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I'm in the point of my story when two main characters meet each other, ally and start a rebellion against gods. One of my main characters is a wolf-girl (anime tendencies bruh) however she'll one of the commanders of the rebel army.

This is the first design of the character:

enter image description here

However, I'm creating an armor for her, so this is my first sketch:

enter image description here

I need to do something with her tail. I don't want to cut it because I want to keep her humanoid identity, but you know dogs/wolves can't bend their tails that much without break it, so I need your help to keep her tail safe while beheading people. Thanks! She doesn't need to expose her tail with her armor.

EDIT!: this is my second sketch for her armor (without the tail) L.Dutch gave me a good idea about her armored tail:

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ My dog has a quite marvelous tail, but she rapidly tucks it between her legs when she wants/needs to. I would suggest any design allows for this possibility. Something to consider is that tucking a tail is a fear mechanism, whereas keeping it out is not. If she's not afraid she might not worry about hiding her tail. $\endgroup$ – Wolfgang Jul 31 '17 at 18:58
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    $\begingroup$ I find it a little backwards to care about armouring the tail while preserving all that zettai ryouiki $\endgroup$ – March Ho Aug 1 '17 at 0:40
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    $\begingroup$ Did you do both pieces of character art? Nice work! $\endgroup$ – Sam Weaver Aug 1 '17 at 2:21
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    $\begingroup$ @MarchHo At least she's not wearing those silly breastplates that break your ribcage when they take a single hit... $\endgroup$ – F1Krazy Aug 1 '17 at 7:31
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    $\begingroup$ +1 to @Wolfgang's comment that she should be able to tuck it between her legs. Remember that tails are an extension of the spinal column and thus, in a humanoid, should point vertically down at the point where it separates from the rest of the body, not horizontally outward. $\endgroup$ – Falc Aug 1 '17 at 11:52
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You can go for something similar to the plates on armadillo tails

enter image description here

It will protect the tail and allow some mobility. You can also add blades to the plates, so that it can be used to hurt enemies approaching from behind.

Just be sure she doesn't wiggle it while in a friendly crowd, for obvious reasons...

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    $\begingroup$ I got nothing major to add, great one. Maybe make the overlapping plates out of boiled leather to save on weight. many animals instinctively use tails for balance. too much weight will throw that off $\endgroup$ – Paul TIKI Jul 31 '17 at 18:50
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    $\begingroup$ Blades? Huh, that sounds pretty dangerous. I love it. $\endgroup$ – Lunar Heretic Jul 31 '17 at 20:05
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    $\begingroup$ Pangolins are another species with armored tails. s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/36/46/22/… $\endgroup$ – Exal Jul 31 '17 at 22:17
  • $\begingroup$ Wouldn't that add too much mass to the tail? Even the added inertia might break a wolf's tail during rapid/agile combat. $\endgroup$ – Klaws Aug 1 '17 at 12:10
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    $\begingroup$ @Klaws I would worry less about the added mass (which, since those plates would have to be linked - meaning attached to, hanging from - each other, and at the end the back of the torso armor, would be supported by the wearer's spine and legs) than about mobility (can't swish a tail weighted down by armor plates as fast, and even lifting it up at all might be problematic)... so basically, plate armor on the tail makes it less mobile. Just like plate armor on the everything else does ;) /edit: wait, that IS about the mass. just slightly different than you meant^^ $\endgroup$ – Syndic Aug 1 '17 at 14:32
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Chainmail

A simple bit of extra chainmail in the back would provide a good bit of protection. If that isn't enough, you could put chainmail over the top of gambeson (or similar cloth armor).

Pros

  • Chainmail would protect against piercing and cuts.
  • Gambeson would offer some protections against blunt forces.
  • Both are relatively light, and can be "designed" in a variety of ways.

