Inspired by the Music: The Land of Rus by Andreas Waldetoft
Disclaimer: I am by no means expert in History, just a humble man with passion for learning history. Also, English is not my first language so if you do find any errors or would like to make a correction/feedback, please feel free let me know
In the region Belarus, Ukraine, and Western Russia, saw the rise of the Rus states during the middle ages. The emergence of numerous rival slavic principalities, like that of the Kievan Rus, Novgorod and later, Muscovites, has their own unique history that were often than not influenced by the surrounding cultures they interacted with. The area was known to be a source of lucrative trades, bringing in many wealth, and consequently, many invaders into the land. Though raids and incursions were commonplace, the greatest of which was brought down by the Mongol Invasion who subjugated the region in the 13th century. Eventually, with the weakening power of the Mongols, one of its wealthiest city, Moscow, managed to emerged independent and would carve their own legacy that outshines most of its neighbors, giving the birth to the powerful Muscovites and later, Tsardom of Rus.
The drawing itself, is a re-drawing of the original sketch Knyaginya Olga Fedotovna Novgor which may have the inherited errors both in drawing and history, so apology for the imperfection made. As for the character herself, her full name would be Knyaginya Olga Sviastolavovna Novgor, in which i may have inaccurately used the title princess, feminine of prince or in russian, Knyaz. Technically speaking, to my understanding, Slavic Princes were unlike the princes of western europe, which denotes sons of the ruling monarch. Princes were like counts, and grand princes, has the same level of standing as dukes. So princess Olga in this case, is a ruler of her own principality. As such, the decorated conical helmet, ornated bardiche, scale and mail armor, denotes her nobility status (a position that most likely could afford such expensive gear at that time).
I find it rather surprising that eastern slavic warriors are represented fewer in number than their western/northern european neighbors, let alone their representation of Women Warriors, both fictional and Historical....perhaps Joan of Arc's fame really outshines them all after all . Nevertheless, regardless of anyone's opinion, the history of eastern Slavic people deserve their mention, whose kingdoms, principalities and republics have fallen and risen throughout the ages, eventually forming one of world's greatest force, the Russian Empire that ruled much of Eurasia. This drawing is a tribute to the people, as such, Russia and pretty much other Eastern Slavic people are more than just Stereotyped Soviets and other bias associated with them.
REFERENCES AND OTHER RELATED MEDIA
The Balts, , The Vikings , The Cumans-Kypchak , The Mongols and the Finno-Ugrians
Another depiction of her in court attires: Knyaginya Olga Novgor in Court Dress
A Part of the Historically Wrong Sketch Series: Medieval Revisited - You can find more on the various faction on the map here:
HWS Medieval Revisited - Faction Map v.1.22
Eastern Europe had been home to diverse tribes of people and rich cultural exchanges through peace and war, a characteristic which is pretty unique as compared to Western Europe. The region was heavily forested and have plenty of rivers which effectively connected Scandinavia to Western Europe, Byzantine empire and the Muslim world of that time. The Rivers brought lucrative trade prospects, but also numerous raids by neighboring people. Historically speaking, various cultures like the Steppe Turkic people (Khazars, Avars, Volga Bulgars), the Vikings (which, traditionally speaking, would later became Rus who settled in Ukraine), the Baltic tribes (Sudovians, Lithuanians, Latgalians) and the Finno-Ugrians heavily interacted with the tribal slavs in the early medieval period, and more often than not, had a much better organization and military aristocracy, to which the slavs drew many of their cultural and military influence from.
One of the historical record that speak of an eastern Slavic power is the Kievan Rus, founded by the dysnasty started from the Varangian Rurik. His dynasty, known as rurikids or rurikovich, also set up various principalities like the rus, polostk, and others in the region. It is also in this early history that the Slavs faced multiple conflicts with the Steppe people, the Khazars and Pechenegs (which was later replaced by the Cumans and Kypchacks). They Byzantines also had their influence as well, with the majority of the eastern Slavic people adopting a version of their Orthodox Christianity.
When the Mongol invaded Russia in the early 13th century, various conquered Russian principalities were made as vassals, paying tributes to their mongol ruler. However, on the other hand, this period also saw the rise of the Balts, united under Lithuanians. To the north, Sleeping giant called the Novgorod Republic still cautiously guarding its power and richest from any possible incursions from their western, Mongol as well as Scandinavian neighbors. The invasion also caused some long lasting impacts, with the destruction of old cultural centers before the invasion, various new cities and principalities grew and compete with each other for supremacy. One such city, was Moscow.
Moscow was able to cooperate with its mongol (actually, the Tatars if I'm not mistaken) overlords, and was given the title Grand Duchy. By the turn of the 14th century, the power of the mongol began to wane, and the Russians were able to unite and pushed back the Tatars who occupied the lands, and further reclaiming the lands back from their conqueror. With their success and the richest brought from it, the people were united under the Tsardom of Russia, eventually becoming an Empire that rivaled all major powers, until it finally succumbed to the communist revolution in the beginning of 20th century.
As I racall this story, Olga was less a warior and more a strategist and politician. In Russian dhe's mostly known to be someone who used a battle aviation for the very first time (sent a lots of doves with a primitive incendiary round at her enemies)