Country of Origin: Madeira (a Swordsman may learn this School for only 20 HP if he is already trained in the Celestino School)
Salon: San Teodoro (Small)
Description: When Juanita Celestino (younger sister of the founder of the Celestino Swordsman School) married her childhood sweetheart Fiero Mutis and moved to his family’s estate in Rancho Zepeda, she had no idea that five years later, she and her brother would find themselves on opposite sides of the Madeiran/Castillian war. Although a Master of her brother’s School, Señora Mutis could not bring herself to show her fellow Madeirans the weaknesses of the Swordsmen her brother dispatched to fight in the conflict (many of whom she had known for a number of years). However, neither could she allow them to come into the fledgling country and trounce the locals using her brother’s techniques. Faced with a difficult choice, and no perfect option to resolve it, she settled on creating her own School and teaching it to her countrymen.
This single-rapier School draws heavily on some of her brother’s techniques, including a strong defensive focus and precision strikes. However, where Celestino attacks are meant to demonstrate superiority, a Mutis Swordsman’s techniques instead focus on controlling the environment and pace of combat. A Mutis Swordsmen relies on avoiding or intercepting an opponent’s attack and demoralizing the opponent with a counterstrike, influencing when he is struck, where he is struck, and even how effective an opponent’s next strike will be.
However, if a Mutis Swordsman is denied the opportunity to control the battlefield, he is lost. Thus, an experienced opponent will launch a barrage of deceptive attacks, move in an erratic fashion, or otherwise attempt to “surprise” a Mutis Swordsman, leaving him in dire straits.
Basic Curriculum: Athlete, Fencing
Knacks: Corps-á-Corps, Disarm (Fencing), Exploit Weakness (Mutis), Feint (Fencing), Riposte (Fencing)
Revised Swordsman Knack: Feint. When attacking an enemy, you can declare a Feint. You roll Wits + Feint, and must take a number of Raises equal to your enemy’s Wits in order for your Feint 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: To effectively control the flow of battle. one must first learn to control one’s own movements. An Apprentice of Mutis relies on evasive footwork to avoid an opponent’s attacks. While using Footwork to determine his Passive Defense, the Apprentice may add twice his Mastery Level in Mutis to his TN to be hit. This bonus does not apply when defending against a Feint or a Flurry.
Mutis has not been sanctioned by the Swordsman’s Guild, but it is probably only a matter of time before Señora Mutis makes the trek to Kirk to demonstrate her eponymous School. Until then, its students receive a free Rank in one of their Swordsman Knacks in lieu of Guild membership.
Journeyman: Once a Swordsman has learned to master himself, he may focus on mastering an enemy, or at least getting inside his head and provoking him into recklessness. When a Swordsman successfully strikes an enemy, he may then perform a Taunt Repartee Action against that enemy without spending an Action Die. The Swordsman receives a free Raise on his roll for each Dramatic Wound inflicted by the attack. If this technique is used on any given opponent more than once per Scene, only the effects of the most recent Taunt will apply (even if it is unsuccessful).
Master: Having mastered his own movements and his opponent’s mindset, a Swordsman may now control an enemy’s blade, determining where it will strike him should his footwork prove insufficient. Whenever the Master attempts an Active Defense using Parry (Fencing) and fails, he can still nudge the enemy’s blade into a less vital location. The opponent’s Damage Roll is reduced by two for every five full points made on the Active Defense roll. If this reduces the enemy’s attack to zero Flesh Wounds, the Active Defense is considered successful despite the failed roll (and may trigger an attack if the Active Defense was made as part of a Riposte).