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Giving a Russian character a weapon.:

 1 Chagen 46, Sun, 27th Feb '11 5:56:22 PM from I don't really know
In my book series, Hellfire Catharsis, one of the characters is a 30-year-old Russian woman named Marina Sarkova. In the story—it's an Urban Fantasy with mixtures of Punk Punk—she makes Novae, short for "Novus's", weapons used to cast magic. Each character has a novus, which normally is a item on the character's body. When fighting, however, Novae transform into weapons, each person having their own unique weapon, some of them being two small weapons desgined for dual-wielding

The weapona I want to give Marina? A hammer. And a sickle.

Unfortunately, these form the sybmol for Communism. I actually gave her those weapons on purpose because she was a Russian.

There's three problems with this:

1: Moral Guardians in America will go insane over this, and accuse me of supporting Communism.

2:Some Russians who have or has families who had suffered under the Soviet Union might be offended at this, especially since Marina is part of the side of Good in HC.

3:Marina, being Russian, would probably not have very much affection towards the hammer and sickle. Especially when she actually lived under the Soviet Union or at least right after it dissolved (It dissolved in 1991, right? God, I suck at history...)

So now I'm in a dilemma. The hammer and sickle seem like they could make an awesome fighting style, but they have such a stigma...of course, not as bad as giving a German character a swastika-like weapon (which, when looking at it, would almost be kinda cool if the Nazi's hadn't happened. You could throw it like a huge boomerang. But the Nazi's screwed it for life [among all the other shit they did], the fucking bastards), but still. It's getting near the edge.

So should I just drop the idea and give her a different set of weapons? I think maybe a Scythe and Hammer could work.

edited 27th Feb '11 5:57:29 PM by Chagen46

"Who wants to hear about good stuff when the bottom of the abyss of human failure that you know doesn't exist is so much greater?"-Wraith
That is going to be a huge problem, with or without communism undertone. For you would be understood to be catering to stereotypes - the wrong stereotype, even.

Russia =/= Soviet Russia. Before there was the 1917 revolution, there was Russia as a people. A people of farm, potatoes and harsh winters. A people of unyielding spirit before the adversity of the ruling class and nature. A people who, owing to their simple-minded optimism, would never give up however much crap the universe throws at them. And a people who love their motherland regardless of who rules it and how.

P.S. Not all Russians suffered that badly under the USSR. As Putin said, "Those who looks down on the Soviet Union have no heart. Those who wishes to return to it has no brain."

Or something to that effect.

edited 27th Feb '11 6:03:20 PM by ArgeusthePaladin

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 3 Chagen 46, Sun, 27th Feb '11 6:04:20 PM from I don't really know
That's actually what Marina is. She's not a Communist, she's a laid back Novus Blacksmith who relaxes a lot and has pride for her country and never really gives up.

On the other hand, She's also defined by basically downing a case of beer every day, so...
"Who wants to hear about good stuff when the bottom of the abyss of human failure that you know doesn't exist is so much greater?"-Wraith
Then give her something else that more defines the Russian agriculturalism.

How about a grain scythe and a rake?
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 5 Chagen 46, Sun, 27th Feb '11 6:10:12 PM from I don't really know
Perhaps. She doesn't actually fight much in the books, but I need for her to have a novus in canon.

She only actually uses the weapons in her Super Mode. When fighting normally, she uses martial arts....except for her, she fights better the more drunk she is, so she fights almost all battles hammered on vodka.
"Who wants to hear about good stuff when the bottom of the abyss of human failure that you know doesn't exist is so much greater?"-Wraith
SURPRISE
Just use something not a hammer and sickle. If you need something blunt, maybe tonfas, if you need a bladed/curved weapon, a scimitar can do.
 7 Chagen 46, Sun, 27th Feb '11 6:15:43 PM from I don't really know
Got it. My Sycthe and Hammer idea probably hit too close to home.

