To mark International Women’s Day 2022 and the upcoming launch of Conqueror’s Blade: Paragons, we’re delving into French history to commemorate their national heroine: Joan of Arc. Celebrating strong women and their contributions to culture, politics, and socioeconomics, as well as the advancement of Women’s Rights is the name of the game on this important day, and as we approach a new Season inspired by the history and heroes of France, there could be no one better to honour than the remarkable and legendary Joan.

Joan of Arc (or Jeanne d’Arc) began life as a peasant girl in a small village named Domrémy in 1412 AD. From her humble beginnings, she could never have imagined that she would be canonised for signalling the end to the Hundred Years' War between England and France she was born amidst. At just thirteen years old, Joan had her first inspiring ‘vision’. These divine guidances would continue to show her true path, one that led her to a meeting with Charles VII, a French monarch struggling to prevent an English advance.

At just seventeen years old, Joan impressed upon her King that she had come to raise the siege of Orléans. Her message was well-met. She soon received her armour, banner, and sword and set off to Orléans with her forces. Her unfaltering faith instilled a sense of morale in the French army that had been severely lacking. She acted as a figurehead rather than a soldier, and never slew anyone in battle.

Declaring that she had been sent by God and bolstered by her unwavering belief, she led the French army to a momentous victory at Orléans in 1429 that repelled the English and marked the beginning of the end for their hopes of conquest.

Joan continued her fearless leadership of France’s armies until May 23, 1430, when an attack on a Burgundian camp at Margny ended in defeat and Joan’s capture. She was subsequently put on trial for heresy and sentenced to death. Joan of Arc was burned at the stake on May 30, 1431, but her brave legacy lives on to this day. She was canonised by Pope Benedict XV in 1920 and is remembered as a visionary, and a true symbol of virtue.

In Conqueror’s Blade: Paragons, the kingdom of Pays-de-la-Gloire are also facing overwhelming opposition from the Loegrians, but a divine light is shining through to lead their people—Gabrielle-Mäelys. Known as the Maid of the Holy Vision, Gabrielle-Mäelys was born to a poor family of sheep-herders and received several mystical visions that enlightened her to the Loegrians’ plans. Word spread of her fantastical divination talents, and soon this young woman is destined to lead a company of knights to defeat the Loegrian army at La Grande Gloire, revitalise the Royal Army, and drive Loegria from the mainland forever.

Let Joan and Gabrielle-Mäelys inspire you on your journey to victory when Conqueror’s Blade: Paragons launches as a free update on March 17.