Cons

  • Gambeson would trap a lot of heat, making the wearer warmer.
  • Chainmail while surprisingly strong, can be weak to piercing.
  • There is of course some weight added, but by itself it isn't enough to impact overall mobility or agility.
    • A typical chainmail "tunic" weighs around 22 lbs (10 kg), while gambeson from what I can tell only weighs about 5 lbs (2.2 kg) give or take some weight for whatever purpose that it is fulfilling.
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    $\begingroup$ Actually properly constructed riveted chain mail is very strong and there is no way that a strong pierce or cut is ever going to break it. You are refering to butted mail which was only ever used by the japanese. It honestly didn't work out for them. $\endgroup$ – user32463 Jul 31 '17 at 21:18
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    $\begingroup$ By the way, chainmail is pretty heavy contrary to what you think, slightly more heavy than a plate armor. Provided your character is not wearing aluminium chainmail $\endgroup$ – Kaël Aug 1 '17 at 8:29
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    $\begingroup$ From the research I did after looking at these comments, it would indeed seem to be the case that chainmail is very resistant to cuts. It is however vulnerable to piercing with arrows being the most effective against it. "Heavy" is also a relative term, yes it does add weight, but not so much as you might think. Plate mail (depending on design of course) isn't particularly heavy either. When referring to weight, I was referring to the impact on mobility and agility, which is fairly small. $\endgroup$ – JustSnilloc Aug 1 '17 at 11:45
  • $\begingroup$ You'd generally wear a gambeson with mail/plate armour. No point in protecting against cuts when someone can just pummel you with a mace. I'd put mail on a par with plate for weight, just that mail will sit on your hips with a belt to help spread the weight a little while plate sits on the shoulders and almost supports itself. Both will boil you alive on a hot day so add a white tabbard to keep the direct sunlight off. You'll still boil, but slightly slower. $\endgroup$ – Darren Bartrup-Cook Aug 1 '17 at 12:39
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Multiple decoy tails. Ahri - a character from the MOBA game League of Legends with nine foxtails

This flying fox lady actually has only one real tail. The others are decoys which can be attached before battle. In the event an enemy tries to strike her tail they have only an 11% chance of hitting the real one. If the enemy grabs one and pulls it, it will come off in his hands and continue attacking by itself.

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    $\begingroup$ Ahri? Well she's more a mage than a warrior $\endgroup$ – Lunar Heretic Jul 31 '17 at 21:40
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    $\begingroup$ You know her? Please don't let her know I said her tails (or anything else) were fake. $\endgroup$ – Willk Jul 31 '17 at 22:02
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    $\begingroup$ @LunarHeretic why not AD bruiser Ahri? $\endgroup$ – JAD Aug 1 '17 at 12:18
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    $\begingroup$ Just like real life soldiers attached decoy arms and heads in medieval times. $\endgroup$ – Samthere Aug 1 '17 at 14:54
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    $\begingroup$ @JarkoDubbeldam I really want to try that now. $\endgroup$ – T. Sar - Reinstate Monica Aug 1 '17 at 19:44
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In short: No protection is better

You need your tail for balance issues, so you really don't want to hide it/obstruct it unless you don't want to move as wolf/animal. Which would loose point of it.

Only maybe if you wear too heavy armor you might also want to add some weight to tail. But otherwise not. If someone is already behind you, he would kill you, why would he play with tail…

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    $\begingroup$ It's a cute tail! $\endgroup$ – Sec SE - clear Monica's name Aug 1 '17 at 9:49
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    $\begingroup$ Well, cutting a tail is cutting a limb, the damage, the pain and the bleed would put her in a hard disadvantage $\endgroup$ – Lunar Heretic Aug 1 '17 at 12:50
  • $\begingroup$ This answer contradicts itself when you realize that wearing armor on the body is having an effect on that overall balance. Wearing some kind of armor over the tail would help to put that balance back to what it should be. Think of it like a see-saw, you can't put stuff on one end and not on the other. It won't maintain balance like that. $\endgroup$ – JustSnilloc Aug 2 '17 at 16:58
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Apart from piercing and cutting attacks, the tail needs protection against other threats.

When a wolf person gets pushed or thrown (onto the floor or against a wall), the tail would break if it is in the wrong position (this would be pointing upward, for example). Interestingly, the tail can be moved sideways and survive percussive force from behind (yep, during mating, "doggy-style").

The depicted tail is pretty bushy. The hair could get stuck or, if it's long enough, someone could step on it. A hair net might help to get the "bushiness" under control. And, just like regular hair (on the head), it could be grabbed by an opponent.

