RESEARCH, WRITE UP, SHARE
Not enough is known or celebrated about female heroes, so get one and all to take a name you give them from a hat and bring in some research that they have discovered. Suggested bonus XP 100 points.
Below are some examples of non-fiction heroines with character class connections bolded. You can use Lozen as an example, because it also sensitizes students around the word ‘barbarian’ which is pejorative in modern terms but celebrated in some fantasy games with the main reference being Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian who survives through his instincts and solves problems by harnessing his rage. [At least make sure that students know that Vikings, Mongolians, Aboriginals, Native Americans, Maoris, Namibians and all indigenous have been vilified in the past and yet are all examples of some of the most sophisticated cultures on Earth. There are full lessons to be had in there too!]
Lozen was an Apache warrior who escaped unforgiveable oppression and relocation by US Cavalry in the late 19th Century. She led raids on settlers but saved women and children. She went on a rampage when her brother was killed and devoted the rest of her life to fight alongside GElieimo. In game terms, as a character driven to rage from atrocities committed to her and her people, she could be akin to the barbarian class, where rage is drawn upon for extraordinary strength and endurance. We say this sensitively, as the usual term “barbarian” is used pejoratively. In RPG context, this is not the case, as Boudicca and Artemisia Queen of Halicarnassus (both featured below) could also be considered barbarians for their wild style and traumatic origins.
Other examples to explore:
- Nakano Takeko was 19th Century samurai fighter whose preferred weapon was a naginta.
- Warrior Queen Zenobia marched alongside her foot-soldiers to secure Palmyra (modern day Syria), annex Egypt and take Anatolia (modern day Turkey) from the Romans in the late 3rd Century.
- Triệu Thị Trinh was a dual sword wielding ranger of 3rd Century Vietnam.
- 5th century BCE Artemisia Queen of Halicarnassus was also a great tactical leader and naval ranger.
- Grace O’Malley was a 16th Century pirate rogue who earned the respect of Queen Elizabeth I for fighting against England’s enemies.
- Tomoe Gozen was a 12th Century sworn samurai paladin of the Minamoto Japanese emperor clan.
- Boudicca was a war priestess (or cleric) of Andrasta in the 1st Century using divination to guide her troops.