Populating the Village: Violence – two characters for The Red Star

In the village, Hamad (male Nistaani Warrior 1) joining the Nasr Kien is an equally open secret as his deeply felt conviction of the Nasrs’ cause. Though he shies back from carrying their violent opposition directly into the heart of his community, when the handsome young man goes missing once again for a few hours or days only to return to the village dusty, tired but obviously content, everyone knows that the rebels scored one more successful blow against the government.

When Daniyah (female Red Trooper [Automatchik] 1) stands in front of one of the village buildings in her ill fitting uniform, one can clearly see just how reluctantly the young police recruit performs her duty. Even when she has to listen to lectures how much she is benefitting from the government’s reforms, she would much prefer to be just left to her own devices.

These two are meant to further reinforce the idea of the conflict not yet fully erupted by portraying the enemies – the rebel and the police trooper – as (still?) being members of one and the same community. The contrast between convicition and reluctance also serves to underline the difficulties the player characters, being on the government’s side, stand to face.
While preparing the campaign, one big question for me was how to portray the role of women in Nistaani society. Comics and Campaign Setting generally paint a very egalitarian world. Not only do strong female characters abound, but women serving in the military and as frontline soldiers is painted as completely normal (and also does not appear to any kind of recent development), although that is not actively shown for the Nistaani rebels. On the other hand, the real life conflict that inspires The Red Star’s Al’Istaan war has some of its roots in gender inequalities – the Afghan communist party’s push for better education for women and girls was amongst the reforms that caused violent opposition and uprisings that ultimately led to civil war and soviet intervention. For the campaign, I opted for combining an availability of all roles (and classes) to female characters, also in Al’Istaan, with a strong patriarchic tradition but that focuses more on internal hierarchies than outright limiting women to specific niches (i.e., even the most conservative band of Nasr Kien rebels will have female fighters amongst its ranks, but leadership will invariably be claimed by a man).

The artwork is taken from The Red Star: The Battle of Kar Dathra’s Gate and was used with kind permission of Christian Gossett.
The Red Star and all related characters are ™ and © Christian Gossett. Used with kind permission.
The Red Star Campaign Setting is © Green Ronin Publishing, LLC.
Die Grafik stammt aus The Red Star: The Battle of Kar Dathra’s Gate und wurde mit freundlicher Genehmigung von Christian Gossett verwendet.
The Red Star und alle verwandten Charaktere sind ™ und © Christian Gossett. Verwendet mit freundlicher Genehmigung.
The Red Star Campaign Setting ist © Green Ronin Publishing, LLC.

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