A concept drawing for the Women Warriors of the Holy Karlingian Empire in the Historically Wrong Series, based on the Germanic Medieval Holy Roman Empire. Now, i have to point out that this is just a conceptual drawing at the moment, as i'm still trying to study and pick out numerous armor and attires throughout the middle ages that would be unique and contrast to the Germanic faction in the series.
In my opinion, central Europe in the middle ages is the bread and butter of all medieval inspired art, both in either historical and fantasy settings. As such, many artist will often depicts warriors, soldiers, knights in some form of chain mail, various type of helmet, plate armor and any other attires often associated with knight in shining armor. The challenge for me is to create something that is unique to the central European, which can be contrasted to other women warriors that I have drawn so far. After having much thought and discussions with my colleague, i managed to come up with 2 distinct attires/armor that may solve the problem.
for example, the lady which I have drawn on the left. She is depicted in stylized puff-slash elaborate style of clothing, with mail and steel cuirass, which were worn by the Landsknecht. The Landsknecht appears in the late 15th century as a mercenary soldiers raised by Maximilian 1 of Holy Roman Empire to imitate the famous Swiss mercenaries whose reputation for warfare and capabilities were renowned by many. The Landsknecht had a reputation for wearing flashy and elaborate style of clothing as well as their fierce discipline in the battle.
As for Ilda
, she is depicted as (wo)men at arm dressed in (a very simple) gothic style plate armor, unique to the Germans in the late 15th centuries. The armor was the best protection available for the given period, heavily articulated and made to the exact fir for its user. Contrary to the popular belief, even if the average armor can weight somewhere between 17 - 22kg, the way it is worn actually distributes the weight evenly and therefore not as cumbersome as many would think. Those knights who have trained fighting with the armor would have had no problem in his movement in the battlefield (although the weight may tire him/her faster). If you want a comparison, a modern day infantry has to carry his/her full-kit equipments, backpack and weapons that weights 25kg on average.
I must admit though, that the drawings for these two are very anachronistic at best. Given the medieval setting in the series, their attires and armor would be the most modern out of all the ones that I have drawn so far. But then again, I am using my artistic license here, after all, they are still part of the "Historically wrong series"
Historically speaking, you will find a lot of chronicles in the Medieval era about women fighting in warfare. The famous example would be Joan of Arc, a french peasant girl who lead the french army that defeated the English in many battles during the 100 years War. Even folk stories from various cultures from all corners of Europe have tales of maidens/women/queen who fought against something. However, given the social stigma of the nobility back in the middle ages, women were considered as political assets to secure alliance with political marriage, so they were highly discouraged to participate in battle, unless to defend herself. Nevertheless, the Germans back then had no problem in having their women participate in battle, owing to their proud militaristic tradition since the days of Roman empire (but this is yet to be confirmed).