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Submitted on
August 23
Image Size
1.6 MB


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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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Ashoof Featured By Owner 6 days ago
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!
MudSlinger077 Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Two steps from hell in now playing in my head
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