Lavanha Swordsman School

Country of Origin: Avalon/Castille
Salon: Kirkwall (Small)
Founded: 1663
Sanctioned: 1666

Description: This School was founded by a middle-aged Castillian Swordsman, Adriano Lavanha de Gallegos del Castillo, shortly after he retired to his wife’s homeland, the Highland Marches, in 1663. Impressed by the great strength of the claymore-wielding natives, bored by his retirement, and intrigued by the challenge of educating a handful of Highlanders in modern fencing techniques, he developed the School that bears his name in his first year in the Marches. He took on his first students in 1664, and received Guild sanction in 1666.

The School focuses on force, force, and more force. Its students are taught to manhandle their opponents by virtue of superior strength: a disarm relies on hammering an opponent’s weapon to the ground, rather than using finesse to twist the blade from his grasp. When attacking, Lavanha Swordsmen increase the power of their swings by pivoting at the hips, waist, shoulders, elbows, or wrists (or some combination thereof). When they parry, they do not simply deflect a blade; they forcibly swat it aside. Lavanha Swordsmen typically use custom-made, two-handed rapiers (treat these as rapiers with the Pommel Heavy customization), though in a pinch, they will use their own bodies as weapons.

Unfortunately, a Lavanha attack is rather like a bull rush: every strike takes an extra split second to set up (as one draws back before attacking), and leaves the Swordsman momentarily off-balance after it is delivered. Shrewd opponents take advantage of these moments to brace for an attack before it lands, and retaliate afterwards when the Swordsman is least able to defend himself

Basic Curriculum: Dirty Fighting, Fencing
Knacks: Beat (Fencing), Corps-á-Corps, Disarm (Fencing), Exploit Weakness (Lavanha), Pommel Strike (Fencing)

Revised Swordsman Knack: Beat. When attacking an enemy, you can declare a Beat. You roll Brawn + Beat, and must roll a number of Raises equal to your enemy’s Brawn in order for your Beat to be successful. If you are successful, he cannot avoid the attack using any Active Defense. The Raises taken on this roll add Unkept Dice to your damage roll as usual.

Apprentice: Lavanha Swordsmen are greatly feared for the damage they inflict when they strike, particularly with their customized weapons. When Lavanha Swordsmen wield their two-handed rapiers with both hands, they roll an extra Unkept Die (+1k0) on all damage rolls, eliminating the damage penalty associated with Pommel-Heavy weapons and increasing the damage from a Pommel Strike to 1k1.

Journeyman: As they advance in their training, Lavanha Swordsmen learn to use their superior power to full effect. Journeymen of the School may substitute their Rank in Brawn for their Rank in any other Trait when using a Swordsman Knack, or attempting an Attack or Active Defense using any Knack in the School’s Basic Curriculum.

Master: Masters of Lavanha are among the most powerful Swordsmen in Théah. A Master gains a +1 bonus to his Brawn for free. This also raises the maximum Rank his Brawn can be raised to by one. Thus, a Master of Lavanha can raise his Brawn to six (or even seven, with the Legendary Brawn Advantage).

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