Harkovast- the forum

Magic of Harkovast
harkovast at 5:04AM, Dec. 21, 2008
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How about an abstract discussion on the nature of magic in Harkovast?
Get your nerd hat on, because this is seriously theoretical stuff that has no baring on the actual story.

There are 14 prime powers of magic in Harkovast.
Each one has an opposite.
Here they all are presented with their opposites.
Fire-Ice
Lightning-Water
Steel-Mind
Earth-Air
Life-Death
Nature-Technology
Light-Dark

All pretty self explanatory, except for Light and Dark which I will go into more detail on in a moment.

Each mortal race of Harkovast (with the exception of the Gnarl) has two magical elements with which it is associated, which define the magical abilities that race calls up and also the character of that nations culture.
You will note that Quinn-Tain (being wise in the ways of magic) mentions each races elements when he introduces them.

Dark and Light magic are potentially the two most powerful elements.
Dark magic is the power of destruction, nothingness and literal darkness. It includes abilities like destroying things, teleporting, invisibility etc. It is somewhat limited compared to the other elements, but is very strong in terms of direct power.
Light magic is the power of creation and is all encompassing, giving a wide range of varied powers. It is the weakest in terms of direct power but it by far the most flexible power.

I'll add more explanation to this in the future

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Cthonic Cultist at 6:32PM, Dec. 22, 2008
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Are there individuals that can control more than the magic alloted them, or are the powers strictly limited to the racial groups?

I will assume that some are better at their magic than others, (the villain being one such, I will guess), but how strong can one get in any element? For example, can one who is really strong in water suck the moisture straight out of a target? Can a powerful fire user working with an earth user create a volcano? A techno-mancer, a fire user, and a water user create a steam powered giant robot with LASER-EYES????

OK, I got a little silly, but I think you understand my questions.
Boring and talentless I am.. At least I am occasionally insightful, maybe?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 4:15AM, Dec. 23, 2008
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Cthonic, good question.
Most people are limited to their racces elements and usually to a very strict set of abilties (such as Darsai do those energy weapons), but there are people who can master magic that is way beyond what others can do or calls on powers that members of their race normally can't.
Also, it is possible to learn the magic of another race, though this is more then jsut taking a few lessons in a classroom! The individual would need to totally engross themselves in that culture and effectively learn to behave as and think like a member of that race, abandoning what their own races ways and magic (case in point- Shogun. He can't do the energy sword think but makes up for this with awesome insano kung-fu/samurai sword fighting skills. He also dresses and acts like a Tsung-Dao, even having a Tsung-Dao sounding accent.)
For an example of someone who has mastered a form of magic to a scarey degree, just wait till the speaker starts doing stuff! His powers are off the chain!
Also, for an example of extreme powers, just look at Scatterpod. She understands life magic so well that when the universe aligns itself correctly, she can literally raise the dead!
So yes, the potential for absolutely mental powers clearly exists, I just wont go into exactly what powers we are going to see because….well….that would basically be telling the plot, wouldn't it?

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Cthonic Cultist at 4:25AM, Dec. 23, 2008
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Heh. That's all I wanted to know.

That means that there are no people who have learned how to use the magics of all races, that there are no masters of all types, and that learning magic cannot really be done. You have to have been raised with it. A psycological thing, I suppose. Your mindset has to be just right for the type of magic to work with you.
Boring and talentless I am.. At least I am occasionally insightful, maybe?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 4:37AM, Dec. 23, 2008
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Thats right, well explained.
Though there is one thing to bare in mind…
Quinn-Tain describes his own people as a people of Light and Darkness, meaning they control the magic of creation and destruction, everything and nothing.
So basically, Quinn-Tain is cool.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Cthonic Cultist at 5:31AM, Dec. 23, 2008
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In reality, do we not all have the power of creation and destriction at our hands? The lighting of a forest fire, or the planting of a new forest. The creation of beauty, and the destruction of it. So though his people might have the MAGIC of creation and destruction, everyone has the ability to do exactly those two things.

Anyways. Why is darkness always associated with death and destruction? Why not light? Light can sear you, light can melt you, light is, in fact, an agent of entropy. It wears away at anything in it's path. Darkness is a protector, a shield, a place to hide yourself.

(Chew on THAT for a while!)
Boring and talentless I am.. At least I am occasionally insightful, maybe?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 6:40AM, Dec. 23, 2008
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Firstly, I like your idea of inverting elements meanings, there is some of that in Harkovast later on (the Junlocks (life and ice) consider anger and hatred to be cold emotions for example. They have special warriors known as Frost Berserkers).

