’s armor and outfit.
I enjoy imagining possible backstories for the various adventuresses who come across my blog, particularly when there’s a scene that’s already unfolded around them. Did our heroine learn about this quest for the faeries from some shady bloke at the local tavern? Or is this part of her training toward knighthood? Or perhaps the slain bandits around her are the same bandits who murdered her family, and rescuing the faeries was simply incidental to her quest for revenge. Whatever her story, I like to think our pretty fighter is well equipped for whatever trials come her way.
Huge thanks to Andrey for letting me borrow his lovely adventuress. Feel free to check out his other online galleries at Blogspot, Art Station, and Draw Crowd. Thanks as well to martinjh99 for the request. And thanks, as always, for reading, folks! Take care and stay awesome!