Chosen by the Discerning Dark Mage: The Warlock Robe
In fantasy, particularly high fantasy, magic and magic users reign supreme. As we know, every self-respecting magician requires robes. They’ve been a fixture in the wizarding world for about as long as the wizard archetype themselves. One of the first wizards, Merlin, was often depicted wearing flowing robes.
With that in mind, let’s look at the warlock robe. Obviously, this is ideal for fantasy based LARPing or cosplay, especially for a character who is either a warlock, or some other morally challenged magic user. But you don’t need to be tied down to that specific character.
These robes could work for other fantasy characters and can even suit non-magic users. Because of the rich and luxurious velveteen fabric that makes up the bulk of the robe, noble and rich characters could also suit the warlock robe. You needn’t be tied down by gender either, the style is neither explicitly masculine nor feminine.
As we’ve mentioned, the robe itself is made using velveteen cotton fabric. This is coloured a deep black which is broken up by a bright red trim. The robe is hooded, so it’s perfect for you to dramatically cover your face and give yourself some nice ominous shadows. It also has long, loose sleeves that you can bring together while rubbing your hands together as you behold yet another evil plot come to fruition. Look, evil characters are just fun.
In case you hadn’t guessed, this robe is fairly heavy and is definitely warm. However, it is designed to allow you to move about with relative ease. The robe is generally knee length, but this will obviously vary depending on how tall you are. It also has a slit up the back, which should allow you to move about unencumbered.
Finally, you can secure the robe with the golden buttons and chains near the neck. These work nicely for their intended purpose, but are also a really nice design feature that bring the whole robe together and complement the black and red.
The Warlock in History and Fantasy: Where They Began and What They Became
The simplest definition of the warlock is a male witch. But come on, you know that we can do better than that. So, let’s get into the historical basis for warlocks, then we can talk about the fun part, warlocks in fantasy.
The Oathbreakers: The Origin of the Warlock
First of all, we should talk about the name itself. “Warlock” as a word is derived from an Old English word (wærloga) which breaks down into the words meaning “promise” and “deceiver”. So, the root word of warlock basically meant “oathbreaker”, or sometimes “deceiver”.
This term was also used to describe the devil. This is also where we see the link to witches, who were accused of betraying the Christian faith and breaking their oaths in order to make pacts with the devil and gain magical powers.
From the 16th century through to the 18th century, witchcraft and its ilk were capital crimes in Scotland. Thousands of people were accused of witchcraft, and over 1500 were found guilty and executed. This was far more than in neighbouring England. Most of these were women, who were called witches. But about a quarter of the accused were men, and these were referred to as witches or, more commonly, as warlocks.
Older women were more likely to be accused, which is part of what led to the image of a witch in popular culture as being a gnarled old woman. Warts and pets were also associated with witchcraft, the wart was a mark from the devil and the pet was a familiar. Black cats were particularly evil, apparently. Younger women and men who were accused were often related to the older women who had already been accused of being a witch, but this was a trend more than a rule.
These executions mostly took the form of the person being strangled, then burnt. The strangulation was considered a mercy. However, the process of the witch hunts were far from merciful. The accused were pricked with needles, kept awake for days on end until they “confessed”, and sometimes even tortured.
The witchtrails prevailed until the 17th century, when trails became more tightly regulated and torture was much more rarely used. Finally, the legal precedent for hunting witches in Britain was completely ended in 1736, ending the legally sanctioned hunts for good.
Warlocks and Witches in Fantasy: Powerful and Evil Incarnate
So, as usual, history is pretty depressing and brutal. Let’s move on to the more fantastic side of things, shall we?
Witches and warlocks in fantasy do originate with the historical accusations, of course, but there are significant differences. Once more, witches are generally female, and warlocks are usually male. But the depictions of these characters can vary.
Witches can either simply refer to a female magic user, or it can refer specifically to a woman who uses witchcraft. Witches are traditionally evil, but modern times have led to more good-aligned witches being represented in fantasy. One of the first examples of this is Glinda the Good Witch in the Wizard of Oz, although she is also referred to as a sorceress. Sorceress is seen as a more neutral term than witch.
Witchcraft as a specific type of magic is also depicted in different ways, depending on the work. More evil witches may well use witchcraft that involves some kind of pact with a (usually) evil being. But, more often in fantasy, witchcraft involves the use of curses, hexes, herbcraft and healing magics, and alchemy.
Obviously, there are also fantasy witches who can cast spells and enchantments or perform necromancy. But we’re working with generalisations here.
So, onto warlocks. While witches can be either good or evil, warlocks are almost always evil. Whether this is because there are many other names for male magic users, or because ‘warlock’ just sounds kind of evil, we can’t say.
Warlocks may well use the common types of fantasy witchcraft, but more often than not, they have bound themselves to a malevolent creature of great power. Usually, warlocks already had some inherent magic, but have chosen to boost this with their pact. They may well use dark magic, which usually involves conjuring, necromancy, or draining the life of their foes.
In Dungeons and Dragons, a fantasy role playing game, the warlock is defined by this pact with an inhuman and otherworldly creature and are kind of a dark reflection of clerics. They can be cult leaders, or simply apprentices to this being. Interestingly, this being doesn’t have to be explicitly evil, making this one of the few examples of a more neutral warlock.
The technical specifications for the warlock robe costume are as follows:
- Materials: Velveteen fabric with polyester satin trim
- Colours: Black and red
The warlock robe costume is available in sizes ranging from X-Small to X-Large. Here are the measurements:
- X-Small/Small: 40 inches chest, 44 inches length
- Medium/Large: 44 inches chest, 49 inches length
· X-Large: 48 inches chest, 50 inches length