With regard to the Harkovast set up-
First off Darkness is not the magic of death.
Death is separate.(Covering poison, weakening people, disease, blindness, undead and actual dieing)
Darkness is the magic of destruction because it personifies nothingness, an absence of anything being present. (It covers things like disintegrating things, going invisible and teleporting.)
Light is the opposite, and since white light is made of a combination of all the other colours, it fits rather well.
That is my logic anyway.

I think I should make it clear that none of the magics are meant to be good or bad. They are just part of the order of things.
Some combinations though, can be more dangerous then others (such as death and darkness for the nameless, which is a pretty bleak set!).
But there are (for example) a very civilised and sophisticated race called the Tendu who live in the north in Jaydia who have death and mind, but they are not undead or go around murdering each other or anything.
And Quinn-Tain himself has darkness as a power, which shows it has potential for good.
I remember have a debate with a my friend who said killing someone with death magic should be evil. I pointed out that why is killing the bad guy with death magic bad, but killing him with a ball of fire magic is okay? Or killing him with a sword for that matter? He is just as dead at the end!
Admittedly some magics have more violent or destructive applications, but don't go thinking because someone has Light as a magic they are going to be friendly or something.
The Komus, who feature much much later on, combine death and light in very morbid ways.


To answer another point you raise, yes, all the races have the ability to do things that are off-element, so to speak (the Ano-Chee are life and nature, and they had a big ass fire going! The Darsai clearly have some technology because they make kick ass armour, they they don't have technology as an element etc). But Quinn-Tain wields the magic of destruction and creation elements and to some extent he personifies these concepts. He can work great wonders, but also bring down terrible wrath.

(Wow, I am surprised anyone was so interested to talk about all this!)

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Cthonic Cultist at 7:05AM, Dec. 23, 2008
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I was referring more to how ‘darkness’ is generally portrayed. You never hear of ‘Heros of Darkness’, but Heros of Light are very common. Well, in Final Fantasy they make a reference to Dark warriors, but you never play as them that I know.

But I digress. You had already said Death was a seperate element, but I am curious… What would it's effect be on something not really alive, like a golem, or a robot? I would assume nothing, but perhaps death is linked to entropy? Can it corrode? Can it atrophy things?

And the opposite of the listed powers of darkness would be creating things, showing things, and summoning? Not sure what the opposite of teleporting would be. Making yourself MORE substantial?

No magic is inherently evil. Look at necromancy. Most people would assume that since you associate with undead you are evil. Not sure why… Well, not sure where I was going with that, but then you look at summoning. Dealing with extraplanar creatures. In books, they are viewed as evil, or at least slightly insane. They work with beings of purest evil, so people think they must be evil as well, but they would, I would guess, work with beings of pure good. Angels and demons, elementals and fae.

However, the reasoning behind thinking death magic is evil is sound. Using a magic that has fewer oppourtunities for things beyond killing or creating undead would tend to make people fear you, whereas fire can be used many ways. The evil of any magic is determined by those who would use it, though… Eh, I just can't really get my point across, but I think you understand. (Light and death? That should be interesting.)

Do the Darsai have helicopters? Planes? Machine guns?! Probably not, but that would give them a real defensive advantage, I'd say, and make people less likely to want to enslave them for their talents.

Quinn-Tain is an avatar of his magic, then? Hmmm…

(See? I can make big chunks of text too!)
Boring and talentless I am.. At least I am occasionally insightful, maybe?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 7:17AM, Dec. 23, 2008
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Cruses! Now I need to make an even bigger chunk of text to strike back!
Entropy and decay would come under death, but not all races get everything related to their power (Darsai get fire and steel as energy weapons, they can't shoot fire balls off their hands). Though I think you are getting into the write frame of mind for how the magic works, it is open to a lot of interpretations of how each element is applied so different races can use similar powers in very different ways.

Death magic does have applications that mostly relate to bad stuff it's true, but if you blind the dark lord, or kill the murderous bandits for example, it could easily be considered a good act. But though it has a lot of potential for evil, the element itself is not evil, anymore then cyanide is evil because you die if you drink it. It is just a fact of the world, that has potential to be used for bad purposes.
Even life magic has a dangerous potential (you can use it to make yourself stronger and better at fighting and then go and kill people!), so it is the practitioner rather then the magic that determines morality.

The magic also comes through in the cultures in someways.
For example- The Darsai are fierce and Stalwart, so they get fire and steel.
Races with death magic can (but not always) become rather morbid and Dark magic tends to make them nilistic and bleak in their views.

