Verrier Swordsman School

Country of Origin: Montagine
Salon: Crieux (Small)
Founded: 1659

Description: Maurice Verrier always aspired to be more than a glazier, creating glass baubles to capture the eye or fine mirrors to indulge the vanity of the upper classes. Realizing he would never ascend to the upper echelons of society as a simple craftsman, he studied fencing in his spare time, complementing the meager lessons he could afford with countless hours of practice in front of a tall mirror. What Maurice lacked in formal training, he made up for by studying his own reflection and determining the most effective way to defend against an opponent using whatever stance or form he happened to stumble upon. This unique training regimen permitted Maurice to observe the movements of his sword and knife from a variety of angles, and served as the impetus for a Swordsman School of his own: one designed to frustrate an opponent by presenting a mirror image of his own attacks and defenses.

For all his aspirations to nobility, Maurice was never more than a street fighter with a flashy weapon. While maintaining the veneer of a quick, sophisticated Swordsman School, Verrier is actually a very dirty style of fighting, relying on trips and blows of dubious character to an opponent’s head. These vulgar attacks are complemented by copying an opponent’s technique and responding quickly to an opponent’s miscues to set up one’s next attack or defense. This makes the School a very reactive martial art which, aside from its dirty tricks, does not lend itself well to an aggressive offense.

While studying, mimicking, and countering an opponent’s fencing style has its benefits, it also presents a unique disadvantage. A Verrier Swordsman can only counter what he mimics, and can only mimic what he sees. A shrewd opponent may feign a weakness or otherwise mislead the Swordsman, providing openings for attack that aren’t really there or setting up an completely unexpected surprise attack.

Basic Curriculum: Fencing, Knife
Knacks: Corps-รก-Corps, Exploit Weakness (Verrier), Pommel Strike (Fencing), Reflect (Fencing), Sidestep

Apprentice: A Verrier Swordsman learns to mirror his opponent’s stance while wielding two weapons simultaneously. The off-hand penalty is negated when wielding a rapier and main gauche in tandem, and the Swordsman receives the benefits of the Left-Handed Advantage (but only while using this School).

Maurice wishes to keep his Swordsman School as vague and esoteric as possible (lest anyone discover that it is little more than a collection of dirty tricks and stolen techniques), so he will not submit it for Guild sanction in the foreseeable future. An Apprentice receives a free Rank in one of his Swordsman Knacks in lieu of Membership in the Guild.

Journeyman: As a Journeyman of Verrier mimics his opponent’s style and form, he develops an insight into his weaknesses, whether they are reflexes that are a second too slow, an underdeveloped muscle in the sword arm, or any other fundamental flaw that can be exploited. The Journeyman may add the opponent’s Rank in his lowest Trait to all attack rolls against that opponent, including the use of his Swordsman Knacks.

Master: As a Master, a Verrier Swordsman learns to copy not only the general form and technique of his opponents, but their lines of attack as well. Whenever the Master has been struck by an opponent using Attack (Fencing) or any Knack the Master is currently copying using his Reflect Knack and damage is inflicted, the Master may use a Current, Held, or Interrupt Action to make an attack using the same Knack against the opponent who struck him. (The Master does not need to declare any Raises on this Attack Roll, even if Raises were made by the opponent.) If the attack is successful, the opponent suffers a number of Flesh Wounds equal to the damage inflicted on the Master by the attack.

For example, suppose the Master is fighting an Aldana Swordsman and copying his opponent’s Feint Knack. The opponent uses a Feint to inflict 23 Flesh Wounds against the Master. The Master may then use an Action to roll Wits + Feint against that opponent’s TN to be hit (with no Raises). If the attack is successful, the opponent automatically suffers 23 Flesh Wounds.