Prisons, Gulags and Work-Camps of the Animal Kingdom

Prisons, Gulags and Work-Camps of the Animal Kingdom

As all of you avid readers of Ark Lore already know, the Animal Kingdom was not always as enlightened as it is today. During times long past it used to keep its iron-fist rule by stric enforcement of lion law and opression of all those who disobey. And what kind of opressive Kingdom would it be without at least a few high-level internment facilities?

Internment Facilities of the Kingdom

There was a total of five internment facilities (you can call them prisons, or work camps, or gulags – you get the picture) in the Kingdom. Three of these are actually still in operation as work camps even in King Lav’s day, and in the game you will get to visit a few of them.

The first to be built was the so-called Blackbark Tower, designation IF-1. It was especially brutal and hosted all the worst and most hardened criminals, as well as political opponents of the Kingdom. The height of its brutality came during the reign of King Leopold, and after the Lav Rebellion, the Blackbark Tower was destroyed and the internment facility razed to the ground.

It is decomissioned and all that remains are horror stories from those who survived its walls.

Ark Fantastic on screenshots looks really beautiful, magical, and peaceful. But it wasn't always like that. Animals could end-up in prison. Or Worse.
Blackbark Tower in Blackbark, the former capital of the Kingdom.

The second internment facility (IF-2) was built in the west of the Kingdom, in the region of Streaks, operated by the rule of the tiger family. It was in use for those royals and nobles who committed grave crimes but were of too high political status to be interned in the Blackbark Tower.

Ark Fantastic on screenshots looks really beautiful, magical, and peaceful. But it wasn't always like that. Animals could end-up in prison. Or Worse.
Temporary map made with Inkarnate – Blackbark was the former capital, now a ruin from a bygone age.

As you can imagine, it was a much easier experience, living out the sentence in the lenient prison on the coast, and it has even earned the nickname “The Summer Prison”. It is still in operation today, and is disproportionately filled with Lynx nobles, who, for some reason, love killing each other in petty feuds (this mystery will be solved by Charles, though, so don’t worry too much about those poor cats).

Tower of London Tickets | Buy Tour Tickets | VisitBritain
Imagine the Tower of London but with room service. Or just imagine Swedish prisons.

The third internment facility (IF-3) was built in Clowder on the north of the Kingdom. As the Blackbark Tower can only host so much prisoners, and the Kingdom saw a huge rise in its population, the so-called Winter Prison was built on a huge wasteland. It is also the first prison which was also a work-camp. The animals there have to cut trees and work the lumber mills from dusk till dawn.

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/619813040224862208/635585205796601867/Map.jpg
Temporary map made with Inkarnate – Clowder is the “northern capital” of the Kingdom.

This work camp still persists even in King Lav’s time and is a point of some contention, as the working conditions have not improved there, and it’s size has not diminished. However, sending hardened criminals to the large wasteland prison is a very effective way of keeping the local city prisons from being overwhelmed.

Exploring the Russian North
Maybe we’ll just go “all-in” with the historical similarities and just have some former prisoner write a book called “The Clowder Archipelago”. Or would that be “too obvious”?

The fourth Internment facility (IF-4) was built near Valencia by King Valent when the need arose to have an internment facility in the newfound continent as well. All sorts of bandits were sent here from all over the Kingdom, as well as certain political opponents whose opinions were too dangerous to be left whispering in the Kingdom Proper. It was also a work-camp with a large quarry.

One of the Kingdom’s more “innovative” and “modern” torture machines were built in IF-4, including the infamous “feather-plucker”, any birds true nightmare.

However, Vincent, the Explorer King, disbanded the entire facility as Valencia grew in size, and freed all bandits that wished to join him in creating the “Explorer’s Guild”. Later, the large prison was incorporated in the growing city of Valencia and is now home to affordable living quarters (read: slums) for many commoners and vermin living in Valencia.

The IF-4 was disbanned in Vincent’s time and all that remains of it are museum pieces and the informal name of the Valencia neighbourhood that used to be the prison – Ieffour.

Trip the Ark Fantastic Press Kit - Gamechuck Home
Given the choice of rotting away in a stone quarry or exploring the great unknown, what would you choose?

However, having far away isolated prisons was a good idea, and Vincent did build another one – IF-5, in the Bay of Michael, on the east of the newly-found continent. The new facility was the most modern work-camp and was used to develop colored dye with the most modern chemical technology known to the Kingdom (for almost no cost, due to the prison population not being paid, of course). This was one of the reasons that Valencia and the entire colony became a strong economic power in the Kingdom, as the dye industry in the Kingdom Proper is still very traditional, taking pride in its old methods.

That’s a nice prison-camp you got there… Would be a shame if something… happened to it.

This facility will quickly become the center of the game, as an important uprising happens there, as one of its prisoners was Coriolanus, the revolutionary eagle. Once you reach it within the game, it will no longer be IF-5 and will go by the name Caw Macaw, or “The City of Freedom” in the bird tongue.

Thanks for reading about this bleak topic. If you wish to experience gulag conditions yourself, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Discord and so on!

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