Concept Sketch - Setesh Picture

So, this is a Concept Sketch for a character I am designing for the Equestria Daily Art Blog's Perpetual Monthly Contest ([link]). September's contest is to design a Fourth Major Villain, which can be anything that you can think of that would fit in the world.

I was originally just going to do a few light sketches to get an idea of how to draw a griffon, since I've never drawn any griffon in the show's style before (or ever, for that matter). But, as I looked at the original sketch, I started doing small tweaks and every time that I tried to stop and go to bed, I keep changing more and more. Before I knew it, I had spent five hours researching mythological creatures online, molding the design, and refining the sketch until this came out.

So, I figured that I would post it, make some comments, and ask for some feedback. I have yet to develop the background fully (such as origin and motivation for villainous acts), but I've got the general idea of the character and why I made certain decisions after the break.

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This is Setesh, the Hippogriff. Her father was a Griffon, her mother is assumed to be a Unicorn. As such, despite the fact that she cannot use Magic for spells, she has some unique mystical powers brought out by the magical heritage. Her special ability is that of controlling the weather directly, just by willing it. When she uses this power, the feathers on the front of her head start to waver as sparks arc between and off of them.

Her design is very inspired by this power, as it is a core concept to the character. Her name comes from the Egyptian Deity Set ( [link](mythology) ), who I selected from a list of mythological beings linked to storms. The decision to use Egyptian mythology lead to much of the design (the use of an "Eye of Horus" design on her face, the necklace she wears, the ankh on her manacles, etc.).

Once I had decided to use the "Eye of Horus", which is a symbol of protection and royal power, I decided to model her bird features after the Peregrine Falcon rather than an Eagle as is traditional for Griffons, which explains the patterns on her head, chest, and wings. Her tail design was based off of Rarity's for the fact that it was the most swirly that I could think of and I wanted the tail to evoke the image of a whirlwind.

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There's not much else to discuss beyond that so far. I'm still working on a unique and fitting Cutie Mark for her (I feel that, being half-pony, she would have a mark), but that decision will also require me to cement ideas about her back-story. So, that'll come in later iterations of the character design (though I doubt much else will change outside of that).

Hope that you enjoy! Let me know what you think!
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