Country of Origin: Avalon
Salon: Cerrwidden Dun (Tiny)
Description: Shortly after Queen Elaine came to power in the Triple Kingdoms, she established an honor guard to stand watch over Cerrwidden Dun, the oldest free-standing fortress in Avalon. While these guard positions originally went to soldiers nearing retirement, giving them a post where they could serve out their days with honor, it did not take long for younger (and more impetuous) soldiers to find themselves there. These warriors were loyal, but free-spirited and not well-suited for a traditional post. Soon athletic knife fighters like Alexandra Hewitt had taken their places alongside the stodgy, Donovan-trained men and women assigned to “guard” the fortress.
Raised on the streets and rising to a position in the military largely through a combination of determination and good fortune, Alexandra was rough around the edges: brash, bold, and (ultimately) bored with life at Cerrwidden Dun. Trained in the smallsword and buckler, but only mariginally skilled with them, Alexandra had little interest in sparring with the more traditional soldiers and being defeated time and time again. This changed when commander of the fortress instructed her to spar in “whatever manner best suits you.” Suddenly, she was tumbling beneath sword thrusts and striking wickedly with (blunted) daggers flashing, raising bruises and welts…but also raising her standing with her comrades, especially when she began dispatching them two and three at a time. They encouraged her to refine her wild attacks into something more structured, and the Hewitt fighting style was the result. As additional youthful and non-traditional soldiers arrived at the fortress, they were naturally drawn to Hewitt (both the fighting style and the soldier herself) and learned to tumble, thrust, and even toss the occasional main gauche with considerable skill. With little else to do in what is largely a ceremonial post, Alexandra occasionally takes on civilian students and trains them in the fighting style she created.
Unfortunately, Hewitt suffers from the same weaknesses as any other style of fighting that relies on nimble movement or short blades. The lack of reach in a main gauche (unless it is thrown, which denies a fighter the use of one of his weapons) means the fighter must close to attack an opponent who often has a longer weapon. In addition, depriving the Hewitt fighter of his ability to move quickly (whether through maneuvering him into an area of treacherous footing, or simply throwing a handful of gravel on the ground) makes him slower to react and therefore easier to hit.
Basic Curriculum: Acrobat, Knife
Knacks: Double Attack (Knife/Knife), Double Parry (Knife/Knife), Exploit Weakness (Hewitt), Throw (Knife), Whirl (Knife/Knife)
New Swordsman Knack: Throw. When you throw a knife as an attack, you must use this Knack instead of your Attack Knack. The Range on a Knife is 5, plus two times your Brawn. This is the same as the Throw Knack found in the Knife Skill, but it is considered a Basic Knack for students of Hewitt.
Apprentice: A Hewitt fighter is trained to wield a main gauche in each hand, and never suffers an off-hand penalty when doing so. In addition, while it is not a formal part of their training, many Hewitt fighters (inspired by their Donovan-trained comrades at Cerrwidden Dun) strap a buckler to their left wrist, allowing them to use Buckler Knacks without an off-hand penalty, and even while wielding two weapons simultaneously.
Hewitt is not the sort of fighting style the Swordsman’s Guild is interested in recognizing (and the proud knife fighters of Cerrwidden Dun would probably not submit it for Guild sanction anyway). Instead of Guild Membership, students of Hewitt receive a free Rank in the Advanced Knack of their choice from the Acrobat Skill.
Journeyman: A Hewitt Journeyman can make a defensive roll to avoid a potentially damaging blow, even if his other defenses have already failed. After an opponent has successfully attacked and made his Damage Roll against a Hewitt fighter, the Journeyman may spend a Current, Held, or Interrupt Action Die to attempt to avoid the damage using Finesse + an Advanced Knack of his choice from the Acrobat Skill (typically Tumbling, but any Knack may be used under the right conditions). The TN for this roll is equal to the number of Flesh Wounds rolled on the opponent’s Damage Roll. If this roll is successful, the Journeyman takes no Flesh Wounds from the attack. This technique may be used even if the Hewitt fighter has already attempted an Active Defense against the same attack.
Master: A Master of Hewitt has finely-honed reflexes and an almost preternatural ability to avoid an opponent’s attacks. Once per Round, the Master may use his Journeyman ability without spending an Action. In addition, he receives a free Rank in his Whirl (Knife/Knife) Knack. This should increase his Rank in that Knack to a six; if for some reason it does not, the Master may spend 25 XP at a later date to increase his Rank in the Knack from a five to a six.