I’d committed to drawing a couple of characters from that Northern Inspired post, and this is the second one I did. Katarina the Half-Elf Druid Rogue came with a bevy of detail, and a really interesting backstory, but what I think attracted me to this one was it was one of the first female characters I was asked to draw. There’s a long history in fantasy art of drawing women in overtly sexual images, with inappropriate levels of armour. So I wanted to try and do something that felt a little more authentic.
Katarina Half-Elf Druid Rogue Description
Race: Half Elf (Human/Arctic Elf)
RPG: D&D 3.5
Physical Traits: Katarina stands 5’6” at 120 lbs. Her hair falls to between her shoulders, but is often tied up in intricately braided patterns. Unfortunately, her work requires that she blends in with the snow covered surroundings. This is often difficult as her natural hair color is bright red, from her human father’s side, and makes her stick out like a frozen thumb in a tropical region. She tried to keep up with dying her hair white, but she usually gets behind in this process and typically wears her hair bright red from root to about halfway down the length where it turns white from the last dying. Her eyes are a bright, piercing blue that matches the color of the frozen seas of her homeland. Her skin is very pale, probably passed down from her Arctic Elf mother.
Details: Here is a breakdown of some important details.
Armor: Katarina typically wears furs from the local wildlife she is unable to preserve. She prizes polar bear furs and is often draped in them when participating in work where she is leading a convoy of barbarian men (both as a power symbol and to keep them from getting too interested in her female form). However, when she is doing her more subtle assassin work, she prefers to wear a suit of white leather armor that allows her to move very quickly and blend in with the surroundings. It isn’t uncommon to see her wearing both a polar bear fur cloak and her signature white armor.
Interesting Item: Of important note are her boots. They are etched with magic symbols from an Eskimo shaman that allow her to never leave a trail in any terrain she passes through. Thus, the snow is unable to retain its memory for those who have traveled through it.
Weapons: Katarina does not use weapons. Instead she uses her druidic magic and training as an assassin to kill her marks. This allows her to not have to worry about hiding murder weapons, as an icicle or magic frost will simply remove themselves over time. She uses her wild shape abilities as a means for retreat; ready to exact revenge in more subtle ways, such as an icicle to the skull.
Backstory: “War is a tricky business in the north. An Earl will often march his men across the tundra, through the blizzard-swept mountains, and across seas of icy death to reach the enemy. More oft than not, the land, she takes just as many lives as the enemy. It is not because the men of this land are physically feeble; no, no, they are mighty men, mighty men with strong hearts and loyalty rivaling that of prized hounds. However, those mighty men, like the hound, fall prey to hazards that are easily avoidable by those of…let’s just say those of mighty mental capacity.”
“This is where I begin to offer my services. Why go to war when the problem can be solved with a…‘happy’ accident? This land, she takes. She is dangerous; just as much so in the towns and villages as she is in the peaks. Ice slicks that conveniently slide into haphazardly stored whaling harpoons, icicles that just happen to fall at the precise moment a less than desirable individual walks by, mysterious avalanches that manifest behind enemy soldiers as they approach, and whipping winds that steal the warmth of the fire and seal the sleeping man in his home-turned-tomb. These are the accidents I can make happen. If physical force must be used, I can also aid in navigating soldiers effectively. Concealing movements, creating deceptive tracks, and holding back to cold wrath of the mistress of the north while accepting the warm embrace she offers to so little: these factors will ensure your victory. So tell me, who’s gonna’ have a real bad day?” -Sales pitch by Katarina
As you can see, Kat has made a living selling her services in many ways. The ‘happy accidents’ she describes are all examples of the kills she has made throughout her backstory and through the campaign. She is always ready to take on a new contract and use the harsh terrain of the north to her advantage.