Country of Origin: Madeira
Salon: Barcino (Large)
Description: The Rodrigues Swordsman School originated in Rancho Torres during the Montaigne occupation of western Castille. A handful of enterprising and fiercely patriotic Swordsmen dedicated to eliminating “effete Montaigne popinjays” identified the need to counter the paired weapons used by their adversaries. They did not feel that the defensive advantages offered by a cloak (as used by Torres Swordsmen) sufficiently offset the deadly skill of the invaders, many of whom were as lethal with their knives as their rapiers. After months of clandestine observation and secret training, the precepts of the style were finalized in 1667 and unleashed on the Montaigne invaders.
Originally a Castillian School, the Rodrigues salon and its students and masters joined the Ranchos of Torres and Zepeda in their secession from Castille. Subsequently, King Victor I provided a grant of money and land for a formal salon to be built in the city of Barcino.
The main weakness of the style lies in the secret tricks that are its bread and butter. While they are effective against unschooled foes, anyone with experience battling Rodrigues fighters can identify the subtle physical cues that precede such maneuvers (such as ensuring one’s next dagger is ready to be drawn before throwing the weapon in hand, or that one’s blades are in position for a Journeyman’s double strike) and react accordingly.
Basic Curriculum: Fencing, Knife
Knacks: Bind (Fencing), Exploit Weakness (Rodrigues), Pommel Strike (Fencing), Throw (Knife), Wall of Steel (Fencing/Knife)
Apprentice: An Apprentice learns to wield a weapon in each hand, and develops an appreciation for the value of a surprise attack. He receives no penalty for using a dagger in his off-hand, and receives a Free Raise to his Attack Roll when throwing a dagger.
Throw (Knife) is considered a Basic Knack for students of the Rodrigues School.
Journeyman: Once per Round, the Journeyman can spend a single Action to make a double attack consisting of parallel cuts with both rapier and dagger. This is resolved through a standard Attack (Fencing) roll made with two Raises. If successful, the attack inflicts standard rapier damage, adding standard knife damage (+1k2) to represent the simultaneous dagger strike.
Master: The Master of Rodrigues learns a technique formerly called “Harvesting the Sunflower,” where he ties up an opponent’s weapon with his rapier, leaving the opponent vulnerable to a vicious off-hand dagger strike. If he has an opponent’s primary weapon in a Bind and makes a successful melee or thrown attack with his dagger, the Master may choose to forego a Damage Roll to inflict an automatic Dramatic Wound, as if the opponent had failed his Wound Check (including resetting his Flesh Wound total to zero). This attack comes in the form of a wicked thrust, slash, or toss which immediately breaks the Bind. The force of the blow also causes the Master to lose possession of his dagger.