Celeritas Swordsman School

Country of Origin: Numan Empire
Salon: None
Founded: Unknown, but given the nature of Tempus Sorcery, it could have been developed at any time, even in the future

Description: Once a small group of Senators invoked the power of otherworldly creatures and struck the Bargain, it was only a matter of time before the more militant of their descendants sought a means to combine their rich, magical power and their skill with a blade. The Senator who received the time-altering Sorcery called Tempus seemed to develop the Celeritas School overnight: one day he was struggling to control his gladius, and the next he was slicing through his opponents, and through time itself, with ease.

Time seemed to flow more slowly for a Celeritas Swordsman, allowing him to use his cunning, intellect, and timeless view of the battlefield against his enemies. A student of Celeritas sought to hone his perceptions and discipline his thoughts so that he could act in slivers of time so narrow others could not even perceive them. While the School’s original design called for the use of a gladius, modern practitioners could substitute a smallsword should they somehow learn the School, though at a penalty of one Unkept Die (-1k0) on all rolls (except Damage Rolls) using the modern weapon.

Like Incendere, Celeritas required complete concentration to truly master, as it was difficult to maintain control over the forces of time while facing an opponent in hand-to-hand combat. Many of the same tactics used to combat Incendere (from a sudden, unexpected attack to screaming in the Swordsman’s face) were equally effective against Celeritas, breaking the Swordsman’s concentration long enough to slow down an attack so it could be blocked, or to deliver a fatal blow.

Note that Tempus Sorcery is needed to use the Apprentice and Master level techniques.

Basic Curriculum: Athlete, Gladius
Knacks: Charge (Gladius), Exploit Weakness (Celeritas), Flurry (Gladius), Pommel Strike (Gladius), Sidestep

New Swordsman Knack: Flurry. When attacking an enemy, you can declare a Flurry. You roll Resolve + Flurry, and must roll a number of Raises equal to your enemy’s Resolve in order for your Flurry 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: By manipulating the timeline, the Celeritas Swordsman can almost guarantee he will receive the first strike in any given exchange. As an Apprentice, the Swordsman can spend a Moment Die to use his Charge Knack at the beginning of any Round after the first.

Celeritas has not been (and never will be) submitted for Guild sanction. As a result, its students receive a free Rank in one of their Swordsman Knacks in lieu of Guild membership.

Journeyman: Because a Celeritas Swordsman knows the pitfalls of losing his own concentration, he learns a technique to deprive his opponents of theirs. After successfully executing a Pommel Strike, in addition to its normal effects, the target’s next Action Die is increased by the Swordsman’s Mastery Level in Celeritas. If this increases the value of the Action Die above ten, it is lost.

Master: Just as an ordinary Swordsman darts in and out of range to strike more efficiently, a Celeritas Master darts forward and backwards in time to determine the best location for his next strike. By spending a Moment Die prior to making an attack, the Master gets a glimpse of precisely where he should attack next. If the attack is successful, rather than making the usual damage roll, the Master may roll Time Slip + his Mastery Level in Celeritas, keeping his Mastery Level (this should result in an 8k3 damage roll).

Note: A gladius is a short, double-edged weapon popular in Numan lands centuries ago. It is always a Masterwork weapon, and has a Damage Rating of 2k2. Gladius is a Martial Skill consisting solely of the Basic Knacks Attack (Gladius) and Parry (Gladius).