shad-brooks on DeviantArthttps://www.deviantart.com/shad-brooks/art/Cleric-187110088shad-brooks

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Cleric

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Originally inspired by my desire to make a traditional medieval fantasy cleric.

When looking for cleric reference artworks, all I found were fantasy designs that were exaggerated so much, that I couldn’t recognise the medieval basis for which they should have been founded on. This is the same with most of the medieval fantasy artwork out there. I see clothes and armour designs that could not possibly have existed in history. I understand that it is fantasy and there are numerous ways to explain the unique items, but these would cover a minor few, not every character in the medieval fantasy world. I sometimes ask myself, whatever happened to the medieval in medieval fantasy?

As to clerics. Historically there were no battle clerics in the medieval fantasy sense. A cleric was another name for a priest and any person who received an office in a church such as deacon, priest or bishop. I believe the medieval fantasy image of a cleric evolved from historical religious militaristic orders such as the Templar order and the Teutonic order. They were generally soldiers of some breed (and some were actual monks); they took vows and donned robes over their armour. This is where the robes mostly featured on clerics comes from.
I feel the robe is one of the strongest identifying features of a cleric and I could not settle for anything less the authentic. I’m very happy with her armour. It’s mostly historically accurate and I love the ornate details. It’s funny that the mace is so strongly associated with the cleric (thanks to dungeons and dragons), when historically they were not used over any other weapon, the sword was actually the most common. Still I couldn’t bring myself to give her a sword. The mace has ingrained and identifies itself too strongly with this character type (See, I do bow to fantasy over medieval when I feel it’s appropriate ^_^).

Her name is Vesta Rehmella. She’s an important character in my book but comes in after the first three I’ve planned to write. She comes from the kingdom of Sve’dan, an old rich and powerful nation, very corrupt. Raised in an abbey most of her life due to an uncaring father. Knighted in opposition to the sexual restrictions of her day. Socially praised when she killed her father but was inwardly inconsolably shamed. Returned to the abbey intending to spend the rest of her life in penance. Then received a call to fight evil for the church and hoped this would gain her forgiveness.
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EnryoAlpha's avatar

It's amazing how well properly armored she is. A real testament to accuracy. I think some monk orders were forbidden from shedding blood, and that's where the idea of using a mace instead of a sword came about from. Though that might just be an Asiatic custom rather than all over Europe.