Country of Origin: Eisen
Founded: Unknown, but but probably sometime in the late Ninth or early Tenth Century A.V.
Description: By the time the Ninth Century was coming to a close, it became apparent to the Sorcerous members of the Von Drachen family that someone or something was hunting them down, exterminating them like rats aboard a ship full of cats. While their potent Sorcery allowed them to remove some threats (in spectacularly horrific fashion) they were ill-prepared to defend themselves in one-on-one combat. Should their bodyguards be defeated (or worse, abandon their charges to the tender mercies of their enemies to save their own skin) there was only so much the gradual erosion of Zerstörung could do against an armed adversary (or two, or four, or ten). Working with local sword masters, the Von Drachens quickly cobbled together this athletic gladius School in an attempt to stave off disaster: an attempt that would ultimately prove futile.
The strength and endurance of the mountains epitomized the Resistentium Swordsman School. The methodical application of force and a double measure of stalwart defense allowed a student of this School to defeat many foes. Strikes of unnatural power combined with an uncanny resistance to damage (in true Eisen fashion) to make these Swordsmen extremely dangerous, though even this potent School came too little, too late to help them avoid extinction (or, if rumors are to be believed, near-extinction). Resistentium relied on a gladius for attacks and rudimentary defenses. Should the School somehow be resurrected in modern Théah, a smallsword would suffice, but at a penalty of one Unkept Die (-1k0) on all rolls (except Damage Rolls) using the modern weapon.
The primary weakness of the School was built into its core philosophy: absorbing a blow rather than deflecting it. While this was effective in the short term, an opponent (or opponents) who attacked quickly, striking repeatedly in the opening exchanges of combat, would quickly wear a Resistentium Swordsman down, until even his legendary endurance failed to protect him.
Note that Zerstörung Sorcery is needed to use the Apprentice and Journeyman level techniques.
Basic Curriculum: Athlete, Gladius
Knacks: Corps-á-Corps, Exploit Weakness (Resistentium), Fortitude, Sunder (Gladius), Wall of Steel (Gladius)
New Swordsman Knack: Sunder. When making an attack, you can choose to strike at an enemy’s weapon, hoping to break it and leave your opponent defenseless. To make this attack, you roll Finesse + Sunder, taking two Raises to target the enemy’s weapon. If your hit is successful, roll damage as normal; this damage is not applied to the opponent, but compared against the following chart to see if the opponent’s weapon breaks:
|Type of Weapon||TN to Sunder|
|Dagger, Knife, Main Gauche||20|
|Fencing Weapon, Gladius||25|
Game Masters should use their discretion in applying the Sunder Knack to other kinds of weapons. These Target Numbers can be adjusted by the following modifiers:
|Weapon Quality||TN Adjustment|
|Inferior Weapon or Shield||-5|
|Quality Weapon or Shield||+5|
|Djinn or Sidhe Weapon||+15|
Apprentice: Apprentices of the School practice their magic on their own weapons constantly, and though an Apprentice’s gladius or smallsword may appear pitted or rusted, it remains lethally sharp. It also permits him to channel Zerstörung through the blade to help him deprive an opponent of his weapon. When making a Sunder (Fencing) attack, the Apprentice may add his Rank in the Indirect Touch Knack directly to the damage roll made after a successful Sunder roll.
Resistentium has not been (and never will be) submitted for Guild sanction. As a result, its students receive a free Rank in one of their Swordsman Knacks in lieu of Guild membership.
Journeyman: A Journeyman of Resistentium learns to release his Sorcery at every opportunity, even when he is simply closing with an opponent in an attempt to trip him to the ground. When attempting a Corps-á-Corps attack, the Journeyman may add Unkept Dice (+1k0) equal to his Mastery Level in Zerstörung to his damage roll if the Corps-á-Corps attempt is successful.
Master: In addition to learning how to incorporate his Sorcery into his attacks, the Master also maximizes his ability to absorb damage, standing resolute in the face of blows that would cripple or even kill a lesser man. A Master gains a +1 bonus to his Resolve for free. This also raises the maximum Rank his Resolve can be raised to by one. Thus, a Master of Resistentium can raise his Resolve to 6 (or even 7, with the Legendary Resolve Advantage).
Note: A gladius is a short, double-edged weapon popular in Numan lands centuries ago. It is always a Masterwork weapon, and has a Damage Rating of 2k2. Gladius is a Martial Skill consisting solely of the Basic Knacks Attack (Gladius) and Parry (Gladius).
Hmmm…::taps chin with pointer finger for emphasis::…Von Drachen is an interesting last name. Sounds compellingly eerie.
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I wish I could take credit for that, but it is a canonical name.
But you are correct; they are a very, very eerie family. Oops, did I say “are?” I’m sure I probably meant “were.”
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Probably so. 🙂
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