Country of Origin: Eisen/Montaigne
Salon: Siegsburg (Small)
Description: While the Montaigne Revolution was in full force and the royal court was forced into exile in Eisen, a number of nobles found themselves in a dirty and, even worse, boring land with little to do. Some threw themselves into the war effort, rallying behind Princess Anne in an attempt to retake their homeland. Some fell into ennui and began wasting away as surely as if they were among the waisen native to Wische. But a few channeled their boredom into something productive; Maurice Duverger was among them. While his fellows plotted their return to power or sank into indolence, Monsieur Duverger threw himself into swordplay. Having already mastered both Gaulle and Valroux, he spent his time in exile perfecting his own spin on a rapier-and-dagger technique before setting up a salon in Siegsburg. While the Revolution has run its course, the Duverger salon is still in Wische, welcoming both Eisen and Montaigne Swordsmen for training, as well as the odd expatriate from other countries.
Stylistically, the Duverger School bears only superficial resemblance to its parent styles, in that it relies on a rapier with a main gauche in the off hand. From there, it diverges quickly, as the weapons are not considered separately but used in tandem to set up powerful combinations designed to defeat an opponent quickly (and brutally). Footwork is a secondary concern, as the dagger provides a strong defense, but also opens up opportunities for devastating rapier strikes. This is not to say that a Duverger Swordsman is inflexible; while he prefers to stand his ground in defense, he is all too willing to press an attack against an overtaxed or off-balance opponent.
The School’s reliance on integrated weapon attacks also serves as its main weakness. An opponent who can deprive the Duverger Swordsman of one of his weapons (e.g., through a Bind or Disarm) will severely limit the School’s efficacy; even staying a foot back and out of range of the main gauche can throw the Swordsman off his game.
Basic Curriculum: Fencing, Knife
Knacks: Double Attack (Fencing/Knife), Exploit Weakness (Duverger), Feint (Knife), Sidestep, Wall of Steel (Fencing/Knife)
Revised Swordsman Knack: Feint. When attacking an enemy, you can declare a Feint. You roll Wits + Feint, and must roll 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: The first lessons of Duverger enable an Apprentice to wield a rapier and main gauche simultaneously, and use them to flow seamlessly from offense to defense. While the Swordsman is wielding both weapons at the same time, the off-hand penalty for using the main gauche is negated, and he may add his Rank in Double Attack to any Parry Active Defense attempted with either weapon.
With conditions in Wische continuing to worsen in the absence of a robust Eisenfürst, Master Duverger has not had an opportunity to travel to Kirk and submit his Swordsman School for Guild sanction. Until he does, his students receive a free Rank in one of their Swordsman Knacks in lieu of Guild membership.
Journeyman: A Duverger Journeyman has perfected a technique called the Following Strike: a sudden, second attack with his rapier following a small flurry of set-up strikes. Any time the Journeyman successfully inflicts damage on a target with both his rapier and his main gauche in the same Phase, he may immediately attempt a backhanded slash with his rapier on the same target without spending an Action. Because this attack comes from an unusual and disadvantageous angle, it only inflicts the rapier’s base weapon damage (typically 2k2) without being adjusted for Brawn. However, Raises taken on the attack roll may add Unkept Dice to the damage roll as usual.
Master: At this level of mastery, the Swordsman learns how to set up a devastating rapier attack by using his main gauche to leave his opponent overextended and exposed. After successfully executing a Feint with his main gauche, the Master may elect to forego a damage roll. If he does, he may immediately spend a Current, Held, or Interrupt Action to make an attack with his rapier. For this attack, Raises taken for damage add Kept Dice (+1k1) instead of Unkept Dice (+1k0) to his damage roll, and the opponent’s Wound Threshold is lowered to 10 for that attack only.