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Princess Ardea design sheet

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This is a magical transformation of my OC Sagi as is planned for her to appear during the plotline of a certain Princess Tutu Discord RP group story, which is titled "In Which the Story Continues" in its transcript posted here: archiveofourown.org/works/2165…

Ardea is simply the word "heron" in Latin, just as Sagi is the word heron in Japanese, referring to the fact that she is actually a great blue heron. She has the title Princess for the same reason Tutu does -- as you can tell from her pendant, Ardea is a direct parallel to Tutu in its magic source, but the contrasting details with the Tutu pendant design also mean something.

In my rough draft of this design, she had a long flowy dance dress with an empire waist as well, but instead had a boat neck cut and short puffed sleeves with a middle panel on the bodice and a white ribbon tied around the front of the waistline.  I asked Mangaka-chan for some advice on the design, and she looked up references for ballet costumes of Beauty from Beauty and the Beast and showed me a design that had the longer loose sleeves and sweetheart neckline cut shown here. In the rough design the pendant was attached to a choker rather than a necklace because there wasn't much room for a necklace, but with this dress design it left plenty of room for one.

The color scheme is mostly a light blue, which is like an ethereal version of the stuff she wears normally, so it's just something that fits her. The secondary color of blue-violet has another connotation to it though, and it's related to where the magic for this transformation comes from. In her source fanfic, Sagi becomes close to another OC called Caras, and due to a number of circumstances explained further in the fanfic, Sagi would be able to transform into Ardea using a shard of his heart, very similarly to how in the fanfic Ahiru is able to transform into Tutu again by 'borrowing' one of Mytho's shards temporarily. Caras's image color is purple, so due to the magic coming from his heart, purple slips into the design as well as her blue. For a similar reason, as Ahiru's personality changes when she's Tutu, Sagi's does as Ardea, but while Tutu has more of the noble grace and eloquence like the Prince, Ardea has some of Caras's traits, making her more outspoken, assertive and self-assured. Thus you can see a hint of this in the design's expression.

For the pendant, there's a few things to note. While it has a similar format as the Tutu pendant, with the crescent shape, the segmented gems the same color as the ordinary pendant, and the transparent wings coming out from them, since Sagi's pendant is ocean blue, the parts that are magenta in Ahiru's pendant are blue on hers. The gold accents are silver, and this has to do with how Ahiru's pendant comes from the Prince, who is represented by gold, and in contrast, Caras is represented by silver.  Lastly, while the wings on Ahiru's pendant are more butterfly-shaped, it was Mangaka-chan's idea to have Ardea's pendant based on more like a dragonfly, which has some thematic associations that fit Caras's character. From there it was just fiddling with the ornamentation until I was satisfied with it, which again Mangaka-chan helped with since she had a sense of how much silver doodlies would look good overall and I had been afraid of adding too much. I also tweaked the necklace itself so that it curves a different way than the Tutu pendant, thus also adding a visual contrasting element to it. Similarly so with the little crown's shape.

But anyway! This actually took quite a bit of thought, but I think the end result turned out really well, and I'm kind of sad that right now it's only part of the RP plotline, enough that I'm tempted to make it part of the fanfic canon more officially somehow, though I have no particular plans for a continuation of the fanfic as of now.
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