Country of Origin: Montaigne
Salon: None (the style’s Master wanders continuously among Montaigne’s port cities)
Description: Savate is a fighting style which is gaining popularity among Montaigne sailors and others who are not welcome in the salons of the Valroux School. It combines a variety of kicks with aggressive punches and an assortment of street fighting techniques to create a surprisingly graceful fighting style. However, because most of its practitioners are lower class sailors, and it uses kicks as its main focus, the school is not welcome in the Swordsman’s Guild, and practitioners of Valroux hold it in particular disdain.
The creator of this fighting style is a man named Jean Tireur, a sailor whose journeys took him as far away as the Crescent Empire, or even (so it is rumored) beyond the Fire Wall to Cathay. He refuses to say exactly where he learned his fighting techniques, only that he perfected some very poorly conceived ideas he encountered in the East. The style takes its name from the Montaigne word savate or “slipper” (after the traditional footwear of the common Montaigne sailor) and its practitioners are called Savateurs. Master Tireur still wanders from city to city, teaching the basics of his fighting style on the docks of Montaigne to anyone who wishes to learn for just a few sols.
The most obvious weakness of Savate is that its attacks are extremely aggressive, requiring a great deal of energy to deliver. A Savateur may tire quickly, and cagey opponents will use this to their advantage. Furthermore, the primary weapons of Savate, a variety of kicks, are always delivered with the leading foot (that is, the one closest to the opponent). This requires the Savateur to shift his weight to his back leg before striking, a telltale cue that an attack is forthcoming.
All credit for Savate belongs to Dana DeVries, who developed the original fighting style.
Basic Curriculum: Dirty Fighting, Pugilism
Knacks: Corps-á-Corps, Double Attack (Dirty Fighting/Dirty Fighting), Exploit Weakness (Savate), Lunge (Dirty Fighting), Sidestep
Apprentice: The traditional stance of Savate places the Savateur’s left side closest to his opponent, and his attacks are always launched from the leading hand or foot. As a result, a Savateur receives the benefit of the Left-Handed Advantage, but only while using this style. In addition, the Savateur learns a maneuver called a Décalage: a defensive movement to the left or the right that translates into extra momentum on a follow-up attack. After successfully performing a Footwork Active Defense, a Savateur receives a free Raise on his next Attack, provided it is made same phase as the Defense.
When this School is purchased, the Savateur does not gain membership in the Swordsman’s Guild. Instead, he receives a free Rank in the Kick Knack of the Dirty Fighting Skill, and he may use the Kick Knack with this style’s Double Attack and Lunge Knacks.
Journeyman: The Journeyman Savateur has learned to put his full strength behind his kicking attacks. All attacks using the Kick Knack or any of this school’s Swordsman Knacks in conjunction with a Kick inflict an extra unkept die (+1k0) of damage.
Master: The Master Savateur has learned to launch a devastating offensive combination (or, in Montaigne, an Enchainement) in an attempt to resolve a combat quickly in his favor. On his first Action in any Round, the Master may make a number of attacks equal to his Panache, using any combination of attack Knacks found in the style’s Basic Curriculum, as well as the Swordsman Knacks for this fighting style. This flurry of attacks uses all of the Master’s Actions for that Round.