Most of the other characters don't even have weapons from their countries anyway. The Saudi Arabian Abcde (yes, that's her real name. Prounounced "Ab-see-dee" or "Ab-SUH-dee") has a European Broadsword, for example.
"Who wants to hear about good stuff when the bottom of the abyss of human failure that you know doesn't exist is so much greater?"-Wraith
 9 Chagen 46, Sun, 27th Feb '11 6:22:48 PM from I don't really know
If you're making a pun on Arabic/Urdu/Some other language from the middle east, she was actually born in Britian even though she has two Saudi Arabian parents. They didn't like how the Middle East was getting overrun by crazy extremists and left, not planning to return till everything died down.
"Who wants to hear about good stuff when the bottom of the abyss of human failure that you know doesn't exist is so much greater?"-Wraith
 10 joeyjojo, Mon, 28th Feb '11 12:39:12 AM from The Magic Land Of Oz Relationship Status: Get out of here, STALKER
Storm the bastille!
Ah I like in a silly vaguely racist sort of way. I don't suppose you have ever read the graphic novel The Red Star by any chance?

edited 28th Feb '11 12:39:26 AM by joeyjojo

Mn Hovercraft st plen de nguills

 11 Te Chameleon, Mon, 28th Feb '11 12:58:15 AM from Alberta, Canada
Irritable Reptilian
If you really really like the whole 'sickle/blunt weapon' bit, the Kusarigama might do the trick- I know it's a Japanese weapon, but it's got both the sickle and the 'hammer' combined in one weapon. And it looks rather cool, to boot tongue

 12 Riotous Rascal, Mon, 28th Feb '11 5:22:30 AM from AUSTRALIAAAAAAAAAAA
Well played, old chap!
Perhaps some kind of halberd?
Did I ever tell you...the definition of insanity?
 13 Major Tom, Mon, 28th Feb '11 8:49:16 AM Relationship Status: Barbecuing
Eye'm the cutest!
Chagen, your being overly paranoid, oversensitive, and way too trying of the "I'm doing my damnedest to not offend anyone".

Just write what comes naturally. A hammer and sickle is not taboo in the fiction market. Only the really thin-skinned folks play that way. Also, your character would not be the first to play those weapons. Take a look at Comrade Red from the Major Glory sub-show of Dexter's Laboratory. Same weapons albeit kind of a parody of Communism-inspired villains.
Endless Conflict: Every war ends in time, even supposedly this one.
A travelling scholar
^Amen to that. ...how would you Dual Wield a hammer and a sickle any way? My suggestion would be a warhammer or a Polearm/Pike.

 15 Chagen 46, Mon, 28th Feb '11 9:53:56 AM from I don't really know
Major Tom: I know that; hell, I really hate the "don't do anything interesting, it might offend someone" bullcrap. This is a book where the French main character and his German rival make WWII jokes towards each other, where on the character's families technically made a deal with Satan if you think about it, and there's blatant Ho Yay and Les Yay (Hell, the official sexualities of every single character bisexual).

Theram: Throw the sickle like a boomerang, Smash enemies with a hammer. Not to mention she's drunk all the time anyway.
"Who wants to hear about good stuff when the bottom of the abyss of human failure that you know doesn't exist is so much greater?"-Wraith
A travelling scholar
Drunken Fist fighting is best fighting. waii

 17 Chagen 46, Mon, 28th Feb '11 12:53:18 PM from I don't really know
Her utterly ridiculous alchoholism—she can drink literally 30 cans of beer a day and not get any health problems—is a joke based on her Russian heritage.

Though it's played for laughs.
"Who wants to hear about good stuff when the bottom of the abyss of human failure that you know doesn't exist is so much greater?"-Wraith
as far as weapon choice goes, a sickle and hammer aren't really the most effective small weapons available.

as for the worries about giving her those weapons,

1: Moral Guardians in America will go insane over this, and accuse me of supporting Communism.

Are they part of your target audience, if not then it shouldnt matter overly. And it seems less offensive than most portrayals of russians in film.

2:Some Russians who have or has families who had suffered under the Soviet Union might be offended at this, especially since Marina is part of the side of Good in HC.

I don't think Russians would care too much about those weapons(although I'm only quarter Russian and living in Australia, so not sure how it would be seen in Russia) , just don't make her pro communist and try to find a reason besides just being Russian for her having those weapons as that does seem somewhat lazy/dumb. If she was born in Russia, maybe make it so they were a common sight growing up, I'm assuming that the magic user decides what the weapon will be originally, or its pulled from their memories

3:Marina, being Russian, would probably not have very much affection towards the hammer and sickle. Especially when she actually lived under the Soviet Union or at least right after it dissolved (It dissolved in 1991, right? God, I suck at history...)

As a symbol, she would probably hate them, although she might be less angry than someone of the previous generations.

one of the reasons for Russians to hate Communism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_purge#Ex-kulaks_and_other_.22anti-Soviet_elements.22

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Total posts: 18
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