Cavanagh Swordsman School

Country of Origin: Inismore
Salon: Tara (Large)
Founded: 1651

Description: When the O’Bannon returned to Inismore in 1650 to lead the war for independence from Avalon, he knew that it was only a matter of time before violence came crashing against his beloved island in massive waves. While he did not fear for himself…much (he knew that his greatest challenge would come from within Inismore, not from without)…he feared for his people and for the natural beauty of Inismore, lest it be despoiled by the muddy boots of invaders and the blood-soaked fields of battle. He met with his Fianna en masse, and tasked them with defending themselves first, and the people and places of Inismore second, by quickly eliminating any threats before harm could be done. The elite warriors pooled their talents for swordplay and oratory alike, and quickly developed this Swordsman School, named for the captain of the Fianna at the time, Sheamus Cavanagh.

This School can be identified quickly by its distinctive stance: a slim profile, with the weapon (a smallsword) held low and one-handed. The Swordsman leads with his blade in an elegant and graceful manner, his strikes strong and his profile aiding him in defense. Regal and unflinching, a Cavanagh Swordsman owns any field of battle he walks upon, for it is his court and there he rules. Cavanagh Swordsmen are known for reciting poetry as they fight, sometimes improvising a stanza or two describing the very duel they are fighting while they are still fighting it!

If the School has a weakness, it is that the smallsword is held low and in line with one’s body. The Swordsman’s attacks (especially those aimed at the face or upper torso) take a little longer to set up and give an opponent time to set up an appropriate defense. Furthermore, the lack of an offensive weapon or even a buckler in the off hand leaves a Swordsman vulnerable to strikes to the weak side or wraparound attacks once an opponent gets past the Swordsman’s unique stance.

Basic Curriculum: Fencing, Performer
Knacks: Disarm (Fencing), Exploit Weakness (Cavanagh), Pommel Strike (Fencing), Razor (Fencing), Riposte (Fencing)

New Swordsman Knack: Razor. You have studied basic anatomy, and mastered the art of blade control to take full advantage of your studies. As a result, when you strike with a weapon, you inflict precise, extremely painful wounds. For every Rank you have in this Knack, you may add one to your Damage Rolls with an appropriate weapon.

Apprentice: The Swordsman’s slim profile aids in his defense, regardless of the opponent’s line of attack. While using this School, the Swordsman may add twice his Mastery Level in Cavanagh to his TN to be hit.

The Fianna wish to keep this School exclusive to their ranks, so they will not submit it for Guild sanction. Instead of Guild membership, Apprentices receive a free Rank in the Cold Read Knack of the Performer Skill.

Journeyman: When facing multiple opponents, every swing must be made with precision and excellence; no movement is wasted. When attacking a Brute Squad, the Journeyman receives a number of Free Raises on his attack roll equal to his Mastery Level in Cavanagh.

Master: With supreme focus, one can gain great insight into a foe’s defenses. When the moment is right, the Swordsman releases his attack in a vicious upward swing. At the beginning of every Round, prior to Phase One, the Master may use an Interrupt Action to make one attack against a single opponent in “Phase Zero” of that Round. If he does, he rolls Wits + Cold Read to attack, and his opponent’s TN to be hit is reduced to five for that attack only. The opponent may use an Interrupt Action to Actively Defend. The attack does standard smallsword damage (2k2), increased for Brawn as usual.