Harkovast- the forum

Maps of Harkovast
harkovast at 2:47PM, Dec. 10, 2008
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Here is a political map of Vellastrom, the southern continent on which most of the action in book 1 takes place.
It is fairly simply drawn (and coloured by me not Julie, as I don't want to divert any colouring time from the real comic), but it should give you a good idea of the layout.
Also, it gives a fun insight into some of the races and peoples that have yet to be seen in the comic.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
RED_NED at 11:17AM, Dec. 12, 2008
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How do!

The map's cool, I like how its done in pencil like the comic. There's one thing I'd change though, the countries should have the names typed out in the same font as ‘The West’ and ‘Yaydia’ because it's hard to read handwriting over colour, especially the Zadakine Alliance and Darsai Kingdom.

Plus a few tweaks, like maybe making it a bit bigger or have the top fade into black so we can see the rest of the continent but not the countries in it?

But on the whole it is very nice (With a Borat accent)!

Oh and maybe put a compass on? So then you don't have to say where the west is because it becomes pretty self explanatory (and all olde worlde maps have compasses!)

Enough waffling, you can tell me where to shove my ideas if you want!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 1:18PM, Dec. 12, 2008
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You know where to shove 'em you dirty sea lion!
Your suggestions are all wise, but when you read the bonus material, you cant always expect it to be up to the standard of the actual comic!
The map is pretty rough and ready and I will get back to working on it again to improve it.
It is mainly just to let people get a feel for the lay out of things.
But yes, when I can pull myself away from comic scribblings I will make time to redo it better.
Ooooh better yet, I could do the fonts for each nations name in the font that nation speaks in. Snazzy.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Lemniskate at 12:01AM, Dec. 13, 2008
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Ooh, map.
Are there cities, rivers, etc., too? Respectively: will you include them into the revised version of the map?
And maybe you could make the borders and coast-lines more zig-zaggy. Especially borderlines which look like drwan with a ruler are always suspect to me.
That said, I still like it. Maps are an essential part of every fantasy world.
 Vańmyz umoj.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 7:18AM, Dec. 13, 2008
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I should clarify that this is meant to be a political map, not a geographical one.
Yes, there are loads of cities, rivers and all that sort of thing. I will add in some off the major cities to the next version, but I will probably do a seperate map for rivers, forests and that sort of thing (because I dont want this one to get too busy).
This map is just to give you an idea of where the different races/ kingdoms are.
The exact boarders I imagine would be pretty fuzzy, and change quite a lot (since they don't have satellites to map them out etc). I will make them more zig zaggy next time around.
I did not realise this map would get critiqued so much! I'm going to have to pull my socks up to improve it.
Though remember, bonus stuff on the forum is always going to be a bit crappier then what you get in the comic!


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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
RED_NED at 8:55AM, Dec. 13, 2008
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Sounds like excuses to me!

Yeah I know it's rough and ready, (how I like it!) but snazzy fonts would be ace.

Anyway, I wont hark on about it (see what I did there? I feel ashamed!)
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 9:12AM, Dec. 13, 2008
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Political Map of Vellastrom, version 2.
It was coloured on the computer to save time because it took AGES to make!
Hope you like it.
Note that not every city is included (The Ivos empire has a lot more then those shown) but these are all the ones mentioned in the story as I have planned it so far (and a few extra ones too). I'll add more in in the future.
The Golta are a secretive bunch, who don't allow none Golta in their territory and though the rough locations of their cities are known, their names are not. (It is not clear to outsiders if these are cities or just massive fortresses guarding their coast).
Cities with yellow dots are capitals.



You're welcome.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Lemniskate at 1:17PM, Dec. 13, 2008
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Yep, I like it. It makes me curious, and I think that's a positive quality of fantasy maps. What's Galmonion's Wall? :)

(No need to answer that.)
 Vańmyz umoj.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Ironscarfs Ghost at 2:27PM, Dec. 13, 2008
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This map just makes me want more Harkovast. I'm losing sleep over this now and when I do sleep I'm starting to have anthropomorphic dreams and a big sword.

If Drunk Duck is remembered in 100 years time it will be for this comic.
Er……..boo!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 4:04PM, Dec. 13, 2008
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Lemniskate, here is an answer to your question which will tell you almost nothing but what the hell.
It is the wall that the Ivos Emperor Galmonion built to keep the Junlocks out.
Obvious really.
Who would want a load of Junlocks running around in their empire causing trouble?
Not Galmonion, that's for sure!

Ironscarf, have a medal! Seriously, your support is fantastic.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 6:14AM, Dec. 14, 2008
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I've reposted this under the new snazzy art section of my forum.
Though you can still post about it here, if you fancy.
It's not like I'm running out of room or anything!

