Country of Origin: Montaigne
Salon: Paix (Small)
Description: This School was developed by a Montaigne black sheep ostracized by his family for his excessive drinking and constant brawling. (With peasants, of all people!) After his exile to Paix, he refused to give up his family name, and in fact, he insisted that he be called “le Comte de Fermat,” the title he had held before he was cast out by his family. Once settled in Paix, Fermat continued his fighting ways, until he was bested by a Journeyman of Savate in a contest of arms. Despite his training as a Valroux Swordsman and his superior weapons, the Savateur trounced Fermat, who recognized the need for a less fancy, more aggressive fighting style should he encounter such a combatant again.
The School superficially resembles Brevalli, or even its predecessor Lucani, in that the dominant hand wields a rapier, while the other is kept in a closed fist, held close to the Swordsman’s chest and ready to strike at a moment’s notice. However, it is even more aggressive than either of those Schools, and the emphasis is equally split between sword thrusts and crushing fists. The School can even be used without a rapier; though many of its tricks will be unavailable, no Fermat Swordsman will ever be unable to properly defend himself in an unarmed fight.
The weakness of Fermat lies primarily in the School’s stance. The body is held at a forty-five degree angle to an opponent, allowing for unarmed strikes with the off hand as well as thrusts with the rapier. This stance presents a wide target to an opponent, who can also tell when an attack is forthcoming by the way the Swordsman plants his feet before striking.
Basic Curriculum: Fencing, Pugilism
Knacks: Beat (Fencing), Bind (Fencing), Disarm (Fencing), Exploit Weakness (Fermat), Uppercut
Revised Swordsman Knack: Beat. When attacking an enemy, you can declare a Beat. You roll Brawn + Beat, and must roll a number of Raises equal to your enemy’s Brawn in order for your Beat 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 Fermat School emphasizes fisticuffs as well as swordplay, and the Swordsman’s off hand is always ready to lash out with a savage punch. The off-hand penalty is negated when attacking with a closed fist, whether using Attack (Pugilism) or Uppercut for the attack. In addition, the Swordsman may add his Mastery Level in Fermat to the damage roll for any barehanded attacks he makes (including an Uppercut), as he grows stronger and learns to punch harder as he advances in his studies.
Le Comte de Fermat refuses to submit his School for sanction by the Swordsman’s Guild, believing that it would “cheapen” his creation if he had to teach it to any aspiring Swordsman who wandered into his salon. As a result, students of Fermat receive a free Rank in one of their Swordsman Knacks instead of membership in the Swordsman’s Guild.
Journeyman: By the time he reaches the level of Journeyman, a student of Fermat is as good with his fists as he is with his sword (maybe even better). Journeymen of the School receive a free Rank in the Attack (Pugilism) Knack. This may increase his Rank in the Knack to a six; if it doesn’t, he may increase it from a five to a six later by spending twenty-five XP.
Master: Masters of Fermat are relentless attackers, and use their powerful fists to set up devastating attacks with their rapiers. After hitting an opponent with an off-hand attack using Attack (Pugilism) or Uppercut, the Master rolls and keeps an extra die (+1k1) on his next attack with a rapier, as well as on the Damage Roll, provided it is made in the same Phase as the unarmed attack. This bonus only applies when using the Attack (Fencing) Knack.