Country of Origin: Castille (any member of the Knights of the Rose & Cross may learn the School for 25 HP)
Salon: San Cristobal (Large)
Description: The Salamanca Swordsman School was established by Wandering Knight Rodrigo Salamanca after his brother was killed while Rodrigo himself was not there to defend him. Overwhelmed with grief at the loss of his brother, Rodrigo spent the next six months developing a fighting style designed to protect the innocent, vowing that no one’s brother would ever again die from a lack of protection on his watch.
A Salamanca Swordsman is trained to protect himself (or another party) while attempting to resolve conflicts peacefully. His techniques are designed to remove an opponent’s ability to inflict harm (to the Swordsman himself or to anyone else). If absolutely necessary, duels are generally fought until one competitor is disarmed, or occasionally to first blood. A student of Salamanca will never participate in a duel to the death unless there is absolutely no other alternative. Even then, he will always grant quarter to an opponent who seeks it, believing that a true master of the blade does not need to kill to demonstrate his superior skill. Salamanca foregoes the use of an off-hand weapon for defense; it is strictly a single-weapon rapier School.
The School’s strict code of ethics contributes to its primary weakness. A crafty opponent can lure the Salamanca Swordsman into a compromising position by feigning an injury, or launch a devastating counterattack during the inevitable pause before the Swordsman delivers a “killing” blow.
Basic Curriculum: Bodyguard, Fencing
Knacks: Corps-á-Corps, Disarm (Fencing), Exploit Weakness (Salamanca), Flourish (Fencing), Tagging (Fencing)
New Swordsman Knack: Flourish. When attacking an enemy, you can declare a Flourish. You roll Panache + Flourish, taking a number of Raises equal to the opponent’s Panache. If the Fourish is successful, the opponent cannot Actively Defend, and the Raises add Unkept Dice to your Damage Roll as usual.
Apprentice: An Apprentice of Salamanca practices resolving conflicts through wit, charm, and reasoned argument. The Apprentice may add Unkept Dice equal to his Mastery Level to any Repartee Actions he attempts during combat. During a one-on-one duel, he may add Kept Dice instead, as these are the moments when a Salamanca Swordsman truly shines.
In 1669, Rodrigo participated in the Swordsman’s Guild’s Founder’s Day Tournament, but failed to win sanction for his School. Instead of Guild Membership, an Apprentice receives a free Rank in the Interpose Knack of the Bodyguard Skill.
Journeyman: A Salamanca Journeyman has learned that an opponent who cannot be reasoned with may instead be intimidated through superior skill and convinced to surrender. During combat, the Journeyman may use a single Action Die to attempt a particularly flashy bit of bladework, combining a Flourish with an Intimidate Repartee Action. The TN to resist the Intimidate Action is equal to the attack roll, and the Raises applied to the Flourish also apply to the Intimidate Action. Whether successful or not, the Journeyman may only attempt this against any given opponent once per Scene.
Master: Even at the level of Master, a Salamanca Swordsman will seek a non-violent end to a confrontation, using his considerable abilities to press the point. After a Master has made a successful Called Shot to a suitable vital area (typically the opponent’s heart or throat), he may choose to forego his Damage Roll to offer his opponent an opportunity to yield. At any point thereafter, he may spend a Current, Held, or Interrupt Action to drive his blade home and inflict an automatic Dramatic Wound. This cut is made with such precision that the opponent’s Flesh Wound total does not reset to zero after the Dramatic Wound is inflicted.