The Aldanian Empire
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The Aldanian Empire

Thu, 26th Sep, 2019

BMR on Thu, 26th Sep, 2019

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And here we have an image of the Aldanian Empire. In size, it's somewhat larger than modern-day Russia (the current largest by area). Specifically, 17.1 million km² for Russia, and 25.7 million km² for the Aldanian Empire. That's somewhere roughly between the British Empire and the Mongol Empire.

They've been kicking around for a thousand years or so, a couple hundred years longer than the Byzantine Empire (874 years) and just shy of the Republic of Venice (1,100 years). And no, they weren't all medieval knights and swords throughout that entire time. That would be silly. I find that a lot of fantasy writers don't quite have a good grasp of the sheer scale of time, with empires lasting thousands and thousands of years, yet the military technology of the empire's founders is practically identical to its modern-day soldiers. That's something I actively try to avoid, and will perhaps be something that we'll see if I ever do a series of pages on the earlier days of the empire. Now, granted, a thousand years seems like a rather long time for a single dynasty to rule, and you might think that I'm going against what I just said. But keep in mind though, compared to the real world? A thousand years isn't even half of some of the longer-lived dynasties we've got. In Japan, the Yamato Dynasty (the Imperial House of Japan) has been on the Chrysanthemum Throne for a whopping 2,679 years! In Europe, you've got the Capetian Dynasty which ruled for 805+34 years (987 CE to 1792 CE, plus again for a little while from 1814 CE to 1848 CE). So a thousand years or so for a single dynasty? Not too outside the realm of possibility.

Also, despite what may be written here, things aren't quite that peachy among the heirs, as we've seen. So while a thousand years isn't impossible, it's quite probable that things will descend into chaos, especially as the empire isn't exactly as strong or powerful as it was in the past.


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Thracecius on Thu, 26th Sep, 2019

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I love maps! It would be cool to see one with more than just regional boundaries in the future, especially if it had the various points of interest already shown or mentioned in the comic. Granted, that would require a smaller scale map, but it would be a fun reader aid.

Really have to agree with you regarding fantasy authors and their lack of time awareness, particularly with regard to technology. There are opposing lines of thought regarding technology versus magic, whether one would inhibit the other or whether they would be melded for something entirely unique (a good example would be the comic Gaia, by Oliver Knorzer & Powree). I haven't gone far with that particular line of thought myself, but I generally prefer the notion of keeping the two (magic and technology) independent of one another, mainly because I don't see a majority of magic users trusting machines, or the majority of technologists trusting magic. Granted, my earliest examples of magic were from The Hobbit/Lord of The Rings, The Chronicles of Prydain, and The Chronicles of Narnia, but later on I was influenced by movies like The Dark Crystal, Excalibur, Krull, Big Trouble In Little China and Conan the Barbarian, all of which are relatively "low magic" settings. High magic settings can be believable if they are well written, but most of the time it's just a hodgepodge mess used to cover sloppy storytelling. Like the greatly overused deus ex machina, having characters with an unlimited use of magic to solve common human frailties and problem solving challenges (i.e. Disney's recent Star Wars & Marvel movies) immediately sets off red flag warnings and kicks me out of the story. It might be entertaining, but it lacks the substance that makes it truly relatable for the average person. Speaking for myself, I prefer when the protagonist is able to overcome the antagonist(s) not through brute strength, hand-waving magic, or super powers alone, but rather by outthinking them.

True Critic on Thu, 26th Sep, 2019

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I agree with this sentiment for the most part. Magic systems can work if they're consistent and low key and integrated in a way that feels organic and never like a cop out. On the other hand, fantastic and whimsical powers are fun. Things can be too cerebral and self serious. To the point where the auidience is going: Well it's a "sci fi or fantasy" and but it's so dry, mechanical and uninspired I'd rather watch something that's committed to reality completely.

Thracecius on Fri, 27th Sep, 2019

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I agree with your caveat entirely and realize that my post could have come across as opposing it. My easiest example of "magic" that works without being explained is the original Star Wars trilogy. The Force is deliberately(?) left ambiguous and it works very well when handled that way, adding to the adventuresome feeling one gets from watching the films, but when Lucas tried to quantify it in the prequels it was so jarring and absurd that it still irritates me; he never should have opened that can of worms. Disney has just compounded the error by doing ridiculous things like having Emo Vader stop laser bolts. Either he's the most powerful Force user ever, with the ability to literally stop light from moving, or just stop time in a highly localized area, which is even more ridiculous, or the writers are lazy, short-sighted and foolish.

Thankfully we have an author here that is aware of these pitfalls and is avoiding them. ;)

True Critic on Fri, 27th Sep, 2019

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I'm in the minority that thought the count concept had a lot of potential. Actually if a writer could find a way to create a restrained and logical system to a magic system that isn't convoluted or pretentious techno babble, it could lead to some interesting situations. When you have a magic system that follows a system that's comprehensible the heroes will be forced to act according to this system. Sort of like how there's only so much ammo you can carry to battle.

BMR on Thu, 26th Sep, 2019

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Actually, I do have a map complete with cities, roads, etc... Problem is, the blasted thing is [i]huge[i]. I might go ahead and upload it as an extra page eventually though, but it'll take some zooming in to view properly.

Thracecius on Fri, 27th Sep, 2019

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That sounds very cool, but don't knock yourself out with it just yet. Let the story run longer so we have a chance to familiarize ourselves with the world a bit more before laying it all out before us. :)

...(RockB) on Mon, 14th Oct, 2019

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If it's too large to fit into a comic page properly, you could upload it somewhere else, e.g. deviantart.

Check out other great comics!