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Cthonic Cultist at 4:26PM, Jan. 3, 2009
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First off, I was also going to ask about the wall, but it has already been answered. Secondly, I would like to know the political systems of each of the lands. Republics, democracies, and socialistic societies are unlikely, but who knows?

Darsai is a kingdom, and Nymus is a republic, that I can tell from the maps, but what of the others?

And how is the Nymus republic run? Kingdoms and empires are pretty much run the same way, but semi-democratic governments are different. Is their a leader who has more power than the rest? Are votes evenly distributed thoughout the republic, or only to the rich and powerful? Taxes? Raising armies? How are those things done?

And enough theoretical information for now, I think. I got quite a bit from the forum on magic.
Boring and talentless I am.. At least I am occasionally insightful, maybe?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 5:21PM, Jan. 3, 2009
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Cthonic good question.
I won't go into what everyone does because I don't want to be here all week, so let me tell you about the Nymus Republic.
Nymus are stylistically a bit ancient greek in terms of their dress, equipment and culture and the look of their cities (but with more tall towers which suit their ability to glide).
The Republic is made up of several large city states which vary in how autonomous they are, some do what ever they feel like, others have very close ties. (Each city state has a name based on the name of a Nymus god, which is their patron. Example- Nylanna the air goddess (Known as the shinning spear of heaven) is the patron of the capital Nylanen). Note that there are 14 Nymus gods, so not every one has a city state devoted too it.
Each city state elects its own leaders through a democratic process.
Each citizen gets a vote, but who gets put up as candidates is a very heavily controlled by the powers that be, so though technically anyone can get to be in charge, in reality it stays in the hands of a relatively small number of powerful ruling families.
Each State also elects representatives to go to the Grand Forum in the capital Nylanen and these representatives (though much political deal making and double crossing) select from amongst themselves the republics leader (who may be called “the citizen elect”, but I am not completely sure).
Nymus take huge pride in their system of government and use as yet further evidence of why they are so much more sophisticated and clever then those barbaric backwards Darsai and their mindless devotion to fuedalism and monarchy.
Rather then being unaware of all the rather shady corrupt aspects of their democracy, the Nymus see these as a sign of how enthusiastic and healthy the system is, that those involved put great effort into it. As long as all the votes are counted fair and square at the end, a little back room dealing and wrangling is a good thing.
Obviously I haven't planned out every rank and post of this system, or all the exact mechannics of it, but you get the idea. It is not like this stuff comes up a lot in the comic anyway, so I think that is as much background as is required.
Be warned, this is the general idea but until it features in the comic, details can be changed. (I can;t think why they would, but just warning you).

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Cthonic Cultist at 7:46PM, Jan. 3, 2009
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Sounds like a mixture of the American and Roman republics. The governments of Darsai and Nymus fit very well with the amount of land they have. Republics take a very VERY long time to get to things when they have to travel over vast distances to get their voters' opinions, whereas a monarchy does what it wants and gets straight to the point. Not saying monarchy is better, it just reaches decisions of import faster.

As for class, why not just use a mixture of the Greek and Roman republics? That would seem to fit with the motif.
Boring and talentless I am.. At least I am occasionally insightful, maybe?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 5:36AM, Jan. 4, 2009
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Well the look of the Nymus is greek, but not all of their attitudes and stuff with necessarily be of an ancient greek nature.
The ancient greek democracies were direct democracy where everyone voted on each issue, so I think this is closer to the roman (or indeed american) model.
If you wondered, the stylistically roman race are the Ivos, (with legionaires, gladiators, an empire and all that good stuff) who exonerate their military and warfare as being central to their culture.
Races in Harkovast take things here and there from cultures that really existed (because history is cool, kids) but don't always follow them precisely.
I'm glad you approve of the amount of land each nation has, that was purely good fortune on my part!

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Cthonic Cultist at 4:41PM, Jan. 4, 2009
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Well, sure. You mix and match to fit, as makes sense.

I never really liked the romans. The only thing they were good at was warfare, and they pretty much gave up on that when the citizens got lazy. They were cruel, arrogant, and rather insane (from all the plumbing, you know) but they DID keep good records. That's nice, in that it helped keep Europe from completely forgetting the past, but still.


