Reconnaissance Squad, by Kasia

squadReconnaissance Squad, by Kasia

“If the enemy leaves his door open, you must rush in.” —Sun Tzu

Yikes! I apparently forgot to post a writeup for last weekend. Terribly sorry about that, folks. I’d say “to make up for it,” but I was planning to do it anyway: I’ve been working on concept designs for Queen Viarra’s soldiers in my novel First Empress. I’ve decided to post my designs here and on my Tumblr, as well as explanation for the designs. I’ll be posting those over the course of the coming week for anyone interested in checking them out. Anyway, on to the knights!

I like the overall look of Kasia’s lady knight here. As my regular readers know, I have kind of a weakness for Gothic plate armor. Most examples we see of Gothic armor tend to be of the overly ornate variety, with sculpting and gilded embellishments. While ornateness doesn’t necessarily take away from the protectiveness of the piece, I appreciate Kasia’s use of a sturdy, combat-ready full-plate, always ready for field combat or a forest trek.

Heavy and exhausting to hike in over broken terrain, full-plate seems unusual for a member of a scouting party. Her armor is more suited for a cavalrywoman whose legs would be vulnerable to infantry axes or a heavy infantrywoman who needs to maintain a solid stance to hold the line against her opponents. I suspect our lady knight is the officer in charge of the recon party. She leads a band of rangers who spread out over an area to scout the terrain or screen for enemy pickets and ambushes. Likely our knight sets up a command tent or small encampment nearby, dispatching her scouts to patrol the roadways or investigate potential hotspots for enemy activity.

squadCombat ready, our lady’s armor has clearly seen a bit of weather and travel (the missing rivet on her cuirass is an effective touch). Though inflexible, our heroine’s cuirass will keep her vitals protected from just about any blow her adversaries can deliver. Those spaulders offer excellent deflection and absorption against disabling blows to her shoulders. Elbow plating and steel vambraces offer similar protection to her lower arms. Underneath she wears a wool or linen arming jacket for additional padding and improved armor maintenance.

I found the chainmail protecting our heroine’s hips to be an interesting alternative to the segmented tassets found on most late-era armors. To me this reinforces this being a field armor, with the chain being less protective than plated tassets, but cheaper and easier to maintain. The heavy plating protecting our heroine’s legs is also unusual for a scout, hindering her movements over rugged terrain.

In Kasia’s image here, I suspect the scouts have appraised our heroine of an interesting or unusual discovery and she’s chosen to investigate in person. Her lack of head protection—helm, hat, or hood—suggests to me that she’s not far from camp and doesn’t figure on being in the woods long. She had her gauntlets off in order to update her logs or write a notation on one of her maps, when one of the pathfinders reported in, “my lady, Akins managed to drop an orc patrol, you might want to see what we’ve found.” Drawing her longsword but not belting on her scabbard, our heroine slips from the camp to investigate.

Huge thanks to Kasia for the use of her scoutmaster for the blog. Please take time to check out her galleries on Tumblr as well. As always, thanks so much for reading, folks! Take care and stay awesome!

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