So it boils down to tuck it sideways under the body armor.

However, she is a wolf lady. Wolves don't have armored tails, they have armored necks (the hair around their neck is very thick compared to other body regions, to protect against fatal bite attacks). Also, wolves typically fight in packs. They naturally assume defensive positions which prevent attacks from the rear.

Also, wolf vs. wolf fights are usually "ritualized". They fight for position in the pack, not to kill. You may see an alpha wolf almost bite into the throat of another wolf during a fight - just to communicate "I could kill you", not to actually harm his (new) subordinate. Most probably, the wolf girl will be fighting not against other wolf persons but against, dunno, Orcs or whatever evil minions of the Gods. However, there might still be cultural aspects influencing her choice of attire. The tail also facilitates distribution of pheromones (through movements commonly called "wagging"). It may also be socially unacceptable to cover certain body areas, as they used for certain social interactions, like offering one's throat to allow a ritualized attack of the alpha wolf (to show obedience, trust and attachment to the pack). Or other body regions to allow for simulated mating, also for a ritualized way of showing rank and position.

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The simplest solution would be to just tuck the tail upwards (underneath the back of the chest armor) or downwards (along the back of the leg). A more stylish solution could be to wrap it around the waist.

But if she needs it for balance/mobility/offensive capabilities, I suggest taking L.Dutch's suggestion. Nested plates like that provide some limited movement while providing some good protection.

OR

Perhaps it would make sense to have a sort of sheath built in somewhere, and leave the tail unarmored.

That way, the tail can remain fully mobile outside of combat, while being able to be protected at a moments notice. An armored tail or tucking it tightly in armor would prohibit the free sheathing/unsheathing of the tail at will, and would likely be highly uncomfortable.

This would allow for far less inconvenience in day-to-day use of her armor.

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    $\begingroup$ Saiyans (from Dragonball) frequently wrap their tails around their waist. $\endgroup$ – Nick T Aug 1 '17 at 15:30
  • $\begingroup$ ... Tucking the tail/wrapping it around the body would be at best painful and at worst impossible. Tails are not that flexable. $\endgroup$ – Hannah Aug 2 '17 at 17:48
  • $\begingroup$ Well, that was just an idea. If the author liked it, I'm sure he could simply make this character's tail that flexible. It is a fictional being, after all. Otherwise, a sheath or a tuck would be reasonable for a typical dog tail. $\endgroup$ – Pyrotrain Aug 2 '17 at 21:34
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Metallic base, then Oilskin

It is not likely for opponents to try to cut her tail, because it won't hinder her combat abilities, while a good tug will put her off balance. But they may be tempted to strike at the gap in the armor the tails comes through.

So I'll suggest a metallic "teapot spout" stump, then greasing the tail or wearing oilskin to avoid grabs.

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Think of it as a weapon! A set of blades attached down the tail would mean the character could use it to attack as well as defend. Think of it as a bladed whip, image attached.enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to WorldBuilding! This looks very similar to the last part of L. Dutch's answer. Could you elaborate in which ways your proposal differs from the already existing answer? If you have a moment please take the tour and visit the help center to learn more about the site. It would also be nice if you could edit your answer to provide an image description for those people that use a screenreader and can't see the image. Have fun on the site! $\endgroup$ – Sec SE - clear Monica's name Aug 1 '17 at 10:14
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting idea, turning a weakness into an advantage. However, the tails to be pretty prehensile, so the girl would be more like a monkey girl, not like a wolf girl... Another option might be a more rigid arrangement, possibly with one or more poisonous spikes. This "scorpion attachment" would be designed that it cannot accidentally hit the person bearing it, but opponents would need to be very wary of it. $\endgroup$ – Klaws Aug 1 '17 at 12:02
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Do what dogs and wolves already do: tuck the tail in between your legs when you're in danger!

Of course that may not look terribly fashionable, so perhaps a strap along the leg (as was mentioned, a sheath of some sort).

Perhaps fighters who don't tuck away their tails are seen as arrogant or confident (as a beheading axe wielder is won't to be on a battlefield).

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