Country of Origin: Crescent Empire
Salon: None (the style is taught by the commander of the Atlar’vahir’s main army, which protects, and is under the direct command of, Khan Atagun Bahadar)
Founded: Unknown, but believed to be prior to 1 AUC
Description: Like Eisen’s Steil and Unabwendbar Schools, Vahiy is primarily concerned with mass combat. It is more of a philosophy of war than a style of fighting. It teaches that battlefields are places of chaos, where situations can change in an instant. Vahiy proposes that the best way to deal with this change is to react as quickly as possible, with speed and mobility. It teaches its students to rely on the mobility of the cavalry and to maximize the deadliness of a unit of horse archers. Those trained to follow the principles of this philosophy become expert cavalry officers. They learn the strengths and weaknesses of the mounted soldier, and how to deploy these troops in such a fashion that their strengths are best used and their weaknesses cannot be exploited. Cavalry is most effective when it has room to maneuver, and it becomes vulnerable when it has to fight in tight quarters.
On the field, this commander seeks to have his force attack at his foe’s flanks, where the enemy can bring the least force to bear. He will harass them with long-range fire, while keeping his own forces out of reach of enemy blades. His ultimate goal is to surround his enemy with a circle of his horse archers who keep moving and firing until the enemy surrenders or is eliminated.
Vahiy’s focus on the speed and maneuverability of cavalry means that these commanders have a disdain for infantry forces, which they see as too slow. They also have a low regard for artillery, because it is difficult to maneuver in the field and requires special preparations before battle, limiting its use in sudden encounters. When one of these commanders does have a force that consists of these units, he typically offers them up as bait in a trap for his enemy. This difference in status between the units gives the commander a very elite cavalry force, but his other units suffer from low morale.
Basic Curriculum: Archery, Commander
Knacks: Horse Archery, Orders (Advance, Charge, Envelop, Flank, Hold Ground, Regroup, Scout, Set vs. Charge, Trim Line, Withdraw)
New Swordsman Knack: Horse Archery. This replaces the Attack (Archery) Knack when firing a bow from horseback. This is the same as the Horse Archery Knack in the Archery Skill, but it is considered a Basic Knack for students of the Vahiy style.
New Swordsman Knacks: Orders (Advance, Charge, Envelop, Flank, Hold Ground, Regroup, Scout, Set vs. Charge, Trim Line, Withdraw). Each of these Knacks corresponds to an entry on the Army Tactics chart on page 101 of the Eisen sourcebook. When a General chooses a tactic that he has the Knack for, he adds a number of points equal to his Mastery Level times his Rank in the appropriate Orders Knack to his Strategy roll for that Round of battle. Thus, a General who is a Master and has the Charge Knack at five would add fifteen to his roll each Round he chose Charge.
Apprentice: The Apprentice has learned that the enemy cannot fight as effectively if their chain of command breaks down. He looks carefully for officers in the opposing force and make a special effort to target them with his attacks. While the Apprentice is not engaged (i.e., he is in Reserves or Disengaged) and he is using Horse Archery as an Attack Knack, you may select an opposing individual character who takes damage as if his Personal Results Roll was 2 higher than it is. Because of your constant practice firing from the saddle, you get a Free Raise to all Horse Archery rolls.
Students of Vahiy do not get free membership in the Swordsman’s Guild. Instead, they receive two free Ranks in the Riding (Horse) Knack. If they do not have access to the Knack in one of their Skills, they receive it as a Specialty Knack that does not count against their limit of three Specialty Knacks.
An Apprentice must achieve Rank four or higher in Horse Archery and three of his Orders Knacks to become a Journeyman.
Journeyman: When a Journeyman goes into combat, he knows that he must present himself as an example to his men, and so he often performs spectacular feats to boost their morale. At the beginning of any fight in which he is on horse- back, the Journeyman gains one Drama Die per Mastery Level. At the end of the battle, these Drama Dice are lost if they have not been spent. These Drama Dice never become experience points.
In large battles, the Journeyman maneuvers all over the field, appearing where he feels he can do the most good, and using his archery skills to keep enemy officers pinned down. He may change your level of Engagement to any category, regardless of his last category. He may also make a Horse Archery roll with a TN equal to an opposing character’s TN to be hit to prevent that character from changing his level of Engagement.
A Journeyman must achieve Rank five in Horse Archery and four of his Orders Knacks to become a Master.
Master: A Master of Vahiy, has become an expert at flanking and enveloping maneuvers. He get an extra Rank of Orders (Flank) and Orders (Envelop). Both of these may be increased to a six. If one or both of these Knacks does not become a six, he may increase them from a five to a six later by spending 25 XP.