The Shield

I wanted – needed – the Shield statuette to deliver a lot of exposition. The scene of Lucy and Amber unpacking Dr Parom’s crates is designed to show the way Aedean inspiration translated to our creativity. And especially, as far as the Shield statue was concerned, to language and design. Amber calls it “a jumble of things that don’t belong together”, which is possibly as an apt a description of Aedea as you’ll get.

The Name

Parom says that “inscriptions in the designs claimed it was an unstoppable guardian”. We are also told by Writhen (in disguise as Senior Sergeant Michaels) this Shield “was designed to protect the Mythic”. In earlier drafts, I had a couple far more inventive names : Golden Guardian and Copper Keeper.

But some of the inspiration-transfer process between the worlds is literal. The statuette was programmed to protect someone. What is a word that means an object intended to protect (used as a noun) and the act of protecting (in verb form)? Simply calling it a “Shield” was just too perfect.

Let's Break This Thing Down...

There was no specific meaning behind the cultures represented in the Shield’s attire and weapons. I just chose a variety of objects that I liked the look of when researching. Here’s an explanation of the Shield’s attire and what I was inspired by (or what the Shield is meant to have inspired!). The quotes are Amber’s commentary:

A short skirt and sleeveless tunic with rivets up the sides: Many ancient warrior wore fabric skirts with strips of leather or metal in front to protect the crown jewels. Modern renditions have the leather strips go right around the waist – aesthetically it looks good.

I wanted the skirt and tunic to make Amber think of Greece or Rome, but actually this is a reference to a classic look for the DC villain Darkseid who is famous for being unstoppable.
While researching armour I came across the Almain rivet, a type of plate armour. I had so many other details squeezed in that I couldn’t cram in a reference to it, but it reminded me of how much I like the look of rivets fasteners in metal so that’s simple aesthetics.

Headwear: “His helmet…is Sumerian, I think.” Amber, our resident mastermind, is correct.

Heavy boots that come up halfway to the knee: They have an elephant-themed design repeated around the top “that’s distinctly Indian”. Amber is right. Elephants were used by every ancient Indian army and their art and design is full of them. But why the very specific reference to mid-calf boots? Have a look at how many superhero costumes – especially male costumes – have boots of that height and you’ll see why.

Sword: “See his sword. I’d swear that’s a Scottish claymore” Amber, once more, is correct. I wanted a distinctive sword and I hadn’t tossed in anything Celtic. Plus, the word “claymore” just looks and sounds neat.

Belt: A heavy patterned belt – the designs “could be Japanese”. Amber knows her stuff! She’s referring to a Senninbari – stitched fabric belts made for Japanese soldiers for protection or good luck.

Shield: A shield with an image of the sun. This is the Sun of Vergina, meant to evoke ancient Macedonia. The sun is symbolic of many things but here I simply wanted to evoke the idea of shedding light, of the truth being illuminated for the first time. And, once again, it looks cool.

Bonus Round

The Shield being made of copper is yet another layer of reference to its name. Copper was used by many cultures to make literal shields, for warfare or decoration. Yes, I really am that much of a nerd.