Anyways. Maybe the country sizes will change within the story, eh?
Boring and talentless I am.. At least I am occasionally insightful, maybe?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 5:22PM, Jan. 4, 2009
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I am sure the races will all live in peace and so will have no reason to adjust their boarders at any point….
*sniggers*

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Cthonic Cultist at 6:01PM, Jan. 4, 2009
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Surely that is the case. The comic so far has been a play, or a dream. Nothing like the way it is. Right? Of course.
Boring and talentless I am.. At least I am occasionally insightful, maybe?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 6:01AM, Jan. 5, 2009
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While I am all infavour of cool dream sequences, nothing annoys me more then when you think the characters are all in danger and then its a dream or just a training exercise or some crap.
Argh! The start of Tomb Raider pissed me off so much….mind you the rest of tomb raider pissed me off too! That movie was terrible!

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
waff at 1:40PM, Feb. 27, 2009
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I can't help but notice that the map is of a peninsula. therefore do the namless ones came from the sea (the west as you label it) or the land bridge (jaydia)?

'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 3:10PM, Feb. 27, 2009
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Waff, The Nameless come from the Nameless continent far to the west, travelling across the sea to reach Vellastrom (or indeed, Jaydia, though as Quinn-Tain indicates at the start, Vellastrom is where the enemy has chosen focus his main efforts. Vallastrom is more politically divided and more unstable then some of the nations to the north.)
The Nameless continent is usually refered to simply as The West, and the Nameless themselves get called the minions of the West or the Eight Nations of the West or the Eight Nameless Nations (or variations on that theme, you get the idea.)

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
NStep at 7:26PM, May 29, 2009
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I'm curious if you envisioned a mechanism for the races segregating themselves geographically.

Or perhaps they were never intermingled and it's more of a creation story thing?
-Nick
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 7:02AM, May 30, 2009
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The races keep separate because they have very different cultures, ways of thinking and world views which put barriers between them. For example, the Tsung-Dao desire order, while the Darsai see warrior honour codes and fair play as the ideals to strive for, while the Nymus value their sophisticated culture and democratic system of government.
Also there is the stigma a lot of cultures attach to half castes, which discourages them inter breeding.
There are people of other races who lives within the boarders of some of the countries (this is explored later on, when we see the “Darsai town” in a Nymus city) and people might travel to other nations to trade or look for work.
Most nations dont have closed boarders (the Golta being a strong exception to this!)

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Snowhunter at 7:34AM, Aug. 6, 2009
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I noticed that the tribal nations (Junlock, Ano-Chee, and Onrapa) have no cites. Should we assume that those are all rough territories that the nomadic tribes move around in? Does that mean that the political borders of these countries shift slightly because of tribal movements? Some of them must be fairly well locked in place, like the Junlocks who seem to have very agresive neighbors on all sides. The Ano-Chee and the Onrapra seem to have some wiggle room when it comes to flexible borders.

I'm just asking for some reference on cultre and the responses of those around them. The Junlocks seem to have a mix of Viking and Celtic backgrounds which would indicate that they would have semi-permant to permanent villages. The Ano-Chee on the other hand are more based upon the Native Americans which would indicate a nomadic culture of sometype indicating that their borders would shift either from season to season or year to year
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harkovast at 12:26PM, Aug. 27, 2009
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All the boarders here are to some extent fluid. Since they lack modern mapping methods, exactly where a lot of the boarders lie is open to interpretation, with some kingdoms claiming to own land that the others consider their territory and some places along the boarders that no one lays a certain claim to.
The Nymus city of Dacoven mainly exists to state the Nymus claim to that territory and the valueable trade routes it over looks.

The Junlock culture is actualy modeled on the ancient gauls (the people the romans considered barbarians who lived in what is today France) so they are still relatively primative, though more advanced then the Ano-Chee or Onrapa.
They do have some permanent settlements, defended by wooden walls made of large stakes, but nothing on a large enough scale to be called a city.
The Junlocks have learned to fiercely defend their territory from encrouchment by hostile nieghbours and mark the edges with standing stones, carved with warnings against transgressors.
Junlock hierachy is not very centralised, with many lords and kings ruling various separate tribes. Inter tribe conflict is very rare in recent years due to their need to unite for mutual defence, those tribes will often scoff at each other, claiming their own tribe to be better and that their rivals “lack the trousers for battle” etc.
To better unify the tribes a role of High King was created several generations ago, though how much power he exerts over them is more a matter of his own person force of character, rather then any well formed command structure. The Junlocks lack anything so formal as a capital.

