Caralli Swordsman School

Country of Origin: Vodacce
Salon: Medico (Average)
Founded: 1663

Description: Donello Falisci was twenty-four when assassins broke into his family home and murdered his father. Before they could get to the then-Prince, however, they had to deal with three strega assigned to protect him from harm and the Caralli bodyguards assigned to watch over them. When the Falisci estate was searched after the Prince’s body was found, the Fate Witches were found dead and their bodyguards slain amidst evidence of a violent combat.

Before the newly-crowned Prince even had a chance to mourn his father, he met with the leaders of the Caralli family. He charged the Carallis with developing an innovative way to protect their charges from future mischance. While most of the Caralli scions were Ambrogia Masters, so too were many other Vodacce men, and they knew which weaknesses in the Carallis’ fencing style to exploit. It took eight months for the Caralli fencing masters to devise their own Swordsman School, but when it was completed it so impressed Prince Donello that he expanded their role to include watching over important members of the Falisci family and household, visiting dignitaries, or anyone else the Prince thought might need a little extra protection.

As a School, Caralli is all about self-sacrifice: the Swordsman will gladly accept an injury to allow his charge an extra moment to get away or brace for a second attack. Caralli Swordsmen accept these sacrifices pragmatically and stoically…until they are struck once too often. Then they will lash out with a thunderous attack capable of seriously wounding even a more skilled opponent. They also learn methods of taking away an opponent’s means to do harm and dealing with large groups of attackers.

Caralli’s core weakness is that it is meant to defend another person as well as one’s self, essentially giving an opponent two targets to strike at in order to inflict wounds upon a Swordsman. Even in the absence of a charge, Caralli Swordsmen do not have the full one-on-one fight training of, say, an Ambrogia or Tricomi Swordsman, and are therefore easier to handle.

Basic Curriculum: Bodyguard, Fencing
Knacks: Disarm (Fencing), Exploit Weakness (Caralli), Interpose, Lunge (Fencing), Whirl (Fencing)

New Swordsman Knack: Interpose. Interposing is the act of putting your own body in between someone else and an attack. When you use this Knack to protect someone else, your TN to be hit is reduced by ten (to a minimum of five), and your charge may use your Rank in Interpose as their Defensive Knack for calculating their TN to be hit.

Interpose may also be used for an Active Defense to protect someone else. Use your Action Dice for this, not the Action Dice of the person you are protecting. Roll Wits + Interpose for this Active Defense attempt. If you succeed, you take the damage from the Attack instead of its intended victim. If you receive one or more Dramatic Wounds from using Interpose for an Active Defense, you gain a Drama Die.

This is the same as the Interpose Knack found in the Bodyguard Skill, but it is considered a Basic Knack for students of Caralli.

Apprentice: For students of Caralli, protecting their charge is of the utmost importance and they learn many strategies to do this effectively. When the Apprentice’s charge is using the Swordsman’s Rank in Interpose to determine her Passive Defense, she may add twice the Swordsman’s Mastery Level to her TN to be hit. In addition, the Swordsman receives a free Raise when attempting an Active Defense on behalf of his charge using Interpose.

Caralli has not been sanctioned by the Swordsman’s Guild, so its students receive a free Rank in one of their Swordsman Knacks in lieu of membership in the Guild for free.

Journeyman: As Journeymen, Caralli students learn ways to minimize the risk to themselves so they can stay on their feet, and protect their charges, longer. When using the Interpose Knack to protect someone else, their TN to be hit is only reduced by five. In addition, Journeymen learn to create openings for their charges so they may escape or, in a pinch, contribute to their own defense. Whenever the Journeyman successfully executes an Active Defense using Interpose, his charge receives an Action Die showing the current Phase. She may use this to escape the combat, prepare for an Active Defense of her own, or even launch an attack if she is so inclined. The Swordsman’s charge may only receive one Action Die per Round in this way, and if it is not used by the end of the Round, it is lost.

Master: Masters of Caralli have learned a technique that outsiders have wryly called “Théah’s ugliest riposte.” If the Swordsman uses his Interpose Knack to defend his charge and takes one or more Dramatic Wounds, he receives an Action Die showing the current Phase, which he must use to perform a Lunge against the opponent who injured him. They receive a free Raise to their Attack Roll for every five full points by which their Interpose roll exceeded their opponent’s Attack Roll.

The Action Die cannot be used for any other purpose, and if it is not used by the end of the Phase, it is lost. While the Swordsman is recovering from the Lunge, he may not attempt an Interpose Active Defense, but his charge’s TN to be hit may still be determined by the Swordsman’s Interpose Knack as she can maneuver around the Swordsman’s body to keep him between herself and an enemy.