“If I don’t dress like this [adventuring parties] won’t look twice a me. It’s not just Amazon fighters. Those poor little sorceresses have to show a lot of thigh and tits, too, no matter if they could fry a bloke as soon as look at him.”
—Mavis Green, from Promises, Promises, by L-J Baker
Hi, folks! Sorry it’s been a couple weeks since I updated last. Depression/anxiety have been kind of kicking my butt lately, though I’ve managed to stay fairly active on Tumblr. Hoping to get better about promptness, but not making any promises.
I stumbled back across Elésiane’s lovely mage while browsing my folders looking for inspiration for today’s writeup. It reminded me of discussions I’ve seen on Tumblr in regards to the necessity of the archetypal pointed-hat and long-robe mages found throughout fantasy. I mean, if you think about it, based on how magic mechanics work in different story-worlds, there’s typically no reason a mage should have to wear those heavy, floor-dragging robes that snag on things and realistically are as likely to interfere with spell-casting gestures as armor. On the opposite end of that spectrum, we have storytellers who dress their sorceresses in next to nothing, as if arcane- or alchemical experimentation carries no hazards of blowing up in one’s face.
Several people in the discussions argued whether such tropes are even necessary. Why not just have mages wear nice, well-made nobles’ tunics and hose? Or durable riding attire? Or calf-length dresses with walking boots? Or travel tunic and breeches with a hood and mask to cover one’s face? There are plenty of options out there without falling back upon lazy tropes and dude-bro power fantasies. Thus it was difficult for me to not fall in love with Elésiane’s lovely spell-caster.
I love the Water Tribe coloration in the lovely Armelle’s cloak and robes, bringing to mind a cryomancer or water-mage archetype. Her shoulder pads and collar help give her a distinguished look, while her mantle offers warmth and protection while traveling. Her cloak looks mostly decorative, but should still protect from rain and weather while traveling. Our heroine’s dress seems to be three pieces: a light-blue, long sleeved underdress; a white outer dress, and a blue outer robe. Together the ensemble functions equally effectively for traveling, working in the lab, or studying in the library. Lastly, our mage’s boots are durable leather for wherever her travels take her.
I think what I love best about Armelle’s attire is how it could work in countless situations. Perhaps she is a student or instructor at a prestigious academy for wizards and mages, and the blue robes are indicative of her rank, position, or house. Or maybe she’s a magical advisor to the court of some queen, countess, or noblewoman. Or ’tis possible she’s a noblewoman herself, studying magic in secret to hide her gifts from her arcane-phobic family and subjects. (I love when there’s no shortage of interesting story ideas for these artworks. It’s a sign of smart character design.)
Huge thanks to Elésiane for the use of her lovely mage. Be sure to check out her galleries on Tumblr as well. Thanks so much for reading folks. Take care and stay awesome!