Country of Origin: Eisen
Salon: Seeufer (Large)
The Kepler University in Seeufer has been turning out gifted doctors and able Swordsmen for well over a century; the two fields are so closely intertwined that it is very rare for a doctor to graduate without some skill with the blade, or for a Swordsman to leave his studies without picking up some knowledge of anatomy and physiology. At the end of each academic year, the graduating students gather together and duel one another. Each student duels one opponent after another until he is marked on the cheek by an adversary’s blade. These “Kepler scars” are recognized throughout Eisen and beyond as marks of a Swordsman’s prowess.
The Kepler School is one of fluid motion and precise thrusts. A Kepler Swordsman never takes three steps when one will do, and tries to move his body as little as possible, even when defending against an attack, in order to maintain his line and counterattack quickly without having to reset his feet or reposition his blade.
The School’s economy of movement also contributes to its primary weakness. An opponent who continuously presses forward (or, for that matter, one who is constantly in retreat) will force the Kepler Swordsman into continuous motion and leave him unable to maintain his stance and position. While the Swordsman is settling himself into a more familiar guard, a shrewd opponent will attack without mercy.
Basic Curriculum: Doctor, Fencing
Knacks: Corps-á-Corps, Disarm (Fencing), Exploit Weakness (Kepler), Razor (Fencing), Tagging (Fencing)
New Swordsman Knack: Razor. You have studied basic anatomy, and mastered the art of blade control to take full advantage of your studies. As a result, when you strike with a weapon, you inflict precise, extremely painful wounds. For every Rank you have in this Knack, you may add one to your Damage Rolls with an appropriate weapon.
Apprentice: A Kepler Swordsman keeps his wits at all times, maintaining an intelligent defense while waiting for the opportune time to strike. He may add twice his Mastery Level in Kepler to his TN to be hit whenever he is using Footwork or Parry (Fencing) for his Passive Defense Knack.
Journeyman: As a Journeyman, a Kepler Swordsman learns to apply his specialized knowledge of anatomy and physiology to his bladework in a technique called the “Death of Many Cuts.” After successfully using his Tagging Knack, in addition to the usual effects, the Journeyman may inflict a number of Flesh Wounds equal to his Rank in Surgery on his opponent. A Wound Check is made after each damaging attack as normal.
Master: At this point, the Kepler Swordsman has mastered the art of the surgical strike. After successfully making a Called Shot, in addition to inflicting normal damage, the Master may decrease one of his opponent’s Traits by one until the end of the Round. The Trait affected varies according to the location of the Called Shot, whether it is to the head or neck (Wits), the torso (Brawn), the arm or hand (Finesse), or the leg (Panache). If the Called Shot inflicts at least one Dramatic Wound, the Trait reduction lasts until the end of the Scene, instead.