The design of this menacing being originally comes from concept art from another story I was working on, about a woman who would snag the evil spirits of a location, like a Dreamcatcher catching bad dreams.
This horned skull with red mane and tattered cloak was originally an evil spirit of the Kansas plains. My father’s family is from a very small town in Kansas, and there are places there that have a strange, unfriendly feel about them. Locations where my grandmother would refuse to go, and that my father will not talk about. I was trying to portray some of that mystery and malice with the spirit’s design, and a bleached skull seemed like the best place to start. The rest of it grew from there!