Gale has been around in some form or another since I was at least thirteen but to call it the same character now would be like comparing a watermelon to a chainsaw.
That's supposed to sound ridiculous because the comparison would BE ridiculous. I'll just go down the list by dates and try to recount things as they happened (some things, not all).
April 2004: The serpent dragon in this drawing is not Hhoota. It's an early attempt to explain Gale's origins. This sketch is from 04, but the idea is probably closer to 02 or early 03. I didn't know how to explain Gale (at the time Teran's) resemblence to another character, so I made him out to be a living shadow that lived in a dark place at the bottom of a well. Another character dropped an object into the water and the 'shadow' (I guess represented by the serpent) became enamored with it. There was a picture in it, the 'shadow' was struck with light from the surface, and so badly shocked by the incident that it took the form of the person in the picture and rose to the surface. Obviously, that's not the case anymore. That's an old and outdated backstory for Gale/Hhoota and I only included it here because it's a timeline.
August 14 2004: I don't remember at what point I decided Gale and something else had merged, I assume it was an offshoot of the idea mentioned above when the 'shadow' started to feel more like a dragon. I don't know. Asking me to remember now is hopeless and I could be drawing on memories that don't actually exist. I've always been big on shapeshifters, so it's not surprising to me that I went in that direction. The concept was there by 2004. This was a first draft of what that form might look like. I didn't know what I wanted so I went with my favorite creatures and drew a gryphon. Obviously that didn't work out.
August 15 2004: I can kinda remember when I transitioned from whatever I had to giving him a horse form. I had recently picked up 'Faeries' by Brian Frond and Alan Lee and fell in love with the depiction of Pwwka inside. I started wanting a Pwwka style critter so Gale started leaning in that direction.
Between 2004 and 2006: I don't have a date for this because I don't think it was ever uploaded. I wasn't satisfied with it. I remember wanting something that wasn't a horse... but a horse was all I could see in my head, you know? I was piddling around with possibilities and I think trying to come up with something other-worldly. Wish I had more information for this, sadly I don't. I thought I had lost it until I found it while sorting through old art.
December 30 2006: I'm sure I was sick of not having a visual reference of Gale's other form so I sat down and started hacking away at it again. I must have remembered the first draft, because I see a lot of the same characteristics there. I'm tempted to say that the pits on his body were an accident. Maybe they were, maybe they weren't. There is definitely some horse skeleton in there, but I already knew at that point that Hhoota was not native to earth and therefore the logic behind him looking like a horse was iffy. So I kinda resisted it. By then I knew they merged, definitely, and I had the idea that the merger had happened because Hhoota was a dieing race and in order to be able to continue to survive, it merged with a person. The shoulder and hip marks were inspired by the eye markings on butterfly/moth wings.
November 5 2007: Looks.. about the same. :I I got nothin' here.
April 7 2009: Same. Didn't draw Hhoota much after that first inked drawing.
May 23 2009: Hhoota appears in a friend's characters dream. That was probably the first time I ever roleplayed him.He was aging everything he touched. Looks like the first time I gave up resisting and drew the nose in the typical horse skull nose shape. I remember being bothered by the 'nostrils' in previous versions and must have finally thrown my hands up and just gone with the flow.
And another sketch of him trying to bulldoze Wolfy-t's character Wystic.
September 16 2009: Better ability to draw. Better ref sheet, more rounded design. I had no idea what to do with his belly region.
March 29 2010: A spectrul version of Hhoota manifests during the civil war when undue stress is put on Gale.
May 11 2010: I didn't know how to draw his eyes from the front. Or his face at all.
May 17 2010: This was done entirely by candle night one night when the power went out. I'm not sure what the significance of the Hhoota head is supposed to be. I think I just felt like drawing something less boring that Gale reading a book.
July 21 2010: Barfing energy
August 5 2010: Barfing energy and herding up Cara. It looks like the face is well on it's way to streamlining a little bit. By late 2009 the pits on the face were disappearing and they appear to stay consistently gone.
August 19 2010: Whoops. I placed that one a little out of order, its in the middle of that crowd of 2011 sketches. Again, streamlining face. I have never really mentioned the strings and beads inside his mouth because they're no longer part of his design. At least I don't think they are. I keep coming back to them because I'm never sure, even though they've been present since 2006. For now lets just say that no, they're not part of his design.
November 17 2010: Nothing to add. First time I drew the bottom of his feet, maybe?
April 24 2011: Lots of sketches. I was poking at his design, again trying to get away from the horse thing. I introduced a little moose. I still like this. I think it adds a cooler element than just a straight up horse body.
Somewhere around this time I began to hack away at my magic system and how it would work and why. The way the magic system was set up paved the road for Hhoota's current form. It was set up in such a way that human thought manipulates magic, which eventually lead to belief-driven magic that effects a lot of my magical critters. So it was around this time that the connection was made that Hhoota was an entity that had taken the form of a traveling god because that was what the people interacting with it began to protray it as. I had leaned maaaybe in the direction of a 'god' as far back as 2006 or earlier, but never ran with it until I let go of the fear of being cliche. Wolfy has always let me ping ideas off of her mercilessly, she was probably about pulling her hair out that year. And pretty much every year I have known her.
May 17 2011: I made a Gale ref sheet and for some reason unknown to me his face is off model.
August 24 2011: I don't have much to add about these.
September 7 2011: Some attempts to portray Hhoota as depicted by ancient humans in different areas.
September 12 & 20 2011: Same. Also depicted with Athena. I tried a celtic deer look that I got pretty attached to.
October 11 2011: Not much to add. More stylized stuff.
November 4 2011: Strangely large pits on the face.
November 30 2011: Sleak face. This is probably one of his better faces but parts of it are still off model.
January 5 2012: Long face I like, but off model still.
February 26 2012:
March 16 2012: Something between March 16 and February 26 is close to how his face should be. Neither quite hit their mark.
April 16 2012. So close, but the nose is a bit thin on it's top.
June 22 2012: Close again. And a transformation doodle in the top left.
August 8 2012: This is the second more recent art of him and it's still off model. >:I
October 2 2012: Stylized totem.
These on the bottom were found too late to add to the timeline where they ought to have gone, but they're all from 2011 as far as I know. I was exploring different possibilities in form. Both as psychic representations in a 'dream world' and as cultural representations by ancient peoples.
Man, Hhoota is the best beast. I remember being quite floored by his design and his presence the first time I saw him, and I continue to be blown away whenever he resurfaces. His angularity and organicness is just brilliant. I don't know if Hhoota 'sounds' like anything but I'm forever hearing driftwood rattling when I see him.
On that note, if you had to compare him to some earthly material, what does Hhoota seem to be made of? Sometimes he seems like wood to me and sometimes stone. And sometimes sheer awesome.
I wish I knew what he's made of. :I I've never been sure. It must be more durable than wood because I imagine he'd be difficult to crack open, but it has definitely had a woody look over the years. I want to think it has a leathery texture and is cool to the touch (or hot, depending on whether or not he's churning a lot of energy). He makes me cringe because it looks like there's so many places to lose a finger. HNNGH TEETH. Horse skulls look like they're pissed all the time.
He may have other forms someday based on different cultural depictions. They could appear to be made of anything. Gold, stone, bronze, etc. I'm not sure why Gale picks this one. This is probably how he envisioned it during his first encounters and the shape just stuck. He may have seen something carved from wood and let that influence his perception of Hhoota's natural form.
Wow! haha, Always love checking these out. Looks like you've always had a really fantasy based sense of design and composition, very cool. Definitely have gotten to a nice solid feel for the character over the years! Did putting this together get you all sentimental about them? C:
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`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More