Maris and Morrigan, by Yama Ocre

maris_morriganMaris and Morrigan, by Yama Ocre

Like the wallpaper sticks to the wall
Like the seashore clings to the sea
Like you’ll never get rid of your shadow
You’ll never get rid of me”
—Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr, “My Shadow and Me”

As well as being a sucker for ladies in armor, I’ve long been a sucker for ladies in snappy hats. So those of you who know my preferences and biases will understand why I found Yama’s wizard/fighter duo so irresistible. Commissioned by a patron, Maris and Morrigan make for a sharply-dressed pair of adventuresses. I like the archetype reversal here: where so often we see the tall, knightly human or elf fighter-character with the quirky halfling or gnome wizard/bard/sorcerer sidekick, instead we have a gorgeous lady wizard with an elegant, knightly halfling partner-in-crime.

I don’t know these ladies’ backgrounds, but it’s interesting to speculate over the characters and their partnership. I don’t get any kind of hero/sidekick vibe from them—there’s a level of equality there that I’ve rarely found in human/halfling relations. Both ladies look competent and good-humored, like they’ve adventured often together and have a healthy respect for the other’s abilities. I can easily imagine them as that pair who know exactly what the other is going to do at any given time during a fight and can coordinate their efforts without ever speaking. Whether they’re an odd-couple, a dynamic duo, partners-in-crime, or even girlfriends, I like the strong, sisterly bond represented between them.

marisMaris’s outfit looks more thematically fitting for a bard or swashbuckler, but is hardly inappropriate for a flamboyant wizard or sorceress. The cocked hat is very important: as well as looking dapper, it protects her head from rain and sun. Her primary protection is a leather coat, harnessed at the waist for deflection should our lovely spell-caster find herself in melee or target of an opportunistic goblin archer.

Lovely Maris’s fancy paisley shirt is light and loose for unhindered movement around the battlefield. Those gloves are fingerless to protect her hands without interrupting her intricate spell-casting gestures. Maris’s tights are loose for running or dungeon crawling. Her boots, meanwhile, are knee high for lower-leg protection and effective combat footing.

morriganMorrigan’s armor looks both badass and adorable on her tiny, halfling frame. The armor itself is a partial-plate: metal plates strapped over a flexible leather backing. Morr’s cuirass is a stylized breastplate for deflecting and absorbing blows to the torso, with spaulders to absorb disabling blows to the shoulders. Her arms are protected from severing blows by her leather arming coat and steel vambraces. Her gauntlets are hinged over leather gloves for optimal finger protection without obstructing the grip on her bastard sword.

As a halfling, Morrigan probably requires a lot of dexterity in melee, and thus it makes sense to rely on her flexible arming coat for tummy protection, rather than a rigid abdominal plate. A waist-plate and tassets protect our heroine’s waist and hips from spearheads or maces, though she relies on leather or woolen pants for her upper legs. The armored knee-pads, greaves, and boots seem odd to me, given the unlikelihood the average orc has a decent angle of attack on Morr’s legs. That and the pointed toes make me wonder if the boots are designed for riding instead, where her legs would actually be somewhat vulnerable. (How epic would that be? This smart, scrappy little halfling fighter saddled up on the back of some wolf or riding dog?)

And now I want to print out a character sheet and roll up a halfling Weapons-Master who specializes bastard swords.

It’s also important to remember than anytime a character or a character’s best friend is a wizard, there’s a very good chance that they’ll have access to magic items. Maybe Maris’s hat is merely snappy, or maybe it’s enchanted to improve her spell-resistance. Maybe that broach is merely a family heirloom, or maybe it casts a Haste spell three times per day. Similarly, Morr’s breastplate might be everyday terrestrial steel, or it might be magically protected from fire attacks. Those earrings might be mere keepsakes, or they might offer a bonus to our heroine’s dexterity. Anything goes in magic and adventuring.

Huge thanks to Yama for the use of his ladies for the blog. And apologies to anyone who now has “Me and My Shadow” stuck in their head. Thanks, as always, for reading, folks. Take care and stay awesome!

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