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Lady Ilda von Harzberg of Kaiserreich (Old)



A concept drawing for the Central German Woman Warrior in the Historically Wrong Sketch Series - Medieval Revisited, which is roughly based on the Middle ages covering 800 AD to 1400 AD. She represents the central German faction, of the Kaiserreich which is short of based on the holy roman empire. Ilda is one of the sister from the original drawing:Ilsa and Ilda von Harzberg - Sword Sisters Concept

Inspired by the music: Kyrie for Magdalene by Hanz Zimmer (The Da Vinci Code OST)

Hws Logo by Gambargin


The history of German people is one of the most lengthy and surprisingly, very complicated. In the middle ages, most of the Germans were under the sphere of influence of the Holy Roman Empire, a continuation of the Frankish Carolingian Empire. Despite the term, there was never a single united faction called the "Empire", since the territories are divided between powerful dukes and counts, each vying for power. Besides, the land itself is geographically divided by mountains, rivers and vast forest, which created cultural differences between the Germans, the notable one being the Saxons, Swabians, Bavarians and Franconians. It was in this diverse and often fragile empire that small men could gain power and prestige, either through clever political maneuver or the force of arm.


This is my first entry to the Historically Wrong Sketch Series: Medieval Revisited and for some reason, I decided to draw one of the most memorable character in the series, Ilda von Harzberg. She is depicted in the typical "Gothic Style" Plate armor in contrast to metal corset or other fantastic and less protective garment. Though, I have to admit that my skill in drawing plate armor are still average compared to other artists. But, if i were to point out something, why is plate armor the most common type depicted in fantasy? Despite the fact that there's probably hundreds more of other types of armor that exist in the middle ages.

If one were to point out that she lacked a defensive shield, the reason being is probably more practical than aesthetic. German Gothic Plate Armor (or any plate armor) in reality would protect it's user from any sword blow or an arrow shot from a bow.  The rivets also contribute to the strengthening the overall structure, without having to add more weight, as well as many joints and articulation which aids in movements and flexibility. Contrary to the popular belief, the weight is equally distributed which aids in mobility and since the knights who wore them were trained rigorously in them, it provides less hindrance in movement.

As for the portrayal of her, I've always wanted to portray Woman Warrior differently than the usual romanticized depiction. War is a brutal business and Middle ages was the perfect fertile ground for this scourge to spread. From petty feud to 100 years war, there would always be enough justification to butcher each other, considering that warfare was considered norm. It is always beautiful to portray any short of war or battle, as long as one is not on the receiving end of the sword =P. As such, rather than a knight in shining metal armor that rode her stallions to battle with the assurance that the almighty would determine the results of battle, Ilda however, was a different one...

Victory, would be her only concern, regardless of the method. She had to learn this very hard, especially after experiencing few defeats on her campaign. In order to subdue a province, she would readily butcher and execute an entire town, terrorizing its populace into submission. Ransoming Nobles would be the least of her concern, as she'd prefer to put them on top of spike as an example to her enemies. She took no prisoners, and chivalry for her was a foolish idea. Ilda knew how to capitalize weaknesses and fear, and she would use it effectively to command her men to defeat her enemy. For she lived in a land plagued by seemingly eternal war, where only the strongest and the smartest wins.

So it's not about what she wears that would win the day, or prevent her from getting killed, but her brutal instinct to survive, which would make this Woman Warrior less of a battle-maiden and more of a monster....something, that for those who never experience the bitterness of war, would never understand.

This of course, would be much much different from her sister, Ilsa Ermengard von Harzberg who prefer gallant display of bravery and pride in battle, preferring to settle everything with a good old fashion steel to steel combat. Ilsa will be drawn next to give contrasting character image from Ilda.


Her Hot-headed and Bold Sister Freiin Ilsa Ermengard von Harzberg of Kaiserreich by Gambargin

May relate to the following:

The Italian Lucrezia di Firenze of Compagnia di Ventura by Gambargin, the Austrian Herzogin Agnes von Bamberg of Ostarrichi (Austria) by Gambargin,
the Frankish Comtesse lodie de Meux of Royaume de Franconie by Gambargin

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.1.30 by Gambargin


Historical commentaries on Holy Roman Empire is under construction.
Image details
Image size
1595x2379px 1.44 MB
Shutter Speed
1/14 second
Focal Length
5 mm
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