Shogun getting in Chen-Chen's face
|Author(s)||Daniel and Julie Stribley|
|Launch date||October 16, 2008|
Harkovast is a fantasy webcomic written and drawn by Daniel Stribley, and colored by his wife Julie. The comic is notable for being drawn and coloured largely by hand, using pens and coloured pencils. It is rated Mature on Drunk Duck due mainly to numerous depictions of bloody violence. The comic is accompanied by a forum on which the authors gives additional information on the background of Harkovast.
The story is about a world known as Harkovast (from which the comic gets its name) and the wars fought by its inhabitants against a dark army from the West known as The Nameless. Up to this point, the story has taken place on the Continent of Vellastrom.
Each nation in Harkovast is a different species, each of which has its own culture and resembles a different animal.
Nations of Harkovast
The Darsai have a catlike appearance and a culture similar to medieval Europe. They worship a war god called Thane and a healing goddess called Hevalla. They are renowned for their brave knights, who live and fight by elaborate codes of chivalry. The Darsai have a magical ability to create purple weapons of glowing fiery energy with which they fight their enemies. They are associated with the magical elements of Fire and Steel.
The Tsung-Dao have a reptilian appearance and a culture similar to feudal Japan. They seek order in the world, and worship a number of gods who were once Tsung-Dao but achieved enlightenment. They are associated with the magical elements of Life and Steel.
The Ano-Chee are fox-like in appearance and have a culture similar to some Native American cultures. They worship the spirits of their ancestors, and possess the magical power to bring the dead back to life. They are associated with the magical elements of Life and Nature.
The Nymus are a birdlike race, with wings on their backs with which they can glide, as well as arms. They have a culture somewhat like ancient Greece, and worship 14 gods, one for each magical element. The Nymus are associated with the magical elements of Light and Air.
The Junlocks resemble wolves and have a culture based on ancient Gauls and Britains. They worship the sun and the moon as their gods. Many Junlocks have become very bitter at the hardships their people have suffered in passed wars. The Junlocks are associated with Life and Ice.
Other races have been mentioned in passing but have yet to be described in detail.
The Nameless Race
Little is know about the Nameless Race. They do not resemble any recognisable animal as their bodies are entirely covered in armour and clothing which is attached to their bodies and cannot be removed, though their blood is green. The Nameless seem to be incapable of speech, though they can roar in anger or pain. Some of them have elongated helmets, which may hide a snout, though not all have this. One has so far appeared who was massively taller then the others. The relationship between the different kinds of Nameless that have appeared has not been made clear. The Nameless are controlled by the Fourteen Evils (only one of whom, The Speaker, has been seen so far), who in turn answer to a being known as The King in the West. The nature of The King in the West has not yet been described. The Nameless are described as coming "from the West" which, from the map of Vellastrom, seems to imply they come from across the sea. The Nameless are associated with the magical elements of Death and Darkness.
Characters of Harkovast
Quinn-Tain's race is unknown, as he has yet to be seen fully, except from behind. He describes himself as being of the Wizards of Eldex, though whether this is the name of his race or an organisation of which he is a member is not yet clear. He dresses in a red cloak and hood, wooden armour and carries two large wooden swords. He claims to be leading the defence of Harkovast against the Nameless.
An Ano-Chee shaman and an ally of Quinn-Tain. She wears a large headdress of multi coloured feathers and her skills in magic allow her to raise the dead, though it is not yet clear if there are any limits on her ability to do this.
Ki is a Nymus assassin, who was brought back to life by Scatterpod. Scatterpod thought that resurrecting him was a dangerous idea, because she considers Ki an immoral and uncontrollable killer, but she agreed to do it for Quinn-Tain. Quinn-Tain has stated his desire for Ki to hunt down and destroy the agents of the Enemy for him. Ki is arrogant and confident. He dresses in black, with a dark mask and sash across his body. In battles he makes use of two sickles and small blade launchers built into his gloves. He is said by Quinn-Tain to be a master of Dark magic. He has used this to teleport short distances.
Sir Muir is an aging Darsai knight. He is heavily scarred, and wears damaged armour with a torn tabard. He seems to be somewhat confused, prone to losing track of what he is doing, getting distracted during battles and telling long rambling stories, which make very little sense. This is possibly due to a long journey under the hot sun that he took just before his first appearance in the comic, due to his age, or due to injuries he may have sustained. In spite of this, he has shown himself to be a skilled warrior, and very brave.
Shogun is a Darsai who has decided to live his life as a Tsung-Dao, following the teachings of their religion and their culture. He is a powerful Samurai who uses a sword called the Hidden Fang. This magical katana has a blade which disappears entirely into the handle when it is not in use. He also has a mechanical left hand and forearm. This was built by the enigmatic Lel and is said to be impenetrable and have a 'grip that is absolute'. Shogun has an angry manner and gets quite defensive if someone describes him as a Darsai.
Chen-Chen is a young Tsung-Dao who is sent to get Shogun to help stop attacks from bandits against her hometown. She is cheerful and friendly, though she has little experience with foreign cultures and finds their customs very odd indeed.
The Heretic is an evil Tsung-Dao, who was once a monk but only wanted power, not enlightenment. He murdered the other monks of his temple before escaping and now leads a gang of bandits, containing both Tsung-Dao and Junlocks, that are terrorising the local towns.
The Speaker is a vulture-like Nymus who is one of the fourteen evils (the Evil of Mind.) He dresses in a wide black hat and a black robe. He describes himself as a humble preacher man and claims to serve the one true God. His speech is often in the style of powerful sermons about his faith. He has been shown to has persuasive powers, commanding an angry Junlock to drown himself (the Junlock complied) and also causing the other Junlocks to believe what he was telling them and wish to serve his god (despite The Speaker having just killed one of their friends).