Did I do more text then you? I don't think I did!
Curses, foiled again!

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Cthonic Cultist at 7:27PM, Dec. 24, 2008
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Again, I didn't say that the MAGIC is evil, but the way that people view magic with limited powers such as death would also be limited. With uses limited to death and it's aspects, as well as undeath, those with death magic would use it the only way it can be used. I consider magic of that sort like a weapon… Extremely limited in use, but only the wielder determines HOW it is used.

So. I am agreeing with your assessment. Magic is only as good as it's wielder.

Death and Darkness forever!
Boring and talentless I am.. At least I am occasionally insightful, maybe?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
confusedsoul at 1:57PM, Jan. 6, 2009
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The magics listed, are they shown in the ratio STRONGER:WEAKER? Is steel stronger than the mind? How do the other magics fair pitted against a magic which isn't their opposite?

I always think of Light and Darkness being a matter of balance, where only through an increase on one side does one get the upper hand in a fight. I like the idea of light and dark being described as a category rather than like a simple element, which has always seemed odd to me. How can such complex subjects be whittled down to elements? Like mages throwing Love and Hate at each other.
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Cthonic Cultist at 2:45PM, Jan. 6, 2009
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No, they are shown as opposites in a way that clearly demonstrates such.

Magic is magic. It would depend upon the individual, I'd think. If they were evenly matched, power wise, then skill and craftiness would determine the victor. Those two attributes usually do anyways.

Light and dark… They're just names used to give a very small idea as to what that type of magic does, I think. Light and dark are simple, it is what they are usually used to symbolize that is complex. Anyways…

I cast LOVEBOMB! Your heart detonates from the pure love that infuses it!
Boring and talentless I am.. At least I am occasionally insightful, maybe?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 3:56PM, Jan. 6, 2009
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Confused, the elements are not in order of power, all elements are roughly equal but are useful for different things (like fire magic is better at making you warm then steel magic).
Dark and Light are the two that are considered potentially more powerful and dangerous then the other 12 though. But even so, it depends on who is wielding them.
Light and Dark are not good and evil, as I've explained earlier.
To sumerise again quickly, they are-
Light = Small elements of everything, adaptability, creation.
Dark= Nothingness, destruction, concealing things.

Making someone love or like someone else comes under mind magic. As does making someone hate someone else.
Powers do over lap though, like I could buy causing fear as mind, but also is possible for death. Anyways….

Cthonic- I cast DOUBLE HEART TIME LORD MORPH! The loss of one heart does not kill a two hearted time lord and I attack you in my Tardis! Ramming speed!

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Cthonic Cultist at 4:51PM, Jan. 6, 2009
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I cast FACEROLL! I roll my face on the keyboard for victory!


;jloxds+-*jnnnszwzaqswxdcefrvgbthynjukilo;p./['.;p,.,komjinhubgvtvfrdewxszaq

Yeah. That was a spell. It. Um. It causes a status effect. CONFUSED! It means you occasionally attack yourself or your allies. But while driving a machine-device-creature-thing it will probably cause a few errors in your manipulation of said vehicle. You totally are going to get pulled over by the Timecops.

Also, what does the magic of Technology do? Does it make you more adept at creating technological devices? Does it allow you to make things that you otherwise woule be unable to make with limited materials, like, say, a nuclear reactor out of a sponge and some paperclips?
Boring and talentless I am.. At least I am occasionally insightful, maybe?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 6:55PM, Jan. 6, 2009
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Technology magic allows you to…argh!
Sorry, I just injured myself due to my confused state.
Anyway, as I was saying, technology magic does, as you predicted, relate to your ability to make things, often things others would simply be unable to create.
I would like to give some examples but I feel a should hold back because when they show up in the comic it should be very cool.
Just watch out for the Golta!

Also….

USE ITEM- COSMIC LIME CORDIAL DRINK!
Harkovast's attack power for green flavoured spells increases by 20 points.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
confusedsoul at 8:03AM, Jan. 8, 2009
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Urgh! Not green! I hate that flavour!

I undersatnd that they're opposites, but years of Final fantasy and Pokemon has led me to believe the rock-scissors-paper technique of magical attacks. Like, water is (not this case, mind) normally the opposite of fire, and is more powerful than fire, but suffers in comparison with earth-based magic.

