Country of Origin: Bryn Bresail
Description: No one, even among the Sidhe, remembers who founded the Damhsalann Swordsman School, nor when it was founded. It tends to see more female practitioners than male, although any warrior with great speed and agility can benefit from the School, and the Sidhe do not discriminate between male and female practitioners.
Damhsalann is a bit like Yael or Aldana, in that it incorporates dance into combat situations, but while Aldana Swordsmen impose their song on the battle, students of Damhsalann follow a duel’s natural rhythm, skirting through combat without pausing or missing a step until every opponent has fallen or fled. It is intended for use with twin rapiers, though in a pinch a single rapier will suffice (though some of the School’s Knacks and techniques will be unavailable).
The School’s reliance on constant movement is its main weakness. An opponent who can trap one of the Swordsman’s blades, or box her in so that she cannot move freely, will leave her struggling to find the battle’s rhythm and easy prey for an attack.
Basic Curriculum: Fencing, Performer
Knacks: Disarm (Fencing), Exploit Weakness (Damhsalann), Feint (Fencing), Wall of Steel (Fencing/Fencing), Whirl (Fencing/Fencing)
Revised Swordsman Knack: Feint. When attacking an enemy, you can declare a Feint. You roll Wits + Feint, taking a number of Raises equal to the opponent’s Wits. If the attack is successful, the opponent cannot Actively Defend, and the Raises add Unkept Dice to your Damage Roll as usual.
Apprentice: As an Apprentice, a Damhsalann Swordsman learns to wield two weapons at the same time, and to integrate dancing into her swordplay. The off-hand penalty is negated when the Apprentice wields two rapiers simultaneously. In addition, the Apprentice may substitute Dancing for Footwork as a Defense Knack, and receives a Free Raise on Active Defenses using the Dancing Knack.
Damhsalann has never been submitted for Guild sanction, and probably never will be. In lieu of Guild membership, the Swordsman receives a free Rank in one of his Swordsman Knacks.
Journeyman: Damhsalann Journeymen learn how to keep enemies at bay by virtue of their whirling weapons: anyone who gets too close is likely to get struck. When an opponent attacks the Journeyman while her Wall of Steel Knack is active, if that opponent fails to penetrate the Swordsman’s Passive Defense solely due to the Wall of Steel Knack (i.e., the opponent would have hit had the Wall of Steel not been in place), the opponent takes 2k2 damage from one of the Journeyman’s rapiers. (Note that if one of the blades is poisoned, the opponent is not exposed to it as a result of this damage, but neither is the poison wiped off the weapon.)
Master: The Swordsman who masters the Damhsalann School has unheard of control of her weapons, making them come alive in her hands as if they were arcs of lightning, or iron snakes. If the Master hits the same opponent with two attacks in the same Phase, she immediately gains a bonus Action Die showing the current Phase, which can only be used for an Active Defense or to attempt a Disarm or Feint against the same opponent. The bonus Action Die disappears if it is not used by the end of the Phase.