The Ultimate Harko-Quiz!

The Harkovast Design A Character Contest 2010= RESULTS!!!
harkovast at 5:14PM, May 24, 2010
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Massive thanks to everyone who took part, I really enjoyed seeing all the ideas.
I was so impressed with the entries that I am going to do my best to work as many of them into the story as I can, to show my appreciation.
But there can only be one winner who gets the coveted Sir Muir Mug!
First, here are the runners up-


Kouldie by Niccea is a Golta mercenary with a bad ass scar (though this does not inhibit her ability to shoot people.)


Ol Grimald by mt1608 is a Junlock who used to work for The West but has realised what a mistake that is and turned against them. He's a bitter, battle hardened warrior.


Parrin by Kroatz is the younger brother of Sir Muir. He is brave, but not very skilled with energy weapons. Most of the time he ends up bashing people on the head with his shield!


This mysterious Nymus assassin by RPGgrenade used to work for the Nameless, but now wants to live in peace and use his skills for healing rather then poisoning.
(Note the cool dart launcher on his wrist!)


Isahgra is an Al-Saigal warrior from the northern continent of Jaydia. (This is a race that has yet to appear in the comic, so this is sort of an exciting sneak peek into the future.)

But finally (unless I messed this up and left someone off) here is the winning entry…


Lan-Fau by Wordweaver (central), along with his two helpers Chin-Tau (the thin one) and Lou-Bo (the fat one).
Why did this character win?
Rather than explain it to you, I will let you read the explanation that Wordweaver sent to me. Its so astoundingly in depth and well researched from information on the maps and descriptions on the forums and in the comic, that I really didn't have a choice but to declare him the winner!
Check it out in the post below….

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
harkovast at 5:16PM, May 24, 2010
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The Colossus of the Tsung-Dao

It is widely known that the Tsung-Dao have few diversionary pursuits, preferring to lead lives of quiet contemplation. However, that is not to say they never partake in any entertainment at all. There come times in which the martial skill in which so many Tsung-Dao hone must be put to the test. These test of skill often attract small crowds of onlookers eager to witness a demonstration of skill, be they martial artist, samurai, or even mah-jong players. These are usually local affairs and attract only modest attention. There are no recognized rules regarding these challenges.

The art of sumo, on the other hand, is steeped in tradition, painstaking ritual and is enormously popular.

Sumo wrestling is the closest thing the Tsung-Dao have to a spectator sport, and the wrestlers themselves are the closest thing they have to celebrities. There are two major sumo events each year, one prior to the spring planting and one following the fall harvest. The inhabitants of Tsung-Dao will travel great distances to witness these events. It is not unusual for half of a village to make the journey, leaving the other half to attend to their chores. The ones left behind do the extra work happily, secure in the knowledge that they will be able to attend the next sumo event.

The popularity of sumo often baffles outsiders. A typical match consists of twenty minutes of ceremony followed by a five to ten second bout in which two huge, shirtless Tsung-Dao attempt to either push the other out of the ring or force him to the ground. Hardly any part of the pre-match is without it's own ritual. The wrapping of the hands (to prevent the use of claws) in itself can take ten minutes. The spectators watch all of this in rapt silence, only breaking it to acknowledge the victor with polite taping of the claws on the bench which they sit.

Sumo wrestlers are not rewarded with wealth, but with rank. The highest being the grand champion (yokozuna). The current holder of this rank is Lan-Fau.

Lan-Fau is enormous by both Tsung-Dao and sumo standards. The official sumo records, which go back hundreds of years, lists him has the largest to ever practice sumo in terms of height (though a number were larger in girth, and several larger in weight). Oddly, both his mother and father were of average height and build. As a child his larger physique was readily apparent and a village elder suggested he study sumo. Ever mindful of his elders opinions, Lan-Fau complied and joined a sumo stable in Wu-Din, which was renowned for producing many grand champions. The life of the sumo was much more difficult then he had envisioned. Adherence to structure and ritual was ridged even by Tsung-Dao standards. Everything from eating, training, sleeping, speaking and even bathing and grooming were fraught with concerns of ritual and ceremony. A hierarchy system, which is notably absent in most of Tsung-Dao society, suddenly dictated a great deal of his life. Even so, Lan-Fau found it to be a rewarding lifestyle. There was a great emphasis on food, and Lan-Fau did so love eating. His great size, strength, and agility helped him to move readily up the ranks.

Once a sumo reaches a certain rank he graduates to a “wanderer”, whereas it is deemed that he can no longer learn while in the confines of the stable and must go out and be an example of the poise, grace and dignity that is the sumo. The great gaps between matches give the sumo ample time to travel. While traveling they are expected to act in a manner befitting a sumo, since even their actions outside the ring can effect their rank. An action that embarrasses the sumo as a whole can lead to immediate reduction in rank and possibly even a revocation of their sumo status. A sumo is expected to offer his assistance and heed any request that doesn't violate the sumo code, as a result Lan-Fau may be found mending fences one day, throwing pottery the next, and planting rice the day after. Even so, it is not without it's benefits. The Tsung-Dao are always offering the sumo the best of what they have, be it clothing, food, or casual conversation. As a result, Lan-Fau is well dressed, well fed, and well informed.

