Monday, December 15, 2008

Fior di Battaglia (Flower of Battle)

Fiore dei Liberi is the greatest living Italian Master. Ten years ago he produced several illustrated manuscripts outlining his fighting style under the title "Flos Duellatorum" or "Fior di Battaglia" meaning aptly: "The Flower of Battle". These manuscripts teach defensive and offensive techniques for swords, daggers, pole arms and cudgels as well as those for wrestling. Both unarmoured and armoured combat are covered and it is said that old Fiore has perfected techniques for besting the new heavy armour now becoming popular.

In these troubled times, skill at arms is a valuable commodity and the famous Fiore has never lacked for ready pupils. Though not so swift or hearty as once he was, he still maintains a keen eye and now supervises a school of fencing and arms based around (and named for) his manuscripts. There skilled instructors pass on the Fiore's teachings under the old Master's watchful eye. The core of his fighting philosophy comes from a life of single combats where he could trust only to "God, himself and his blade" Thus, he teaches his students to master their skill at arms, keep their bodies in peak condition and have their wits about them at all times.

Skills: Athletics, Melee arms, Maneuvering, Perception, Performance

Secret Masteries

Spada en arme (Sword in Armour) (Melee arms (Bladed Weapons) Mastery)
Heavy armour has become commonplace amongst those who can afford it's protection. However, one who has begun to truly master Fiore's techniques need not turn to specialist weapons in order to handle such foes. A true graduate of the Fior di Battaglia can trust in himself and his skills alone. Using peerless "halfswording" techniques, all melee weapon attacks with a sword gain the AP characteristic.

Four virtues (Perception (Detection) Mastery)
The four virtues of the Swordsman are: Audatia (Courage) Celeritas (Swiftness), Fortitudo (Fortitude) and Prudentio (Perception). In addition to skill at arms, cultivation of these virtues and mastery of the inner self allows a Master of the Fior di Battaglia to begin to tap the power within. The character gains the Shen and Dominion skills at lvl 1. As long as this remains the only source of their ability in Shen, they may only use variants from the path of conflict.

Sette Spade (Seven Swords) (Perception (Detection) Grand Mastery).
At the centre of the techniques of the Fior di Battaglia lies the Seven Swords, representing the seven guards employed by skilled warrior. The seven guards are no great secret and are known across many fencing styles. However, Fiore teaches that the four virtues lie at the root of true mastery of their guards. This mastery is simply the understanding that the blade does not matter, only it's wielder. Once this understanding has been attained it becomes possible to ignore penalties in combat due to IL's, though they still must pass WILL checks to remain fighting once they reach the final IL and will still die if their damage exceeds that IL.

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