So the magics listed don't have a particular prevalence over one another?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 8:53AM, Jan. 8, 2009
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No, it is not rock paper scissors, more like a different but equal thing.
Since each race gets two elements, if one element beat another it would make some races innately rubbish!
There is no “water beats fire, loses to earth, gets confused by wind, gets on and gets groovys with lightning etc” system.
Ash Catchem would be baffled by Harkovast.

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confusedsoul at 9:04AM, Jan. 8, 2009
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*Ash stares gloomily at the above post* Why can't I just throw balls at the damn thing?
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Cthonic Cultist at 11:55AM, Jan. 8, 2009
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I cast a spell! A RED SPELL! Red, being the polar opposite of green, completely counteracts your bonus!

As to the opposites of magics: Freezing someone kills them just as dead as burning them. Defensively, magic can probably block any magic.

The reason that elements were good against one another in Pokemanz made sense: Grass absorbs water, fire burns grass, water puts out fire. The creatures were themselves the elements, though, and not just casting them.

As to why Ash can't use his little podballs, it would be the same reason he can't use it on people, I think.
Boring and talentless I am.. At least I am occasionally insightful, maybe?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 3:08PM, Jan. 8, 2009
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“No! My balls are useless!” cried Ash Catchem.
I will leave it up to yourselves to decide what context that statement would appear in.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
D_Dude at 2:49AM, Feb. 25, 2009
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Not to distract anyone the high-level magical duel going on, but I was wondering if all darsai can make the energy/flame swords?
And can they be used for things, other than fighting?
And… No wait, I'm out questions.

Damn.
FEAR THE BADGER!
It's not overkill if you don't hit him.
Sir! We are surrounded! … Good. Then we can charge in EVERY direction.
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harkovast at 5:33AM, Feb. 25, 2009
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D Dude, good question!

Making the weapons of Thane takes mental focus, faith and strength of will, requiring training to master. This means that Darsai civilians cant normally do it, the men at arms can generally only make one or two sorts of weapons and the Knights (who have the most control over it) can make a whole array of weapons (even switching mid battle to gain an advantage.)
Sir Muir, a guy of unshakeable faith, is exceptionally good at making energy weapons. The ones he makes are of great power (taking off nameless legs for example) and he can very easily change them as he feels the need. He may be the most accomplished in the creation of energy weapons of all Darsai.

As an interesting note, Men At Arms only have enough mastery to make magic arrows, a skilled knight can actually make the arrows AND the bow out of energy. Most Darsai Knights, however, greatly favour fighting hand to hand over sitting back and shooting, so would mostly use this tactic only as they rush into battle.

Untrained Darsai cant normally make these things (as mentioned) but if they are suitably inspired, such as by a brave knight giving them a speach before a battle etc, they may be able to do so temporarily, for the span of that conflict. As Quinn-Tain mentioned, the Darsai have an unbreakable fighting spirit and if properly roused to action, even meek ones (such as Parah) can be inspired to summon the weapons of Thane.
Admitedly, such civilians will have very little talent in using the energy weapons, so this is the sort of tactic that would be reserved for desperate situations when the Darsai are short on trained soldiers.

As for using the weapons for a purpose other then fighting… the Darsai see the weapons of Thane as a sacred boon from their war god, so using them for manual labour would not be acceptable. Besides, getting “fired up” for battle is a big part of being able to summon the weapons, so only a highly skilled Knight or veteran would have the mastery required to summon energy weapons in a casual, non combative situation. So even if a lazy peasent wanted to summon an energy sythe to cut his corn (the heathen) he would not have the skill to do so.



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RED_NED at 6:24AM, Feb. 27, 2009
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It would be cool to see a Darsai mob, fired up by some priest or someone, riling them up so they make energy pitch forks and stuff :P
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waff at 12:19PM, Feb. 27, 2009
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hmm… well you say that technology magic is linked to building things, but what about manipulating them? (does a race with technology as one of its elements instictivly know how to use what they've created? for example) and how far into the technological history does it extend? (a rube goldburg made out of sticks and flint as well as guns and blackpowder weapons?) and is it a physical process? (find the matierials, beat/melt/etc them into components, put the components together the right way and VOILA! you have built something) or done, literally, by magic? (wave your hands, say a few words and POOF! you have a complicated machine). and the darsai could be argued to use thier fire and steel magics to create thier armour as it appears to be a kind which requires a blacksmith aswell as steel (to be beaten into plates for the armour) and fire (to heat the metal).



Ah I sorry I just have so many questions and I graviate towards technology by preference.

