Olson Swordsman School

Country of Origin: Vendel
Salon: Kirk (Average)
Founded: 1668
Sanctioned: 1672

Description: Marc Olson (born Yngmar Olaffsson) defected to the Vendel League when he was only twelve years old, frustrated by the religious fervor and suicidal politics that drove his Vestenmannavnjar family and friends. He slipped out of the Hofsjokull on the island of Örnsköldsvik one evening, stole a small fishing boat, and rowed all the way to Kirk, where he was taken in as a ward by a well-to-do but relatively unknown Swordsman who had purchased his way into the Guild and held only an iron pin.

The one thing Marc relished (and missed) from his old life was the rigorous martial training. Accordingly, the young man took to his new patron’s fencing lessons with great enthusiasm, and within two years, he could easily defeat not only his fencing master, but most of the master’s friends. Through word of mouth, Linnae Knute eventually learned of Marc’s prowess and took the young man under his wing. Just three years later, Marc had learned enough from Master Knute to create his own Swordsman School. Four years later he had perfected it and submitted it successfully for Guild sanction, making him the youngest Master in Guild history at just twenty-one years of age.

Olson Swordsmen learn the value of patience. They are not afraid to take their time, defending themselves with their sideways stance and expert footwork while they wait for (or create) the opportune moment to strike. Occasionally they will risk everything on a daring attack or show off a little to demonstrate their superior skill, just to keep an opponent guessing. For the most part, however, students of Olson play a waiting game, slowing the pace of a duel down when they can, and adapting to an opponent’s attacks and defenses to the best of their ability when they cannot.

The main weakness of the Olson School is that it tends to be slow and meticulous. Most of its training consists of complex combinations of attacks, or even voluntarily slowing down one’s own pace just to land a perfect thrust. If an opponent can launch a flurry of attacks before the Olson Swordsman can set up his first, it will leave the Swordsman floundering and struggling to catch up.

Basic Curriculum: Athlete, Fencing
Knacks: Bind (Fencing), Exploit Weakness (Olson), Feint (Fencing), Lunge (Fencing), Tagging (Fencing)

Revised Swordsman Knack: Feint. When attacking an enemy, you can declare a Feint. You roll Wits + Feint and must declare a number of Raises equal to your enemy’s Wits in order for your Feint 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: Since Olson Swordsmen avoid the use of knives, bucklers, or cloaks in their off hand for defense, they make use of a stance that presents a much smaller target to an opponent, as well as swift movements to make that target as unaccommodating as possible. The Apprentice may add his Rank in the Footwork Knack to his TN to be hit when using Parry (Fencing) to defend against an opponent.

Journeyman: Journeymen of Olson have learned that trying to do everything at once can lead to a miserable failure. By slowing down the pace of the fight and taking his time with his attacks, he can increase the chance of a successful strike. When attacking with his rapier (including the use of any of the School’s Swordsman Knacks), the Journeyman may choose to give up one Action Die, even iff it is not currently legal, to increase his Attack Roll by the value shown on that die. This decision must be made before the attack is attempted.

Master: Olson Masters have learned a twirling blade technique, circling their weapon around an opponent’s blade and driving inwards until they reach the opponent’s now-unprotected midsection. Whenever the Master has his opponent’s weapon in a Bind, he may give up one Action Die, even if it is not currently legal, to make a twirling attack against that opponent using Attack (Fencing). Surrendering this Action Die also triggers the benefits of the Journeyman Technique. The TN to hit the opponent is reduced to five for that attack only, and he may not use any Parry Knack (with that weapon, anyway) for an Active Defense. If the attack inflicts a Dramatic Wound, the Bind is broken.