Country of Origin: Vodacce
Salon: None (the School is taught exclusively by a single Master who wanders continuously throughout Vodacce and must be sought out and persuaded to train a student; thus far, he has only ever taken on a single Apprentice, who disappeared three years later)
Description: Pascal Cavalieri, a skilled Tricomi Swordsman, developed this School after turning his back on his colleagues (and especially their effete, superior ways). At first content to rely on his elite skills, his former maestro began to send groups of thugs, and later trained Swordsmen, to eliminate the one flaw in Tricomi‘s otherwise “flawless” reputation: a Master of their School who turned his back on them and went his own way. As the number of attackers began to mount up, Pascal saw the advantage of developing a fighting style that his opponents would not recognize, and thus, Cavalieri was born.
In creating his signature School, Pascal drew upon the memories of his youth: the rough-and-tumble adventures that saw him take on a group of friends, and dispatch them all through somersaults, flips, twists, leaps, and daring swordplay (well, stickplay). Always nimble, it was a small matter for Pascal to recreate these childhood games with a much more deadly weapon and develop an acrobatic, single-rapier School designed to dispatch single, skilled opponents as well as entire groups of enemies.
Just as Pascal always keeps one eye open outside of combat, never knowing when a Tricomi ambush may come, Cavalieri Swordsman constantly prepare themselves for some sneaky trick or blindside attack. Although these moments of distraction are few in number, a seasoned opponent knows how to keep an eye out for them and strike when the Cavalieri Swordsman is looking sideways rather than straight ahead.
Basic Curriculum: Acrobat, Fencing
Knacks: Disarm (Fencing), Exploit Weakness (Cavalieri), Flurry (Fencing), Sidestep, Whirl (Fencing)
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: Even an Apprentice has begun to hone his reflexes and marry them to his use of his rapier. He can strike even when his weapon is sheathed, and defend himself from attacks that come from a variety of positions and angles. The Apprentice may draw and attack with a rapier using a single Action, and receives a free Raise on Active Defenses using his Parry (Fencing) Knack.
Pascal has no desire to submit his School for sanction to the Swordsman’s Guild, as it would force him to settle down and open a salon, and would expose the secrets (and weakness) of his School to virtually anyone with a desire to learn them. As a result, Students of Cavalieri receive a free Rank in one of their Swordsman Knacks in lieu of Guild Membership.
Journeyman: The Journeyman has little to fear even from a massed group of attackers, as his flashing blade can take opponents down one by one or two by two. When attacking a Brute Squad, the Journeyman may attack using his Flurry Knack (rolling Resolve + Flurry) vs. the Brutes’ TN to Be Hit. He must take a number of Raises equal to the Brute Squad’s Threat Rating, but the bonus from his Whirl Knack still applies. If this attack is successful, he inflicts one hit against the Brutes for every five full points he made on the roll. Typically, each hit will eliminate one Brute; against Eisen Brutes, the Journeyman may choose whether to inflict two hits per Brute (eliminating them one by one) or one hit per Brute, weakening them for later elimination.
Master: A Master of Cavalieri has perfected the art of leaping, tumbling, twisting, or rolling into position for an attack, catching an opponent completely off guard. Prior to any attack, the Master may roll Finesse + any Advanced Knack in the Acrobat Skill (provided it makes sense; one could not use Swinging in the middle of a desert, for example) vs. a TN equal to five times an opponent’s Rank in Wits. If the roll against the opponent’s Wits is not successful, his attack fails and his Action Die is lost. Otherwise, for every five full points by which the Master exceeds his TN, he receives a free Raise on the follow-up attack against that opponent (and only that opponent).
In addition, if the attack is successful, the Master receives the same number of free Raises on any Intimidate Action made against that opponent or any onlookers, provided it is attempted with the Master’s very next Action in the Round. If the Master uses his Action for anything else, or if the Round ends without the Master attempting an Intimidate Action, these free Raises are lost.