Country of Origin: Montaigne
Salon: Tamis (Average)
Description: When Montaigne went to war with Castille, there were those among L’Empereur’s subjects opposed to the occupation of a foreign land, especially among the lower classes who expected to receive very little from the conflict other than a quick death should they be conscripted into the army. These detractors seized upon any reason to criticize their more militant countrymen: even the fighting styles favored by the noble Swordsmen who had joined the conflict. Montaigne Swordsman Schools, with the off-hand use of a main gauche, parrying dagger, or some other weapon, were criticized as “cheating,” and the Swordsmen who practiced them were derided as inferior to Castillian Swordsmen trained in Aldana or Gallegos. These barbs were generally disregarded (if they were heard at all) by those fighting in the war, but they stung some of the elder Swordsmen who remained at home, including the Valroux-trained Marius Galois. He took up the malcontents’ challenge and drew upon his extensive martial skill to create a single-weapon School that could stand toe-to-toe with anything the Castillians had to offer.
Galois is a quick School, relying on nimble footwork and cunning feints to open up an opponent’s defenses before delivering a fatal (or, at least, duel-winning) blow. The sword arm is kept only slightly-bent with the point extended towards the opponent. This allows the Swordsman to attack quickly from a variety of angles (and to change angles just as quickly) while forcing an opponent to deal with the extended weapon before he can close to counterattack. The Swordsman’s off hand is held at head level with elbow bent, fingers spread to grab an opponent and drag him to the ground.
The weakness of Galois lies primarily in a Swordsman’s eyes. A Galois Swordsman is constantly shifting his gaze in an attempt to disguise the true angle of attack. However, in the split second before his blade is thrust home, the Swordsman’s eyes will lock on his intended target. A seasoned opponent can spot these moments, brace for the immediate attack, and launch a return strike while the Swordsman is overextended.
Basic Curriculum: Athlete, Fencing
Knacks: Corps-á-Corps, Disarm (Fencing), Exploit Weakness (Galois), Feint (Fencing), Sidestep
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: A student of Galois learns early that he must rely on footwork to avoid flanking strikes, and has practiced his own feints so often that he has an easier time spotting (and avoiding) those of an opponent. The Apprentice adds his Mastery Level in Galois to his TN to be hit when using Footwork as his Passive Defense Knack. This benefit is doubled to twice his Mastery Level when his opponent is attempting a Feint against him.
Galois has not been submitted to the Swordsman’s Guild for sanction, though Monsieur Galois is expected to make the trip to Kirk in the near future. Until then, Galois Swordsmen receive a free Rank in one of their Swordsman Knacks in lieu of Guild membership.
Journeyman: Journeymen of the Galois School have become adept at sending opponents sprawling to the ground while they are off-balance after trying to avoid a particularly deceptive attack. After successfully executing a Feint, the Journeyman may spend a Current, Held, or Interrupt Action to attempt a Corps-á-Corps attack against the same opponent. If the Journeyman chooses to do this, the opponent does not make a Wound Check until the results of the Corps-á-Corps attack have been determined.
Master: A Galois Master is known for his fast hands: so fast, that they can thrust a blade home with greater force when the opponent is caught off-guard by the attack. After successfully executing a Feint and before rolling for damage, the Master may choose to sacrifice Unkept Dice (-1k0) from his Damage Roll. For every two Unkept Dice sacrificed, the Master adds one Kept Die (+1k1) to the Damage Roll.