The Ano-Chee you are right about the Ano-Chee being mobile. they are very intune wiith the cycles of the natural world so are quick to move to take advatange of it.
They dont have any settlements much bigger then a villiage and none of them are very permanent. They use simple teepee's during the summer months and build more permanent wigwams during winter (though even these are only design to stand for a season before being abandoned.)
Their closeness with nature and magical influence over it means they can support a surprisingly large population despite being basically hunter gatherers, lacking much in the way of organised farming.
The Ano-Chee do not have a single leader, but various tribal chiefs who meet to discuss matters as well as Shamans who provide spirtual council.
A single War Chief may be selected in times of war though, to give them unified leadership.
Inter tribal disputes that become very serious are usually settled by ritualised combat between a select group of braves (Ano-Chee warriors) from the parties involved. To take matters further then this would bring condemnation from the Shamans that would harm a chiefs standing and undermine his supprot amongst his warriors.

The Onrapa are rather like medieval celts, though somewhat more primitive.
They are expert climbers and build their homes amongst the tree tops of their heavily forested homeland.
Much like those of the Ano-Chee, these settlements are designed to be only semi- permenent and built quickly and abandoned.
They also rely on their nature magic to make up for a lack of organised farming methods, which the Onrapa see as an affront to the nature spirits they worship.
The Onrapa were once ruled by various kings but these have slowly been absorbed (through deal making or force) under the ruler ship of a council of religious figures, who now speak as the leaders of all the Onrapa tribes.
Known as the Druids of the Harvestor, these priests worship a being known as the Harvestor, who they claim is the greatest of all the Forest Spirits.
They are brutal in supressing all decent against them, and worked to fill the Onrapa with anger towards other nations (especially the Ivos) who they claim are despoilers who disrespect the natural world and its spirits, and must pay for their transgressions!
The Harvestor is said to have been wounded in The First Nameless War, and now sleeps within a black and rotten tree, which stands in a clearing where no other plant will grow and no animal will go willingly.
Within the tree, the Harvestor waits, her strength now fully returned, listening always for her masters call.
A call that will come from the West…

The Ivos Empire has in the past encroach on the Ano-Chee and Onrapa, but these campaigns proved hard going. The forested terrains of these nations combined with their control of nature magic make them ill suited for the organised formations and tactics of the Ivos, who have found far more success attacking the more open terrain of the Junlock's homeland.
Since military success and political success are so closely linked in the Empire, no leader has suggested a renewal of exspansion on the eastern frontier since before the First Nameless War.




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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Snowhunter at 9:32AM, Sept. 4, 2009
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Many people like the one you have described (Junlocks and Anochee) that are made up of many tribes often have some kind of visual signal that they are part of one tribe or another, like standard, tatoos, hair styles or color, bead decorations, or even a specific type of cloth. The scottish clans all had their own unique pattern of plaid. Native American tribe had many ways of showing their tribal affiliation.

Do the tribe among your peoples show the same sort of labeling?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 11:08AM, Sept. 4, 2009
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The Junlocks wear variously patterned trousers when they go to war to denote their tribal affiliations (the ones in the story so far are bandits and thugs from various tribes, so lack any type of uniformity to their trousers.)

I hadn't honestly considered this issues for the Ano-Chee, though they do wear a lot of war paint, when they go to fight, so that would most likely be the main way to tell each tribe apart.

I also haven't considered this for the Onrapa, but again it is pretty self explanatory. Since they are celtic in style, they will have various colours of tartan that denote their different groups.

(Those last two I am deciding on as I am typing, but I think they follow on pretty logically. I cant always have every detail of Harkovast planned out but I like to think the setting is robust enough that I can easily extrapolate logical answers!)

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Snowhunter at 8:42AM, Sept. 10, 2009
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I didn't expect you to have every little facet and detail of the world created already. I was just asking to see how far you had gotten in your planning. It is good to have a background to build from. Anyway, this is what the forum is for, feedback and questions that lead to world building right?

I personally have problems with doing things backwards. I start with the details and then try to work back to the cultural base. It's more difficult this way and often leads to contradictions. it will take me quite a bit longer to figure out my worlds cultures and political boundaries.

I think your setting has alot to offer. Once the readers get enough information about the world and the races they may be able to figure out some of these answers on their own. I guess once the story line gets into some of the other countries you will be able to show off more of the work that you have done.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 3:44PM, Sept. 10, 2009
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As you should all have guessed, we are going to see a lot of the Tsung-Dao in the immediate future, but after that we will get more of the Nymus, Zadakine and the Darsai, among others.

Ooooh I can't wait!

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Plague Doctor at 9:15AM, July 25, 2010
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So,the West is overseas then?
That means that Nameless travel by ships,but where do the ships land?
In the beginning of Harkovast there was a war between Darsai and Nameless on the land,so that would mean that Nameless ships landed on the shors of Darsai Kingdom.
It would be more logical that Darsai would first send their navy to make sure Nameless don't land in their Kingdom in the first place.
Unless ofcourse,despite the Darsai defence,few Nameless ships with remaining army managed to land.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM

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