A Theory of Light and Dark, Concept Art; by Sebastian Becker

kassandra1tianna1Kassandra and Tianna, A Theory of Light and Dark, by Sebastian Becker

“Success in warfare is gained by carefully accommodating ourselves to the enemy’s purpose.” —Sun Tzu

Happy 2nd Anniversary to Sartorially Smart Heroines! Thanks so much to my awesome readers for sticking with me the past two years, to all of the positive feedback I’ve gotten, and to the amazing artists who’ve generously let me borrow their characters and artwork for the blog. I wish I could high-five all of you in person. (Just not all at the same time, I think my arm would get tired quickly.)

As thanks, I decided to put together two writeups for the weekend, the first discussion I posted yesterday, while the today’s writeup is a double-header of two awesome lady warriors from the galleries of artist Sebastian Becker. Kassandra and Tianna are two character concepts for A Theory of Light and Dark, a character study of medieval fantasy warriors. Kass is a Nordic shield-maiden character, while Tia is a half-elven fighter lass with a great sword. I love both characters not only for their lack of sexualization, but for their common-soldier armor. Rather than the quintessential knightly plate mail, our heroines wear layered armor with padded, leather, plated, and chain-mail parts. Both ladies look competent and deadly, ready for whatever their opponents can dish out.

kassandra2Kassandra’s armor has an appropriately Nordic look, with a fur mantle over her rugged traveling cloak, both of which keep her warm and protect her armor and equipment from rain and weather. Kass’s cuirass is hardened leather for deflecting arrows and glancing blows, while underneath she wears a chain shirt for additional absorption and deflection. I like that she wears a knee-length linen shirt between them to keep the chain mail from abrading the leather armor. Our shield maiden’s innermost layer is a simple linen arming shirt to keep the mail from chafing her skin and her skin oils from corroding the steel chain links.

To protect her arms, the lovely Kass wears leather vambraces rather than gauntlets, for unhindered swordplay. An infantrywoman, she wears loose wool or linen trousers and light leather boots for moving quickly about the battlefield. Kassandra’s primary weapon is a longsword, equally adept for stabbing or slashing enemy combatants. Her large, round shield is likely sufficient for personal combat, but is most effective for forming a shield-wall beside her northern brothers and sisters. All in all, I find her armor to be an effective ensemble for a solo adventuress or a main-line infantrywoman, trained to fight in formation and hold the line at all costs.

tianna2The lovely Tianna’s armor of choice is a steel-plated leather brigandine, excellent for absorbing blows or deflecting arrows and spearheads. Beneath she wears a chain shirt for additional absorption, though I would also recommend a linen or wool shirt between to protect the leather from the abrasive steel chain links. Under the mail our heroine wears a knee-length padded gambeson for additional absorption in heavy melee. As a character who likely throws her weight around a lot in a scrum, I like that Tia wears plated spaulders on each shoulder for additional protection to those joints.

On her right arm, our half-elf heroine wears a steel vambrace over a padded wrap to protect from severing blows. On her left she bears a leather glove for heavy swordplay, and possibly for gripping the blade while stabbing or for parrying enemy weapons. Like Kass, Tia wears durable wool or linen pants with light leather boots for combat movement. Where Kass is a formation infantrywoman, I suspect Tianna is more of a line-breaker, charging in to break up the enemy’s formation. While effective for heavy melee combat, large swinging weapons like great swords and two-handed axes tended to be fairly limited in formation combat where the space needed for swinging such huge weapons was rarely available. Thus while Tia makes for a formidable one-on-one fighter, her role as an infantry combatant is relegated more toward charging and flanking, rather than for holding the line against an enemy charge.

All in all, I find our lady combatants each to be well-suited for their particular roles. Huge thanks to Sebastian for letting me use his heroines for the blog. Feel free to check out his online galleries as well. Thanks so much for two great years, folks! Take care and stay awesome!

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