Country of Origin: Vodacce
Salon: Medico (Average)
Description: Eva Torazza was once described as “the next Veronica Ambrogia, only better.” The courtesan seemed to have every advantage in this pursuit: she was a little younger, a little prettier, a little smarter, and even shared Maestra Ambrogia’s good fortune to have been instructed in swordplay by some of her more daring suitors. Before long, even the Princes were starting to believe it, which meant of course that everyone believed it…except Veronica Ambrogia. In early 1660, after hearing one too many of her former clients singing Eva’s praises, she paid the young upstart a visit, planning to put an end to her ambitions.
In the ensuing duel, the founder of the Ambrogia School was stunned to find most of her efforts stymied by an entirely new style of fencing, developed quietly by young Eva and relying on a single rapier with no knife for defense. The battle raged for nearly an hour before Eva expertly twisted her rival’s rapier out of her grasp and sent her sprawling to the ground. Only a handful of grit, hastily scraped up from the floor and tossed into Eva’s eyes, allowed the maestra to dart in with her knife, pressing the blade to her opponent’s throat and forcing her surrender. Recognizing that she had been matched (and almost bested), Maestra Ambrogia elected to spare Eva in exchange for certain promises that would make sure the young courtesan never lived up to her promise. Stoically accepting a slash across the cheek to mar her beauty, Eva resigned as a courtesan and opened a fencing club in Numa. Within a year, Prince Donello Falisci had persuaded Eva to relocate to his private island with the promise of a grand salon, built to her specifications. In the years that followed, Eva Torazza crossed paths with Maestra Ambrogia many times, and in the absence of that early rivalry, the two became friends. Maestra Torazza’s School became popular among second and third sons and other lesser nobles of Vodacce whose ambitions and fortunes had also been thwarted by someone higher in station than themselves.
As a Swordsman School, Torazza focuses on the offensive abilities of the rapier, utilizing its flexibility and reach as an asset while training students to put power into their blows. The training regimen focuses on increasing strength in the sword arm through fingertip push-ups, one-arm pull-ups, and similar exercises. Strength training is supplemented by dance lessons and cross-country sprints to build both graceful footwork and long-term endurance. Torazza Swordsmen tend to be very proud and carry sizable chips on their shoulders; despite the friendship of their leaders, many dislike Ambrogia Swordsmen, as they see the style as cowardly
While Torazza is a well-rounded School and designed to stand up against traditional tactics, as the 1660 duel demonstrated, it is susceptible to surprise attacks, dirty tricks, and unexpected developments in a duel. With a well-timed kick or elbow, a dastardly head butt, or a sudden drop in one’s defenses, an opponent can easily throw a Torazza Swordsman off his game.
Basic Curriculum: Athlete, Fencing
Knacks: Beat (Fencing), Corps-á-Corps, Disarm (Fencing), Exploit Weakness (Torazza), Lunge (Fencing)
Revised Swordsman Knack: Beat. When attacking an enemy, you can declare a Beat. You roll Brawn + Beat, and must roll a number of Raises equal to your enemy’s Brawn in order for your Beat 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: A Torazza Apprentice’s conditioning techniques produce immediate results, providing them with extra power and leverage when they are in blade-to-blade contact with an enemy. The Apprentice receives a free Raise on all Disarm attempts he makes, whether Passive or Active.
As a condition of her loss to Veronica Ambrogia in 1660, Maestra Torazza vowed not to submit her creation for sanction by the Swordsman’s Guild; the time that an Apprentice would spend training in Guild custom, law, and history instead goes towards exercises to strengthen his fingers and hands. As a result, in lieu of Guild Membership, Torazza Swordsmen receive the Firm Grip Advantage.
Journeyman: With a flick of the wrist, a Torazza Journeyman can bring out a rapier’s true potential, turning a mere scratch into a wound. The Journeyman may add twice his Mastery Level in Torazza directly to damage rolls resulting from the use of his Attack (Fencing) Knack.
Master: A Master of Torazza has developed considerable endurance over the course of his training, allowing him to press an attack more easily than when he first began his study. Once per Round, the Master may use an Interrupt Action to make an attack using one of his Swordsman Knacks.