Havrad Fighting Style

Country of Origin: Crescent Empire
Salon: Iskandar (Tiny)
Founded: 1364 AV

Description: Prior to the unification of the tribes in 1360, there were several small clans that often suffered persecution at the hands of one (or more) of the Great Tribes. One of these tiny tribes was the Namir’ghadib (Furious Tiger), which perched on the southern end of the Muglak’kum and was often preyed upon by the larger, more powerful Yilan-bazlik. Along with the creation of the Sultanate, Murakhan al’Tazir put an end to intertribal warfare. The Namir’ghadib were so grateful, they sent a contingent of their finest warriors who swore themselves to Murakhan, vowing to protect the newly-declared Sultan from his enemies (both foreign and domestic).

If the Eyes of the Peacock were the Sultan’s secret police, this group of fanatically devoted warriors became his enforcers. In addition to protecting the Sultan, they investigated traitorous activities, cracked down on crime waves in the capital, and hunted down bandits and other enemies of the Empire along the roads surrounding Iskandar. This contingent of warriors grew in size year by year, and eventually their captain, Havrad al-Battani, developed a fighting style that utilized their tribe’s signature bagh nakh, to give them an edge against enemies trained in longer weapons.

Havrad is an aggressive style that combines the use of bagh nakh (either singly or in pairs) with unseemly strikes to the eyes and throat, kicks to the shin, and other questionable tactics. A Havrad fighter keeps his hands in constant motion, generally in circular patterns so that he is ready to strike at a moment’s notice. The fighter learns to strike in deadly combinations, commit himself to an attack without regard for his own safety, and move quickly so that he may strike before the enemy has a chance to attack him with his scimitar or dilmekiri.

Havrad is a fighting style based on a weapon with an extremely short range and virtually no defensive capability. Not only is the style susceptible against opponents with a longer reach, an opponent with knowledge of the style need only wait for a forward movement by the Havrad fighter to brace for an attack, then offer a return strike with virtually no chance of it being blocked.

The bagh nakh is a 0k2 exotic weapon. It cannot be used to parry, but each bagh nakh worn provides a free Raise on all Climbing rolls (including Active Defenses, should it come to that). Bagh nakh may be purchased in the Crescent Empire for 10 altyni.

Basic Curriculum: Dirty Fighting, Exotic Weapon
Knacks: Double Attack (Exotic Weapon/Exotic Weapon), Exploit Weakness (Havrad), Flurry (Exotic Weapon), Lunge (Exotic Weapon), Sidestep

New Swordsman Knack: Flurry. When attacking an enemy, you can declare a Flurry. You roll Resolve + Flurry, and must roll a number of Raises equal to your enemy’s Resolve in order for your Flurry 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: Apprentices learn to wield the exotic bagh nakh singly and in pairs. They never suffer a penalty for wielding a bagh nakh in their off hand, or for wielding two of the weapons at once. In addition, they may inflict a number of Flesh Wounds equal to their Rank in Attack (Exotic Weapon) to an opponent when performing an Eye Gouge.This damage triggers a Wound Check as usual.

The Havrad style has no connection to Théah’s Swordsman’s Guild. As a result, students of this style gain a free Rank in one of their Swordsman Knacks, or the Dirty Fighting Knack of their choice, in lieu of Guild membership.

Journeyman: Havrad Journeymen have learned to take advantage of any opening in combat, no matter how small. When armed with a bagh nakh, any time he makes an Active Defense and uses his Sidestep Knack to lower one of his Action Dice, he may strike a glancing blow to the side of the opponent whose attack he evaded. This attack succeeds automatically, and inflicts a number of Flesh Wounds equal to his Rank in the Sidestep Knack for each bagh nakh he is wearing. This damage triggers a Wound Check as usual.

Master: The Master has perfected a wild barrage of attacks that allows him to carve up and (ideally) eliminate an opponent without suffering a return strike himself. He may spend three Action Dice (only one of which need be “legal”) to perform a sequence of attacks: an ordinary strike using Attack (Exotic Weapon), a Double Attack, and finally a Flurry, all against the same opponent. If one attack fails, the Master may still make the remaining attacks in the sequence, and the Master may choose whether to resolve Wound Checks after each attack, or at the end of the sequence.