'there is no “overkill” there is only “open fire” and “time to reload” rule #37
the things on my box are a dead squirell, a medal and a paper bag hat.
ow! I have shards of the fourth wall in my eye!
WAFF-MAN!! as of mafia VI
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harkovast at 3:32PM, Feb. 27, 2009
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Good question Waff.
Let me answer by example, if I may?
The Golta, whose nation is on the Golta Peninsula (and you can see a picture of one of them called the Gunsmith in the art section) are a people of fire and technology.
This is expressed through their ability to create remarkable devices and weapons, such as pistols, rockets and the much feared green Golta Fire. the creation of these devices takes a lot of the Golta's inate skill at making things, but there is also literal magic and ritual used in their creation, so only the Golta have the ability to build them or maintain them. Technically, someone else who adopted the Golta life style and lived amongst them, learning to be one of them, could learn these secrets, but as Golta view none Golta as dangerous, untrustworthy and physically disgusting, this is incredibly unlikely! (Golta refer to non-Golta as Tolpish. This is both their races worst insult and their word for foreigner. It all relates to their races history but I'll save that story for another time…)
There is no gunpowder in Harkovast, but they have a substance called Pyronite, which is their inferior equivilant. The Golta know magic which allows them to refine it, making it far more powerful and allows for the creation of much smaller and more effective cannons and weapons then other races can produce.
Basically their technology magic is expressed as literal magic that makes their devices work, but also as a general understanding of technology, interest in it and ability to figure it out.

I should point out though that different races express their magic in different ways, so others may use their technology magic differently to this, but the Golta are a good example to give you the idea.

Of course, lacking magic in something does not mean you cant do it at all.
The Darsai clearly possess some technology, and make use of water in the worship of one of their gods etc
And the Ano-Chee (life and nature) make use of a big fire in their ritual to summon Ki.

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waff at 4:23AM, Feb. 28, 2009
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So if I understand your answer correctly If an example race migrated to the world of harkovast with, say, mind and technology as thier elements. there is as good a chance of them simply being brilliant engineers as there is of them being able to create mechanical constructs to fight for them (or could that be technology and life).

'there is no “overkill” there is only “open fire” and “time to reload” rule #37
the things on my box are a dead squirell, a medal and a paper bag hat.
ow! I have shards of the fourth wall in my eye!
WAFF-MAN!! as of mafia VI
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 6:03AM, Feb. 28, 2009
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Yes Waff, you cant predict what a race will be like based on the magic elements as they can express in all sorts of different ways (depending on what I want them to do!)

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waff at 3:25PM, March 26, 2009
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I was looking through the thread to make a connection on something when I read in the 1st post the Gnarl are an exception to the 2 elements a race thing…so how are they an exception? and why?.

'there is no “overkill” there is only “open fire” and “time to reload” rule #37
the things on my box are a dead squirell, a medal and a paper bag hat.
ow! I have shards of the fourth wall in my eye!
WAFF-MAN!! as of mafia VI
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 5:31PM, March 26, 2009
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Ummm, darn it, I'd REALLY love to answer, but that would give away cool stuff I don't want to explain till a lot later on (Book 2, which is about a million years away right now!)
The Knarl (the “K” is silent) have a large empire in Jaydia, to the north of Vellastrom.
They are basically different in the way they work to all the other races.
They don't use any magic at all. Magic is utterly alien to them and they have no connection to it. This is why they cant produce kids with other races (as mentioned on the half caste thread). Though to be honest, no one would want to mate with a Knarl anyway, and a Knarl would not want to mate with you (unless you were another Knarl, obviously!)
Beyond that I cant really tell you anything more without giving too many spoilers. I also cant really explain why, which is frustrating!

Sorry I keep doing this to you Waff, you ask some very good questions, unfortunately a lot of them are so good I cant answer them without giving stuff away that I don't want too!

But the Knarl, and indeed the Knarl Empire, are extremely cool and in Book 2 we will see a LOT of them.
And as the subjects of the Knarl Empire would say-
“STRENGTH TO THE EMPIRE!”

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
mt1608 at 1:42PM, April 4, 2009
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Wow… LONG discussion…
Personally, (also from my comic's point of view), everything is a matter of balance, and there's no Evil/Good seperation.
I would like to ask:
Is the two-element thing sort of similar to a representation of Alignments in the D&D system (eg: Death and Fire combination tending towards a sort of Chaotic Evil?) Or does the elemental affinity of the races have no connection towards their tendencies of behaviour.
Also I thought it seems weird to have a technological ‘magic’. :0 I always considered those two to be polar opposites.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM

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