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Shadow Strike by AssasinMonkey Shadow Strike by AssasinMonkey
"The Equine Expedition travelled further into unknown lands, out to find anything useful for the Empire. While attempting to cross a large open clearing, a sudden thick fog rose up out of nowhere. Sounds of something flying beyond it grew stronger every time the fog grew thicker. Blurs of shadows swooshed overhead from every direction, which quickly disorientated the group who had nowhere to go.
Suddenly a shadow struck down through the fog..."

The Shadow Conduits
Fierce, intimidating, and mysterious, these conduits, although smaller than most others, still tower over any regular Gryphon or Equine. Conduits are ancients of the Gryphon realm, most of them are single entities in the world. The Shadows exist in larger numbers. However, they're very secretive which also makes them very protective. Most gryphons try to avoid them.

Conduits are regarded as highest entities within the Gryphon Realms. Because of their mysterious and ancient history they're often seen as deities who roam amongst them. While they acknowledge the "normal" gryphons they never interfere.
It's not until the Equine Empire, a force threatening the entire Gryphon kind, when the Conduits come into play again. If the Gryphons can convince them of their threat.

Part of my First Contact War universe

This almost became a short comic, but I couldn't properly figure it out, so I went with my original plan. Striking down with fury!
I remember the poll, from a while ago, which had "Reasons of Conflict" as the top vote. Equines were second, though. This piece is perhaps more revealing about the Gryphon. :|

Used the style that I also used for my recent Applejack piece.
Rough in most areas. Did have a bit more fun with the Gryphon head, though hehe.

Anyhow, my Saturday FCW update

Approx Time: 7-8 hours?
Time Lapse:
Shadow Strike [WIP] by AssasinMonkey
Some of the other conduits:
Into silence by AssasinMonkey A Gryphus Conduit by AssasinMonkey
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There's very little background to be seen here, but what we can see is great. The confusion and dismay seen behind the giant griffon displays a mass of flying debris, creating the feeling of awe and power. However, it would have been nice to have a more recognisable scene/location despite the fact that there is meant to be a lot of fog. With the ground polluted with rocks and what seems to be dropped equipment, we have the sense of fear and helplessness as the creature before us makes our existence seem insignificant, fragile and tiny.
A magnificent job was done to the feathers. Not presenting a 'fur' texture, but an actual feathery look is amazing. The beak and and rest of hidden body is wonderful. Despite it being in shadows the griffon look comes off very well. The torn cloth around its body, with the pendant is very stylish and gives us the impression that the creature may either have been or still is quite civil in some sense.

Unfortunately for them, the equines had run into this terrifying creature. Their expressions of disbelief and fear are incredibly done; especially our mare to the right of the image. There are some exemplary details about each character, some wearing robes with bags and quills. Others wearing heavy steel armour; which by the way looks extremely and detailed and complex with the many layers overlapping. The look of hard and tough armour comes across nicely with that character.
There is a small and perhaps insignificant detail that many may shrug off, that is the pony on the far left has his/her eyes shut for this instance. Many other artists tend to keep their characters eyes wide open as if blinking was a foreign concept, however this can bring some realism to an image as sudden events usually cause people to flinch in some fashion.

There is a beautiful feeling of natural flow and movement in this image, which is often difficult of create. The manes, feathers, and poses of each figure seem to move together quite well.

Less glare from the background and more shaded areas over the standing and flying Conduits (although they are already dark black) may have left the observer with a more 'feared' emotion.

The little subtle drawings of, pick and hammer as well as other Conduits in the sky are wonderful additional details.

A piece with much excitement and fierceness. Amazingly detailed with a backstory to match.
What do you think?
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Legi0nary Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Awesome dynamic:happybounce: 
Ashoof Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2014
man..look at this moment.. its like your almost there. this is great.
wolfwings1 Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2014
Great shot :>
Keen-Blade Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2014
At first glance, it makes me think of a gryphon with a raven in place of the eagle parts. And you know, I've never seen that before.
Fire-Link Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2014
Awesome work. How's it going?
Katiethelegendary Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Kayetto Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2014
Fixap Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2014
coolclaytony Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2014
Shadow Strike (3)(K)(K)
Place a 5/5 black Griffin creature token with flying and intimidate on the battlefield. It gets +5/+0 until end of combat and has haste and indestructible this turn.
Razgriz470 Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014
Surprise motherbuckers!
MudslingerArtist Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014   Digital Artist
Two steps from hell in now playing in my head
BassScratch Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014
DarkApostleMatt Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014
Love this series you are doing, keep it up!

This piece sort of reminds me of this trailer, with the fog and enemies coming from the mist.
AssasinMonkey Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
That trailer is still so awesome!
DarkApostleMatt Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014
Love this series you are doing, keep it up!
cajobif Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014
Mister epic scenes artist, you've done it again.

That's an amazing one for sure.
Jose-Ramiro Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Very impressive!!
Krazylec Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014
Dang, that scene's atmosphere is smashing! (I mean literally smashing: look at that big crow wrecking things up.)
Hyena-Yena Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014
I like the idea of "conduits"... I might steal the concept for my own writings (that is of course, if you don't mind).

Methinks that crow is going to make the ponies eat crow (as in talons, wing slaps, etc)... heh
AssasinMonkey Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Glad to hear you like it :D
I think it should be fine to take inspiration from it. If you feel like it, a mention of where the inspiration came from would be awesome hehe.
mrjwongy Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
mmm, ponies are nice crow food
saxumsando Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
GrandMoffPony Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014
Whoa!  O_O

Nicely done!
BronzeBlade Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014
I'm not sure many will survive this encounter...
LaRomanceWriter Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014  Student Writer
That's awesome!
potsticker13 Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014
Awesome Job!
Dgs-Krieger Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014
Oh shit that thing is MASSIVE! I remember a griffon sitting on a throne...was that a Conduit too?
AssasinMonkey Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Eyup, that was one of the others, as well as the Owl I made.
Dgs-Krieger Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014
Good, good.
Ajdrianpony Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014
Epic picture .. awesome :)
A3Kitsune Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014
Cool.                                                                                                     Gilda 
K4nK4n Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014
That's a huge gryphon~!!
ZoPteryx Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Very impressive beast and art!  You captured the senses motion and power excellently! :) (Smile) 
24AHEL1TE Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014
ooooooooooh I think I've fainted. 
SomeRandomMinion Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2014
That is a BIG griffon...
hazeydreams Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
the shading and expressions are flawless
this is great!
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Submitted on
August 23, 2014
Image Size
1.6 MB


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