And important note regarding sumo matches: The last major event was canceled to to fears that the traveling countryfolk would become easy fodder for the marauding bands that have plagued the land. There is little hope that the next one will be held, though some small events are still being organized by the “wandering” sumo in order to improve morale.

It is tradition that a “wandering” sumo have an entourage. This entourage usually consists of one guard and one sumo trainee.

Chin-Tao is a young, lanky Tsung-Dao that carries himself with a confidence that is probably not deserved. From a very young age he knew his fate was to become a great samurai warrior. This knowledge was thoroughly dashed when trainer after trainer refused him as a student, citing “a great lack of humility” as the main reason. Chin-Tao was pretty sure they were just jealous of his abilities. The elder of his village feared that Chin-Tao might be seduced by the bandit lifestyle and suggested (rather forcefully) that he lend his fighting spirit to the sumo as a guard. As fate would have it, he found himself in the service of Lan-Fau, possibly the most boring guard duty in the whole of Harkovast. In fact, it would be entirely uneventful if it weren't for the fact that Lou-Bo was such an oaf.

Lou-Bo is a sumo trainee that likely would have been cast out had Lan-Fau not agreed to take him on as his servant. It is important to note that this is not a punishment, but an honor. Troubled trainees are often paired with ranking sumo in the hopes that they would glean knowledge and skill from the better sumo. Lou-Bo's duties are any menial tasks that Lan-Fau designates for him, usually cooking, washing clothes, feed and care of their histoo, Lu-Lu, upkeep of the cart Lu-Lu pulls, and organization and protection of the ceremonial wrestling vestments. The problem is that Lou-Bo isn't very bright and he's terribly clumsy. When washing clothes in a river it's not unusual for him to lose an article of clothing or two. Or even all of them. He sometimes mixes up Lu-Lu's food with everybody else's, and often forgets to grease the axle on the cart. On more then one occasion a rider from the town they recently left brought them the crate with the vestments that they had forgotten. As a result Lan-Fau often ends up uttering those words that Chin-Tao dreads the most: “How about you give Lou-Bo a hand over there?”

Lan-Fau is very patient with Lou-Bo, but Chin-Tao has grown to resent the squat sumo, and takes any opportunity to vent his frustrations. Usually with a swat to the back of Lou-Bo's head when Lan-Fau isn't watching.


(Well done Wordweaver! I am suitably impressed! A Sir Muir Mug will be on its way to you! Well done to everyone who entered though. Judging was really tough but then wordweaver came in at the last minute with this huge wealth of background that settled it. And if you forget to take part, don't worry! I am sure to do more Harko-contests in the future!)

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
RPGgrenade at 6:37PM, May 24, 2010
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wow, no wonder i didn't win O.o; I salute to you dear Winner! i really do, well done

The liquid creations of Gods passed down to man, but sometimes an object of the gods' realm can cause chaos in the mortal realm.
Read Nectar of the Gods!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
mt1608 at 12:42AM, May 25, 2010
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Congrats to Wordweaver.

Why do I get the feeling that Lan-Fau would be so much more mobile/ efficient if he were traveling alone…
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Hakoshen at 4:57AM, May 25, 2010
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Shit, if I'd known writing was that important a part of the contest I would have given more than two sentences XD . Grats Weaver.
God needed the Devil, the Beatles needed the Rolling Stones, Hakoshen needs me.
I'm the enemy he requires to define him.
Soon or later, he'll bring me back to life again for another epic encounter of shouting about power levels and grimacing.
-Harkovast
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
harkovast at 9:54AM, May 25, 2010
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As I mentioned, I am going to try to include all of the character designs I've received in the comic. They were all really, really good.

Thank you to everyone who took part!

Hak- I was as surprised as anyone by the depth of info Wordweaver provided. The dude went crazy!

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
Kroatz at 1:59PM, May 25, 2010
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I lost, and seeing the amazing work the rest did I'm almost glad I did…

My fave is Isahgra, I can almost see her walking through the desert being annoyed by those around her…
Comidion.deviantart.com
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
harkovast at 4:37PM, May 25, 2010
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posts: 5,197
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Ishagra is very cool.
Judging was extremely difficult but then at the last minute (almost literally) I got this giant document from wordweaver. Even I was staggered at the amount of thought he'd put into it.

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM
harkovast at 3:31PM, Aug. 24, 2010
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posts: 5,197
joined: 10-12-2008
And here, at last, are all the entries redrawn in Harkovast style! Wooohoo!













For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:17AM

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